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Month: March 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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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. 

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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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 Salesforce.com 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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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: