One Man and His Blog: October 2008 Archives

October 2008 Archives

October 30, 2008

The New Media: A Video Republic

This is interesting:

Ease Up On Facebook Blocks?

Facebook on the iPhone

So much for the idea that businesses should be using Facebook-like news feeds. Auntie Beeb thinks we should be using Facebook itself:

And while more work-specific systems, such as LinkedIn or bespoke in-house software tended to be used for work matters, the likes of Facebook, Bebo and MySpace still had a place, said Peter Bradwell, a Demos researcher and the report's author.
"Banning Facebook and the like goes against the grain of how people want to interact. Often people are friends with colleagues through these networks and it is how some develop their relationships."

Of course, as one would expect, this is a horribly shallow rendering of a much more complex report, which you can snag from the Demos site

UPDATE: Alan at Broadstuff highlights some of the problems with this argument.

October 28, 2008

Publishing: The Storm Clouds Gather

Flying Clouds, Hidden Meanings

Image by TomRaven via Flickr

I've had my head down for the last few days, catching up on things after my sojourn in Berlin. And in the meantime, things are beginning to look distinctly rocky, aren't they? Not only has the Christian Science Monitor become the first US national newspaper to abandon daily print publication, but Newsweek has financial problems and so does the New York Times. And there's plenty more bad news.

Even unrelated blogs like Web Worker Daily are asking "Would You Miss Print?

Bleak times ahead I think...

But at least some people are standing up for the value of print

Online Hoodies?

image1659558952.jpgNothing like a little tabloid scare story to start your Tuesday.

Where does one get a digital hoodie? Do they offer iPhone integration?

October 26, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Day Two Gallery

October 24, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: The Wednesday Keynotes

A quick write-up of my notes from the Wednesday keynotes at Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin. I've already covered Suw Charman-Anderson's keynote about e-mail on The Social Enterprise.

Saul Kline, Index Ventures

Saul Kiline gave us a quick, harsh dose of reality. "The weather looks pretty terrible," he suggested. "The Valley is downbeat."

Startups are "fighting an imaginary war, with a product but no money or customers".

Good companies can be started in hard times. Microsoft and Apple started in the 75/76 depression. Even now, the Dow Jones is four times higher than when Apple and Microsoft were started. Most of the great tech companies started in downturns.

However, there is a market out there. The time we spend online has changed radically in the last few years. Social sites have more minutes per visitor then the big three, even if the Microsoft/Yahoo/Google trio are slightly ahead in total numbers.

And there's help: there are lots of free resources to help startups

BUT we are facing a recession. Capital will not be backing people with good PowerPoints, but people who know what they are doing. Angels will retreat and there will be a focus on professional investing.

Key advice:

  • Don't panic
  • Bootstrap like crazy
  • Make products people want
  • Cut your costs.
  • Get to break even as soon as you can.
Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: The Wednesday Keynotes.

JP Rangaswami on Sharing Acitivity in Businesses

JP Rangaswami
As  Lee pointed out in a comment, the one frustration with this expo is that it's been long on the idea that Web 2.0 is important to enterprise, but rather short on actual detail.

JP Rangaswami of BT Design went a little bit further in that direction, by outlining how social tools can usefully become part of our working practices - and even build on some of the existing ones.

Social tools enavble the communities within businesses to emerge. There are fewer figures of authority and it's more a peer space than the traditional heirarchial business.

And it's worth bearing in mind that communities are not mutually exclusive. You can be (and are part) of many communities, and (if you're lucky) many communities select you to be part of them.

Young people today are going to come into the workplace used to pervasive. mobile communications and they're not going to be impressed with the static, lock-down worsktations we have now.

"They're pre-trained not to think as stupidly as previous generations," said JP.

And you only get proper levels of productivity by loosening you grip on these tools. Instant messenging can be important because it's one of the few forms of communication where it's polite to be silent. "Are you still there?" has become part of the language of phones because mobiles drop connections. In IM it's not necessary, because there's a status, allowing you to see if people are online or not, or if they're busy, or away from their computers. In this context, e-mail has almost become snail mail - people become irritated if you don't reply.

