Twitter

cnni panel discussion at the frontline this thursday

By on Jul 20, 2010 in blogging, blogging techniques, citizen journalism, conferences/events, journalism, mobile, newspapers, social software | 2 comments

I've been involved in helping CNNi, a client, organise a panel discussion on the role of mobile phones in news gathering, journalism and the consumption of news. The event, which has Journalism.co.uk as an online media partner, will take place on Thursday 22 July at the Frontline Club in London. Tickets are free but you'll need to sign up in advance. Here's more detail: Mobile phones are changing the way we learn about and experience news. Citizen journalists and ordinary people are, increasingly, beating TV crews to the scene of breaking news stories. Mobile technology is becoming an essential part of the professional journalist's tool-kit. Mobiles are also changing the way we consume news, allowing people on the move to keep abreast of the stories important to them. This panel discussion brings together a range of experts from journalism, academia and mainstream media to discuss the role of mobile phones in newsgathering, reporting and the consumption of news. Topics include: * The role of eyewitness reports, captured and shared via mobile, in news today * The motivation of citizen journalists and others who share news related content via their mobiles * The importance of mobile journalism skills to the work of professional journalists * Inspirational examples of stories covered by journalists and others using mobile phones * Tips on creating great stories using a mobile phone * How are mobile phones changing the way we find and consume news * The impact of new technology on the business of news Panellists: Louis Gump Vice President Mobile, CNN Louis is vice president of CNN Mobile, responsible for managing CNN’s mobile business. Based in CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, he directs CNN’s mobile strategy and development to meet consumer needs and grow overall reach, usage and revenue. Alex Wood Freelance Mobile Journalist, Producer and Lecturer http://alexwood.me Alex is a freelance journalist and co-founder of Not on the Wires, a multimedia journalism production company. He created G20 London Live, a mobile journalism project covering the G20 summit in London. He also teaches mobile journalism to students at London South Bank University. Andy Dickinson Course Leader, BA Digital Journalism Production, University of Central Lancashire http://www.andydickinson.net/ Andy teaches Digital and Online Journalism at the Department of Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, which has had dedicated postgraduate and undergraduate courses in Online Journalism since 1999. In his spare time he edits TV programmes and provides training for journalists moving to Digital. Ben Hammersley Editor at Large, Wired UK http://benhammersley.com/ Ben is Editor at Large of Conde Nast's Wired UK magazine, Director of Digital at Six Creative and Principal of Dangerous Precedent. Hammersley previously worked as the first Internet reporter for The Times and as a reporter for The Guardian as well as reporting from  Iran and Afghanistan. Jonathan Hewett Director, Newspaper Journalism, City Universityhttp://hackademic.net/ Jonathan is Director of Newspaper in the Department of Journalism at City University, London. The course combines practical skills training in reporting, interviewing, writing, editing, research, newspaper production and digital production skills, including the use of mobile phones and social media. Drinks and networking from 6.30pm Event from 7pm It's free, but you need to sign up in...

new bbc news online hints at facebook integration

By on Jul 6, 2010 in BBC, journalism, newspapers |

I've been looking at the new design for the BBC News website and noticed, at the bottom of one of the pages, a hint that users will be able to integrate the site with their Facebook account. At the bottom of the screen shot below, you'll see the text "John Day and 2 of your friends recommend this". It's a nice idea because it will make reading the news, something usually done in isolation, feel more like a shared experience. It will also make articles feel more personally relevant. (Clicking the image below will open the full size in a...

rough draft: outline for lecture on entrepreneurial journalism

By on Apr 20, 2010 in blogging, blogging techniques, citizen journalism, journalism, newspapers | 6 comments

