The future of news: Five minutes with Financial Times’s Andrew Jack

The Financial Times are launching several new tech-focused products at Web Summit. 

These include a new, tech-focused email newsletter – #techFT – and a new Facebook group, Tech Meets Money.

Their Editor of Curated Content Andrew Jack will also join a number of panels at Web Summit, so I thought I’d ask him about he sees these new platforms performing…

You’re launching #techFT, a daily newsletter, at Web Summit. How great a role do you see email newsletters playing in news circulation in the coming ten years?

At the FT, we’re always looking for new, digital-first ways to connect with our audience. While we have many ideas that push the envelope, some relatively simple ideas are often the most effective.

Newsletters are a great example.  Until something truly better comes along, email will remain and even grow in importance as the information overload accelerates. It’s an extremely popular channel for our readers.

It is “halfway” between print and digital: low tech (which means it works even in low/no bandwidth zones) but easy to access and retrieve in your inbox.

Anyone interested in signing up for #techFT can do so here.

You’re also launching Tech Meets Money, a Financial Times-run Facebook group, at Web Summit. How do you strike a balance between curating the group so as to ensure it provides value for users and opening it up to all those will want to join?

Tech Meets Money is a Financial Times-run group that features interesting news and advice about tech entrepreneurship, aimed at encouraging interaction and information-sharing between entrepreneurs and investors.

The group is normally closed so only members can add new members – ensuring high quality content and discussions. But Web Summit gives us a great reason to experiment for a limited time with opening it up to see how the conversation evolves.

[youtube id=”yHxN8bvqy14″]Andrew in conversation on FT Global Pharma & Biotech Conference in 2012.

It has been argued that consumers want their news to be as easily digested as possible. Where do email newsletters rank on this scale?

Close to the top. Newsletters are a clear, accessible, easy to find and to read on multiple devices.

Our editorial-curated emails use leading specialists to identify the news and comment that matters, summarising and analysing the best of the web for busy people and providing links to the full stories for those who want more.

They provide judgement and personality and reintroduce serendipity.

All of your email newsletters are hand curated – how well do you know your readers?

We know quite a lot about them and track their growing interest through strong sign ups, opens and clickthroughs.

We encourage their direct feedback through direct emails, questionnaires, social comments, quizzes and more.

Why did you choose to launch #techFT and Tech Meets Money at Web Summit?

The FT is very active at Web Summit this year where we’re also a global media partner. The FT is taking over the Investor Lounge, now called the FT Investor Lounge (Balcony, Main Hall RDS, come see us!).

Visitors to Web Summit will also enjoy complementary access to for the duration of the event and will see some of our journalists on stage throughout the week.

Web Summit attendees are the FT’s perfect audience. And Dublin is a fun place, too!

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