*UPDATED* Goldsmiths Futures of the News Part 2

The second panel of the afternoon featured
political bloggers, Guido Fawkes and Recess Monkey, Guardian Associate Editor,
Michael White and freelance journalist, Nick Jones.

This was far and away the best panel of the
afternoon in terms of quality of debate. And admissions by bloggers that
journalists now tipped them off about
unpublishable stories shows just how far the Goldsmiths programme needs to go
with its research to catch-up with the new media.

Nick Jones’ presentation also gave the audience
a sharp wake-up call. Nick challenged Ofcom research findings delivered in one
of the morning sessions as “complacent” and warned that the regulator and media
industry in general that they risked utterly losing out in a rapidly changing
media world.

Nick’s argument ran along the lines of Ofcom
doing little to adapt its position as regulator of media silos in world where
convergence is happening at a frightening pace. Citing

18 Doughty Street

as an example, Nick
asked how Ofcom could deal with a world where TV delivered via the internet is
entirely outside of the regulator’s remit?

This was all very interesting, as I overheard
the conference chair tell Mr Ofcom that his findings were very important and
would be quoted a lot in the future! Or maybe not…

I didn’t stay for the final speaker – I went to
the pub with Guido and Recess. But what I do know is that the people leading
the Futures of News research project could certainly benefit from reading
people like Jeff Jarvis, David Weinberger and Dan Gilmor to that a lot of the
‘future’ of the news is now.

*UPDATED* My colleague, Tim Callington, has more from the event here:

Curran, Goldsmiths College – introduction

Turner, head of operations at BBC News Gathering – "The end of news as
we’ve known it."

Spackman, editor-in-chief, Times Online – "the ten most discussed topics
at Times Online"

Glover, senior programme executive, OFCOM – "Good news, bad news; new
news, future news"

 As does, the Media Standard Trust’s, Martin Moore:

Technorati tags: Goldsmiths, Futures of the News, Guido Fawkes, Recess Monkey, Ofcom

Jarvis also says: “iPhone is the future of mobile web”


I posted the other week about John Naughton’s observation that the iPod Touch/iPhone could be the future of the mobile internet.

Well, in case you need convincing here’s Jeff Jarvis saying pretty much the same thing…. only on video.

Technorati tags: iPod Touch, iPhone, Jeff Jarvis, future of the internet

Digital 10p mixed-bag: Today’s Media Guardian, TV news crisis, Advertising and Jeff Jarvis

With work being utterly turmoultous at the moment I don’t have time to even read my RSS feeds, let alone pick up a newspaper. One result of this is I feel totally dis-connected with what’s happening in the online space.

But this morning I had a leisurely read of Media Guardian on the train and re-discovered just how omniscient the digital world is within the UK media indistry.

The front page lead reports on the TV news crisis which has seen Sky remove itself from Virgin Media’s service (and possibly Freeview) and consolidating it’s position by boosting its online offering. the articles quotes the BBC’s Kevin Bakhurst ackowledging "the competition for the BBC is not just Sky and ITN but is now the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Times". So finally the TV news industry is catching up.

From the front page onwards there are plenty of digital infused stories. From Emily Bell’s editorial about how C4’s founding principle to provide a showcase for innovation and creative talent is challenged by the power of YouTube. Then they have a selection of live blogged opinions from last week’s National Television Awards, a full-page feature on the rise of aid agency citizen journalism and Jeff Jarvis’ powerful and excellent column on new media.

This week Jeff writes about advertising and raises the idea of the ‘intention economy’ (previously blogged here and fast becoming my new pet obsession). The full article is here but I’ve helpfully provided a snapshot below:

  • "Advertising is all we have to support content and media"
  • But now we have endless opportunities to publish online, "scarcity no longer drives the media market"
  • However, the real challenge to advertisers is the shifting relationships between companies and their customers
  • Citing Dell as an example Jarvis highlights the ways in which the firm is co-creating products, ideas and content.
  • The argument goes that with the ease of co-creation and relationship building afforded by the internet companeis will no longer choose advertising as a relationship building tool.
  • "Advertising is no-one’s first choice as the basis of a relationship."
  • Which takes us to Doc Searl’s comment that "supply and demand will find each other." – aka the intention economy

Technorati tags: Media Guardian, advertising, digital media, intention economy, Jeff Jarvis

What’s a Facebook profile worth in cold, hard cash?

Some food for thought from the fantastic Mr Jarvis:

According to analysis by Deutsche Bank, today’s average newspaper reader is worth $500, meaning:

"Facebook’s 50 million active users translates to $300 per at that
valuation. And newspapers are shrinking while Facebook is growing by
200,000 new users a day. A day. And those users spend an average of 20
minutes each day inside the site vs. 41 minutes a month on newspaper sites."

