News Leadership 3.0

November 19, 2009

Publish2: Capturing the power of the link

News organizations use this free aggregation service to deliver more links and information to their users

I’ve been remiss in not writing sooner about Publish2, a free service that enables journalists and news organizations to pull together, organize and publish links to interesting material. I’ve been playing with Publish2 for a couple of weeks and thought about it only for my own use in bookmarking articles for future reference or to share with colleagues. But Publish2 has produced summaries of how news organizations are using Publish2, so a little light bulb went off and I want to share the glow.

The Publish2 list includes The Washington Post’s Daily Read of investigative reporting from around the Web, Dallas Morning News’s Dollar Wise feature that offers links to information how to save money, Knoxville News Sentinel pulling together links on breaking stories. The News Hour on PBS used Publish2 to collect and publish reaction when President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ryan Sholin, director of news innovation at Publish2, says 10,000 journalist users have registered at the site and the organizations using it are a mix of newspapers, hyperlocal neighborhood news sites and blogs, TV, radio, alt weeklies, and international users.

The New York Times, Miami Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Spokane Spokesman Review, and the Washington Post have been active users recently. “We see a ton of use on blogs, section pages, and individual topic pages, like elections, or swine flu,” Sholin said. The Des Moines Register builds topic pages for hometown heroes like Shawn Johnson.

In Washington state, Sholin noted, six news organizations have formed a collaborative Northwest Newsgroup to share links to regional news and deliver it with widgets on their sites. “It’s pretty amazing what they’ve been able to put together across newsrooms and even different parent companies,” said Sholin, who was a Knight News Challenge winner for a different project.
News organizations do not need a developer to get started with Publish2, he said. “If you can copy and paste a chunk of code into an article or section page template in your CMS, you have everything you need.”

I asked Ryan how he liked working for a start up after leaving a traditional news organization (Gatehouse). “It’s a lot of fun. If we have a great idea on a Monday, we build it by Wednesday and launch it by Friday.  That’s just a bit faster than a large media company can move, so it’s been great to work in an agile environment.”

He said Publish2 welcomes suggestions and other feedback. “Everything we do is by-journalists/for-journalists, so we love the feedback and input we get from news organizations. Most of the features in the Publish2 system are there because a journalist said ‘...wouldn’t it be cool if…’ “

“We see the collaborative curation of news as a trend that we’re out in front of, and it’s great to see news organizations using Publish2 as a newswire for the Web,” Sholin said.

It’s also great to see more news organizations discovering the power of linking and aggregation to provide users with a richer experience and to enable those who want to go deeper and wider on a story to quickly access more material.


My plan was to go to advertisers when my monthly uniques hit 20,000, which it should do this month. But right now, I donít even have a rate card.
Diskon Gila

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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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