I’ve been using Akismet on this blog for a couple of years and we’ve been using it on the RBI blogs for around a year – and generally it’s been good. But too often of late, I’ve been getting e-mails from people saying that they’d left comments, but they never appear on the blog(s). I hope that they get on top of this soon, because I’d rather have more false negatives than any false positives. When you’re having to scan the spam folder in case of false positives most days, your trust in a spam-fighting system is shot, because you’re not that far from just doing the despamming manually.
We’re doing lots of work on video at RBI in the moment, much of it shepherded by Andrew. One recurring theme we here is how we need to do really high quality stuff – and usually they mean technical quality rather than content quality.
I’ve been experimenting a little more with FriendFeed over the last few days. The fact I can follow my stream in Thwirl makes it much easier.
The idea of topic-focused rooms on the service intrigues me, so I’ve set up one for digital journalism. Feel free to join in, if you want to share and discuss material on the transition to online journalism.
What should news organizations stop doing, today, immediately, to make more time for innovation?
And I knew what my response was, as soon as I read the question:
Stop thinking of paper as a news delivery medium.
Some people might say I'm cheating, because I'm not actually suggesting an action people should stop. But then, I don't believe that creating "innovation time" will create any innovation at all. Innovation comes from mindset changes, not time-tabling. And news organisations which aren't adopting this mindset shift are on life support already, even if they're not aware of it.
If your business is predicated on breaking news on paper, give it up now. That's a doomed effort. It ain't going to work. If you don't have competitors now who are breaking news on the web, you will do soon. And that news spreads fast; e-mail, IM, Twitter and even good ol' word of mouth will have your whole target audience aware of the story before the presses roll. And that's a slippery slope you don't want to be on. The moment your reader - your customer - starts thinking "I know most of this already" when your newspaper or magazine lands on their desk, is the moment your fate is sealed.