One of the commenters on the Tim Luckhurst piece I posted about earlier hits the nail on the head:
The model you have of your consumer’s behaviour is wrong, they aren’t using the internet as a way of reading a newspaper, they are using the internet, some of which consists of newspaper content, its a different thing. It was bad enough having to explain this in 1999, I find it a bit surprising it still needs saying in 2009.
And too much of the current discourse around content business models misses that fundamental concept.
To dismiss the whole of the free-to-air reporting, analysis and
news-gathering being done on blogs and the myriad forms of social media
that exist in that one paragraph is to duck the crucial question of
“what do you offer that’s so much more compelling than the work done on
free content”. Worse than that, it shows a worrying ignorance of the
material and work that is being done by the amateur and the
entrepreneurial professional in the field of online journalism.
Research is meant to be a crucial part of journalism, and it had better
be part of any business plan. There’s no research here, just prejudice
and, I suspect, fear.
He also makes the normal spurious pleas to democratic nobility –
through some sort of reporting elite, ironically – that are trotted out
again and again. And I think to myself “I’ve seem more genuine holding
of local politicians to account by local bloggers in south-east London than I have by the local newspaper“.
Even Johnston Press admits it’s just testing the water here. It’s going to take more than a paywall to save us from the shifts in the information ecology around us.
Update: A few minutes after I posted, I saw this. May I suggest that it’s just further evidence of the disconnect between the perceived value of the local press and the often tawdry reality?
For example, my conference photography often gets noticed (eg),
and I’m normally shooting that on a DSLR on the long end of a telephoto
zoom, with the ISO pushed as high as it will go. You can’t do that on a compact.
For them, the new breed of DSLRs with built-in video recording look
like great tools, if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort to
learn them. I had the chance to play with both the 500D, 5D and
7D, all of which can shoot HD video, and they’re seriously interesting
pieces of kit. The paradigm of using the video recording is nothing
like using a traditional camcorder, and challenging to get your head around, but I’m really looking forward to
experimenting with the 500D’s video capabilities in the near future
(because, no matter how great my lust for them is, there’s no way I can
justify spending the moolah on the higher spec models right now). The prospect of tight focus in video, using great Canon glass is really appealing…
The good folks from CanonCameraBuzz said they’ll be sticking the results of our experimentation online at some point, and I’m really looking forwards to seeing how they turn out.
(All photos from my iPhone, not swish Canon kit.)
And so, last night I took myself off to Shoreditch House for the Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards. This is the second year that we’ve run these, and the first that we’ve actually had an awards night at the end, I believe. And what good fun it was. Drinks, chat, CW web editor James Garner in full-on Bruce Forsyth mode, and Leila Gilley, our newly-appointed community manager for Estates Gazette (pictured above with Brucie James), snagging one of the awards for her site Girls’n’Gadgets.
Only took us three years to get there…
I love Alison Gow’s blog, Headlines & Deadlines, because every few months she puts up a post that really nails an issue, and becomes essential reference for journalists from then on. Here’s another one:
I read a brief from the Society of Editors conference the other day where an editor- a mate of mine, actually – told his assembled audience:”What we produce is niche. Nobody else sits in our courts every day. Nobody else scrutinises our public bodies”. It’s stirring stuff and I’m sure his audience swelled with pride but it’s just not true.
Well worth reading her deconstruction of a lot of the “public service” special pleading that journalists are making right now.
Ouch. This is a painful, but compelling, read:
I walked off stage and immediately went to Brady and asked what on earth was happening. And he gave me a brief rundown. The Twitter stream was initially upset that I was talking too fast. My first response to this was: OMG, seriously? That was it? Cuz that’s not how I read the situation on stage. So rather than getting through to me that I should slow down, I was hearing the audience as saying that I sucked. And responding the exact opposite way the audience wanted me to. This pushed the audience to actually start critiquing me in the way that I was imagining it was. And as Brady went on, he said that it started to get really rude so they pulled it to figure out what to do. But this distracted the audience and explains one set of outbursts that I didn’t understand from the stage. And then they put it back up and people immediately started swearing. More outbursts and laughter. The Twitter stream had become the center of attention, not the speaker. Not me.
An interesting debate between Rob Andrews of Paid Content UK and former colleague Ciarán Norris about the rumoured deal between News International and Bing, and the future of content on the web:
Just over a year ago, I launched a project I never had time to commit to.
And I’m really excited about who I’m handing it over to. It feels like one of my long-term goals for our blogging strategy here at RBI is beginning to come to fruition. And I’ll talk about that in more detail, once my replacement posts. 🙂
I had such good intentions. It was a subject I was passionate about, it was a way for me, as RBI’s head of blogging, to lead by example. I was going to have fun here. But after a burst of activity about Web 2.0 Expo Europe and Le Web last year, this blog has been largely moribund.
The timing was unfortunate – the launch of the Social Enterprise coincided with a huge upsurge in my work level at RBI, and I could never give the topic the attention it deserved. However, it is with a great deal of pleasure that I give it up. Why? Because James has found someone to replace me, who knows this subject far better than I do. Someone whose blogging and thinking about social media I’ve been following since I started blogging. Someone who is one of the very few who can genuinely claim to be an expert in this field.
Her first post will no doubt surface later this afternoon. But if you want a clue, she appeared in one of the earliest posts on the blog.
Thanks for reading, both of you, and I leave you in far better hands than mine.
Credit where credit’s due time. The NUJ has come a long way since the kerfuffle earlier in the year.
But I’d go as far as to say that the NUJ is beginning to get social media. Blimey.