So, public indications of what you're doing is useful. But in most companies, Outlook rules our lives, and it can tell you that the best time for this group of people to meet is this date. But it doesn't share or advertise that information beyond that group.

Compare that to Twitter where you can have a person to person conversation using the @username protocol, but it's in public. You can take it private if you want, through direct mesages, but the conversation is still captured in a useful form.

This isn't particualrly new - there have been forms of an activity stream or newsfeed since 2006 at least. But using these activity streams for aggregation of community activity is valuable. If you can share that data maongst working teams - or communities -  you gain the benefits of the network effect.
Continue reading JP Rangaswami on Sharing Acitivity in Businesses.

October 23, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Gender Issues

Apologies for the lack of blogging here today - it's all been going to The Social Enterprise.

But I'm switching back to here for the gender issues seminar. 

Steph talks
Stephanie Booth kicked off the session by getting the audience to think about situation in which they either had felt restricted by being a woman or, in the case of the men, had been glad that they weren't a woman because it would have been harder if they were. She also raised the issue of quotas.

Janet Parkinson
Janet Parkinson presented some really interesting facts and figures about the gender bias in consumption and production of online services, which she did without slides, so I have nothing to crib the figures from. I'll get them from her later, hopefully. The main gist was that there are areas - like e-commerce, social networking and (to some extent) gaming, where women are a majority or a significant minority, while the producers of those sites are almost exclusively male. It seems to make simple commercial sense that more women be involved. Otherwise you run the risk of following the "make it pink" school of marketing to women, which is just patronising. 

Lloyd, as the token male, raised a handful of ideas (as well as putting up pictures of what appears to be German testicle shampoo and a large gentleman in a small French Maid's outfit - which made me think of Janet's point about men marketing to women :) - to illustrate them)

Suw suggests that sometime the fact that some many of the most high profile bloggers are men means we get caught up in their linking patterns. Do we challenge our own networks for bias? Or to see if we're exposing ourselves to a range of opinions. 

Ian raised the issues of events which are male or female dominated, and how male-dominated events can become off-putting to women. (Lloyd raised the issue of the sometimes les-than-rigourous hygiene amongst male geeks). The gender division possibilities of Geek Girl Dinners came up, but Lloyd pointed out that these are more female-friendly than female only, as men can attend if invited by a woman. 

Other issues raised from the audience:
  • The stalker aspect of some social sites can be off-putting
  • Women not putting themselves forward for jobs even in environments that would seem to be female-orientated.

Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Gender Issues.

Dion Hinchcliffe on Enterprise 2.0

Dion Hinchcliffe
The final keynote of the day was given by Dion Hinchcliffe, who talked about the impact of Web 2.0 on the enterprise. Some of his presentation seemed to irk people who posted about it on Twitter, but I'll come back to that in a moment.

There were no real surprises in his preamble. Big, traditional companies struggling to get to grips with the internet, but they need to because 99% of people you want to access are there. And so are their competitors, and they have equal access. Traditional advantages like location mean nothing here.

"We've had [the internet] for 16 years, and only now are we getting a sense of how to win," said Hinchcliffe. "The rules are so different that there's a kind of congnitive dissinance about how much your business needs to change."

And this is where the controversy happened. He started talking about how to get Enterprise 2.0 ideas into your business.  "The easiest way to do it is to do nothing at all," he said. The ideas are viral and come in through the network."

Now, I thought he said "but not the best", but other people missed it, or I hallucinated it because both Suw and Andy posted tweets that disagreed:

Suw Tweets hinchcliffe
Andy tweets Hinchcliffe

(Suw's tweet, Andy's tweet)

However, whatever the level of importance he put on the idea, his suggestion was that these tools are so compelling that clued-up users will push them into work environment with or without IT's help.

