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The Globe and Mobile

The Globe and Mobile

How Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, approaches new mobile product development.

Includes a detailed look at how it built the politics app under very tight timelines.

Presented at MoSo 2011

How Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, approaches new mobile product development.

Includes a detailed look at how it built the politics app under very tight timelines.

Presented at MoSo 2011

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The Globe and Mobile

  1. 1. The Globe and Mobile Craig Saila @saila #MoSoGlobe
  2. 2. 1) “It’s the journalism, stupid”
  3. 3. Woodbridge is David Thomson’s private holding company, and continues to shelter The Globe and Mail from public markets
  4. 4. 85% Bell Media kept its share of 15 percent
  5. 5. In CTVglobemedia, the newspaper was a line item with little chance to significantly boost the bottom-line
  6. 6. The morning newspaper is a ritual and no longer a necessity
  7. 7. News is discovered in snippets throughout the day
  8. 8. McLuhan was wrong* *Not really, but the literal interpretation of his soundbite is
  9. 9. First mobile apps iPhone released January 2009 Kindle released November 2009 Gadio/Flickr Globe2Go iPad app June 2010
  10. 10. The Globe is seen in differently throughout the day depending on time of day, where the reader is and how much attention the reader can spare
  11. 11. 2) Be flexible
  12. 12. Development had always been waterfall - and a struggle but news reporting is essentially an agile process that works
  13. 13. Three companies, three apps
  14. 14. Base expectations ๏ Election news coverage ๏ Send news alerts ๏ Geo-localized polls ๏ Display #elxn41 posts ๏ Tweet from app ๏ Riding & polling look-up ๏ Individual riding pages
  15. 15. Road ahead 1. Have app in market for budget 2. Integrate social media features 3. Build riding pages and lookup 4. Display live election results 5. Promote other apps
  16. 16. Aside: the Pearce Tower dropped from the app, but stayed appears in its icon after a debate about whether it represented Canadian politics
  17. 17. Globe Politics landed in the App Store and in BlackBerry World in time for the budget announcement - beating others to market
  18. 18. The Globe and Mail used available inventory and lobbied Apple (and Blackberry) to ensure approval and promotion efforts were in sync
  19. 19. Even before release, we knew we had planned for too much
  20. 20. Left behind ๏ Advertising Not critical for the election, as politics doesn’t sell well ๏ Tracking A bigger issue, no data to compare app vs. web vs. mobile ๏ Alerts Huge miss, not having weakened the case for an app
  21. 21. The Twitter release ๏ Twitter was a critical part of this election campaign ๏ Provided better coverage of continuous news-cycle ๏ Provided basic sharing to help promote the app & The Globe
  22. 22. Clipped Planned to use lists, editor curation, and an in-app community to discover stories before the larger news cycle
  23. 23. Riding page release ๏ Least interesting... ๏ ..but most promising ๏ Lists using local hashtags ๏ Quickly find ridings of interest ๏ and nearest polling stations ๏ Plus local news and results
  24. 24. ๏ Mapping to postal code could not be completed ๏ Which meant geo- location was too challenging ๏ Riding look-up was done by name
  25. 25. 3) JSON & the APIs
  26. 26. Developers created a new content feed quickly & outside the normal review process that changed how The Globe saw its products
  27. 27. Infrastructure Data Presentation
  28. 28. Three simple APIs were used to power the entire election experience
  29. 29. The Globe and Mail: Politics ๏ Released March 2011 ๏ Timed to be first in market ๏ Xtreme, forked from News
  30. 30. The Globe and Mail: News ๏ Released April 2011 ๏ Released on BB, iPhone, iPad ๏ In-house, with Xtreme dev
  31. 31. The Globe and Mail: Life ๏ Released March 2011 ๏ Timed to relaunch of website ๏ Polar Mobile, with RSS
  32. 32. (plus one extra)
  33. 33. The Globe and Mail: Royal Wedding ๏ Released April 2011 ๏ Was going to be pay app ๏ Huge in Singapore
  34. 34. The Globe and Mail: Business ๏ Coming soon (early alpha) ๏ Charts, stocks, news heavy ๏ In-house, with Five Mobile dev
  35. 35. What’s next? Let’s talk
  36. 36. Known knowns ๏ Innovate The Globe is currently rethinking its entire business ๏ Agility Spreading beyond digital ๏ Opening data Foundational APIs are being refined and used more
  37. 37. Thank you ๏ Back-channel: #MoSoGlobe ๏ Twitter: @saila

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