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Real-Time Data: good or bad for the news business?

Newspapers and magazines used to publish content into a kind of void: they knew how many people subscribed, but that was about it — everything else was guesswork based on consumer surveys and other mumbo-jumbo. But online, every click and interaction can be tracked and charted and graphed over time, to create a picture of what is happening at any minute of the day. Is that good or bad for the news business? Tony Haile, general manager of Chartbeat, is convinced that the more information a publisher has, the better job they can do. Haile says he wanted to create something specifically designed for publishers, in the hope that more information could help the media industry through the transition it is currently struggling with from the print world to a digital one.

“For me, the most interesting thing was that this is an industry in complete transition. It’s moving away from the ‘fire-and-forget’ model of publishing to one that is much more adaptive and iterative.”

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Below is a great presentation at the Mashable Media Summit 2011 where Haile spoke about the importance of real-time data and what your business should be doing with that information.

“The more we think we know, the more expert we believe ourselves to be,” says Haile, “and the more likely we are to trust our judgment when we shouldn’t and get things wrong.”

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