An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Maybe someone here would like to discuss something other than the South by Southwest technology conference, which is now dominating Part 8 of this week's Real Time comments open thread?
Why don't you explain the signifance of the event an d educate folks
No, we want to know how much money has been spent on the South by Southwest technology conference, and what JD intends to do there.
Since you asked, Jodi Gersh is the Director of Social Media for Gannett. Her twitter feed is @jodionthewebGannettDigital is @GannettDigitalYou can follow them on twitter for all the news.The hashtag for South by Sothwest is #sxsw
Maybe Jodi can twit-out to people and explain what level-access was purchased and what her objectives are.
Jim, have you seen this video of Gracia speaking about the local paywall strategy to Bloomberg?http://www.bloomberg.com/video/87036968/
Maybe she can also explain why the Gannett Digital account on Pinterest is following 985 people? Obviously someone in Digital has been tasked with "following." What are your plans to make Gannett Digital "followed," and give a more corporate branding to initiate more followers?
The whole SXSW "controversy" comes down to this: Do you think there's any value in "schmoozing." My experience is that newsroom people would say no, when in reality, business is more about relationships than anything else. For me, I hope they make lots of friends over drinks.
Anybody who doesn't realize that SXSW is a major technology conference and that tech types from all over the country, especially media companies, are there and SHOULD be there obviously should just stop revealing their ignorance.Seriously, sit at your desks and moon about the good old days of API and new Goss presses. Things are different now and these are hardly junkets.My goodness. How idiotic can you people be?
You know what's really sad about this thread? That the company's utter cheapness and years of crappy treatment for rank and file has gotten to the point that someone like JG is getting raked over the coals for this. Ten years ago, this sort of trip -- regardless of its business purpose -- wouldn't have batted an eye.Why? Because the company paid for these trips ALL THE TIME! At ALL LEVELS of the organization!How many Gannett NASCAR writers from USAT and the other newspapers ended up at the annual NYC soiree at the Waldorf -- an event with little editorial value, that served more as a schmooze/booze fest? On another level: How many trips to Ft. Lauderdale or Austin or other 'cool' places did we justify to go to yet another Poynter weekend in which you'd hear the same things you did the year before about writing?Let's face it: No matter what level you worked at, you likely were able to justify more than once in a while a way to get on a plane and attend something that was "kinda about business but not really" and NOBODY batted an eye.And now we're at the point where JG is doing pretty much the same thing, and it's suddenly a minor scandal here. That's really the great legacy of CD at work here: A guy who created a Dickensian universe within this company, where the division/contempt between the perceived "haves" and "have nots" grows wider by the day and now plays out on this blog.
5:20 - I was thinking the same thing. This is such a ridiculous thing to be wasting this much energy over. I hope Jodi makes some excellent contacts and has a little bit of fun while she's there. And for the record, Gannett is all about pitting people against one another. For whatever sick reason, they thrive on it.
5:20 here again: Not to say there isn't value in all of the trips described. Because as another poster notes, there is much value in relationship building/visibility in any profession. I'm sure the NASCAR beat writers, for example, strengthened relationships with drivers/team members during that NYC weekend. But, let's face it: It was a lavish fun fest too.And it was far, far from the only outing of its kind that simply didn't raise an eyebrow at this company ten years ago.
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Hey the Dickensian-blogger is back again... Give the references to Charles Dickens a rest.
SXSW is a huge party. Yes everyone in "technology" thinks it's a must-attend event. At the end of the day, most people are trying to land a job, sell their company, or do deals.Gannett Digital is a large media company who can access any company they wish to do business with...without spending gobs of money for the 20-somethings to attend parties, eat, and drink. It's a rediculous party-scene. All people do is smooze and fill up their twitter stream with the hashtag #sxsw so everyone knows they were there....and are oh so cool.Unless GannettDigital has some really big innovative announcement, what are we doing there?
5:20, You may sugar-coat the SXSW scandal. What about the Pinterest account for Gannett Digital? Who in the world in our corporate Digital initiative is taking the time to follow over 900 individuals not associated with a business. The hole point of corporate identities on Pinterest to to have people follow your corporation. Who in Gannett Digital is giving out the task of "following" Pinterst accounts? What is the point of this. Time Magazine is only following 27 others, and they are affiliated with the Magazine industry.
5:13 yes it's a large technology party (um conference) but the questions on the blog are fair:What does Gannett spend on it and what does the company get out of it?The days of big expense reports are gone. Gannett laid of 20,000 people. Remember? Is this party justified? Little doubt it's a tech conference. Most people who have attended, even the most technology entrenched, agree it's primarily a party.
