YDR Insider

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You, our readers, are increasing your visits to YDR digital sites

Cartoonist Bill Dussinger provides a picture of the many tools of the trade necessary for modern journalists to be effective in the digital age. And now the effectiveness of a newsroom in which such journalists work can be measured with various automated counters or calculators that track how many people visit their stories and even how much of each story people read.

A management consultant, presenting to a community board of directors, used the analogy of a flywheel to demonstrate growth and change in that organization.

Flywheels are those big, heavy disks on machines that help them to run smoothly. A blade on a lawnmower, for example, acts a bit as a horizontal flywheel. (See one huge flywheel in the image below.)

He explained that the hard part of making change is initially budging the organizational flywheel. Then, it takes progressively more work for one rotation and then to speed up the rotations. But once that heavy wheel picks up momentum, it seems to create its own energy. The machine that depends on it then runs efficiently – the way it was designed.

I thought about that analogy in reviewing how our various products performed in January across multiple platforms: Web, mobile, tabloid, social media and print. In other words, these numbers point to how often you are engaging with our various sites.

Here at the Daily Record/Sunday News, our journalists are well past the startup stage, and their good work is powering the flywheel to turn with increasing velocity:

Consider these January numbers pitted against December results:

– Views of pages on our main site, ydr.com: Up 2.5 percent

– Views of pages on our popular prep sports site, gametimepa.com: Up 18.2 percent

– Views of pages on our community bulletin board, The Exchange: Up 68.5 percent.

– Views of pages on our mobile news site: up 14.8 percent.

– Views on our news app: up 17.8 percent.

– Our Flipsidepa.com Facebook page just passed 2,000 fans. And all the fans on our Facebook pages across our five news organizations in southcentral Pennsylvania topped 30,000 fans.w

YDRCOM Twitter: up 4 percent.

– Views of pages on our blogs, under the yorkblog.com umbrella: up 4.4 percent.

I could go on, and I must emphasize that the speed of rotation in the flywheel representing change in our newsroom is still climbing. We continue to learn how to be a digital first newsroom. And we are accelerating despite the fact that: Among media companies covering York County, we’re already No. 1 in Twitter followers, No. 1 in Facebook fans and No. 1 in site traffic.

That velocity will increase as we get new technology in the hands of our journalists, discover more efficiencies in the way we do things in the newsroom and discover new ways to interact with you, our readers.

And the urgent quest to accelerate that flywheel’s rotation goes on and on and round and round.

Also of interest:

Newsroom culture of excellence, foundational document No. 10: Understanding digits in the digital world.

Now that’s a flywheel. This Mural of York shows the handiwork of craftsmen at York Manufacturing, now Johnson Controls.