December 2009 Archives
December 31, 2009
December 27, 2009
December 25, 2009
Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas.
As you've probably noticed, I'm taking a wee break from the blog right now, but I'll be back before New Year with some reviews of the year…
In the meantime, have a great festive season.
December 16, 2009
#uksnow SM2 4/10
- #uksnow - the hashtag that allows identification of relevant tweets
- SM2 - the first half of my postcode, allowing geolocation of the information
- 4/10 - a measure of the heaviness of the snowfall, where 0 is none at all and 10 would be a whiteout...
December 15, 2009
Elephant in the room #2 when it comes to paywalls: you might have to change the nature of what your write and publish to make them work.
To play the opinion arb game, news publishers have to stop seeking simply the most controversial opinions. They're abundant: every talking head can churn one out, and faux "news" of every kind is already chock full of 'em shrieking at one another. Instead, successful opinion arbitrageurs must seek the most informed opinions, gooey with expertise, thick with real value for readers.
Those opinions are worth the most -- and they're what readers will pay for.
December 10, 2009
Rather than information being pushed to us through a decisive act like sending an e-mail, we receive it in a flow of activity from following people. We need to learn to live (adapt?) to the flow.
"If there's someone you have a model of in your head, someone you know, you do care about what they had for lunch, that they're in Paris." You can follow someone without them agreeing it it first.
There are many public - everyone on the web sees a different world (a point danah made earlier). When we follow people we collect a peer group to interpret and make sense of the world. And then they become filters.
Small world Networks.
It's easy for information to flow through them, because there are both short range and long-range links.
People decide that other people don't belong. It's analogous to countries.
People who connect - the "life and soul of the party".
December 9, 2009
- CoTweet: allows brands to monitor and participate in the existing conversations around their brand
- OneRiot: An alternative search of Twitter. Twitter is happy for people to search content they host on other services - and you can see that with the deals they've done.
- TweetMeme: Allows you to track how your tweets propagate over time.
- In-app purchasing is going to be big, because it's the major path to on-going revenue for app developers
- Discovery is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. The app store is full of apps, and being featured by Apple staff can have a huge impact on how your sales go.
- The connectivity is fantastic - great bandwidth even with all the people here
- It's warm, unlike last year, Almost too warm, in fact.
- There's plenty of food and coffee
December 8, 2009
- MacBook (left): My trusty laptop, which has been my workhorse for closing in on three years. Despite the leaps in what phones can do, I still need it for the full keyboard and photo and video editing.
- Kodak Zi8 and Flip Mino HD: Not one but two pocket HD video cameras. The Flip Mino is my traditional camera, but the Zi8 will probably see more action this conference as I'm testing it out.
- iPhone. Web. E-mail. Photo. Video. Audio. The Le Web app. Essential tool for me these days
- Fuji Z20fd: Snappy Fuji compact, for those moments when I don't want to traipse the SLR around with me, but the iPhone won't cut it. The most endangered part of this kit.
- EOS 500D and 70-300 Zoom Lens - The bedrock of my conference photography. As past events have show, I can grab great pics from the stage by pushing the camera's ISO high and shooting at the extreme end of the lens.
December 4, 2009
The reflexive journalistic answer is "news" as, after all, the clue is in the name "newspaper". My contention, though, is that we journalists have a bias towards the news element of the publication that our readers do not share. We got into journalism to "do news". They were buying a mix of news, features, comments, comics and crosswords that added up to a valuable package of information and entertainment in one handy portable product. And the cheaper bits of the paper to produce cross-subsidised the more expensive bits (ie: news). Oh, and the advertising paid for more of it than the cover price did...
So, in essence, we never really charged people for news. It was just part of a wider offer. And this is a point Google CEO Eric Schmidt has taken in an article in the Wall Street Journal:
Now the Internet has broken down the entire news package with articles read individually, reached from a blog or search engine, and abandoned if there is no good reason to hang around once the story is finished. It's what we have come to call internally the atomic unit of consumption.To summarise: the internet does not support the old business model that financed the printed package of journalism.
Painful as this is to newspapers and magazines, the pressures on their ad revenue from the Internet is causing even greater damage. The choice facing advertisers targeting consumers in San Francisco was once between an ad in the Chronicle or Examiner. Then came Craigslist, making it possible to get local classifieds for free, followed by Ebay and specialist Web sites. Now search engines like Google connect advertisers directly with consumers looking for what they sell.
December 3, 2009
Less than 24 hours after I made the comparison between Google and newsagents in yeterday's post, Matt Brittin, managing director of Google UK, makes that very same point in front of a committee of MPs:
"It's wrong to paint us as stealing content. We are, if you like, a virtual newsagent... "
"In a physical newsagent's, newspapers will pay the newsagent to have their newspapers in the shop. We don't charge anybody for this service. This is a free service."
You can read more about Google's response on Press Gazette and Journalism.co.uk
And this story looks like it quietly kills off the idea that search engines might pay publishers for exclusive content idea.
- Eric of Websnark explores the idea that people adapt to what's convenient for them - and if you make visiting news websites an inconvenient part of their daily internet use, by introducing paywalls for example, people will just route around them.
- Chris of TeleRead explores the idea of the wider content culture that newspapers are tending to ignore in much more depth than I did.
- Alex Walters makes the point that it might be spreading their reach internationally that saves mainstream news producers, not paywalls.
December 2, 2009
You fell for it.
There is no battle, bar one of posturing and PR.
Because, really how is Google actually Murdoch's competitor for the newspaper business? It is a business that has grown rich over giving people quick access to created content, and an opportunity to monetise that content, through ads. It has much the same relationship to newspaper websites as, say, newsagents did to the print title. The metaphor is not exact, but it stands. Google is not a content producer, but a way of finding it and monetising it. If your cost base does not match the potential revenue, well, that's hardly Google's fault, is it?
So why are News International execs so keen on waging this war? Oh, so many reasons.
- Google is one of the few companies that make Murdoch's empire look like the underdog
- It allows Murdoch to cast himself in a heroic mode: defender of journalism!
- It builds buzz and excitement around Murdoch's plans. Publicity like that is valuable.
- Google is a name, a big name. And one that can be used as a shorthand for the internet, and the way it operates.