October 2010 Archives
October 29, 2010
How do you fuse the best of the old media and the best of the new? A communication coalition, if you will.
Brands only exist because they help consumers make buying decisions without too much brainpower. The are useful, so they work. The brain runs on a cognitive miser system, it uses more energy per ounce than any other part of your body. It wants to be spending that energy on things like who to fall in love with...
At some stage the brain needs more help than a TV ad can help with. That's where new media starts to come it. And that's fine until the biggest problem of marketing - once the brain has made up its mind, it doesn't like changing it... Learning something is much more energy expensive than practiced behaviour. Cognitive dissonance - anything that doesn't fit in to our existing belief system is reprocessed until it does.
The famous yuppie car ad?
People reprocessed it so that 2/3 didn't think he drove a BMW - the car targeted.
The mouse can be a game changer - by managing a flow of pages on a website, the brain might start changing its mind. We're researching that now, says White. People have found that being attacked online reprogrammed them - but you can retaliate by engaging. Virals are almost old media now - they're a hybrid of both.
This was spread at no cost to the advertiser, rewatched to check for cheating, and cut road deaths in London. Win.
Marketing is moving from telling people where to go, to coming along with them on the journey.
But - we've always been social. Robin Dunbar - the larger the group around you, the better your chance of survival, if you're an ape. Evolutionary speaking, Facebook is grooming. We have the evolution of mobile grooming; "scratching each other's back" - endorphins are released, and the system responds to low level repetitive actions. Joggers are addicted to those endorphins. From brain size, you can predict an animal's social grooming group; 150 for humans. Villages were around 150 people, but in cities our groups shrank to 25. Technology responded, first with soap operas for virtual friends, and then mobile phones and Facebook for real ones.
What's Mine is Yours - an amazing book. The Big New Idea: collaborative consumption. It's going to transform our lives. The Big Society is as much about Collaborative consumption as volunteering. iamcreative.org.uk - aimed at 16 to 19 years old, gathering ideas, paid for by Nokia. Like between schools, business and mentors.
If you're a creative person, and you're not doing creative mentoring, it's going to look pretty bad on your CV...
Combined into one as it was done in one go:
- Radiohead, Arcade Fire and OKGo are releasing the creativity into the wild and letting their fans curate it
- Private enterprise needs to become more of a social enterprise, and thus be more sustainable
- Sally doesn't envy the archeologists of the future, given the amount of data we're creating
- Information overload is the problems - but it's not buried. It's there.
- The Eden Project is going to start gathering people's creations around the project
- In order for curation to be strong in the future, we're going to need a strong community around our brand, so they create material to curate.
- The Big Society - it is doable, and it needs to be sold in as achievable.
- Where are the quick wins? There are life hurdles to get over. What one thing could you do?
- Gary said that the + in Creativity +Curation hasn't been talked about…
He's thrown away his presentation, and is perched on the edge of the stage, doing his talk. His viewpoint is that the media environment we are in manages the way we perceive the world. It's important that we have iPhones in our pockets, that we use e-mail, that we're on Twitter. That's different from sitting reading a book on our own.
Five ages of media:
- Oral Age (storytellers)
- Scribal Age (literacy is power)
- Book Age
- Electric Age (recordings and broadcast)
- Digital Age (as different from Electric Age as it was from the Book Age).
So, we need to do things that are appropriate to the internet. Oh, right, he's making the old point that early TV was pointing cameras at theatre. Yes, we know this.
His experiments around curation are figuring out about how to do medium-appropriate work online. Music is a process not a thing - but we archive is the recordings, and nothing else. We archive an idealised version of it. He decided to put a music event called Aftershock online, by giving all the musicians involved a Flip video camera, and then "uncurating" what they recorded. It was uploaded as it, with purely descriptive tagging. It created a multiple first person narrative, and people had to find their own way through it, by choosing the videos. They created their own narrative, and, over time, they become invested in some of the characters, following them through events.
Dubber is writing a book - well, a blog, which he hopes will become a book. He's concerned about the fact that 95% of the recorded materiel produced by the record companies is mouldering, unavailable, in their archives. The decision not to release it is purely commercial. He'd rather not curate archives - he'd like to see everything archived and tagged, because other people may find value in it later. His values are not the only standard. There's no shortage of space online - why not?
