In this edition:

  • Are you benchmarking yet?
  • Documentation available for new features
  • Recent site launches
  • Get our meetings on your calendar

Get analytics and comparison data in one place

When we began researching three years ago the pain points publishers were having with their content management systems, a couple of items stood out in terms of analytics.

Everyone agreed that a wealth of information was available, but it was scattered and few had time to collect. But even then, it just gave a look at their own sites, with little context.

After masterful work led by the two Adams on our team — Schweigert and Borowski — all Newspack publishers now have a single place to access their info from several data sources, and compare it to their peers.

Each publisher should have gotten a note in Slack explaining how to connect to the Newspack Data Benchmarking tool. If you didn’t, please join the newspack-benchmarking channel in Slack and drop us a line so we can resend.

This new service, which is included free with your Newspack monthly fee, pulls in data from*:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ad Manager
  • Mailchimp
  • Stripe

It gives you some quick high-level metrics in a dashboard that compares to other Newspack sites, with the option to filter to by publication size and also nonprofit/for-profit status. We have 63 of our 170 publishers signed up, and the comparative data will only improve as more of you join.

In the example below, the smaller number is the comparison number, along with a percentage higher or lower.

There’s video of a walkthrough from a publisher call a few months back, and also an FAQ on our website.

If you’re using the tool, we’d love to get your feedback. It’s really helpful for us as we think about future improvements to the tool. There’s a short survey here that will just take a minute or two of your time to capture any thoughts/suggestions you might have.

*The Facebook connection is working for those who already signed up; we’re looking into recent changes made by Facebook that makes this connection now unavailable.

Our release notes for WordPress 6.0

Everyone was upgraded to the newest version of WordPress this week. We’ve previewed the changes in the newsletters here and here. But journalists love groups of three, so here’s another rundown of what you’ll find detailed in the release notes.

  • The Stack block. It’s like the Row block, but vertical.
  • The Gallery block now has controls for the spacing between images. It’s worth looking at the release notes just to see the .gif with this one.
  • More intuitive word editing from block to block, letting you choose partial paragraph blocks to manipulate.
  • Patterns will be available in more places and may be suggested by the Quick Inserter (when you use the slash key to type in a block name).
  • Block locking, so blocks can’t easily be moved.
  • Quick Link insertion lets you type double left square brackets [[ to bring up a list of all pages and posts and drop in a link with the title.
  • List View (those three offset horizontal lines at the top left of the editor) will now be collapsed and less intimidating when first opened. Blocks can moved around easier there now.

170th Newspack newsroom launched
  • Central Current | Syracuse’s new nonprofit newsroom. We’re building a new home for independent, local journalism in Central New York.

Congratulations to newsroom leaders on your launches in the recent weeks.

Get our regularly scheduled meetings on your calendar with a couple of clicks

We have a meeting every other Tuesday at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. This is for publishers and developers to get together, but it is by no means mandatory. Most of the meeting is turned over to guest speakers for professional development, or to one of our team members to highlight a major change to the Newspack platform. We use this meeting to update you on business and product developments, as well.

The next meeting is May 17.

And here’s a handy way to get them all on your calendar:

Add event to calendar

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We also hold a 30-minute How To session each Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. We offer a quick look at one topic, block, feature or other useful maneuver. You can see how these work by going here for or small-but-growing library of videos. The password is ilovenews

Add event to calendar

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