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Collaboration for Innovation – why you should share, and where to draw the line.

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Collaboration for Innovation – why you should share, and where to draw the line.

There is a lot of mutual benefit to be had, however, from tapping into each other's knowledge. Which is what the Collaboration for Innovation session in the Media Port Content was all about. Mersey had some key tips on making collaboration work starting with the process of putting it all together.

“If you are ever considering bringing academics into your newsroom here are a few things to think about” explained Mersey. We funded a workshop of publishers and academics and picked subjects where we felt academics could contribute including things like engagement, digital, and wearables. Then we put everything we knew about engagement into a case statement which we found was very important so everyone is starting from the same place. We put together a specific agenda focussed on publisher needs [rather than academic interests] and we deliberately put together a well-balanced group of traditional publishers but also disruptors like Buzzfeed and Upworthy.”

Naturally that also caused a few feathers to fly; "Traditional publishers say to Buzzfeed you're not a news company, Buzzfeed says to traditional publishers 'yeah but nobody reads you anyway so why are you here?'"

Finally she concluded that “as much as I love being here in Amsterdam we shouldn't have to come to places like this to share findings – the content must be academically rigorous yet written in the language of publishers and entrepreneurs. Sharing of this and projects like it can't be insular.”


Danny Lein CEO of Twipe (find out about Twipe here) also talked about the value of collaboration and in particular the iMinds initiative in Belgium. “It's a government funded initiative for bringing media ideas to life. So why do we work with government and academic research centres? Simple – for the new ideas, for the complementary knowledge, for the scientific approach, and for the access to innovation funding. In Belgium if you want access to funds it is a jungle, and collaborations like iMinds they have the know-how.”

Sven Marievoet (pictured), a partner at Adhese also talked highly of iMinds but made the telling point as well that collaboration can and should have its limits.
“We specialise in visitor matching so when visitors arrive at a site we know them already, we match them and evaluate them for both suitable content and ads. We do that for billions of impressions per month for government and retail stores as well as publishers. We did a project for iMinds and work with the usual suspects like Rubicon, Google, and so on. What we find works is that we let them have some of our data, but we always ask for data back from them in return. Plus we design access so that if one day we don't like Google or Rubicon any more then we can shut that part of the system down. It is the best way to work as a publisher.”



Steve Shipside


2014-10-14 13:41

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The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (, launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

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