Social object theory - there are two things online; conversation and things people are discussing - the social objects. If you share everything, then people can curate on top of that. People can make money from making meaning.
Curation project: Curated by interesting people
The Big Society - it's an idea that started to emerge a year or so ago, from issues around the state of the economy. Other issues played into it: the aging population was one. The costs of health care, of looking after the elderly are rising all the time. Oh, and currently 80% of the decisions about the spending of public money is decided within one square mile in London. Nowhere else is that power so centralised. How can we hand that power back, asks Steve Moore?
Communities are fragmented. 3% percent of people attended a public meeting last year. Only around 25% of people volunteer in any way. 1 in 10 feel lonely, 60% isolated from any decision making.
Yes, it's a political idea. It was part of the Conservative Party manifesto, and is part of the Coalition's government. It's being factored into the legislation.
Moore is involved through the Big Society Network. If we use networked technologies, if we use creative media, we can start to build the Big Society.
The government is serious about transferring power to a local level - and he means below local government level. Don't expect contracts from central government, but make your focus on local projects on a very granular level.
Groups are the currency of the Big Society. Allowing local groups to take action in the local area is at the heart of the Big Society.
Everywhere he goes, he discovers remarkable stories of people doing remarkable things, unheralded. Tapping into that community entrepreneurship is going to be key. While Moore was preparing his talk, Ed Milliband was making a speech trashing his ideas. But Moore suggest that all the technological and social change going on means that we need to find new ways of doing things. And he thinks that over the next year we will be able to create some great new ideas.
What is more important: the inventor or the invented?
Karren Brooks is kicking off her session with questions. In every conference there must be a session that's hard to liveblog. This is proving to be it. She's throwing a lot of ideas at us, but I can't find a thread in it yet. Here's the sorts of elements she's giving us: She's inspired by people she works with. She's a connector by nature, and she loves networking. If she teaches us something, we need to be able to take it away.
And now we're staring into each other's eye. Wow. That was an uncomfortable experience. But that's a connection - and if you go into a meeting, you need to make a connection with someone. (That was a "presence drill" we did, apparently). If we're present in a space and connected with the people they're with - they're more likely to buy whatever you're selling. The most important thing to master is yourself, because you are the primary product you sell.
"Become an advanced being," she says. "If you're not present, how can you ask other people to be so?"
Where your attention goes, you money goes. Your attention is your personal currency.
Update: Just had a chat with Karren, and her colleague Barry Fairburn. We had a really interesting discussion about both public speaking, and the lack of psychological elements in people's discussion of social media. I'm idly wondering if that session would have worked better a a "fireside chat" style session, rather than a talk.
- Sometimes we forget that learning happens all the time, and we should think of mentoring as a normal part of business life. People who become mentors don't always know how to do that.
- Having outside influences into a moment can be helpful, but the "doing two things at once" element that things like Twitterfalls can prevent us really being in the experience.
- The current generation will grow up with continuos partial attention, and perhaps it's up to us to teach them presence.
- There's a tension between creating stuff and just being there - enjoying a physical, chemical moment with people. (This habitual live-blogger is feeling uncomfortable right now.)
- Sometimes you should edit experience before you shout about it.
So, Scott Gould doesn't like the photos I take of him. I wonder if he'll like these any better?
Blimey - it's the PRS! Traditional music industry guy talking at a conference full of internet types. This should be interesting...
Data matters because it dispels myths, Chris Carey asserts. Some data: £1.4bn on recorded music in 2009 £1.5bn is Live. PRS = £0.5bn. Advertising & sponsorship? 2%.
Remember touring at a loss to support CD sales? Record companies used to pay for it! In 2004 live revenues were less than half of recorded, now live is bigger. BUT secondary ticket sales growing faster BUT so are merchandise and sales at venues.
Recorded music ended its five year decline last year - it was flat in 2009.
OK, he's here to defend the traditional music industry to some degree. He's trying to debunk the major online thinking around music step by step. He's trying to suggest that creator to consumer sales are largely a myth, you need a go-between to sell to iTunes, for example. Returning to the long tail, he's showing a graph that shows that Spotify is more hit-based that the long tail model suggests. The niche 95% generate 20% of listens (Hang on, Spotify is a subscription model - the very thing he criticised Rhapsody for being in Anderson's example). We7 is even more hit-heavy.
