One Man and His Blog: March 2010 Archives

March 2010 Archives

March 31, 2010

All's Fair in Love and Innovation

Yesterday, RBI held its first internal innovation fair, organised by my boss Karl Schneider, amongst others. I was only able to attend briefly a couple of times, but I grabbed some pics while I did:

This way to innovation
Deep in discussion
James chatting
Stuart & Faisal
Cupcake Bribes
The content was pretty confidential, of course, so you'll have to make do with the pretty pics. :)

An Alternative Future for Journalists

There's no doubt that the number of traditional journalism jobs is shrinking, and shrinking fast. I struggle to think of a single publishing company that hasn't had layoffs or title closures in the last few years.

There is, suggests David Meerman Scott of the WebInkNow blog, an alternative:

You went to J-school to learn how to tell a story in words and images. Yes, the employers who traditionally hired your skills are shrinking fast. But there is an entirely new world out there for you to consider. Please keep an open mind about this.

I'm not talking about PR and media relations here. This isn't about writing press releases and trying to get your former colleagues to write or broadcast about you. Instead, I'm talking about creating stories as you are now, but for a corporation, government agency, nonprofit, or educational institution instead.

The pay wall is a vision of the past, a retreat to a model that looks all but identical to the print days. It is a gamble on structural stasis through a change of medium. This is an alternative vision, one of complete disruption, of businesses that use journalism, but who monetise and exploit it in totally different ways. 

Is there a middle path?

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March 30, 2010

3 Posts About The Future of Blogs & Comments

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the evolution of blogging, its interaction with social networking, and the role of content-based community on the web in recent weeks. These three posts really chimed with some of my conclusions:

Plenty of meat for musing in all three of those posts.

The Problem With...

...turning something you love as a hobby into your job, is that sometimes it leaves you no time to do the thing you love.

And the problem with that, is you can start to lose your passion, to forget why you did this in the first place.

Note to self: blog more. 

March 26, 2010

Headline Uses FAIL

Headline Uses FAIL, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

I had no idea that the FAIL internet meme has become so mainstream that headline writers are using it now...

Paywalls: The Experiment Begins in June

So, The Times and Sunday Times will be behind a paywall from June.

The theoretical arguments between the "link economy and conversation brings value" and the "content is valuable and must be paid for" camps have been iterated and reiterated to death in recent months.

Now we get to find out who's right. Will this bring in enough money to offset the lack of traffic from social media and search? Will the newspapers lose influence? Or will is generate a new business model that destroys the idealistic theories of the web?

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March 25, 2010

Social Media Forums, Linguistics and Communities

Social Media Forum Hamburg notes
Those who know me well will be aware that I can ricochet from overly-conservative and cautious to stupidly feet-first. Thus it was with a conference I attended yesterday. When asked if I wanted to speak at a conference in Hamburg, I agreed without bothering to check in great detail what the conference was. 

And thus, I found myself doing the opening keynote at the Social Media Forum special B2B media day in Hamburg, a conference otherwise conducted entirely in German. And how much German do I speak? Err. None. 

And you know what? I had a great time. But a busy one. I couldn't liveblog it because the sessions were being live translated for me by the speedy Stefanie Kleebauer of organisers Kongress Media. So I listened, I looked at the slides and I picked up the core information through Skype chat. And I expanded on those ideas in conversation with people over coffee and lunch. And nearly everyone I talked to spoke excellent English, putting me to shame.

But I learnt a surprising amount, and I hope to go into that in more depth in a later post (and yes, I am aware I still owe some Social Business Summit posts. They will get done...). But my main lesson, I suppose, was that there is still plenty to be learnt about community-building and development, even in people from a different language and national culture from your own. And, at a point where I'm figuring out that our own strategic view of some forms of community is way too shallow, that was a very useful revelation indeed...
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March 22, 2010

Telegraph Launches Debate2010 Community Discussion Site

I'm at the Telegraph's Victoria offices, at the launch of Debate2010, their new community initiative around the oncoming general election.

It's a platform for having what looks like a debate around particular policy areas in quite a structured format. You select a policy area and then a specific debate, and join in the discussion. Debates are time-limited (3 days - but this can be changed at will by the organisers), and you can vote for and against them and submit comments. The site's own description of its functionality.

The site requires a separate login from the rest of the site, as it's conceived as time-limited project. It will eventually be closed down and, by the side of it purged. Or go into "the next phase, whatever that may be". The intention is to create a "briefing" for the new government, a printed one by the sound of it.

  • It's built on the cloud computing platform
  • It's being post-moderated by the Telegraph's moderation team via user reports
  • The debates will be integrated into the rest of the election coverage
  • Journalists will be encouraged to "dip in and out"
  • You start a debate with an idea - and the hope is that they'd be more idea-y than comment-y
  • It's not aggregating activity elsewhere, but a thing unto itself. You can push debates out to Twitter in a fairly basic way.
  • Will follow Telegraph's general moderation policy: nothing illegal, nothing which is a direct attack on another person
It's certainly an interesting idea. The submit idea/vote/comment model allows some shaping of the direction of interaction, to keep it more policy rather than comment-focused - but the comment threads themselves could go any way. But the voting is a low barrier to participation, and that might encourage more use that a comment-only site.
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Using the Web in Investigative Journalism

A really nice example of how the Sunday Times/Dispatches investigation used the web to give credibility to its sting operation on those dodgy Labour politicians. 

The first thing people do these days when dealing with a new company of individual is Google them - so this sort of effort is essential - and takes forward planning. 

Morning Coffee Reading - 22 March 2010

Mainly to save me from losing them when my old PC is taken away and humanely destroyed, to be replaced by a brand new PC to drive my mad...