Continue reading Dion Hinchcliffe on Enterprise 2.0.

Giving Up E-mail for Social Software

Luis Suarez.Poor old e-mail, it's taking a right old beating at this conference. In fact, one speaker has given it up entirely. Luis Suarez isn't from a hipster startup, though. He works for IBM. Nine months ago, he decided that e-mail was making everyone else productive but not him. So he decided not to use it any more.

And IBM is a e-mail driven company - and a distributed one. He works for IBM Netherlands, he works from Gran Canaria, and reports to the US. That's a modern business.

There were two reactions from his colleagues:
• You'll be sacked in 2 weeks.
• Finally, somebody with the balls to tell the company to not use e-mail.
Nine months later, he still hasn't been sacked. He's down to 20 to 30 e-mails a week now, mainly calendering e-mails. Instead, he's mainly using social software, to prove the point.

E-mail is locked, private and prone to the power games of the CC and the BCC, he suggests. Social software is more transparent, because most of your activities happen in public, or semi-public spaces.  Suarez wanted to make his working practices more transparent, and that's important in the current situation.

The result? He's more in control of how he works. He no longer fights the corporation on e-mail. He hangs out with his communities, getting the job done. Adoption of social software happens within communities.

"'m more passionate about what I do, because I have a stronger feeling of community," he says.

The 2 to 3 hours a day people spend on e-mail he's spending in social tools with colleagues or customers. With customers, it's Facebook and Twitter, for example.

"You guys need to be the ones challenging [the corporate culture]," he told the Web 2.0 Expo crowd. "Go where your communities are - and work with them. E-mail doesn't give you trust, social tools do. "

October 22, 2008

Tim O'Reilly on Andrew Keen

Too entertaining not to share:

Tim O'Reilly on Andrew Keen from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

Why Web 2.0 Matters to Enterprise

This morning, a select group of bloggers were invited along to a round table discussion with Tim O'Reilly, founder of books and conference company O'Reilly Media. He, along with conference hosts Jennifer Pahlka of TechWeb and Brady Forrest of O'Reilly, fielded questions from the bloggers.

This video captures some of the key reasons why Web 2.0 matters to businesses:

Web 2.0 & The Enterprise from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

Sorry for the typing noises. A large number of people attending the discussion were liveblogging furiously, myself included.

Why FreeConomics Doesn't Work*

One presentation I was genuinely sorry to miss today (along with Lee Bryant's Niche Social Networks FTW) was Alan Patrick's presentation on the Limits of Freeconomics. Luckily, he's already posted the slides from his presentation:

The key message here is subtly different from the one that seems to permeate much of the conference. There's an implication that Web 2. startups should be shifting away from ad supported models, because of the economic downturn and the steady drying up of ad budgets. But Alan's point is deeper than that. What he's illustrating in these slides is that the "Free" model was never, ever going to work for anything other than a tiny handful of companies. Simply put: there was never enough ad spend out there o support the number of companies who were relying on it.

And that brings us into a whole different ball game. What the credit crunch has done is expose the reality of a situation that was already there, rather than creating a new one. And that has profound implications for the sort of Web 2.0 tools we'll see emerging over the next 18 months.

*For Everyone

Introducing The Social Enterprise

The Social Enterprise
For those of you who are following my Web 2.0 Expo posts, they're not all on this blog. Yesterday, I kicked off a new blog for one of our titles, Computer Weekly, which looks at the implications of using social software in modern enterprises - or Enterprise 2.0, as many call it.

Given that one of the big themes of the conference has been the need for Web 2.0 start-ups to look to enterprise for revenue, so expect plenty of other posts to follow...

Why E-Mail is Failing Us

E-mail. No-one thinks of it as a social app. It's hardly what we think of as Web 2.0, yet it's the most social piece of software most of us use each day.

Oh, and it's broken.

Suw Charman-AndersonThat, at least, was what Suw Charman-Anderson suggested at one of the keynote sessions of the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin today.

She pointed out that e-mail has gone from something you needed a business case for a decade ago, to the first thing you get in a new job. And that's creating a problem:

• 13% of people are getting more than 250 e-mails per day
• 56% of people think they're spending too long on e-mail.
The reality is worse than that, she suggested, because we tend to underestimate our e-mail use.

The fundamental problem is that e-mail alerts interrupt us - there's a cost to that. It takes us 1m 44 secs 64 seconds to get our train of thought back after we deal with e-mail. (The 1m 44s figure is for how long we take to process the alert. Thanks for the correction, Suw) We can't afford to spend a day a week figuring our what we were doing.

Psychologist have a term that describes our relationship with e-mail: operant conditioning - when we check e-mail, sometimes we get a nice one.That starts to create an emotional relationship with checking e-mail.  Scientists explore the idea by feeding rats when they press levers. Rats will press a lever five times, if that's how often it takes to get food. But they get obsessed with lever-pushing when the food reward is random. That's exactly relationship we have with e-mail. We keep checking it, in the hope that an emotionally-boosting one will come through.

Coupled with that, e-mail has become a proxy for work. Web working makes it difficult to judge how productive people are. If send lots of e-mail, clearly they're doing lots of work - or so goes the thinking.

Together, these responses are rapidly eroding our productivity. So what's the solution? You need to thhink about other ways of doing the same tasks - but with different tools.

Document collaboration - doing this via e-mail, and merging it all at the end is one of the most soul-destroying ways of doing it. Using wikis is easier.

Sharing Information - Don't e-mail it. Publishing blogs and make sure everyone uses RSS. There need to be RSS readers for everyone in the company -  a step that is often forgotten.

Short Conversations - use IM and chat for instant communication. E-mail makes conversations go on too long, as everyone feels need to be polite. IM conversations tend to be quick and to-the-point.

You can read a summary of a more detailed version of Suw's talk at her site.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Martin Varsavsky

Martin Varsavsky, a serial entrepreneur most recently with Fon, was challenged by Tim O'reilly to elaborate on a recent blog post when he criticised some of the doom and gloom coming out of silicon valley. His point, he reitereated, was not that people were wrong to declare doom, just that they are rather late to the party...

Martin Varsavsky"There are times when markets are prepared to give entrepreneurs ridiculous money and times when their refusals are ridiculous," he said.

"Right now we wouldn't get the capital to start Fon," he said. The company had needed investment to make the hardware that was part of the initial offering. "When we realised money wasn't going to be available any more, I started to make the cuts," he continued.

Other highlights:

  • There are distinct differences in national character which you need to take into account as you spread. The Germans use Fon to save money, the Japanese see it as an altruistic act.
  • It's essential to have a great team supporting him. He has an inability to do just one thing. 
  • Sometimes, though, he just burns out and takes two year vacations - particularly after downturns. I believe the phrase "lucky git" applies.  
  • The concept of a salesman is really bad in Europe, but we all need to be one. Product design is the other part. 
His cousin was killed by Argentine Government, his family got refugee status in the States. Moved to Europe for a year 13 years ago. He is very happy here now. Europe is more fair and less brutal to certain citizens, especially the ones who don't have medical care. Spain feels like a civilised version of Argentine.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Blogger Round Table with Tim O'Reilly

Downstairs in the Community lounge we're having a roundtable discussion with Tim O'Reilly and the organising team.

Tim O'Reilly & Jennifer Pahlka
Is Web 2.0 dead? 

"Everyone took it to be a version number. It wasn't," says O'Reilly

People said the web was dead in the dotcom bust. 2.0 was to indicate that it was. It's the shift to the network as the platform. It's getting bigger. It's penetrating more of our lives. It's moving from PCs to mobile devices. 

O'Reilly looks at what the alpha geeks are doing - like playing with sensors in devices like the iPhone - and finds a foretaste of what's to come in them. Are phones going to drive social networks? What do location services mean for us? Mobile applications are going to blow us away.

