Featured Guest: Adam Ostrow (@adamostrow), editor-in-chief of Mashable.
Q1 @adamostrow: What are your thoughts on the NFL’s social media policy? If you were king of the NFL, what would u do?
Adam: If I were the king of the NFL, I’d pull the restrictions off of players tweeting and leave it up solely to the team’s discretion, their performance comes first. But I think in time they’ll see SM makes people bigger fans + sells more tix/apparel/etc. And I can understand protecting TV rights, but I mean c’mon, mobile vid stream does not = 52″ HDTV.
Q2 @adamostrow: How disruptive is a Twitter outage to @mashable’s distribution model? (Per @joemescher)
Adam: Usually, hugely disruptive, except when the outage becomes a major story in itself, like the DDoS attacks, but like many publishers, Twitter’s an increasingly important channel, so when it’s not working, we lost visitors. Twitter’s also a great indicator of which stories are working and which aren’t. We lose that info when it’s down.
Q3 @adamostrow: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette announced a new paid content Web site concept. Viable option? (PER @kimly)
Adam: I think it could move the needle a little bit, but ultimately, it’s incremental revenue, not a savior in terms of being a major revenue driver, I think it will only work with audiences like WSJ where it’s exclusive content that the audience needs to do their job. If it’s leisurely content, there are just so many free options
Q4 @adamostrow: Newspaper revenues are crashing. Do you think it’s going to turn around? What will it take? http://bit.ly/UakBf
Adam: Forget revenue, they need profits. Fewer dead trees, fewer trucks, more internet! Revenue might never be what it once was, but many of the best reporters still work at papers. Build a product around quality online content. Aggresively cut costs in areas that aren’t working and turn yourself into a digital media co. seems like the only way to go.
Follow up question: What works well at Mashable?
Adam: We have almost none of the overhead of newspapers. The investment is in talent and technology
Q5 @adamostrow: Do you think people visit @mashable more for breaking news or in-depth analysis? (PER @jasontspencer)
Adam: Difficult to answer. We’ve had both news articles and features that have been huge hits in terms of traffic, comments, RTs, etc.
Q6 adamostrow: What are tips you would offer for building a strong online community, esp one that comments and offers opinions?
Adam: Don’t overlook the technology. Disqus, esp. now w/ Facebook + Twitter integration has been big engagement and although it seems silly, asking people to leave opinions in the comments almost always works better than not doing so.
Q7 @adamostrow What’s the biggest problem facing social media — long term and short term? (PER @foleymo)
Adam: Short term: Typical public perception problems (it’s complicated, no ROI, scary, spammy, unprofitable, etc.) Long term: Too much power in too few hands, possibly (intelligent filters will probably alleviate tho.)
Q8 @adamostrow: What stories are you most interested in? Why might you not cover a new social media app?
Adam: Stories about a) the key sm platforms b) products that plug into those platforms c) cool ways ppl are using them. Most of our stories fall into that, but probably about 10-20% is just unique and cool ideas.
Follow up: What is your favorite story you’ve worked on?
Adam: Wow, it’s been almost 2.5 yrs, but, we were (I think) the first to cover Summize, which ultimately became Twitter search which has become one of the key tools in social media. Beyone that, I love stories that intersect between SM and some of my personal interests like sports. I also have an in-depth piece on future of SM coming up soon that I’m excited about.
Q9 @adamostrow How do you see stories about social media changing/evolving? Do you think they will?
Adam: Now it’s a lot less about “this is the next huge social network” and “this is a great app or use of FB/Twitter/YT.” I don’t see those stories getting old anytime soon, tho perhaps a few of the apps that plugin to them will become so pervasive that they’ll start to be viewed as major platforms themselves (think photo/vid/locations/etc services) that plugin atm.