Monthly Archives: September 2014

Chat with J&PR alumnus Matt Kiser

Greetings DMSers. During Wednesday’s class session we’ll have digital entrepreneur Matt Kiser live from New York!

Matt graduated from the news side of our program and has worked for Forbes, Fuse and Spin. He started in music journalism and now is a product manager at Business Insider.

His experience in the entrepreneurial journalism space includes helping companies develop new products, content strategy and developing strategies for increasing user engagement.

Check him out online:

Matt is going to talk about his career path and how you can apply the lessons of entrepreneurship to your career.

Bring your questions and be prepared for an engaging hour of discussion.


The Budweiser Dog and Ello: Am I part of their markets?

Happy Friday DMSers! I’m a little sad the rain has left us so quickly, but at least the clouds are still here. Makes it really seem like fall is coming.

Monday we’ll be diving into advertising. Nieslen did a global study of consumers’ trust in advertising in late 2013. I’ll be highlighting some aspects of this study.

You’ll need to decide if advertising is one source of money for your startup. In preparation for our chat, please contemplate the following questions and come to class with answers:

  • Given your lifestyle, name three locations where you see most ads in any given day?
  • Which ad techniques are a complete turn off to you? Bring example.
  • Which ad techniques do you actually pay attention to? Bring example.
  • What actually motivates you to purchase a product/service in the digital space?

One of my current favorite ads is this one from Budweiser. But, it does not motivate me to buy its products as I’m not within its market.


Finally, we have discussed the notion of a value proposition — what will your product offer that your competitors do not, Briggs page 261 — which is part of your business plan. I came across a great example of a value proposition within a startup’s mission statement this morning. Ello is a new social network, which some are calling the anti-Facebook. Check out its manifesto.  I think it is pretty well crafted. And, it seems to be helping Ello expand its market given the news reports about the product trending online today.

Contemplate your VP while you’re analyzing how advertising affects you as a consumer.


Color, Type and Avoiding Clichés: Let’s Dive Into Logo Design

Greetings DMSers. I hope that you found yesterday’s session about product names helpful. Many of you discovered through our exercise that your original product name would not work for a variety of reasons, but we did a pretty good job as a group helping to brainstorm alternatives.

I wanted to share a few more resources to help you with the logo design phase. The links on the assignment sheet focused a lot on the psychology of color and why certain colors may be good choices for certain types of products and brands. The links below focus more on considerations for the actual design:

I’m a firm believer in the KISS concept: Keep It Simple, Straightforward. We’re not design pros, so the simple approach is often the best approach at this phase of entrepreneurial journalism life.

We’ll have time during the second half of Monday’s class to start work on logo design. Bring your product name ideas and some sketches of what you’re contemplating to class and we’ll get rolling.


Designing for Digital Journalism

Happy Saturday, DMSers. I hope the planning and research on your markets, The Problem and product ideas are going well.

I wanted to share a few great reads that directly relate to our focus on entrepreneurial journalism:

From news startup Circa comes “Kevin Rose’s’ North Technologies releases photo-sharing app.” This story highlights the classic Silicon Valley tech approach: create a Minimum Viable Product, get it to market, test it and test it some more, if it gains traction then start a deeper build out.

From NiemanLab comes an interesting piece about product design: Designer or Journalist: Who shapes the news you read in your favorite apps?

This second story is relevant as we’ll be moving into product design in the coming weeks.



This American Life: Super Business Girl

Hi, DMSers. I look forward to hearing about your product ideas in today’s class.

I wanted to share a program from This American Life about a young girl who has created her own startup, SuperBusinessGirl. This young woman is raising funds for her education, and she’s promoting herself as an entrepreneur.

This recording has direct relevance to our class and what you’ll be doing: creating a product for something you are passionate about, creating a business plan, talking to customers, doing testing and research.

Check it out.



Ever-Changing Nature of Digital News

Hi, DMSers. When  you have some spare time today you really should check out this article, How Google can really help news & media. I found it via @mallarytenore (former Poynter staffer) on Twitter.

The piece helps to illustrate (again) our discussions of: 1) find something you’re passionate about,  2) identify problems and possible solutions, and 3) the constantly changing of digital media.

Quick reminder for tomorrow’s class:

  • Be prepared to talk about the startup you plan to follow this semester.
  • Bring any questions you have re: Friday’s blog — and send me your URL if you have not already done so.
  • We’ll be going over Homework 1 – 4, so we’ve got a big day.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.