Enterprise 2.0

Jennifer Pahlka: "Two thirds of attendees are from companies of 500 employees or more. It's not just about startups." No, it's about the fertile mixing of the two. How can these things be used in the real world. 

Tim O'Reilly: "Lessons from Web 2.0 are going to become more important for Enterprise 2.0 in the lean times. How can we leverage the wisdom of crowds to remake old businesses."

Online to Offline

Lloyd Davis asked about how Web 2.0 will help people with their offline relationships.

Brady Forrest pointed to aka'aki from yesterday's Startup Ignite. As privacy controls grow, you can more usefully meet and make connections. O'Reilly pointed out that it's not just about people you know - and gave the examples of crowd-sourcing his daughter's holiday destination, or arranging a Tweetup in a strange city. 

Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Blogger Round Table with Tim O'Reilly.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Better Social Media Plumbing

Stowe BoydBoyd's thesis was this: blogs are an unequal power environment. The blogger has control. Commenters can leave comments, but usually can't edit them or remove them. The blogger more often gains reputation from the comment than the blogger does. The rise of Disqus and CoComment have been a response to that.

In parallel, the rise of RSS means that fewer regular readers actually visit your blog, divorcing them from the commenting experience. The ability to recommend and share content through readers creates a further community of readers who are even more detached from the actual comments.

It's all about the collective action of a group of people who annotate and rate:
  • Digg: human recommendation
  • Techmeme: algorithmic analysis for linking behaviour of A-list bloggers.
Comments in these sites do not find their way back to the blogs. And the comments on blogs are all but invisible.

Now, "flow" apps, like Twitter or the Facebook status is a much more egalitarian environment. Boyd suggests that once you get used to these flow apps, it gets harder and harder to go back to blogs. Purely doing blogs/comments seems antiquated once you're used to the flow...

If the community all move to a flow service, you don't lose your friendships.

A second wave of defection. The first was the move from mainstream media to social media. The second wave takes us from blogs to the flow. We leave behind the feudal hierarchy of blog publishers into an environment where a blog post is just one more bit of content in the flow.

Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Better Social Media Plumbing.

October 21, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Day One gallery

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Day One Montage

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Startup Ignite

Rapid pitches from a variety of start-ups. Equaly rapid notes follow:


  • Dominik MatykaProposition: there's too much information to handle
  • Provides user personalisation and recommendation engine.
  • Works on news to retail sites.
  • It works cross-domain - content from the long-tail. OpenId to sign in.
  • Plugin - doesn't need publisher co-operation (but they would like it). 
  • Always find your doppelganger - or someone different.
  • Essentially it stalks your web travels, and suggests other places based on similar users.

  • Dania GerhardtSocial network / community tools 
  • Social action projects in first phase
  • Getting idea out (magazine tools)
  • Network (collab tools) 
  • Fundraising opps and voluntary support 
  • Amazee camp (/camp) - join 150 get free pro, online help desk. Not back office person, CEO doing it! Professor Project Pete weekly updates.
  • Bucket - money!
  • Cute vid:

Startup Ignite from Amazee on Vimeo.

Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Startup Ignite.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Yossi Vardi

Yossi Vardi
Hard on the heels of Tim O'Reilly's keynote came a conversation between O'Reilly and Yossi Vardi, tech entrepreneur and investor.

O'Reilly kicked off the session by asking Vardi what's the secret of his success? "Luck," came the reply.

He's a fan of the Pascal Wager idea from O'Reilly's talk: "If you do the right thing, it'll come back to you."

Two years ago he was approached by a guy with an idea for a collaborative tool. He asked if he did volunteering, and it turned out he did (at a local school). Yardi funded him. Eventually the entrepreneur asked Yardi why the volunteering makes the difference. Yardi thinks about it as a scholarship. If it fails, "I'm not an idiot, I gave them a scholarship." And you don't want to give scholarships to idiots...