"I want to keep my job after this" <--- bear that in mind when analysing what he says. ;-)
He's focusing very much on the big company market for music publishing. He's quoting investment of £5m - all for one band, or split between 5?
Gossip Girl - they turned off free streaming of the TV show. They got a slight bump - but there as a tenfold increase in torrents of the show. Top Gear torrents increase in speed (in terms of how quickly they're downloaded after broadcast) week on week during a season. I Am Legend torrenting peaked when a leaked copy of the DVD hit the torrents - quality conscious pirates. Watchmen was the most torrented film in the first half of 2009. Did those people go to the cinema? Maybe - cinema offers shared experience that TV doesn't.
(Interesting - the opening sessions both yesterday and today seem to be there to challenge the recieved wisdom of the web world - "free" yesterday and "pirate/paid business models" today. Intentional choice?)
Change from yesterday - the moderators are reporting back.
- We need to look forwards to changing patterns of behaviour, not just historical data.
- Connection with artists through online community or piracy can lead to sales.
- Good quality content will always find an audience and be successful.
- Giving things away from free eventually devalues it. Free music devalues it.
- Evidence-based thinking is good. People were interesting the data shown.
- Pirating behaviour is consumer behaviour. The people downloading Watchmen may be the people most likely to buy the directors box set.
- There may be a generational issue - the younger people still don't want to pay for music.
(Liveblogging - prone to error, typos and inaccuracy. And possible bias in this session...)
Starting the second day of Like Minds in the Delighting Users session, and feeling slightly suspicious, because I've just realised that it's essentially a Windows Phone 7-derived session. That said, the new mobile OS has been getting good reviews, so I'm going to hang on in here and see how it goes... (liveblogging this on an iPad, incidentally. :-) )
OK - potted history of Windows Mobile now, to draw out the point that the earlier versions didn't feel like they were designed for the user - and they weren't. They were designed for the network operators. BlackBerry - feels like its designed for the CIO rather than the user. Android is an OS designed for people to build with/on it.
Bit of a political battle going on now. The session leader is saying that Apple always puts design first and is suggesting that the glass case of the iPhone 4 is "impractical". Sceptical/hostile reaction from most of the audience, and luckily we're moving on.
Great line from one of the designers: "We want our clients with money to get taste and our clients with taste to get money...".
Oded Ran is challenging us to prove that our businesses are really focused on the end users, and pointing out that differing pressures within a company can shift that focus - especially if you're not clear on who the end user is. I think the underlying point here is that the success of the new Windows Phone 7 is derived from what was probably a tough corporate shift of direction from seeing the phone networks as the customer to the actual person who holds the phone in their hand. He's challenging simplistic notion of who the customer is - it may not be the person who signs the cheque to you... It's the difference between the "end user" and the "customer".
Twitter's been brought up - and that's complicated the debate. It was developed almost by accident. and in the early stages the users developed it - @ replies, hashtags and retweeting were all user-created, and not initially supported by the service.
And now we're on to personas - for example, the new Windows Phone 7 is very clearly targeted at what they call a Life Maximizer - looks like primarily 18-34 university educated males... However, there's some debate emerging. Some people are standing up for personas because they help make the user a real person, others feel they lock people into rigid thinking that can hinder the product in the long-run. "Real people are better than fake people," says Jonathan Akwue. He revisits my Twitter comments, pointing out that Twitter went with a vision, and then listened to the users to shape the future direction of the product.
Microsoft's personas are Anna and Miles (shades of This LIfe, there...)
So why do we care what people think? Lots of debate about wether people who are happy or unhappy talk more. Akwue suggested that people will complain to 10 people for every 1 person they evangelise to - and that feels about right to me, although others disagree. Someone suggested that there are now too many components on social networks, so their impact has been lost. I think that's nonsense, because those complaints have an impact in aggregate. My complaints may only influence my friends, but lots of people complaining to their friends has an impact.
The $1bn question: what makes us happy? Answers being flip-charted... Answers very revealing about the group, because they're all about personal success and achievement and material things. Very little about family, friends and the one person who suggested connection with nature got mocked. Hidden shallows in here. :) Ah, the social fight back has started. One person has just pointed out that it isn't owning a laptop that makes her happy, it's what she can do with it, particularly connecting with others...
