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Justin Kaufmann, Vocalo

It’s All About the Talent

Justin Kaufmann, WBEZ’s senior content manager, talks about the key ingredient to Vocalo’s content.

“It’s all about the talent,” says Justin Kaufmann, senior content developer at Chicago Public Media. For the past seven months, Chicago Public Media has increased its online presence with their Vocalo.org blog. Attracting heavy hitters such as Roger Feder, Lee Bey, and Steve Dolinsky to blog about Chicago media, architecture and food respectively, Kaufmann says these and other talents are “the secret ingredient” to providing daily online content and news that Chicagoans want.

What do Chicagoans want?

Well, Kaufmann says the blog supports CPM’s mission of offering their audience information about the city and investing in the “age old way of storytelling.”

Kaufmann says it has been “night and day” from where they originally had started with a simple blog that he and staff contributed to. Now, website analytics has indicated a 300 percent increase in traffic, and social media gives him an indication of how their audience is responding to their content. These online tools also give CPM an opportunity to compete with larger broadcast media. But it’s what he calls their “big stock and trade ” that underscores a high level of audience interaction and audience approval of the content CPM is producing.

Talent creating strong content and attracting audiences online aren’t going to replace traditional media. However, the real question is how sustainable will this technology be in serving the public’s needs for finding and receiving information. Kaufmann says his focus is on putting out content that is consumed by audiences.

It’s The Nuts and Bolts

Justin Kaufmann, senior content developer for WBEZ/Vocalo, discusses the “nuts and bolts” driving content for the Vocalo.org blog.

This is the first in a series of interviews in which the Workshop talks with media stakeholders in conjunction with our New News Media Report for 2010.

Category: 2010 NEW News Report, 2010 Report Section 5

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