Young people who know what they're doing, consumer-focused application on the web or mobile. Focused, nimble and nice guys. And he wants them to be very talented. 

Apparently, Yossi's entrepreneurial skill comes from his home culture - a Jewish mother who always compared him and his brother unfavourably with his cousins.

O'Reilly asked him about the current breed of entrepreneur's attitude to funding, pointing out that he started his company with $500.

"We've lost the art of bootstrapping, which is unfortunate," said Vardi. far,s take money, but web start-ups not necessarily. He wouldn't go as far as to suggest that you ignore venture capital, but he strongly suggests that you examine their record before taking their money.
Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Yossi Vardi.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Opening Keynote

First on stage were hosts Brady Forrest of O'Reilly Media and Jennifer Pahlka of TechWeb. The hosts admitted that last year's venue wasn't up to scratch, and that they hoped this one would be better.

Brady, in particular, thanked everyone for coming during this crunch time. He suggested that lightweight web apps like the ones discussed at this conference would be more important in harsh economic times.

Tim O'Reilly

And so, Tim O'Reilly takes the stage...

So, is Web 2.0 Web 2.Over, as Dan Lyons suggested in a recent column?

Of course not, but "we need to think about where we're going".

Cheap, easy venture capital isn't there, so some start-ups may survive by being very basic in their operating costs - like sleeping under the desk. "Me too" startups will fail.

We're not in an investment bubble, but a reality bubble. We're in harsh times with financial, environmental and political crises all around us. "And our best and brightest are working on things like this..." (He shows us a Throw a Sheep Facebook app and iBeer for the iPhone. Sure, GPS and the like will make fantastic applications, but still...

Discipline in business for things like this - it's called scenario planning.

Worst case, middle, best. Reality was so much worse than they predicted in the case of oil drilling equipment in the 80s. A loophole was closed and the marlet went to hell.

So you need to get companies thinking about extreme examples.

Robust strategy 1: Work on stuff that matters! We need innovate thinking, rather than yet another social network.

Pascal's Wager: if you believe in God and you're worried about going to hell, you'll live a good life. If there's no God, you've lived a good life. It's a better bet. The modern version is assume the worst, and we'll make better choices.

  • - providing recording equipment to people documenting human rights abuses.
  • Using Google Earth to track illegal deforestation in Brazil
  • Biblioburro - carries books around the area he came from.
You can turn the power of Web 2.0 to real world causes.

Continue reading Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Opening Keynote.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin - Sixgroups Aggregation

There's a community for the Web 2.0 Expo Berlin, which has a great stream of aggregated content from the show:

Web 2.0 Expo: Full House (and locked out)

Web 2.0 Expo WorkshopsHmm. Web 2.0 Expo is not getting off to a great start, workshop-wise. I've just been turned away from the Usability session on the basis that "it's full". 

The other workshops I've attended have been standing room only. Someone appears to have made a serious miscalculation on needed room sizes for these workshops. 

Between this and lunch, I'm rather worried about how they're going to managed the next couple days - which are planned to be even more busy.

Web 2.0 Expo so far


  • WiFi access
  • Venue is roomy and easy to navigate, and very well lit
  • Lots of chance encounters in the corridors
  • Great media centre with power sockets

  • WiFi upload speeds. Connectivity is good. Getting pictures up is slow, and I don't even want to think about video.
  • Lunch. They ran out of both starters and desserts very quickly in the lunchtime serving:
Web 2.0 Berlin lunch
(I might be being a little churlish. That's a decent lunch right there, and one course is probably better for my waistline.)

Welcome to the Social Enterprise

Web 2.0 Expo Media RoomHello, and welcome to Computer Weekly's latest blog, The Social Enterprise. The concept of Web 2.0 has become the focus

This use of Web 2.0 in the enterprise is going to come into sharp focus in the coming months. As economic woes increase, social web startups are going to be looking to enterprise sales to fund them, as advertising sales fall away. And enterprises themselves are going to be focusing on cost-efficient solutions to increase business efficiency. And that's the key promise of enterprise social software - to unlock the knowledge in your staff, and increase collaboration across the business.