Ooh, we've moved onto flow and timelessness. What is flow? The moment you're balance perfectly between challenge and skill. Stress is when external forces impact on you negatively, particularly at work. We're not designed to spend long periods of time in a sedentary environment with people we wouldn't naturally choose to socialise with.
Three concepts that Ran is steering us towards:
Autonomy - crucial concept. Loss of autonomy = loss of happiness.
Competence - the feeling that your are effective. (I suspect a lot of websites and tech fall down on this - they don't make their users feel competent)
Relatedness - feeling understood and appreciated
And we're on to a demo of how the phone matches these concepts. Attention in the room wavering...
I will admit that Windows Phone 7 does look very impressive (and very un-Microsoft, in fact) but I'm not going to add to the vast numbers of reviews of the product here. Lunch time...
October 28, 2010
Tiffany St James is hammering us with stats - the vast amount of data created every two days, the number of people online, the even larger number of people using mobiles.
What's the most common reason for using the internet? News, followed by researching products, followed by keeping up with friends (I better the latter will be higher in future surveys - that list parallels the rise of different forms of web content pretty precisely. ).
(Source: James Cashmore, Google)
55% of office space is empty says Microsoft (be interested to see if estatesgazette.com agrees...) So they're working on creating hybrid spaces, because the barrier between home and work is blurring.
Is social networking good for you? Maybe. Plenty of research shows that maintaining relationships is good for you - but does diminished physical contact reduce your health? Is the behaviour that social networking promotes actually changing our brains? (Learning an instrument changes your brain...)
Interesting survey of people's attitudes to spending time disconnected in the room. The majority would be uncomfortable with completely disconnecting for a week - I've rather enjoyed it in the past. A holiday from the internet is great sometimes. But then, there are people in this room who feel uncomfortable with being offline for a day...!
(This presentation is something of a buffet of facts, figures and research, so sorry if this post seems disjointed)
We receive news differently - stories break via Twitter - and we get entertainment streamed to us over the internet.
Is technology enabling democracy or hindering it? The #cnnfail hashtag during the Iranian elections was one form of democratic protest. The fake BP PR twitter account gets more followers than the official. Trafigura, of course. And she's cut off, because her time is up.
The 70s. Big Hair. Big Ties. Bell Bottoms. And Benjamin Ellis's first computer. He's been part of the online culture since his childhood - and now he has four children as his own experiment group. And he's been spending a lot of time thinking about how the access to information the internet has granted us may be shaping our thought-processes and decision making.
When we're immersed in a technology, we don't really think about it. Ellis broke his mobile phone, and the week that it took him to sort out a replacement taught him how much he'd come to depend on it. When we're immersed in technology, we don't think about it. He can't get his kids to imagine what a world without search engines is like. They have no concept of how we found things out before The Google.
"I'm living in a world of barely planned behaviour," says Ellis. Once we were in a world of five year business plans and long terms decisions - and now we're in a world of lots and lots of micro-decisions. Look at Swarms on FourSquare - lots of micro-decisions leading to a badge of many - but influenced by each others' behaviours. These micro-decisions are group consensus-based.
The amount of knowledge available to us has exploded - a few hundred years ago it was almost feasible to gather all human knowledge together in one place. Two types of knowledge - explicit is the stuff we learn at school, and write blog posts about. Tacit is the sort that is more important to business, like "is this person a good prospect?" We think we know more than we do, because we've got so good at documenting explicit information. Curation of information in business is crucial. But how does the curation process turn knowledge, which we have in abundance, into knowledge, which is, uh, not?
Context takes knowledge and makes it into wisdom. We're obsessed with knowledge we can manage and store, but it's not the most valuable kind. Narrative is what allows us to process information - it allows us to take knowledge and transform it into wisdom. Knowledge, suggests Ellis, is being aware that a fall from five feet will kill his MacBook, but wisdom is knowing that leaving your rucksack unzipped on the tube with the MacBook in it will lead to disaster. And that anecdote is the narrative that transfers knowledge to wisdom.
- One group thinks people will get fatigued with a la carte news and go back to trusted sources (wishful thinking there - I think the new trusted sources are people's friends and contacts)
- Another suggested that publishers are destroying trust - The Times is coming across as punishing its readers for not clicking enough links. Davies suggested that an audience suggests relationship, longevity and trust - which will outlast any platform.
