Content Development: Zeega

Use:  Create multimedia mash-ups to tell stories for users or advertisers in new, engaging ways

Zeega allows users to tell stories with a variety of multimedia elements, some curated by Zeega and some supplied by the users themselves.  Users drag various media onto slides, insert text, choose music to play behind the images and share the final product (essentially a slide show) through Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.  Zeega curates media from SoundCloub, Tumblr, Flickr and Giphy (and provides appropriate attribution).

You can view samples Zeegas here.

Publishers can use Zeega tools to tell interesting stories in new, compelling ways.  They can also use the tool to create new, engaging advertising units (in the form of slideshows).


Mashable: Zeega Offers a New Way to Tell Stories With Interactive Media

GigaOM: Amping up the GIF: Zeega wants to re-invent interactive media on mobile

i-Docs: The Zeega revolution: remake the Internet!



Social Media: OpenFuego

Use:  Curate Twitter conversations on topics of interest to your users or advertisers

OpenFuego is the new open-source version of Fuego, a tool created by the Nieman Journalism Lab to automatically monitor Twitter feeds and curate conversations based on designated topics.

Here is how the tool author, Andrew Phelps, describes the process: “You create a database and follow the instructions in the config file….Choose a group of authorities — the Twitter users who will seed the universe you want to track. ….After you identify these 10 authorities, OpenFuego does the rest. The app follows them on Twitter, as well as all of the people they follow, up to a total of 5,000 sources. When one of those sources shares a link, the link is scored according to the source’s influence. Influence is determined by the number of authorities who follow that source.”

The tool provides the back-end curation.  Publishers will have to create their own tool to display the content on the Web page.

Publishers can use the tool to supplement or provide background information on designated topics.  That information can be solely a tool for journalists or can be packaged online for users.  The tool could also be used to find “friendly” references to particular brands that can be added to the toolkit of advertiser services.


Nieman Journalism Lab: Introducing OpenFuego, your very own heat-seeking Twitter bot



Video: ifussss

Use:  Get access to user-provided breaking-news video

ifussss, which stands for “if you see something, share something,” is a platform for accessing user-generated breaking new video.  The app, which will be available for iOS and Android on September 9, allows users to record and share 30-second clips (metadata will be added automatically).  The platform will filter and clear the rights to each video.

Publishers can monitor and search content on ifussss and download clips for a “small fee”, part of which will go to the original videographer.

Other crowdsourced video platforms include Newsflare and Demotix.


Mediabistro: ifussss: New Video Sharing App and Newsroom for Journos New user-generated video app to launch

Content Development: POP App

Use:  Easily create rough iPhone app prototypes

POP App allows publishers to sketch out app prototypes on paper (or online), upload photos of the sketches and then animate the action to see a rough version of the app in action.   After sketching and uploading photos of a storyboard, users can create “link spots” within the app to simulate the user interface.  Transition effects include basic, next, back, rise and dismiss.   You can then share the prototype with others to try out on their iOS device or Web browser (Android versions are in the works).


The Next Web: Here are our 5 favorite companies from 500 Startups’ sixth batch demo day

CultofMac: Ingenious Pop App Lets You Design Apps On Paper [Review]





Analytics: Google Analytics

Use:  Test different versions of a page to see which one drives more action or engagement.

Google Analytics has updated its content experiments feature which allows media companies to easily test five different versions of a landing page to see which better meets desired metrics (e.g.  visit duration, start a subscription, make a purchase, etc.)  According to Google, content experiments allows you to:

  • Compare how different web pages perform using a random sample of your visitors
  • Define what percentage of your visitors are included in the experiment
  • Choose which objective you’d like to test
  • Get updates by email about how your experiment is doing

You can also use Google’s Experiments API to test versions of apps and Web pages.


Knight Digital Media Center: Experiment with web content for better engagement: new Google tool

Search Engine Watch: Google Analytics Finally Gives Developers Content Experiments API

Online-Behavior: Google Analytics Content Experiments – A Guide To Creating A/B Tests

Data Mining: Google Survey

Use:  Create low-cost surveys for editorial content or to gain additional consumer insights

Google Survey allows publishers to create low-cost surveys on any topic they want.  Questions will be presented to users when they try to access certain premium content (from those publishers who are hosting Google Consumer Surveys on their paid content products).   Google  reports more than 200 publishers have implemented GCS.

Publishers present one question at a time and can segment the audience by gender, age, geography, urbanicity and income.  Unfortunately, the smallest geographic area is at the state level.  The question can be in a variety of formats, including single answer, multiple answers, side-by-side images, ratings and open-ended.  Publishers than choose number of responses per question (200, 500 or 1,000) and  frequency (once, biweekly, monthly).  Google charges $.10 per response for general population surveys and $.50 per response for segmented surveys.

According to Google, “Google Consumer Surveys takes a new approach to survey sampling, data collection and post-stratification weighting. This produces a close approximation to a random sample of the US Internet population and results that are as accurate as probability based panels.” A Google whitepaper on Google survey methodology and accuracy available here.

GCS may not replace more intensive consumer surveys for your publication, but could provide a low-cost approach to gaining specific insights more rapidly.


TechCrunch: Google Surveys Can Make Anyone A Professional Pollster

Nieman Journalism Labs: The newsonomics of value exchange and Google Surveys

Forbes: Q&A With Paul McDonald: Co-Creator Of Google Consumer Surveys