5:13 PM,SXSW is widely know as a spring-break destination social-party event. Everyone in Gannett, with the succession of layoffs and furloughs, has an absolute rite to question the use of appropriations.
5:04 PM, There are many other events that are appropriate for corporate schmoozing. I don't think that networking is in question, here. It's the venue/event is questionable. Who exactly would they be schmoozing with that they couldn't approach better elsewhere.
Culocho,She's not scheduled to speak at the event. I checked into it, hours ago. (Nice try.)
http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/?lsort=speaker&day=ALL&conference=interactive&a=g#... Gersh is not listed to speak. She would be listed in the link above.
I hope that Gannett Digital doesn't escape the scrutiny of restructuring. There are blatant issues in that division.
It staggers the imagination (other than the use of the word, "rite," above coming from someone in the communications business) that you people are this upset over such a trivial thing. Worry about your own work and stop obsessing over penny-ante BS like this that may either be a simple networking fest or actually have a tangible business purpose. In the end, the money spent amounts to a speck of dust compared to the outrageous, downright corporate looting scam that CD and Co. pulled off for far too long. Stick with the big picture, peeps.
Why would she be speaking at the event? What is her role as Social Media Manager?
The reason this South by So What issue has provoked such a reaction, I suspect, is because the rest of the company outside the corporate executive suites feels so squeezed and abused. For example: No raises since about 2007 or 2008 for most rank-and-file, the constant threat of watching your colleagues laid off and wondering about your own future, shrinking resources for journalism and even less importance placed on journalism by the geniuses in charge, and the utter lack of regard shown for employees by management, made worse by their Alice-in-Wonderland talk in meetings and memos. No one begrudges a tech or digital or social media worker or exec going to industry meetings, learning and possibly making business connections. The rest of us would like to do some professional development training or conferencing ourselves, could we get approval for it.And there's an outpouring of frustration by people who have dedicated careers and decades to this company and the businesses we are in, shoved to the side while just-out-of-college types tell us we are irrelevant no-nothings. And yet, it is our product that is paying the bills for everyone. For all the talk of digital being the engine that drives this train into the future, its revenue so far is only the caboose.So while you're ordering your fifth drink with an umbrella or dancing on 6th Street and South Congress Avenue until last call, think for a moment about those who are covering your credit card charges.Then, party on.
So you resent folks with digital skills you never bothered to learn? Even Jim learned.
I've taking Jim's advice and bringing up something Gannett is all too familiar with: A daily gets facts wrong and doesn't want the public to point it out.Today the Des Moines Register had a staff-written trend story about the decline of the VCR. Near the end of the piece the writer refers to "Downton Abbey" as a "popular BBC show". He assumed British television = BBC. "Downton Abbey" is actually from British commercial network ITV. I looked on the Register's website for a comment form to report corrections. Nothing to be found.Paywalls and stereotypes sure as hell won't save Gannett.
6:49,Sorry to insult your communication skills, with typing the wrong right. Here is the correction for you: Everyone in Gannett, with the succession of layoffs and furloughs, has an absolute RIGHT to question the use of appropriations.
6:49 PM,I don't know of any looting scams by the top execs that you named. Don't try to deflect attention away from the SXSW scandal by making up vicious stories about others.
It could be a rite of passage:A ritual event that marks a person's progress from one status to another. It is a universal phenomenon which can show anthropologists what SOCIAL HIERARCHIES, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures.
So just how bad are things with these "design studios?" Heard some major incidents with the CCI program (referred to as "garbage") and with editors from other papers obviously not in the building, there's been some conflict between what the designers want to do with some of the pages and what editors want. Sounds like there are some very talented people in them, and also some who can't even do the most basic of pages.
Reading all of this, so glad I'm no longer part of Gannett.
We are too
@7:33Email the author Daniel Finney (email@example.com) and submit the correction there. Or try the homepage editor Yvonne Beasley at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know this isn't your point, but just in case you're serious about doing something about it.
This advertisement of SXSW really speaks volumes about the party atmosphere:http://www.youtube.com/user/sxsw?ob=4&feature=results_main
Digital is only 18 percent of revenue.Only 18 percent.Pinterest to the rescue!Anyone else concerned?
Digital is only 18 percent of total revenue.Martore claims we serve LOCAL COMMUNITIES where life happens locally. Maryam has told her that is what makes us unique.So why are we intent on blowing up our core ...local journalism?HELP! Anyone steering this ship?