- Curation in Cancer Research - how do you bring scientific research into it? (reminds me of the Science Online discussion). How do you draw money from relationships? Are social hubs narrowing our range? Davies suggests that their stats suggest very little political affiliation to papers, but far more to their friends.
- Lots of familiar debate about the problems of diminishing advertising returns, the BBC being to blame, etc. Thackary makes the point that these problems are pre-internet (he quoted something he wrote about local newspapers in 1981) and that we're just using it as an excuse for the deep betrayal of trust the journalism business have inflicted on its audience.
- Lots of talk about maybe journalists going off and building their own businesses. Very little awareness that this is already happening... Lots of 2006-esque discussion about "newspapers using blogging" and "citizen journalism". Will to live fading... Davies tries to drag it back to 2010 with discussion of data journalism, but nobody's biting. (I tried).
- Lovely closing quote pointing out what too many people are missing - content is no longer scarce. Relationship and trust are scarce. New business models will emerge from new forms of journalism, and new methods of journalism. And I want my lunch.
October 26, 2010
October 21, 2010
Andrew Lyons - Ultraknowledge
The dataeconomy is about turning information into a usable asset - and an engaging experience. So, there's a reason to develop new business models. Lyons invested £100 in a quiz at the beginning (the money was the rewards) - he might get contacts, a drink, anything out of it at the end - but he's trying something new.
He's showing off his Twitterwall product, which draws out user icons, tweets and stats. Which came up with a 404. Oops. OK - working again. Lots of data sifting about the people who have tweeted with the #media140 hashtag - can this be used to identify the most influential people at the events? The product can build a relationship wheel to show you who is connected to whom amongst a Twitter community - and its being demonstrated with my relationships... *gulp*
They also work with publishers. They have archives - but now they need to think about how to wrap it up in new visual stimulus. They can create news walls for every sub-section of a publisher's website. They content's already there - they're just giving a new, enticing interface. Here's an example. You can search visually for things you're interested in. It's more of a discovery engine than a search one, perhaps - it's about finding things you don't know you might be interested in.
David McCandless - Information is Beautiful
Oh, look. David McCandless. I'be blogged his talks once or twice recently. He's kicking off with his billion dollar-a-gram. He scraped all the data for it from journalism sites, but he did it manually. Did it via searches on billion dollar amounts on sites. Drew the proportional shapes in Adobe Illustrator. And then played Tetris with them until the fitted together.
He sketches ideas for his visualisations, trying to match the style of the graphic to the feel of the data being conveyed - triangles are more conspiratorial, for instance...
Spreadsheets underlie a lot of his work - word processors are linear, while spreadsheets are multi-directional - and you can bring in live elements. They're very tidy, and they can be the start of a great design. Visualisations go through many drafts, as he works on the details of layout with the person commissioning it. The designer on the time travel visualisation left after the 13th of 14th draft. McCandless then realised that time travel was a chaotic thing, and that a visualisation that embraced that would work - and allowed you to see crossover points between various time-travel movies... Sometimes the form of the visualisation only emerges during the work - you discover the important data as you go.
What doesn't work? Too much spaghetti - not shaping the data with a story - just creates a mess. Circular diagrams often make little sense. Cartograms (based on geography) are over-used and the information is difficult to get out.
McCandless's bif FAIL:
Can you figure out why?
(Live-blogging - prone to error, omission and typos...)
Rufus Pollock from Open Knowledge Foundation
Wouldn't it be nice to know where our money goes when we pay taxes?
You need lots of stuff - government spending (local and regional), region codes, company data… Much of it locked up or in difficult formats like PDF…
We need raw data and we want it now…
Open = freedom to use, re-use, redistribute - but it must be non-personal. More and more businesses are being built on data (*cough* Reed Business Information *cough*) Data is non-rivalrous - if I give you a copy of my data, I haven't lost access to it (like my shoes or car). Information systems are the most complex systems we've ever built - and how do we deal with complexity? We break it down into bits. But if those bits are closed, it's very hard to put it all back together again.
Why open? Other people may come up with the best ideas of how to use the data - and we move towards a read-write society, where we no longer just passively consume information. Too much information is now locked up in closed systems like Google and Facebook? How do we change from that? How do we build an ecosystem around that outside these walled gardens?
