European news sites are among the worst offenders when it comes to third-party cookies and content

The forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation on May 25 is pushing publishers to take a hard look at just how dependent their outlets have become on cookies third-party trackers they load on their own sites in order to collect data from their visitors.

News sites actually load more third-party content and set more third-party cookies than other top websites, according to a new study of websites across seven European countries from the Reuters Institute. Continue reading “European news sites are among the worst offenders when it comes to third-party cookies and content”

Passive subscriber churn — and how to mitigate it (VB Live)

VB LIVE: Subscription businesses can lose the happiest of subscribers because of involuntary churn. But machine learning can automatically reduce this passive churn and boost monthly recurring revenue by an average of 9 percent. Learn more about how to improve transaction success rates and billing continuity when you join this VB Live event! Access…Read More

The platforms are the problem: The fight against digital disinformation gets $10 million from the Hewlett Foundation

Philanthropic foundations are interested in tackling the fake news problem — but where do they put their money? When the Hewlett Foundation — the philanthropy founded by the Hewlett family of Hewlett-Packard fame — started looking at how it could get involved after the 2016 presidential election, it found most money was either going “upstream” or “downstream” rather than midstream. Continue reading “The platforms are the problem: The fight against digital disinformation gets $10 million from the Hewlett Foundation”

On the hunt for direct connections, publishers turn to registration walls

Consumer revenue is top of mind for many publishers, so some of them are starting with registration requirements.

Since October, Bloomberg Media has been requiring people that visit its site more than eight times per month to register. El Nuevo Día, a Spanish-language newspaper in Puerto Rico, now forces readers to submit an email address after reading 11 stories in a month, and has been testing registration walls with different messages and offers in an attempt to get them to hand over their emails. Continue reading “On the hunt for direct connections, publishers turn to registration walls”

Can social Stories work for news organizations — without putting them on a platform?

On platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, Stories are cute — they’re perfectly designed for your phone’s screen, they can feel more narrative than disconnected posts, you can be pithy while still including more information than a regular post, and you can communicate more directly with your audience. But they also have drawbacks: the public can’t really see them after 24 hours, and they’re accessible only by users of those apps. Continue reading “Can social Stories work for news organizations — without putting them on a platform?”

A hack day project: Giving you great journalism in every new browser tab

Every so often on The Atlantic’s Product team, we drop what we’re doing and spend a day messing around. Lots of whiteboards, some frantic coding, usually ending with presentations over beers. We call it a “hack day,” but I think of it more as a talent show for ideas — a chance to take all those concepts we’ve been privately mulling, put them on stage, and see how they perform. Today, we’re publicly launching one of the reader-focused projects we prototyped at our last hack day: Serendipity, a Chrome and Firefox extension that displays an awesome piece of Atlantic journalism every time you open a new tab.

What it does

Continue reading “A hack day project: Giving you great journalism in every new browser tab”

Do peer review models affect junior doctors’ trust in journals?

Every day doctors make decisions on how to treat their patients based on evidence published in medical journals. The fact that these treatment decisions affect the wellbeing and quality of life of real people reflects the extent to which published literature is trusted, at least by the medical profession.

The only requirement for publication is that the research undergoes peer review; a system that we know is not perfect. It is because of the recognized flaws in the current system that new models of peer review have been developed to address some of them. The world of publishing has embraced these concerns and there’s not a conference or meeting that goes by without at least one discussion on what’s wrong with peer review and what we should be doing to fix it.

Awareness among practicing physicians

A conversation with my clinical co-authors highlighted that, while there is significant ‘angst’ about peer review in some fields, these concerns are going unnoticed by practicing physicians. We wondered how far this was true and whether it really mattered. This prompted our survey, recently published in Research Integrity and Peer Review, which asked trainee doctors whether they were aware of different peer review models and how far they trusted the contents of various medical journals.

There is a belief that if an article is peer reviewed and published it can be unquestioningly viewed as valid.

Unsurprisingly, the doctors we surveyed trusted familiar journal names such as the Lancet, BMJ, and NEJM. They paid little attention to the type of peer review model adopted by a journal and had little interest in open peer review, where the names of the peer reviewers are known to the authors (and vice versa). They also expressed little desire to scrutinize  peer review reports themselves in journals that operate open peer review; ironic given that open peer review was pioneered in the field of medicine to increase transparency and accountability, but also unsurprising.

Why does this matter?