I've been to SXSW. I've been a digital guy for a very long time.SXSW is one big party. Sorry to bust anyone's delusion that it is anything more.
Name a convention that isn't. Grow up
9:15 Plus, Gannett counts 100% of CareerBuilder revenues, even though it owns only 53% of the company.
One of the reasons I read Gannett Blog is that I appreciate differences in perception, different takes. There's something to learn from everyone's experiences, regardless.Yet every time I see anyone that dismisses a alternate take with the phrase "you people," it's not only disappointing, draining any credibility from their point. It's sickening.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way, oh, you get it. Point is digital is 21% of company revenue and will be more than 60% by the end of the decade. That is the absolute write truth. Rite truth. Right truth. Whatever. Just sayin.
So glad to be away from Gannett and the madness.Life must truly be hell as a Gannett employee.
Not really but we agree, we're glad you're gone as well
Gersh's role is separate from the digital revenue initiatives. She is managing social media "references" to Gannett sites... This initiative is meant to drive in more traffic to Gannett sites from social media outlets. I am very concerned about Gersh's emphasis on Pinterest. She references it often, and it's disturbing to say the least.
Bloomberg reports it at 18 percent.I trust a third party business reporter more than a Corporate blog comment.it WILL be 60 percent by end of decade means nothing if the total revenue is half of what it is today.Get your numbers straight and then report back.
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9:34 thanks for clarifying. I believe social networks can drive traffic but we are not a retailer. We are a new source (or marketing services company if you want).Give reporters twitter accounts to break news there first, post it on the web second, and print it third.All this other social garbage seems to be given more importance than warranted.
8:10, obviously (to everyone here except you) the reference to "looting" was not intended as literally as you're taking it. Geesh!It clearly refers to the technically legal but clearly indefensible (on so, so many levels) pocketing of millions upon millions of dollars from this select group based upon their eagerness to destroy perfectly good editorial properties by shredding jobs by the thousands.There. Is that enough clarity for you? As if that reference needed this kind of explanation ...
I do believe that there are folks in the digital-revenue arena that deserve kudos. However, Gersh is not in the revenue portion. The the Pinterest-weirdness and SXSW scandal are in Gersh's umbrella.
Maybe the group, who are attending the SXSW-party, can use that time as their furlough.
Job Posting for Social Media Manager/Digital Strategist at Gannett Digitalhttp://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?IPath=JRKV0B&ff=21&APath=18.104.22.168.0&job_did=J8C0ZS708HWW7P4HRDJ If that is the job description for Social Media Manager/Digital Strategist, what is the job description for Social Media Director? Interesting because "Social Media Manager" and "Digital Strategist" used to be separate jobs.
Speaking of Gannett on Pinterest.com, doesn't anyone at Gannett Digital understand copyright or website terms of service? Here are a few of the images that Gannett Digital has posted as "the cities of Gannett": Detroit: http://endtimeobserver.blogspot.com/2008/01/bad-news-in-motor-city.htmlAsbury Park (yes, an album cover): http://lyrics.wikia.com/Bruce_SpringsteenChillicothe: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/ohio-supreme-court-clears-anti-speed-camera-referendum-for-vote/Washington: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/07/12/washington-job/Phoenix: http://www.city-data.com/articles/Phoenix-Sky-Harbor-International-Airport.htmlPinterest's terms of service require that the user certify that he or she has rights to the photos being posted. Want to bet that no one at Gannett Digital bothered to get permission from the copyright holders? Also, doesn't the company have real, live photographers in those cities?
Just wondering: Any news about how Mark Silverman is doing in his new job at Corporate since he left Nashville? Has he visited papers in Gannett-land to give them the new gospel? Is he near retirement?
Listed as business consulting. "jodiontheweb consults with traditional media companies on creating social media strategies and compelling social community engagement. "--- Explains her presence at SXSW.
Jim, can you remove JGs name from these two threads? She isn't management and this felt like a witch hunt.
What irritates most people are the useless trips by managers. heather frank and her team spent 10k on a trip ti beverly hills. but they were all moved to weekend after rhe verticsls failed. buesse and payne and especually banikarim on wasted travel. there are scores of trips like these that serve no purpose. boondoggles while the rest of us get by with shitty raises.
Yeah Beusse has only signed several multi million dollar deals with various professional and college organizations around the USA. Wouldn't want him to continue to travel and meet with these organizations.
