Monday, November 12, 2007

Tech Smarts

Sometimes I think we make too much of a mystery of what is called search engine optimization, the ability to make sure all-powerful search engines find your article or other offering and list it first or among the first.

But there's no doubt new jobs are being created, even as old ones die off. The only thing that bothers me is that too much of this advice is coming from a TV guy turned internet guru; I'd like to hear more about where the news business is going from smart print people who have made the leap to web leadership.

Newspaper Editors Are Hiring Internet Savvy Professionals Angelique van Engelen - 11/11/2007 Jeff Jarvis recently wrote a description of what he thinks the quintessential 21st Century editor is like, by telling his audience all about recruitment ads of some renowned newspapers.
The roles which the papers were looking to hire new people for, sound pretty tech savvy. Jarvis cites the Guardian's hiring a tag editor. The people there will refer to the new recruit as a keyword manager. What he or she will be up to will amount to labelling online content, to ensure that it is consistent with the needs of readers as well as with editorial values. And, Jarvis informs us, The Times of London has hired a search editor. This person has got to be present in the editorial offices to explain to the editorial staff how the search structure of the web functions. What’s more, he or she has got to improve The Times’ newspaper article rankings in the search engines. No kidding. Jarvis writes at length about the very fact that these newspapers are hiring people in their editorial departments to fulfill these roles. I agree that this is quite interesting. It shows clearly that the media are beginning to understand the very scope and proportion of the change that is besetting their editorial departments. Which in essence is linked with the rise of greater transparency and subsequent participation of readers in the news digest process, previously unknown territory. Technological professionals who only ten years ago still appeared to be far removed from the insides of news rooms are now becoming indispensable to the editorial process. Search engine demi-gods are of great value to newspapers because to have a more searchable product is a matter of grave importance in the slash throat paper business.

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