Trees: tracing Serial?

Trees is a Dutch interactive app that launches in March 2018, it is built for investigative journalism and investigative stories. The app displays the search of journalists and the public for ‘finding the truth’. This is then translated into a podcast, with visual additions, the ability for the public to participate, photos, graphs etc. Very new, very cool. Hansje van de Beek, on of the inventors was invited to talk about the app a couple of weeks ago.

My first thought on this app was: this is very inventive. Hansje told us they were inspired by Serial, the podcast everybody I know is hooked on. She also mentioned two motives for the app idea: media users getting more trust and attract a younger audience. The idea is that the method used by the journalists is transparent (users can participate in the search), which generates more trust. That sounds interesting and original.  But it didn’t become quite clear to me how the latter was going to be done. You cannot just attract a younger public because you have an iPhone friendly podcast app with visuals, it takes more than that.

But my real doubt was about the example Hansje gave: the Serial podcast. If you compare your to be podcast app to something that exciting, thrilling, deepening and interesting, you can never live up to the expectations of the public.

Sozan Toksoz

Supportive literature

Naldi, Lucia, and Robert G. Picard. “‘Let’s Start an Online News site’: Opportunities, Resources, Strategy, and Formational Myopia in Startups.” Journal of Media Business Studies 4 (2012): 47-59. Web. 11 August 2015.

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