Wish Silverman would have been offered -- and taken -- the buyout. Then maybe we would quit getting barraged w/ these contest entry demands. Guess that's all he does these days now that he's done terrorizing newsrooms in person he can still badger them from afar. We don't have enough people left to get the paper out, let alone take time to prepare entries for these dumb contests that mean absolutely nothing. Gannett is the king of creating work that hinders more than helps the product
9:57 Throughout yesterday and today, I've been moderating threads closely. In the course of that, I removed several comments about Gersh that crossed the line into unsubstantiated personal attacks.It's true that, strictly speaking, she isn't in management. And as a reader I know told me recently: "Jodi Gersh is very good. . . . She is focused on the tools needed to bring newspapers into the new world of social media. . . . Gersh is very respected in the world of social media."That said, as someone deeply immersed in social media, Gersh is in an especially public leadership job within Gannett, and no doubt is familiar with the wide-open of commentary on the Web.
She is well known throughout the social media world as well.? She receives many invitations to speak to national and international groups. She is the real deal.
Personal attacks on Gersh are unnecessary.It doesn't change the fact that the expensive travel to SXSW should be questioned, as should all boondoggle travel, given the years of layoffs, buyouts and fuloughs.Jim, you were right to ask, what are some substantial benefits gained from trips like Cannes ad SXSW?
Cannes is a waste but if ea t want to know cutting edge digital you gobto SxSw. Stop being so closed minded. You want to find the next Twitter and how your company can use it, you go to SXSW. If you don't understand that then educate yourself. And that doesn't happen here. Read, research and go to SXSW and see for yourself
I don't know how many people besides Gersh are traveling. But the amount of travel waste over the years by and for management makes this look like peanuts. Wasted travel, a company overstocked with highly compensated managers, and people are mad about this?
Jodi Gersh isn't under personal attack, here. It's her decisions, strategies, and spending that are only under examination.
... It's the amount of travel, the unstructured use of an electronic bulletin board, and sketchy presentational appearances that don't seem to be in the scope of her position. Set those personal favors, from Jodi, aside, and consider their ongoing job performance and expenses.
4:18 PM,I think the previous bloggers are questioning if it is her place to take invitations (at seek out events) public orations. It seems like it's actually not her job and more like an interest outside of her responsibilities. And, quite frankly, we have digital outlets that need attention. (Just look at the metrics/site analytics.)
4:16 PM, We can all see what SXSW is about. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that this is entirely unnecessary and possibly inappropriate. We have researched SXSW and it's a pathetic waste of money and time.
4:20, I think you may be referring to "match-donations" offered by all large corporations. "Match-donations" to colleges are charitable donations.
I wish I could volunteer for panels at vacations... Oh, I mean volunteer for panels at “conventions”.
From SXSW site: " if you are still interested in a possible speaking opportunity at the 2012 SXSW Conferences and Festivals, we will gladly send out information on how to share your idea with us. Please contact us at the appropriate email address above for details."---------------------------------... This means that Gersh VOLUNTEERED for the panel-discussion at SXSW.
The quote above is from the "PanelPicker" interface for panel-volunteer submissions.
4:18 PM,Before you try to make a false claim that they were "invited" ... Do the research, and you will see that they are volunteering and traveling, shmoozing and spending.
So, when the SXSW scandal doesn't seem bad enough... Well, prepare yourself. Jodi Gersh's “conference” expenses are even more elaborate than you may have anticipated. In September of 2011, Gersh attended "Search and Social Woot! Hawaii" (Kauai, Hawaii)This description for this and many other Social Media events are available here:http://www.socialmedia.biz/2011/01/03/2011-conferences-social-media-tech-marketing/ You will see, on this link, that there were over 180 social-media conferences advertised, here. However, out of 180 social media conferences of 2011, Gersh attended the event in Kauai, Hawaii. The quality of this conference is far from cutting edge... But hey, it was in Hawaii. -------------------------------Description of the event :Search and Social Woot! Hawaii: Whether you are an avid search marketing or social media marketing rock star; an executive looking to improve your business, or a member of an agency, the Woot! will provide you with the strategies, how to’s and know-how around search marketing and social media marketing.
Has anyone verified whether she pays on her own or Gannett pays? I think you are all assuming Gannett pays for every event. Re the Kauai conference, if I was her and I knew there was a big event with lots of good contacts to meet, I'd go o my own dime. I think that happens more frequently than you think
9:23, LOL. JD has a notorious reputation.
> Meant to say, JG has a notorious reputation.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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