Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Who wants to share government content? In recent European elections, not many people
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Oct. 15, 2015, 12:29 p.m.
Reporting & Production

“Things are the grist of the social web,” Kevin Delaney, Quartz president and editor-in-chief, noted in a presentation at FIPP’s magazine-focused conference in Toronto Thursday. (Other Quartzies, like Zach Seward, have given similar presentations over the years.) What are “things”? Here’s his slide:

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 11.37.03 AM

These “things” have been key building blocks of Quartz’s publishing strategy since its launch, in part because they work especially well on social and on mobile. Quartz noted earlier this month that 42 percent of its ad revenue now comes from readers on mobile devices.

Some of Quartz’s most important things are charts. The site published almost 4,000 of them in 2014, and over the summer, Quartz unveiled Atlas, a home and search engine for all of its charts (which users can download and embed). “It was pretty clear people often consider the charts to be their own pieces of content,” Seward, Quartz’s executive editor and VP of product (and a former Nieman Lab staffer) told us at the time.

Meanwhile, Vocativ, a New York-based site that claims to use proprietary technology to mine the deep web for unreported stories, announced Thursday that it’s acquired Dadaviz, an Israeli company that had hoped to be the “YouTube of data visualizations.” The idea behind Quartz’s Atlas and Dadaviz were somewhat similar, but Dadaviz invited users to rank and submit charts from around the web, while Atlas is at least currently limited only to charts created by Quartz.

According to Fast Company:

The acquisition of Dadaviz is part of a bigger push to restructure Vocativ’s content strategy. Since [chief content officer Gregory] Gittrich came on board in January, Vocativ has shifted its strategy to visual storytelling. ‘We’re very focused on creating stories that live in social media now,’ says Gittrich. The idea is that Vocativ’s audience might never actually visit the website, but instead experience Vocativ content through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on…Vocativ has recognized data viz as every bit as viral as GIFs and videos.

One thing all these types of content have in common: They’re short, and they can be shared easily.

Quartz and Vocativ are by no means the only publishers seeing the value in charts and data viz, obviously. Even President Obama seems to be a fan of the approach. Recently, he asked news organizations to “tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks in the last decade, and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side by side on your news reports.” This was the perfect occasion to, well, make some things.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Who wants to share government content? In recent European elections, not many people
Plus: How college students evaluate fake vs. real news, and an algorithm that doesn’t just identify fake news but explains why.
Newsonomics: It’s looking like Gannett will be acquired by GateHouse — creating a newspaper megachain like the U.S. has never seen
A combined GannHouse (Gatenett?) would own 1 out of every 6 daily newspapers in America. The goal? Buy two or three more years to figure out how to make money in digital.
Local news projects rush to fill The Vindicator’s void, with the McClatchy-Google network putting down roots
“We’re ultimately trying to do this as small and nimble as possible so that we can be seeing what’s working and throw out what’s not — and quickly being able to shift in a way that’s a little bit harder when you’re working with a 150-year-old newspaper.”