FeaturesDesk is almost ready…

The new FeaturesDesk site is almost ready, but freelance writers, commissioning editors and brand managers can sign up (for free, natch) to receive updates right now.

What is FeaturesDesk? FeaturesDesk is an editorial marketplace where editors and brand managers can find top-class content from the world’s leading freelance writers.

Click here to visit the holding page with email sign-ups, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

And here’s the FAQ for freelance writers:

For Freelance Writers:

FeaturesDesk aims to create the most effective editorial marketplace for freelance writers, commissioning editors and the increasing number of brand managers who value quality copy and are willing to pay for material to be used in their content marketing campaigns.

* Who can have their copy represented by FeaturesDesk?

Providing you retain rights for your features, we can represent and sell them. If the rights to your copy have already been sold in a particular territory, simply let us know and we’ll ensure it is not offered there. If writers aren’t sure if they have retained rights, it’s importune they speak with any editors who may already have printed their work. As a general rule, freelance writers should *always* retain copyright of their work.

* Do writers lose rights to their material represented by FeaturesDesk?

Absolutely not, writers always retain full rights to their work. They can also tell us the territories where they would or would not like their work promoted.

* Do I have to be based in a particular country?

No, FeaturesDesk has writers based around the world. Our only limitation in this respect at the moment is that we can only accept copy in English.

* What is the profit split?

FeaturesDesk has gone for an industry-leading 60/40 split in favour of the freelance writer.

* When will writers get paid?

We will pay 60% of the amount secured from a publishing client via PayPal the week we receive it. If writers don’t have a PayPal account we can arrange alternative payment methods, but this might mean a slight delay, but we’re keen to turn payments around as quickly as possible. Just to clarify, we can only pay the writer’s split when we’ve secured the full payment from the publisher. We’ll endeavour to do this within 30 days, but writers will have to understand if we have some late payers.

* How much can writers expect to get paid?

This isn’t easy to answer and we wish we could be more specific. From experience, writers with a keen grasp of popular culture and current events will make the most. But even specialist writers can expect some sales, these just might not be as often as with other writers. One thing we would point out is that even the most esoteric feature can be filed with us in seconds and writers need do nothing else, we’ll go about promoting it to would-be buyers.

* Can writers expect fresh commissions?

If writers are open to new work, we will indeed promote their services to publishing clients. If a writer accepts a fresh commission, they will receive 80% of the payment and FeaturesDesk will receive 20%. Of course, writers will have to confirm they are happy with 80% of the payment beforehand (they are completely free to turn down offers of work), so we anticipate this should be a win-win for all.

* Who will buy the features?

Features editors around the world will be the main clients, but we’re also going to be promoting content to brand managers who are looking for the very best copy for inclusion in content marketing campaigns.

* What happens if writers decide to remove their content from the FeaturesDesk database?

One email to us and we’ll do our best to remove it the same working day. We can do this with all content or selected features.

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Number 10 hands out Twitter exclusives to favoured journalists

Asked in 2009 why he didn’t use Twitter, David Cameron famously responded “too many twits might make a twat” . Four years later, Number 10 is attempting to move more rapidly into the digital future with a Twitter strategy that includes handing out “Twitter exclusives” to favoured journalists for release before they are officially announced by ministers.

In a tactic reminiscent of the BBC satire The Thick of It, Twitter is also being used to try to quash negative stories before they gain currency in a news cycle where every second counts.

Full story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/28/downing-street-twitter-exclusives-journalists

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Advertisers Go Beyond Blogging With Branded Magazines [Clickz]

Last month, The New York Observer ran an interesting article called,
“Journalists Take Refuge in the World of Branded Content.” A year ago,
a good many readers wouldn’t have fully understood what this title
meant. Branded content was pure digital marketing jargon, as
indecipherable to the masses as attrition rates or black hat SEO. Not
anymore.

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2254623/advertisers-go-beyond-blogging-wi…

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BuzzFeed to Launch Business Section [WSJ]

BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment website known for its mix of
cute-animal lists and political scoops designed to be shared on social
networks, is launching a business section. The move is part of the
company’s attempt to expand beyond Facebook and Twitter into
business-focused online communities such as LinkedIn.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323393304578362561283258012.html

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Journalism Study Shows Impact of Cutbacks in News [AP]

Nearly one-third of consumers surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s
Project for Excellence in Journalism said they have abandoned a news
outlet because it no longer gave them what they had counted on, either
with fewer or less complete stories.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_STATE_OF_JOURNALISM?SITE=AP&SECTION…

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Google may be readying an Apple Newsstand-like feature called Google Play News, with issues and subscriptions [NextWeb]

Google appears to be preparing to launch a newspaper feature called
Google Play News, to complement the apps, music, books, magazines, and
movies it already offers in its Android store. As first spotted by
Android Police, news content will come in “Issues” and
“Subscriptions,” suggesting the feature will be similar to Apple’s
Newsstand service.

http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/03/15/google-is-readying-an-apple-newsstand…

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YouGov study confirms young abandoning newspapers [MediaWeek]

Young adults are the least likely to read newspapers, and almost a
third (29%) claim not to have read one at all in the last 12 months,
according to the findings of a YouGov study published today.

http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/1174605/YouGov-study-confirms-young-abandonin…

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New regional newspaper business Local World is steadying the ship, but can it build a digital future? [MediaBriefing]

Is new regional media group Local World set to deliver an improved
model for local newspapers, or is the coming together of Northcliffe
and Iliffe News and Media just another footnote in the long decline of
regional media in the UK?.

http://www.themediabriefing.com/article/2013-03-11/regional-newspaper-busines…

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[US] Teens and Technology 2013 [PewInternet]

Smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially
and mobile access to the internet is pervasive. One in four teens are
“cell-mostly” internet users, who say they mostly go online using
their phone and not using some other device such as a desktop or
laptop computer.

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-and-Tech.aspx

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Study finds Facebook users’ intimate secrets can be inferred from ‘likes’ [TheDrum]

A study conducted into the online habits of Facebook users has found
that many could unwittingly betray highly personal information about
themselves, such as sexuality, political beliefs and drug use, simply
by ‘liking’ groups and activities which tally with their own position.

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/03/12/study-finds-facebook-users-intimate-se…

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