Info

A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

How journalists behave when your video goes viral

Journalist Marc Settle found his video suddenly of great interest to a wider new media than just his employer, the BBC:

Broadly, their behaviour fell in to one of three categories:

a) Journalists working for sites who tweeted me to ask to use my video in some form and to whom I said “yes”.

b) Those who tweeted me and to whom I didn’t reply for various reasons (more on this in a moment), who went ahead and used it anyway.

c) Those who didn’t even bother to ask and used it anyway.

I find it hard to criticise those outlets that simply embedded Marc’s original tweet, because by sharing things on Twitter you grant permission for that. Those outlets that appear to have republished the video? Those are the ones that bother me.

More significantly, the insight into the exhausting and overwhelming effects of this level of media attention for a simple video is something we should all be aware of.

What you see often in digital media is that whenever a new platform comes on stage, news companies’ first instinct is to try and replicate whatever was working before, on that platform. But mobile is growing and changing quicker than anything that came before, so I think pretty much all predictions about the future are going to be incorrect.

Mia Mabanta, director of marketing and revenue products at Quartz

ISIS recruits women via social media

How ISIS uses social media to recruit women:

“The moment you indicate any sort of interest in ISIS or ask any questions about it on a social platform, you get 500 new followers on Twitter, you get 500 friends on Facebook, you start getting emails and messages constantly—it’s a kind of love bombing,” explains Mia Bloom, Georgia State University professor and author of Bombshell: Women and Terrorism, of the remarkably systematic way the process works. “All of a sudden, you feel really popular, important, and significant because of this flood of attention. And it all wraps up in the same ideology they message over and over: ISIS can give you something emotionally and psychologically that you will not have unless you come to the Islamic State.”

This is yet another reason why media needs to up its average level of understanding of social media.

This is uncomfortable viewing. Men – volunteers – read out nasty and harassing tweets targeted at female sports journalist – to those journalists.

It starts off much lighter than it becomes later on. And then the guys get really uncomfortable with what they have to read out.

An interesting way of showing the impact of internet abuse, once the distance between perpetrator and victim is removed.

It’s not hard to find this adorable:

Yes, it’s the CGI team from Industrial Light & Magic, watching reaction videos to the trailer for Rogue One, the forthcoming Star Wars movie.

In a month where we’ve seen so damn many examples of the negative impact of social media, it’s nice to see a more positive one. And while, yes, this is marketing, it’s also an example of communication. Fans of Star Wars who have gone into professional filming are reacting to the reactions of fans who makes YouTube videos. It’s sort of a meta-reaction video.

The circle is now complete

More than that, it’s a circle of communication between the creators and their audience that allows a degree of interplay. We’ve reached an interesting point in our culture where fans of the media of the 70s and 80s are now professionals in their own right, and able to bring both their fandom and their skills to bear on old franchises. The revival of Doctor Who under the acclaimed Russell T. Davies (a Who uber-fan) a decade ago is a classic example of that. At leat two of the lead actors – David Tennant and Peter Capaldi – are fans, too. The rebirth of the Star Wars franchise last year is another example.

However, there’s a really careful line to walk between being a fan and being a professional. You don’t just want to make something for the fans – you want to make it for everybody. But equally, you need to understand what it was about these narratives that made people fans in the first place. And it’s easy within your fannish professional bubble to make the wrong calls. At least here we’re seeing people take some form of sanity check on their own work.

Well, as long as they’re also watching the negative reactions…

[via The Mary Sue]

The main lesson of Boaty McBoatface

Nat Torkington:

[…] you want opinions, but you also want committed opinions. Your poll/survey/vote will erect (or fail to erect) barriers to participation, and those barriers represent a measure of commitment. No barriers = lots of votes, but high risk of Boaty McBoatface. High barriers = few votes, but from those who care.

It’s basically another example of that classic measurement of potential abuse on any online community: time to penis. Because, in any free-for-all community submission, you’re always going to end up with a picture of a penis. To rewrite the above:

No barriers = lots of participation, but high risk of unsolicited penis

The Financial Times Discovers That a Paywall Is Not a Panacea

The Financial Times is going through some financial hard times, and it’s down to print advertising, not the (successful) paywall.

Matthew Ingram:

Lamont said in his memo to FT employees that print revenue at the paper has been “far softer than expected in the first quarter of the year.” According to Politico, media measurement agencies like Enders in the U.K. estimate that between 2010 and 2018, the mainstream print industry’s share of display advertising will fall from about 30% of the total to under 10%.

Here’s a prediction for you: it won’t be reader disinterest that kills off the majority of print newspapers – it will be advertisers pulling their money out and putting it elsewhere.

Why BuzzFeed’s Exploding Watermelon Won’t Destroy Journalism

Next time you hear a journalist criticise an online-only outlet for its cat gifs, bear in mind that the New York Times got there first:

The paper documents a Timesian obsession to all things feline that makes BuzzFeed’s devotion to kitty videos seem restrained. With the exception of the 1950s and the 1960s—which another academic called a period of “high modernism” in which the Times dealt its readers mostly “accurate, ‘unbiased’ information about public affairs”—the paper has doted on cats over the past century.

I drew a bunch of dots to explain why social media is broken

I missed this back in January when it was first published, but it’s so worth your time:

The savviest digital media companies know they’re in an arms race (this 2013 count, even before the first two dramatically expanded, put Business Insider at 300, BuzzFeed at 373 and The Huffington Post at 1,200 pieces published a day). And “Audience Development” (essentially: Strategic Sorting Learner) has become one of the hottest jobs in media.

And the reasoning behind all this is well explained – in graphics.

Here’s another example of a serious documentary being shot on an iPhone:

The thing that baffles me about this – or, at least, which isn’t made clear in the video – is why, once you go to the hassle of shooting with huge cinema lenses, would you add to your hassle by using an iPhone as your capture device, rather than an actual video camera?

There’s clearly more to this story than explained here.

Anyway, here’s the full documentary for your enjoyment:

[via MacStories]