Helping universities deal with the change in news: Timelines

News has changed a lot over the years, from being printed in newspapers and magazines, through video on the television and now people mostly look online. All of these ways are very different but all have something in common. News has three states: Something that is happening, has happened and will happen. But the problem with most news sites is that they only ever consider the state of when it is happening. Weeks after, the story is lost — even if it is still important.

SMILE recognised this and is helping universities to cope with this change.We’ve come up with the idea of wrapping multiple articles up together. Yes, stories are already a thing on a few different social media networks and apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, they even have something similar on the BBC website! But ours is a little different.

Snapchat stories

Today’s generation are more likely to read about a breaking story from a general public via social media, rather than an authority. Universities need to get on board with this — and this helps your news team because it delegates work and at the same time increases the quality of the story.

We call this “Timelines” and it solves all the problems we’ve outlined above. With Timelines, you can create a collection of articles and tweets to create multi-point stories. Timelines helps to give news a sense of permanence. News should be integrated so that it’s more relevant and gives users a good exit point and keeping them engaged (related everywhere!)

This can be seen in action on the upcoming University of Bolton website, which SMILE has redesigned. The university has a lot of successful students, so of course they want to tell their stories so their readership are more engaged with their news, latest and past alike.

The advantage to this would be that you can add a new piece to the story at anytime, and it will be found in one place. Making reading the stories easier than looking for old parts to it.

The disadvantage to this would be that is another news article that you do have to make sure it’s kept up to date.

Universities have a huge wealth of news and content, but currently its undersold and misused. Timelines gives university content a viable platform to be seen on a longer-term basis in a format that is actually usable for the reader. If you wanna know more, contact us.