2019 – Year in review

The last year has seen huge change in New Zealand media – major paywall initiatives, challenging conditions for news outlets, continuing shifts in how people get their news – and more innovation in how stories are presented.

It’s a transition that’s been less jarring for us than for others, because it’s the media future that Fuseworks was designed for. One that’s ‘digital first’, where the lines between ‘broadcaster’ and ‘publisher’ have become so blurry as to be meaningless, where publisher paywalls are worked with, rather than worked around – and the PDF ‘clipping’ is a relic of times past.

We spent 2019 laying the foundations for the next big shifts – expect to hear a lot about that in 2020 🤩

That thinking about what’s next also gave us the opportunity to undertake an extensive audit of the Fuseworks service – adding much requested additional coverage, tweaking existing features, and giving everything a thorough polish.

Amongst the biggest changes:

Social listening

We built a hand-curated database of New Zealand people and organisations on Twitter and Facebook, based primarily around how interesting they are to New Zealand based organisations. The database is constantly evolving – but the standard for inclusion is set in stone. Namely: Is this going to surface mentions that really matter to NZ State sector organisations, advocacy groups, or NZ businesses? Our aim is to surface the most relevant mentions, minus usual social monitoring clutter. More info.

International news monitoring

A new way to understand what New Zealand news is resonating globally – or request custom topics of your own, to track your brand, organisations, people or topics of interest around the globe. More info.

New bling

We gave all the charts a refresh – laying the foundation for more major changes to our analytics package in 2020.

Most other parts of the Fuseworks service also got some attention during the year. Including:

Interface
  • We added baked in support for emojis 🎁 and improved macron support.
  • We reworked parts of the backend to improve load times and the general snappiness of the hungrier parts of the Fuseworks web app.
Content
  • We continued to expand our monitoring of broadcast news, including Māori media sources.
  • We added important ‘paywall’ news sources to the index, including BusinessDesk.
  • To support the launch of NZME’s premium content offer, we added a ‘Paywall’ flag to stories in the index, to help customers easily identify premium news and control their inclusion in reports.
Mobile app
  • We added a new email notification option to our lite/mobile app – enabling instant alerts when important news breaks.
  • Search is now part of the lite/mobile app – for users that also have a login to the main app.
News distribution
  • Customers can now set a default logo for their media releases (this also applies to email reports).
  • We changed the way images are attached to media releases – embedding thumbnails in releases, and distribution of any size image.
  • We added ‘unsubscribe’ and ‘block’ functionality to the media releases product.

Many of these enhancements were the product of requests from our customers. We’ve always prided ourselves on listening closely and acting quickly – so, as always – please get in touch if you’re thinking ‘If only Fuseworks could…’.

Here’s to a huge 2020!