In a couple of weeks I'll be giving a lecture at City University, where I'm a Visiting Journalism Fellow, on Entrepreneurial Journalism. My intention isn't to offer any answers, just point out some opportunities to a group of 100 MA students who, due to the economic climate and recent shifts in consumption of content and the business models for making money out of it, are no longer assured a job in their chosen profession by simply graduating from one of the top journalism departments in the country. It's not all doom and gloom – a number of last year's students are out there, thriving, and getting paid for their work – and hopefully I'll be able to point this year's students towards some similar opportunities. Here's a rough draft outline that I've put together, with a bit of help in the form of some great links (thanks!) provided by Paul Bradshaw and Craig McGinty, both of whom have benefited personally and professional by embracing the brave new world that is entrepreneurial journalism. Here's the draft – links and other feedback happily received – I need your help!: Section One – the old way Sales based business models… Sell content to an audience > some people willing to pay for content> some people willing to pay for packaging and/or delivery device> subscriptions ensure lock-in to daily, weekly, monthly or annual payment>> direct subscription with content provider (eg. magazine subscription)>> indirect subscription via third party, usually a platform (satellite providers, etc)> royalties from use (cuttings services, Performing Right Society (PRS), Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), etc) Build an audience, and sell eyeballs to advertisers… price depends on: > size of audience > demographic (age, sex, location, education, income; niche vs general) > advertiser perception of importance of brand Problems with the old model, online > many people consider content to be free> mechanisms for small, one off, (micro)payments prohibitively complex and expensive> google and others aggregate and repackage content, denying the original eyeballs to sell> audiences fragmented>> almost unlimited competition from many producers Section Two: Business models for Social Media > create a participatory framework> increase audience size and loyalty through participation> users generate most of content> users reveal demographic data>> detailed demographic data has a higher value to advertisers> data trail from participation reveals even more about users (facebook knows that you're 20, recently described yourself as "unattached", attend City University, and just friended a whole bunch of ex-classmates who recently changed their location to Sydney – queue Qantas and dating website advertisments) But still, they depend largely upon old models… > sell subscriptions to advanced features (flickr, linked in, dating websites)> sell subscriptions to content (coming soon to News International properties)> targeted advertising (facebook, premium google search results)> general advertising (banner ads)> sell opportunities to engage with audience (getsatisfaction.com) and a few new ones… > sue google (http://mashable.com/2008/05/28/belgian-newspapers-sue-google-for-sending-them-traffic-again/)> crowdsourced funding (http://spot.us)> crowdsourced innovation and marketing (http://www.threadless.com, Dell Ideastorm, etc)> stay alive long enough to get to IPO Section Three: So how to be an entrepreneurial journalist? > yes, there are some ways to make money> think more widely about extracting value from your content and participation online>> build yourself as a brand>> have conversations that could lead to job opportunities>> come up with interesting projects that might attract funding from, for example, the Knight Foundation> you're not just a journalist anymore – you also have to sell, market, consult, network and it would help to develop websites too… Making money – obvious opportunities > google ads – small money, but easy and doesn't involve any selling> banner advertising – automated, and again easy, but very little money in it> associate programmes – advertise products and services, such as items from Amazon, using embed code – easy, and can be good money in right circumstances> target a niche, and sell ads to those who want to advertise to that niche (http://www.shedworking.com)> build a compelling proposition and sell it on> sell your skills – whether it's setting up blogs, live blogging events, creating and implementing a social media strategy, run audience engagement activities etc you have skills others might want Build Yourself as a Brand > again, targeting a niche you genuinely are interested in makes sense>> might be fun anyway>> demonstrate ability to create an audience as well as content>> gets you noticed>> less competition, particularly from “old media” (FT – example of big media doing ok in this space) Have Conversations To Create Opportunities > point prospects to your online presence> build your professional network, and make it visible (linked in, slideshare, etc)> live blog industry events> become the centre of the audience community you target Market and Sell Your Skills, Not Content > you can create content – identify who, both within in the media and elsewhere, might be interested in it>> PR, Marketing, Industry, Government, etc> show others how you do it – teaching and consulting can be rewarding, and it pays More… > Extract data from your audience and sell it (data mining)> Repackage data to build new things (and sell it – councils, news, marketing agencies, etc)> Devise applications (see Glamour Ask a Stylist app)> Sell and manage clever content + social media propositions Discussion (Update: 22 April) I'm really pleased to announce that I've enlisted the help of two guests, both of them innovators and successful entrepreneurial journalists, to provide case studies from their own experience...

aggregation – parasite or opportunity for content providers?

