The Year Ahead, News Reader Apps, Personalized Text Messaging, Slack Etiquette, TFP’s December Book Picks: Your Top Reads of 2015, TFP’s Infographic Pick of the Week

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing stories about the publishing and media landscape this past year and what’s ahead, how Flipboard is faring as other news reader apps shut down, personalized text messaging and other more user-friendly push options, Slack etiquette tips, and more.

Media Briefing clock image

  • Last week we noted the start of the year-in-review and new-year prediction season, highlighting Digiday’s 2016 preview. As we get closer to year’s end, other sites are rolling out their takes on the state of the media business as well, giving us much to ponder over the long holiday break. Here’s a sampling: Nieman Lab’s Predictions for Journalism 2016, WWD’s Top Stories of the Year, The Media Briefing’s Prediction rankings: The most likely media and tech developments in 2016, Fortune’s In 2016, Media Companies Will Lose Even More Control, and Inc.’s Future of Social Media: 5 Predictions for 2016.
  • As Poynter reports, it’s been a year of upheaval for news reader apps, with Circa, Weave, and Prismatic all shutting down while Apple grabbed a big chunk of the market with the debut of its News app in the fall. Still standing, however, is Flipboard, which the article points out secured $50 million in funding this summer despite the fact that pundits were predicting it, too, would go by the wayside. The company says focusing on its base of 100 million users is proving successful, thank you, and it’s planning further updates to help publishers engage with their audiences and monetize their content. “We have not only great content, but content curation and sharing and discovery,” marketing VP Marci McCue says in the report. “I think that is truly what sets Flipboard apart and why we feel so positive about where things are headed.”
  • News apps blowing up your phone with breaking news notifications can get pretty annoying, prompting some of us to turn them off completely. But there may be a better way: personalized text messaging. A separate Poynter report says group text messaging and more “nuanced” forms of push are becoming a popular way to target audiences, especially among authors and politicians—Hillary Clinton, for example, used live text to communicate with supporters during a recent Republican debate. Along with group messaging, the article offers some other alternatives to today’s “firehose” of alerts, including geofencing notifications to specific events in specific neighborhoods, pushing reader comments out to other readers, and “smart” push based on the user’s activity.
  • And on the topic of modern communication, here’s a fun (and useful!) post to wrap up the year: Fast Co.’s guide to Slack etiquette. An increasingly popular tool being used to message individuals and groups within the workplace, Slack is changing how people communicate in organizations of all sizes—but, as with any other social tool, there are conventions to consider. Some of the tips are just good manners, like don’t criticize publically, announce your arrival and departure, and don’t slack-bomb people. Others touch on finer points, like avoid the urge to use Slack like Facebook and speak directly to people so your messages don’t get lost in the fray. And while you may be tempted to give a thumbs-up or say “yay” with emojis, it advises you use them sparingly, keeping in mind you’re in a professional setting. Check out all the other pointers and you’ll be “slacking” confidently in no time!

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • Our December Book Picks highlight your top reads of 2015. Are you focused on what your peers are reading about? Find out…
  • This holiday season, give yourself the gift of a calm, creative, inspiring work environment. See our Infographic Pick of the Week to learn how to break the habit of multitasking and reclaim your sanity.
  • ICYMI: This month’s Women in Media installment looks at how NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer is shaking up her group’s networks, former Times veteran Denise Warren’s plan to turn around Tribune Publishing, this year’s Cosmo 100 event, and more.

Reminder: Apple iTunes Connect will be on break Dec. 22-29, meaning some features, including app submissions, will be unavailable. Adobe will also be on shutdown, providing only limited staffing and support. Here at TFP, we’ll be taking some time off too, with our This Week in Publishing digest scheduled to return Jan. 8. Happy holidays, everyone!

Image: The Media Briefing

Check out our blog for highlights of interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world every Friday, and sign up for TFP’s This Week in Publishing newsletter. Think we missed something great? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a note.

Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.