Lots of back-end work needed…
Simon Rogers - The Guardian Datastore
Inspired by James Cameron - not the Avatar one - he was all about telling human stories and making things real, and Florence Nightingale, who made visualisations of troop casualties as well as nursing…
Guardian busy collecting and using data for journalism - why not share that? Lead to the setting up of the data blog. No longer journalists labouring in isolation, but others can pitch in and do things with the data.
Showing a bunch of examples - MPs Travel Expenses, the expenses crowd-sourcing - one person did 29k pages! Interest rapidly declined after first day. Sometimes too much data can swamp the story. Coins Data Explorer - built both for journalists and others to use.
Then he showed us an Excel spreadsheet of Afghanistan data, and showed how it could be used via a pivot table to feed a visualisation. It's probably quite straightforward, if you have the first clue about Excel, which I don't. :-)
Oh, and if you really want to get attention - do a Doctor Who visualisation…
Some thoughts from Chris Meadows on iMovie ‘11, released yesterday:
It’s funny to compare the fancy capabilities of iLife’s video editing component to the AVID MediaSuite Pro nonlinear video editor I used when I was getting a Mass Media degree back in the ‘90s (on a Mac whose hard drives had an amazing 5 gigabytes of storage—who’d ever need that much space for anything except video editing?).
You can do a hell of a lot more with iLife than you could with that old AVID—and the selfsame AVID was what many TV shows of the day were using. Professional or near-professional quality media production has never been within the reach of so many people.
Bear that in mind next time someone tells you that iMovie isn’t up to journalistic video standards…
October 20, 2010
One thought that stayed with me came from Adam Tinworth, serial event blogger and RBI editorial development manager (ie. plays with social media a lot), who said that he was finding his ideas outside journalism of late, and found the journalism conversation stifling at times. Since I didn't have pen and paper to hand, I've asked him to elaborate by email and I thought I'd share his excellent answers here.
- In many ways, I've come full circle on this. Back in the days when I started working on this (July 2006, fact fans), the journo blogging world was much, much smaller. Pretty much all my "juice" came from outwith the journalism debate, as it did for most of those other journo bloggers. Much as I have enjoyed debating journalism with my peers more recently as the amount of journo blogging has grown, I'm horribly aware of how easily an online community can become an echo chamber...
- This is a far more exciting situation than I painted it as in that e-mail. The fact that we have so many new tools for journalism emerging, that there are new publishing ecosystems and new roles for journalists to play is exciting. Journalism has had a great and enjoyable past, but then, I had a great and enjoyable childhood. The doesn't mean I want to stay a child...
October 19, 2010
October 16, 2010
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October 15, 2010
Excellent post on community management (or, perhaps, the activity formerly known as community management):
The two words that kept cropping up as I spoke to people from a number of industries (both old and new) were ‘strategic’ and ‘commercial’, and while those phrases might cause some CMs a little concern, I honestly don’t think there is anything to be scared of here. The notion of community as a separate entity, divorced from everyday commercial requirements, is outdated and unrealistic.
Lots of history and good ideas about the future in there. Recommended.
It's been a little while since I tested the blogging-readiness of the iPad and the blogging apps have been updated a couple of times since then. So, time to spend a few days testing iPad blogging workflows again.
For reference, the photo was shot on a Canon compact cameras, and then imported into the iPad via the SD Card reader that's part of the camera connection kit. It was edited in Adobe Photoshop Express, and then inserted into this post via the BlogPress app.
Let's see how the finished result looks...
October 14, 2010
Mr John Bethune is clearly a man of excellent taste and discernment:
...let me state for the record that Tinworth is one of my favorite and most respected bloggers.
(Flattery will, at the very least, get you linked.) He does, though, feel the need to expand on something I said in an offhand tweet:
A blog, Tinworth said, is a container, not an activity. As he put it elsewhere on Twitter, Marr's criticism of blogs as fine things for certain purposes but inadequate to the task of journalism is like saying that "magazines are fantastic, but won't replace journalism."
That's a pretty good summary of what I said on Twitter. I think Marr was making a significant category error in the way that he was comparing journalism and blogging - but then I also think his comments become a lot more explicable if you put the words "certain high-profile political" in front of the word "bloggers", because I'm fairly sure that's what he was actually talking about.