And this video has been embedded everywhere - but it's worth watching if you haven't seen it yet:

Grammatical Term of the Day

The Present Inebriated

Grammer nerd humour FTW

March 18, 2010

Somesso London 2010 - The Social Business Summit

Conference time again. This time it's Somesso - The Social Business Summit 2010.

It's a small affair, and one with far more people in suits that, say, Like Minds from a couple of weeks ago. 
IMG_3142 - Version 2.jpg

What does business look like when everything is networked?

Jeff Dachis of the Dachis group kicked off with some interesting observation that he and he team came up with15 years ago when he founded Razorfish in New York.: everything that could be digital would be, because it makes things better, faster and cheaper. 

And things have shifted that way, but there have been road bumps along the way. One major example was marketers co-opting the dotcom boom, and creating a  whole lot of business that shouldn't have existed at the time. 

Marketers took one way messages and tried to push them into an environment that was designed for more interactive and social communications - and he's suggesting that the same is happening to social media..

Indeed, marketers took something of a bashing in Jeff's talk. "Social media marketing is largely ineffective and incremental at best," he suggested. And it's still not very significant - only 0.5% of digital marketing spend is social media.

And thus, this is not a discussion about marketing, but social business - about using social tools to connect everybody in the chain that business involves. And, under Reed's Law, as the number of people in that network grows, so does the value of that network.

And the purpose of today is to try and address some of those issues: 

How do we take an industrial/assembly line model and move it to a sharing network?

What is it about our culture that we don't want to connect and share and communicate and how can we change that?

Busy day ahead...

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March 15, 2010

Creative Commons Errors: Getting It Right

There's a good rule of thumb in life: everyone makes mistakes

If you subscribe to that, you tend to allow people chance to correct their mistakes, and it's in that situation that you'll discover their true character.

Take the issue of using other people's photographs in your work. This morning, I found this article in my feed reader:

danah boyd on Techcrunch
"That picture look awfully familiar, I though." Oh, yeah. Because it's one of mine. And it isn't attributed. The picture is Creative Commons licensed, so people are free to use it, but there's a requirement for attribution

Fair enough, I thought. Techcrunch has made a mistake. Let's give them the chance to correct. I contacted the author, Jason Kincaid, via Twitter. And this was his response:

Jason Kincaid Attributes
And sure enough, within minutes, my attribution was in place:

And that's a model of how to do it. This is the second time I've had to do this recently, and the reaction I've got both times contrasts sharply with that sometimes displayed by the mainstream media

This is not hard. But it does require you seeing yourself as just one of a community of amateur and professional publishers. Why do traditional media types find that so hard?

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Privacy and Social Networking at SXSW

There's a really nice series of posts from Liz Gannes on social networking and privacy from South by Southwest, which echo my thoughts from a week or so back.

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March 11, 2010

OK Gone

Love this: OK Go ditches record label because they won't allow embedding of music videos.

If you publisher won't promote you properly, why should you stay?

So, About That Journalistic Fact-Checking Thing...

So, the thing that seperates journalists from the blogger pack is reliability, accuracy, research and fact-checking, right?

So, how come this happens?

"Girl with a One Track Mind" blogger and author Zoe Margolis has said she is taking legal action against the Independent on Sunday after she was referred to as a "hooker" in a headline.

Note to subs: Girl with the One Track Mind and Belle de Jour are different blogs...

Still, that sort of mistake is a one off, right? Wrong.

Despite us patiently explaining who we were and why we were there ITN's "journalist" and idiot Phil Reay-Smith went on to describe the Whingers as "die hard Phantom fans". Lawyers have been advised as this is clearly defamation of the most serious kind.

Only one response is possible:


March 9, 2010

Afternoon Coffee Reading - 9th March 2010

Let's start with something that's as much a public information message for the blogosphere as a link:

Onwards to linkorama:

The Future of Newspapers - In Video!

Print journalists of a sensitive disposition might want to look away now...

How Will The End Of Print Journalism Affect Old Loons Who Hoard Newspapers?

March 8, 2010


Read more about the campaign and the man.

March 5, 2010

Seven Years of One Man & His Blog

This is the 2,568th post on this blog.

It also marks seven years since One Man & His Blog began

Strangely, I suspect it began much the same way this is being written now - sat at my desk at Estates Gazette, typing away. Of course, back then I was typing into Blogger (Typepad, WordPress, Tumblr et al weren't around yet). These days I'm on self-hosted MT. Back then, I was a section editor of the magazine. Now I work in editorial development accross the whole company and for half of the life of this blog now (!), I've been professionally working at the intersection of blogging, social media and journalism. 

But most of all, I've retained my passion for what I'm doing. I've been blogging for over 8 years now (this wasn't my first blog), and it's still a central part of how I live my life. The rise of "personal publishing" - a phrase much used in the early days of blogging, which has since fallen out of common currency - was something I had been waiting for, without realising it. Even as a child, my first instinct when I created something was "how can I publish this", and from a photocopied news-sheet for kids on my street via the school magazine to college newspapers and professional journalism, I've followed that instinct all the way.

And the opportunities for personal publishing just keep growing. This blog is now just one node in my wide involvement in social media. I converse on Twitter and share on Flickr, and maintain relationships on Facebook and keep up with what friends are reading in Google Reader. I run other blogs, and have conversations with other communities through them.

This world continues to change and evolve and that excites me. As long as I survive, this blog will celebrate its tenth anniversary and beyond.

Thanks for reading. I hope you continue to find my experiments in personal publishing enjoyable. :-)

For interest, last year I linked to all my "anniversary" posts, although most of them didn't note the fact. 

March 1, 2010

#likeminds in photos


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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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