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blogboat – citizen journalism: this weekend in ghent

By on Nov 6, 2008 in blogging, blogging techniques, citizen journalism, conferences/events, headshift, journalism, newspapers, wemedia | 1 comment

On Sunday, I’m heading to Ghent to take part in Blog Boat 1.0 – Citizen Journalism. As the name suggests, it’s an event about blogging and journalism which will take place on a boat but, rest assured, the organisers tell me it’s not an us vs them sort of thing, nor will the boat actually move. During the afternoon, an invitation only "meeting of the minds" will bring together journalists, academics and bloggers to discuss the future of citizen journalism and, in the evening, I’ll be moderating a free (registration required) interactive debate with Dan Gillmor and other participants from the day. Here’s how the organisers are framing the debate: "Over the last couple of years traditional media has tried to formulate an answer to this development in finding a balance between print – and online information, in keeping track with the newest technological trends to present their information and in figuring out how to integrate citizen journalism within their (online) information channels.  What are workable/feasible models for the future?  In what way technological developments will influence the way we deal with news and information. Will they empower us more, will new constraints appear and will the old once be sorted in time? Is there a possible role for guides/filters and who would these filters be (newspapers, well known bloggers … ? And in line with the later, is there a possible role for guides/curators guiding non-expert users through the information in an open way build on trust and reputation? What are the possible ways forward for mainstream media in working with citizen journalists?" Having met Dan and several of the other participants previously, I’m looking forward to a thoughtful, challenging and wide ranging debate. Although over 100 people have already signed up, registration is still open so if you want to attend, make sure you get your name on the list. See you aboard!              ...

would guido really “not get out of bed” for £21k in blog ads?

By on Oct 10, 2006 in blogging, citizen journalism, journalism, wemedia | 9 comments

The Press Gazette picked up on my recent post where I quoted research suggesting that bloggers earn more (£21k) than journalists but significantly less than holders of Bachelors degress (£29.6k). In response, Guido Fawkes, the most high profile political blogger in the UK (with 12.2% share of polical blog of reach), who also gave a presentation at the WeMedia Fringe event, posted a comment where he said: I wouldn’t get out of bed for that. Graham over at NoodlePie made $146 from AdSense in September. During the month he had 24,715 unique visitors and 44,152 page views. Graham is ranked 13,737 by technorati, with 1,429 links from 185 blogs. His traffic rank was 361,629 on Alexa. Guido has a rank of 3,095 on technorati, with 2,250 links from 600 blogs. His traffic rank is 75,217 on Alexa. Guido is one of a number of high profile political bloggers involved in messagespace, which claims around 1.5 million page views per month on it’s partner’s blogs. 12.2% (see above – I used the top ten because most of them are involved in message space) of that is around 150k page views a month, roughly 3.5 times that of noodle pie. NoodlePie made $146 in September, which converts to £78.75 for the month – just under £1000 a year – off approximately 25 – 30% as much traffic as Guido has. I don’t, of course, know for sure that Guido gets 150,000 page views a month. He could get ten times that (although it seems unlikely he does). But what I do know is that, even if he is getting as much as 1.5 million page impressions a month, it seems unlikely that he’s making more than twenty times the amount noodlepie is making off it’s google ads – that is, it seems unlikely that Guido makes more than £21k off the ads on his blog. I don’t have any problem with Guido. In fact, I liked the guy when I met him and do ocassionally read his blog because it’s a good read. All I’m saying is that unless he’s lumping his consultancy, speaking and other income in with his blog ads income, I just can’t see how he can claim he “wouldn’t get out of bed for that [£21k]” [I only used NoodlePie as an example because I had access to his stats and blog ad revenue, which he posts openly. He wasn’t in anyway responsible for this post, nor do I have any idea whether he would agree with anything said here. I use his blog, by the way, as an example of a “good blog” whenever asked for such examples. Do have a look.] bookmark this post: del.icio.us l Digg l Furl l ma.gnolia l Newsvine l reddit l Yahoo MyWeb l Track with...

my bbc radio interview with howard rheingold

By on Sep 26, 2006 in academic studies, BBC, citizen journalism, mobile, online community, social software, wemedia | 1 comment

My interview with Howard Rheingold appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pods and Blogs last night. You can listen to it online. The programme is here and the interview, which lasts about 10 minutes, starts at 26:30. (While listening, do check out the Pods and Blogs blog that’s part of the BBC Blogs Trial I’m currently project managing.) We talked about the common themes between his books, the differences between mobile phone and social software usage in the UK compared to the US, and participatory media. Howard appears in photo with Ian Forrester who you’ll find more of at CubicGarden. I’ve posted additional photos in my flickr...

