Tag Archives: personalization

Indiana-Purdue researcher finds relevancy, customizability most important to young news consumers

(Summarized by Bill Densmore    )

An academic researcher’s detailed inquiry of the media habits and desires of 16-to-30-year-old news consumers finds relevancy and customizability are the most important things youth news consumers want.

Dr. Edgar Huang’s research involved extremely detailed surveys of a total of 28 high-school and college students. Huang is in the School of Informatics at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Entitled: “The Causes of Youths’ Low News Consumption and Strategies for Making Youths Happy News Consumers,” the study was published in the International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, (Vol. 15, No. 1, 105-122, c. 2009, Sage Publications).

Some excerpts:

— Only 7% of the same gets their news from print newspapers. Overwhelmingly, the are getting it from the web and television.

— Nine-out-of-10 of the students had a broadband internet connection at home and they found news almost exclusively via their desktop or lap — NOT with their phone or PDA.

— Only 1 out of the 28 students uses RSS feeds to find news.

— Wrote Dr. Huang: “For these youth who have grown in the digital era, accessing news online is becoming their native culture.”

When asked to propose solutions to how they should interact with news, Huang wrote that: “The two major solutions the respondents proposed were relevancy and customizability.”


The Indiana researcher said they wanted three kinds of relevancy — they wanted relevant news that had an effect on their lives, they wanted news that was relevant to their time-starved lives — great headlines and stories short and to the point; and they wanted “media relevancy.”


Media relevancy was defined by Dr. Huang’s the respondents as “news delivered in a media format they are comfortable with — easy to navigate, interactive, searchable, filterable, containing graphics and videos, and providing much more information than newspapers for optional in-depth reading, hading for those who were near a computer often, enabling viewing from various digital devices and allowing time shifting.”


Eight of the 28 study respondents said that online users “should be allowed to customize their preferences for news so that the news they liked to see could be fed to them either on a customizable news website or social networking sites . . . so that they did not have to spend time searching for such news. However, they would like to be able to scan all the to stories to see if anything else would interest them.”


One of the respondents specifically envisioned that “a news website will learn and calculate how many times I hit on specific news. The web site will remember my interests in news and then rearrange the front page with the kind of news that I enjoyed whenever I visit the site.”

Said a second respondent to the 28-student survey by Dr. Edgar Huang of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis: “I would like a personalized website that had all the news that I feel is relevant to me.”

Edgar Huang, Ph.D., MFA
Associate Professor, School of Informatics
Adjunct Professor, School of Journalism
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
535 W. Michigan Street, Suite IT 481
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3103
Email: ehuang@iupui.edu
Phone: (317) 278-4108
Fax: (317) 278-7669

Mark Anderson’s “concierge” — is this a role for America’s news organizations?

Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service (http://www.tapsns.com) gives this scenario in a Dec. 29, 2008 interview with the BBC’s Peter Day. It was part of
an interview on technology predictions for 2009. Why can’t the nation’s news organizations learn how to play this “concierge” role?

This quote start at 17 mins., 45 seconds into the interview on this MP3 (DOWNLOAD MP3).

“The function here is pretty interesting. It is not such much that the technology has changed, although voice recognition is an important part of this. It’s that people will be integrating services for you personally. Instead of you just buying one at a time. Today on your Apple iPhone one app tells you where is the Italian restaurant nearest to me. Another tells me, ‘Where am I?’ Another app can tell you how to rent a car. And so on.

“But what I think’s going to happen now, is there is going to be an assistant — let’s call him an assistant — who knows who you are, a lot about you. Knows profiles of your use. So let’s say Peter you fly to New York and you might fly in three ways. You might come in a business visit, a personal visit or a family visit . . . so you tell your assistant, ‘I’m going to New York on he following day and I’m going to be there for four days and this is a business visit. And that’s all you have to say. And the concierge service here will notice that, they know what . . . that means Hertz not National rental, that means this hotel not that hotel, I know his requent flyer numbers, I’ll make the airline reservations, I’ll also use that for the hotel, I know that Peter is an opera fan, I’ll get tickets for the opera and so on . . . this is a machine . . . integrated personalized services.”

SOURCE: Mark Anderson of Strategic News Service, interviewed on BBC’s Global Business
with Peter Day of Peter Day’s World of Business.

Dec. 3-5 “Information Valet” gathering seeks to define sustainable future of journalism

Blueprinting the information-valet economy

Blueprinting the information-valet economy

Up to 70 executives, technologists and information-industry strategists will register and gather Dec. 3-5 at a new University of Missouri research center for a three-day effort to define and launch a competitive business model for sustaining journalism.

 “Blueprinting the Information Valet Economy: Building a collaborative, shared-user network,” is the title of a three-day collaboration at the new Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI).  The unique action-planning session is designed to change the landscape for news and information-service providers, creatives, artists and publishers.


“If your business or your passion is news, advertising, information commerce, entertainment, health care, financial services, technology, privacy or personalization, don’t miss the chance to help shape and blueprint the next great Internet innovation,” says Bill Densmore, a 2008-2009 Reynolds Journalism Fellow spearheading the Information Valet Project.

“We’ll plan, join and start creating frameworks in law, governance, marketing, advertising, technology, user identity and transactions for the Information Valet Economy,” says Densmore. “It should be a place where companies compete to provide personalized service to users, yet share those users, and where they make money referring those users to content — and advertising — from almost anywhere.”

“Blueprint” participants will be nestled within the forums, meeting rooms and open spaces of the Reynolds institute, which opened in September as the nation’s first institution dedicated to inventing, researching, shaping, sharing and sustaining the future of news.  “Breakout groups will create frameworks in law, governance, marketing, advertising, technology, user identity and transactions for the Information Valet economy,” said Densmore.

RJI was launched with a $31-million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Foundation. In September, it opened 50,000 square feet of new and remodeled space including a modern four-story, glass-walled structure inside a preserved, 1892 Victorian gothic building on the University of Missouri campus. RJI has completed or underway more than 60 initiatives to invent and sustain journalism’s future via partnerships with industry and other institutions.

For more information email densmorew@rjionline.org, or phone       573-882-9812      .

Newsmaven begins the blueprint process

“Newsmaven,” a widely experienced former newspaper publisher with a technical education, has offered up a blog post about the Information Valet Project which effectively begins the process of “blueprinting” the shared-user network we seek to build.  Assuming he’s ready to come out of the identity closet by Dec. 3, he’ll be able to flesh out his ideas for extending the basic IVP idea toward data-driven personalization.