These are make or break days for the concept of social software - and for companies who have to make the decision to adopt it, or not.

Of course, Social Enterprise has connotations beyond just the use of social software. A business that uses social tools internally, but has no social awareness outside the company firewall probably lacks a real relationship with its customer base, so expect some blogging on related topics, too.

I'm writing this post in the Media Room of the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin, a three-day get-together for the European Web 2.0 community, and I'll be blogging the best of the enterprise-related content of the congress here. I hope you'll join me over the next few days.
Continue reading Welcome to the Social Enterprise.

October 20, 2008

RBI's Flightblogger Profiled

Our first (and so far, only) full time blogger at RBI, the ever-enthusiastic Flightblogger, has been profiled by the Chicago Tribune.

It's worth a read, as it gives a real insight into how somebody who has no formal journalistic training has picked up the blog format, run with it and produced something genuinely journalistic as a result.

One Man in Berlin

After a fairly drawn-out journey (I always forget how darn slow air travel can be if you're starting in London, especially if I don't fly for six months or more), I'm in Berlin, for two purposes. First of all, I'll be attending and blogging the Web 2.0 Expo here (as one of their premier bloggers, no less). And I'm looking forward to that.

However, I'm also using this as a springboard for a new project within the day job, which I'll fill you guys in on tomorrow. In the meantime, here's some Berlin scenes I grabbed with my Flip Mino earlier:

Arrival in Berlin from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

So far, so good. The taxi drivers are far more competent that their Parisian counterparts (the first taxi driver I used in Paris for Le Web last year took me to the wrong part of the city...), the city looks beautiful in the autumn sunshine and I'm only 10 minutes walk from the conference venue. But what about the hotel?
Continue reading One Man in Berlin.

October 19, 2008

Three Steps to Start Newsroom Change

Thumbnail image for Laptop with Apple sticker and coffeeAfter a few months off, the Carnival of Journalism is back, and this month Will Sullivan of Journerdism has set us this challenge:

What are small, incremental steps one can make to fuel change in their media organization?  (Yes, we'd all like to swing in our newsroom, lay some boot heels on chests, hoist the black flag and change everything by the end of business on Monday -- but the reality is, that ain't happening unless you have a couple buckets of cash to buy a paper of your choice and a rusty sabre.) So what are some realistic, real-world examples of free (or cheap) ways you can help fuel change at your newsroom?

Given my druthers, this is what I'd do:

  1. Stop defining people by outputs. If you call a man a feature writer, he will write features. If you can a woman a news editor, she will edit news. Start defining people by either working methods, or by topic specialities. That de-couples their job from a particular style of journalism and opens the way for more experimentation.
  2. Get out of the office. You have a laptop and a mobile phone. That's all you need to do journalism. Get out there, amongst your readers and your market, and talk, network, record and report. We spend too much time talking to our colleagues and not enough to our contacts. The first technological shift journalism has been through - the arrival of computers - tied us to our desks. The second shift - the pervasive internet - should free us from them once more. 
  3. Experiment Cheaply. You can but a Flip Mino for a little over £100. A digital compact for less than that will produce perfectly adequate pictures for the web. Open Source blogging software like Movable Type or WordPress can be had for free. Many web tools like Flickr or CoverItLive can be used for free. Resist the corporate tendency to invest heavily and only spend serious money when the case is proven. 
All of these things are the foundations. Everything else can be built from them. 

October 14, 2008

Things DEFRA Has Lost

A video knocked up by the Farmers Weekly team with my Flip Mino...

UPDATE: And here's the story that explains it.

October 13, 2008

Preparing for Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin

Web 2.0 Expo badge
Well, it's definite. I shall be in Germany for the first time in my life this time next week. I blew some BA loyalty miles on a flight to Berlin and booked myself into a hotel a short stroll from the Web 2.0 Expo conference centre. Oh, and blocked out my diary.