the blogger vs mainstream media thing keeps following me

By on Aug 2, 2006 in wemedia | 1 comment

For some reason, my del.icio.us is absolutely overflowing with "bloggers vs mainstream media" links: Niel McIntosh at CompleteTosh thought he had almost recovered from the debate which, not long ago, made him contemplate chewing his arm off in frustration. Then he points us towards…. this piece by Linda Jones for the Press Gazette titled "don’t be deluded, a blog does not a journalist make" which links to Graham… Who pleads, over on the ScooptWords blog, that "bloggers be journalists, journalists be bloggers" this whole thing, of course, really came to a head at the wemedia conference and the fringe event that I organised (with a bit of help) where Suw Charman let off a bit of steam with her presentation Why We Media Sucked after which I had to comment Dan Gillmor has usefully summarised recent (never ending) debate on western shores, where we find: The dean of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Nicholas Lemann, trying to stir things up the insightfully titled "Amateur Hour" in the NewYorker which got Jeff Jarvis’ knickers in a twist which led to Steven Berlin Johnson calling a truce, or something resembling one, by asking that anyone wishing to engage in the whole "bloggers vs journos" argument do so without raising one of the 5 points he says aren’t at all useful, from which he links to… Jay Rosen’s attempt to end this all way back in January 2005 Funny thing is, someone just emailed to tell me that he’d spotted a post on CompleteTosh which links to a comment I made on Steven Berlin Johnson where I linked to the NewYorker piece which he’d been avoiding reading because he’s a subscriber and his copy doesn’t arrive until tomorrow. Obviously, this is a debate that just keeps following a lot of us around… Which reminds me of "The Bloggers": << update >> Jeff Jarvis points us towards baristanet where Debbie Galant who offers up a juicy example of what Lemann missed and the bloggers got. <<another update >> Jay Rosen rejoins the fray – thoughtfully, incitefully, engagingly… and Jeff Jarvis spots Rebecca MacKinnon joining the...

comment is free, engaging with audiences and thoughts about the MSM vs bloggers thing

By on May 29, 2006 in citizen journalism, social software, wemedia |

Georgina Henry, editor of the Guardian’s Comment is Free, writes in today’s print edition about getting out there and engaging with the audience: “On good days I think this is the most exciting new frontier for journalism – the immediacy of the debate, the excitement at watching readers engage with the big (and occasionally trivial) issues of the day with wit, verve and insight make print seem sluggish, out of date, even a bit dull. Other days, when I have spent hours removing the anti-semitism and Islamophobia that dances round any piece about Israel/Palestine, and the incoherent abuse, the swearing, the false statements, the ill-disguised misogyny, the intimidation and the downright nastiness that fuels so many comments, I wonder whether Guardian values – free comment, but fair comment too – are in danger of being drowned out in an anarchic, unmoderated medium populated, it seems, by weird men. I look with fondness at the rigorously edited paper, and the polite discourse on the letters page. The answer for most media companies developing blogs… is to pre-moderate comments. We have deliberately decided against that, only requireing commenters to register, because we want to keep the conversation as free flowing as possibly. So What to do? Stung by one particularly brutal comment on a piece by a young Muslim woman we had recruited to blog, I did what Emily Bell, editor of Guardian Unlimited, advised and entered the fray myself…” As you’d expect, a lot of people told Henry to stop whinging but others provided some useful insight and advice. You can find the post and resulting 200+ comment discussion here. It’s nice to see Henry, and some of the other “bloggers”, getting out there and engaging with their audiences – as Henry points out in the article: Guardian columnists have taken to heart that blogging is about more than just writing your piece and disappearing once the conversation starts. They have started, as a matter of course, going back into the debates they have generated to talk to their readers. But I’d like to see a news or media organisation take it one step further than this, to actually engage with the conversations taking place OUT THERE. It’s all well and good having a “blog” that paid members of staff contribute to and members of the audience can comment on. That, however, is not really blogging. Blogging is a technology and a technique and, in this sense, mainstream media usually forgets about the second bit. Bloggers look at their inbound links and use tools like technorati (Guardian Unlimited profile) to see who is talking about their stuff and linking to them. They go in search of this and other content to read, excerpt, link to and comment upon. They also post comments on one another’s blogs. Neil McIntosh, assistant editor of Guardian.co.uk, did it when he stepped out from behind the fences to post a comment here, as did the guys behind WikiTravel who commented on the same post. So too did the guys working on ScooptWords who recently joined debate about the soon to launch service here. That’s what blogging is and what bloggers do – they step off their bully pulpit and go down in the pits, and when they’re done they take home a few souvenirs to post up to prove that they were there and that they survived it. That is the conversation that bloggers always tell non-bloggers about and it’s the one thing that’s, so far, completely lacking in mainstream media blog efforts. So what’s in it for mainstream media? * by going out and finding content, then bringing it back (excerpting, linking, commenting on) you’re able to get lots of “free” content (the effort to go out and find is closer to traditional journalism techniques, and probably cheaper and less open to bias, than waving your big contact us flag in the air and hoping to find some needles in the insuing haystack) * by going out and posting comments elsewhere, you’re truly joining the conversation and, in doing so, you’ll reach new and different audiences for your content * if done correctly, it will be trust in your people and your brand * think of it as a cheap way to get audience research * because of the way that search engines like google work, taking into account how many links you’re getting and from what sites, encouraging more debate about your content – wherever that debate takes place – helps your google page rank (Thanks to Tim Ireland for helping me understand this!) Let’s face it, without mainstream media a lot of bloggers would have little to talk about – they’d either lack the content to comment on, would know nothing of the celebrities, personalities and politicians they write about, they’d lack the analysis to disagree with, and wouldn’t have access to the facts and figures they need to provide their own analysis. Many bloggers actually need mainstream media, and increasingly mainstream media will need bloggers. Marrying the two together in a way that’s useful to both sides might not be that hard to do if mainstream media learns to blog and by that I mean figuring out that blogging is BOTH a set of tools and a technique for using those tools. This will build trust between MSM and bloggers and it’s only then, when there is trust and greater understanding...

wemedia fringe – the stats

By on May 24, 2006 in wemedia |

We media fringe event Originally uploaded by cubicgarden. It’s been a few weeks and I forgot (which is somewhat typical of me) to pass on the stats for the wemedia fringe. * We had 150 on the guest list and over 120 people turned up and/or managed to blag their way in on the night. * We raised £120 for the venue, £20 of which came from the cybersoc.com google ads for the month * Coverage of wemedia the fringe can be found at...