By on Jan 28, 2010 in blogging, journalism, newspapers |

The Daily Mirror has joined a growing number of newspapers who block a news aggregator, NewsNow, from crawling it's site. The Sun and Times Online had already made similar moves. Having worked in the media industry myself for nearly ten years, I understand why, on the face of things, content providers see aggregators as a threat. Aggregators essentially monitor sites for new content and, like an RSS reader, pull in and display any new content. The move to block aggregators is, however, short sighted. Aggregators, which range from Google News to more configurable services such as NetVibes, typically allow their users to configure the content they see via keywords or tags. Someone who is a regular reader of a particular news source, say the BBC News website, is unlikely to go off and look at other news sites unless they are particularly interested in reading other viewpoints of the same story. News aggregators, however, display the content from a range of sources, which encourages users to explore new publications and providers. One of the workshops that I frequently run for our clients helps them better understand how to use the whole web as their canvas. The point of such a strategy is that the only people who visit your website are people who already know about you, or who find you through search engines such as google. By posting content, for example images, video or presentation slides, on third party sites, then linking them back to the relevant piece of content on your own site, you're potentially reaching out to new audiences who have never heard of you previously but who can, nonetheless, engage with your message and organisation after stumbling upon your content on third party sites. Creative Commons Licensing of content is an important piece of the puzzle as it allows content creators to determine who can use their content and under what conditions. So, for example, on flickr I have set my default Creative Commons Licensing so that it restricts use of my images to those, non-commercial and commercial, who are willing to attribute me and link back to the original image on flickr. By doing this, my photos have been used in powerpoint presentations, a mobile guide to Bristol, and as the derivative basis of a watercolour painting. Each time this happens, my content is seen by people who would have never come across it otherwise, potentially inticing new audiences to visit and consume my other content. Whilst I understand the initial reaction of publishers and other content providers to aggegators, some of which make money by pulling in and displaying third party content, I also firmly believe that allowing them to do so is a powerful marketing tool. With newspaper audiences diminishing, and television audiences fragmenting, it makes sense to do, or in this instance allow, other sites to display your content so long as they clearly attribute that content and link back to you. Aggregation may very well be parasitic at first glance, but the benefits – greater exposure to new audiences, as well as SEO gains – mean that, in actuality, it's a potentially powerful marketing tool for content providers. (I originally posted this on the Headshift...

Presentation: content and community (from a magazine publisher)

By on Jan 4, 2010 in blogging, blogging techniques, citizen journalism, journalism, newspapers, online community, social software | 1 comment

Just came across this interesting presentation, from October last year, by Neil Perkin, "Director of Marketing & Strategy for the commercial functions of IPC Media, the well known UK publisher of consumer magazines and associated websites": Content And Community View more presentations from...

real time snow reports via twitter

By on Dec 16, 2009 in BBC, citizen journalism, journalism, location based services, mobile, newspapers, social software |

I came across this really clever use of twitter this morning as London got it's first snow flurries of the season. #uksnow Map 2.0 monitors twitter for mentions of snowfall, then plots the snow on a google map. To make best use of it, you need to use a special tweeting convention – insert #uksnow followed by a postcode and 0-10 rating (0 being nothing, 10 being a full on blizzard) – for example, #uksnow SE1 2/10. This reminds me of a pilot I set up at BBC Leicester, where we loaded some 3g mobiles with Yahoo's Zonetag and asked 5 members of the public to contribute a few weather photos each day, directly from their handset, to a flickr group that automatically fed a BBC template page. It would be interesting to see the #uksnow map displaying images from twitpic and I can imagine all sorts of uses of this – flood monitoring, disaster relief, coverage of the Olympics, etc. See the #uksnow map here:...