If you're still wavering about attending, you can check out the Web 2.0 Expo Blog for running updates about what's happening at the show (and doesn't the venue look lovely?), and the main site has an updated list of events around the show, including a number of unofficial ones.

Berliner Conference CentreAnd, of course, there's the opportunity to meet me. :-) Leave a comment or drop me an e-mail if you'd like to touch base while I'm there. I'll be in Berlin from mid-afternoon on Monday the 20th.

And if you've just made a last minute decision to go (rather than a last minute decision to actually book things, like me....), remember that you can bag a 35% discount by registering using the code webeu08gr9.

October 10, 2008

Video: Martin Couzins of Travel Weekly

A managing editor, this time; Mr Martin Couzins of Travel Weekly:

Martin Couzins of Travel Weekly from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

Video: Stuart Clarke of Flightglobal

Stuart talks video on Flightglobal and possible uses of the Flip Mino:

Stuart Clarke of Flighglobal on Video from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

Flip Mino: Piece to Camera

The lesson from this one is "use a sturdier table to rest the Flip on":

Flip Mino Test 2 from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

Flip Mino Test One

Playing with the new Flip Mino, as a potential tool for our journalists:

Flip Mino Test One from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

October 9, 2008

Full Fat Feeds: Stuffing My RSS Reader

This is what my feed reader of choice, NetNewsWire, looks like on a typical afternoon. Many, many unread items in many, many different groupings. Looking at that, one might think that it is time for my to join the chorus of people announcing an RSS cull, trimming the feeds they subscribe to down to a manageable number. 

Well, I'm going the other way. I'm adding feeds. And here's why:

Continue reading Full Fat Feeds: Stuffing My RSS Reader.

October 8, 2008

Another Day, Another Workshop


October 3, 2008

In an EGi Strategy Day

In an EGi Strategy Day, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Furiously blogging on an internal blog, so posting here is likely to be light.

October 2, 2008

RBI Wins Big at AoP Awards

Thumbnail image for RBI logo
My employers RBI had a pretty good night at the Association of Online Publishers Awards yesterday, coming home with one quarter of the award on offer, including the one for best online business publisher. Go, us. Sometimes, when I look out at the internet generally, I feel a touch of despair at how much work we have to do. But on the other hand, news like this does remind me that we are some way ahead of the general traditional media pack, still, and that's cause for a little celebration, but no complacency.

More details on and Press Gazette, and my colleague Andrew has something to say about it, too.

October 1, 2008

AoP Conference 2008

image1324495227.jpgSo, I've finally arrived at the AoP Summit, to find largely disgruntled people. No WiFi, no power points, aak content... I can't help wondering if that's down to the nature of the people I chat to - Twittering, web-focused, social networking folks. So why are they in the audience, and not on the stage? Good question.

However, Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer is busy combating the post-lunch lull with a face full of stays about the decline of print media, and the prospects of the internet through the current credit crunch.

Now, it's all ad-focused, but as that's where most if us still make our revenue, that's important. Around 6% of companies are lokling at Virtual Worlds. But it's not a mass Market medium, with only 500 people per week in most location in Second Life.

So Search takes the majority of ad revenue, but can traditional media startvto steal that back as they redefine themselves digitally?

Ramsey is big on video. He likes big stats on YouTube, and people watching full shows. But advertising is only about 2% of ad spend. Set to grow massively? Oh, yes, says Ramsey. Why? You can measure it, you can target it, you can share it.

Social networks? 30% of Internet users are frequent visitors. 70% of teenagers, though.

So, recommendations from friends arevthr most trusted marketing message. But how do you tap into that? Users aren't interested in ads in social networks. Over half never click on the ads.

Four principles:

1. Look, listen, lounge and learn.

2. Partner

3. Embed

4. Provide tools for sharing.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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