Bethune has other fish to fry, though:
However, to dwell for a moment on the metaphor of container vs. content, can we really say that the blog format doesn't influence its content? Would we say that blogging and other forms of social media have not in fact altered the practice of journalism? Or that journalism as we knew it a decade ago can simply be ported into social media without undergoing some degree of transformation?
To which I reply, with wit, sophistication and verve:
In publishing, containers almost always influence form. Look at a feature or a piece of news in a tabloid newspaper as compared to a broadsheet. Sure, they're performing the same basic function, but the expression is radically different. And that's exactly as it should be.
Bethune has hit the nail straight on the head with his post: the most common category error I see around blogging and journalism is hacks shoving straight inverted pyramid, 350 word news stories (or opinion pieces) into a blog and calling it blogging. And, to anyone who reads blogs regularly, that looks much like a News of the World sex scandal on page 5 of The Guardian: jarring, disconcerting and utterly, utterly wrong for the audience.
So, journalists, when you open your blog platform in a browser, remember that:
Readers expect more immediacy, more transparency, more injection of the self, and more interactivity in their news content.
Otherwise, you're going to look like a moron. And, of the many fine attributes in Andrew Marr you could imitate, his ability to look stupid while engaging in modern publishing isn't the one you should be aiming for.
The APA has published a write-up of the event I spoke at last week:
Adam Tinworth, Editorial Development Manager for Reed Business Information, on the other hand, made a great case for the importance of blogs ‘even if they are not seen as that trendy anymore, it is one of the most important hubs to run your brand's marketing activity through.
Fairly sure I didn’t say “hubs to run your brand's marketing activity”, as that really doesn’t sound like me, but the general gist is correct. I’ll try to find the time to expound on that a little more tomorrow – but don’t hold me to that. ;-)
October 12, 2010
A few things that have crossed my radar in the last 24 hours about Mr Marr's little outburst:
- Paul Bradshaw reminds Mr Marr of his journalistic history. Irony is deployed...
- Krishnan Guru Murthy mounts a robust defence of using social media in journalism
- Kevin Marsh points out that many of Marr's criticisms of bloggers apply to journalists, too.
- George Brock unpicks some of the terminology confusion implicit in Marr's words.
- And a student ponders the implications...
Last night I took myself off to Brighton (only a short detour from my new commute) for the monthly Brighton Future of News group. It was a sparsely attended night - seven people in total - but we were planning a very specific event.
In one of those strange meaningless con-incidences that we humans insist on reading meaning into, the BFonG is taking occupation of an empty shop in Shoreham-by-Sea this Saturday, both to Do Journalism and to do some digital consultancy for the local area. And I've just moved into Shoreham (well, for most of the week, at least) as posts like this make clear. It would just be darn rude of me not to make an appearance, so I'll be setting out my journalistic stall in the Agora this weekend.
Cathy Watson has posted in more depth both about last night and what we've got planned for Saturday. The results of the day should start appearing on the Shoreham-by-sea Future of News Project blog around 11am on Saturday...
October 11, 2010
A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people.I can just wait around, until Shane Richmond writes something like this:
It's disappointing to hear comments like that coming from someone in Andrew Marr's position. Criticising bloggers was 2005's pastime. Any self-respecting curmudgeon these days is complaining about Twitter.
October 8, 2010
October 6, 2010
@adders I'm not doubting you. But in a world where the first to publish gets better Google News treatment, this will carry on happening
October 2, 2010
October 1, 2010
In a Q&A session with the assembled executives and managers, including Journal editors, [Steve] Jobs railed against the apps newspapers like the Journal have created for his iPad. Their interfaces are terrible, he said, and their content is all too often limited. That the Journal's archrival the New York Times was among those singled out for criticism -- Jobs hates the limited NYT Editors' Choice app -- must have helped take the sting off. And Jobs did praise the WSJ's iPad app as very attractive. But the CEO also said the app was too slow, essentially calling it a clunky reading experience.
If I may be a little "internetty" for a moment: WTF?A note from Ruth GledhillThank you for subscribing to The Times and reading this far. I have decided to become a human 'RSS feed'. I will send out at least one daily email, sent blind to all recipients so no email addresses of other subscribers or commenters are revealed, of updates to the blog.