Our study suggests that peer review is important to our respondents because publication is not seen as part of an evolving self-correcting process. There is a belief that if an article is peer reviewed and published it can be unquestioningly viewed as valid.

For journal editors and publishers this highlights their responsibility to deliver on these expectations by focusing on the quality of peer review, not just on the speed and efficiency of the process.

The study also raises many other broader questions: should there be an alternative approach to peer review in medicine? Should systematic reviews of medical research consider the peer review model? Should those who write evidence based clinical guidelines for junior doctors do the same? Should doctors be given training on how to assess peer review reports? How realistic or fair is it to add peer review to an already stretched medical curriculum? What is the value of opening peer review if the end user does not look at it?

We acknowledge that our survey was of a small and selective sample of doctors in training. Nonetheless, it offers a first insight into how a specific community views peer review innovations. We hope it will stimulate more interest among the medical community on how medical research is peer reviewed and validated and the publishing industry to think about medical specific innovations that meet the expectations of practicing doctors.

The post Do peer review models affect junior doctors’ trust in journals? appeared first on BioMed Central blog.

You can now use social audio app Anchor to publish podcasts

The social audio app Anchor is on Thursday introducing a new feature that allows users to easily publish podcasts to major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Users can initially set up the podcast through the app by choosing a name, art, and more, and then subsequent episodes will be automatically added to the feed.

“They’ll be able to control everything about the podcast that they need to control from Anchor,” cofounder and CEO Michael Mignano told me. “Our hope is that we can remove all of the technical and difficult aspects of the process to the end user. If we had it our way, the user would never even need to know what an RSS feed is. It’s an older piece of technology that we think most creators need to even be aware of.”

Even though users will be able to upload podcasts through the app, they’ll still be subject to the requirements of each of the podcast platforms, and Mignano said podcasts created through Anchor should be available on the various podcast apps within a day or two of the initial upload.

While Anchor wants users to create audio and listen within the app, Mignano said the company was adding the ability to export audio as podcasts because it wants to encourage users to create longer stories that might be better suited to listen to as a podcast rather than in the app, which was designed for shorter audio.

“For us, anything that removes friction or enables creators to make something is a win for both the creator and for us,” he said. “If we can bring people over to the platform by offering them tools they can’t get anywhere else, than we feel we’ve done our jobs.”

Anchor launched in 2016 and was designed to try and make it easier for users to record and share audio while also fostering discussions. The app was incubated at the New York startup accelerator Betaworks, and it has raised more than $4 million in venture funding.

Anchor has yet to begin monetizing the app, but Mignano said the app will likely introduce advertising or subscription offerings. He declined to offer a timeline, but said the company is committed to eventually sharing sharing revenue with users.

In March, Anchor relaunched the app with an array of new features, including integrations with Spotify and Apple Music that lets users import song and tools that simplify the interview process and enable listeners to call into shows.

At the time, Nick Quah wrote in his Hot Pod newsletter that the additions put Anchor in competition with Bumpers, an audio creation app founded by Ian Ownbey and Jacob Thornton, formerly of Twitter:

In my head, I’ve come to place Anchor and Bumpers in one bucket, given both these apps’ focus on serving as the mediating space between users and other users, while establishing another bucket specifically for short-form audio app 60dB and the AI-oriented Otto Radio which seems, to me at least, primarily occupied with developing a firm grasp on the interface between professional publishers and listeners.

Mignano wouldn’t say how many users Anchor has, and it remains to be seen if social audio can take off when apps such as Facebook and Snapchat already dominate many users’ time and homescreens. Still, a number of outlets, including The Verge and The Outline, are publishing on the platform, and as the app continues to evolve, Anchor wants to ultimately make it easier for users to create and share audio clips.

“People can both create and listen freely, much like open platforms for other mediums like photos, text, or videos,” he said. “We want it to be a conversation, we want it to be multidirectional, just not one way like broadcast. I think a way for us to get there is by opening up tools, creating utilities and tools that empower creativity.”

CareerBuilder Uses Google API to Power Job Search

“CareerBuilder, a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions, is collaborating with Google to use its Machine Learning (ML) based Google Cloud Jobs APIs in order to power its search capabilities. The Google Cloud Platform API leverages ML to help job seekers find the right employers quickly.

…CareerBuilder has recently made a series of investments and enhancements on its site to make it more transparent and intuitive. The Google API is a part of these enhancements. Other enhancements include a more personalized home page where job seekers can see details about who is looking at their profile, the search terms used to find them, track past applications, and update their status. ”

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