Volume 3 of our What We’re Reading blog series coming at you hot🔥 To refresh your memory, this series highlights our favorite news, posts, and reports relevant to digital publishing to help our publishers, readers, and blog subscribers stay up to date with the latest info. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Volume 1 and Volume 2 for additional reads. And, as always, we love hearing your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to share your opinions about these articles and any others you’ve found of value. Now... let’s dive in!

What You Need to Know About California’s New Data Privacy Law

Dipayan Ghosh - Harvard Business Review

At the end of last month, California passed a privacy law that gives residents new rights over how their personal data is shared and used online, including knowledge to what kind of data is collected and the ability to request deletion of personal info. The legislation will go into effect in January 2020 and is some, if not the most, stringent data protection legislation in the United States. There is still room to amend the law before it’s enforced, but for now, publishers who’ve already invested in new processes and increased transparency to become GDPR compliant will be able to leverage the same framework to also comply with California’s new law.

What do people read about while they’re at work?

Megan Radonga - Parse.ly

People consume different kinds of content based on the device they’re using and the day of the week. On weekdays, for example, trends show an increase in desktop usage, with more readers browsing Business and Technology articles than other category of content. For publishers, this means that the type of content posted and the articles displayed on on a homepage can be tailored to the day of the week and the device being used, allowing for increased reach to target audiences. 

Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis

Rani Molla - Recode

Each spring, Mary Meeker presents an Internet trends report that captures the attention of Silicon Valley. Internet usage, devices, user behavior, tech company competition… you name it, her 294 slide presentation covers it. Read through the presentation transcript, sort through her detailed slides, or take a look at the key takeaways to learn more about current trends, what they mean, and what to expect in the coming years.

How the Star Tribune got to 55,000 digital subscribers

Max Willens - Digiday

Over the past year, the Minneapolis newspaper Star Tribune grew its digital subscriber count to 55,000. They attribute their success to focusing on “middle of the funnel tactics”, developing new strategies and making product improvements to convert casual readers into loyal subscribers. Diversifying content (a topic we dive further into here) to include service journalism, prioritizing first-party data for ads, and adjusting access to certain stories are among the strategies they’re implementing.

What we thought we knew about mobile readers

Katie Stuart - Chartbeat

In the past, we’ve typically viewed mobile readers as skimmers of content that are less engaged compared to desktop users. New Chartbeat data, however, shows that mobile readers are overall 40% more engaged on homepages and 20% more likely to click-through to articles than desktop users. Furthermore, total traffic from mobile has increased by 34%, while desktop traffic has declined by 14%. These traffic and engagement numbers illuminate the importance of mobile strategy, especially when it comes to mobile homepages and apps.

Prototyping formats for news and Generation Z

Tristan Ferne - Medium

BBC is at it again. This time, their cutting edge innovation comes in the form of new story formats for news, aimed at reaching 18-26 year olds. They made 12 prototypes, playing around with ideas like scrollable videos, embedding context, and a feature to swipe through different viewpoints on a particular issue. Their research offers new insights into the behavior and preferences of young people and presents several opportunities to improve how news is consumed.  

The universe of people trying to deceive journalists keeps expanding, and newsrooms aren’t ready

Heather Bryant - NiemanLab

Fake news is an increasingly pressing issue. Advancements in technology are making it easier to manipulate and manufacture photos, videos, and audio files. Identifying manipulations and evaluating the legitimacy of such files can be difficult, presenting journalists with the challenge of reporting accurate information while keeping up with quick-natured news cycles. The better educated we--both publishers and readers--are about this threat, the better prepared we can be to navigate through it.