You could add to that Facebook users are significantly more active with Facebook as a platform than they would be with a newspaper website too.

Technorati tags: Facebook, ROI, Jeff Jarvis, Deutsche Bank

Set organisational bloggers free….


Fantastic post from Jeff Jarvis demonstrating that while more and more
organisations are understanding the intrinsic benefits of blogging they aren’t
understanding the instrumental benefits. 

Jarvis applies his argument to newspapers – an ideal industry to
generate significant numbers of corporate bloggers – and suggests that while
newspapers are rapidly adopting blogging as a communication channel they are
burying their bloggers deep inside the website hidden under layers of ’proper’
content and unmemorable URLs.

The solution, says Jarvis, is to serve up newspaper bloggers as
individual units of blog content and connect them to the newspaper’s main site
as part of it network. So, to use Jarvis’s idea floated earlier this year: have
the newspaper homepage as a hub for loads of really useful, interesting and
timely networked content. 

As Jarvis puts it:

“Architecturally, this returns to the idea that news
sites shouldn’t be sites at all but larger, looser networks
and not just of
stuff they make but also — who can afford to make it all — stuff others make.
It also points to the problem of presuming that sites can and should still
consider themselves destinations; this, I argued,
is one of the lessons of the death of Timesselect.”

By doing this the newspapers can reap the rewards:

  • lots of blogs at lots of
    addresses means lots of people creating lots of brands – all for the newspaper
  • An element of separation
    between blogger and newspaper makes it easier to write content with a human
    voice, not “the cold voice of the institution”
  • The only way for these
    bloggers to spread and grow is to join in and link to other conversations 

In Jarvis’s own words:

“We are seeing the links and
the voice. But the architecture remains a problem … The blogs may be getting
more plentiful and they are getting better. But now they’re ready to move out
of the house and find homes of their own.

Now apply this thinking to
corporate or organizational blogs. All too often the in-house marketing manager or PR agency wants a blog to tell the firm’s story to the world. They will hopefully
understand the intrinsic principles, but what about the instrumental – or
‘architectural’ – principles?

Technorati tags: Jeff Jarvis, Newspapers, corporate+blogging, networks

Net neutrality is an issue for everyone (heavy topic with fun picture)

I must admit I’ve not really ever delved too deep into the whole ‘free internet’ debate.

For me it has always been a case of "I’m sure it’s a worthy cause, but it’s something for others to take care of." – which, I’ll be honest, is a pretty easy position to occupy and has got a lot of people into a lot of trouble in the past.

But then today I saw this image:


Now, this really drove the ‘net neutrality’ debate home. How would you like to live in a world like that!

So while I still haven’t read the full cases for or against as of today I am officially taking an interest. If anyone cares to join my quest for information why not try:

Technorati tags: net neutrality, free internet, David Weinberger, Jeff Jarvis

NYT launches aggregator homepage

Image_thumb_27 Jeff Jarvis posted his thoughts on the future of newspaper homepages back in May:

"Home pages, such a quaint old-fashioned notion…"

I blogged about it too but can’t find the link (maybe I didn’t blog about it after all. Hmm).

Anyway, the Guardian gave it’s homepage a nice, but rather traditional homepage re-vamp at the time, then the Telegraph unveiled it’s MyTelegraph service and now the New York Times has gone all Netvibes on us.

It seems the NYT’s idea pretty much falls into Jarvis’s argument that traditional media in the online space must be prepared to give readers control of their content, its formatting and how they access it. I haven’t had a play yet but it looks like they’re doing just that.

More from Antony Mayfield here and David Weinbeger here.

Technorati tags: New York Times, homepage, newspapers

Is ‘transparency’ a genuine value or corporate platitude?

A story not really covered by UK bloggers was the big hoo-har over Federated Media paying US A-list bloggers to put their names to advertising content.

I won’t recount the affair as Jeff Jarvis has a comprehensive write-up. But one idea raised by Jarvis stuck in my mind. Referring to a previous campaign conducted by Federated Media which created a Wikipedia entry for a client, Jarvis opines:

"I’m afraid they are still on the dark side. You just can’t put something with commercial motive into Wikipedia. Admitting it is hardly better; it is still a crime. The Wikipedians and bloggers will attack hard and they will deserve what they get."

The important point here is: FM thought that by admitting what they were doing, they were being transparent. They weren’t. They were being open about their activities, but ultimately masking their intentions.

It’s where transparency as a genuine value meets transparency as a corporate platitude. The former is vital for holding real conversations and building real relationships. The latter is the cross-over point where conversations meet marketing.

One commenter on Jarvis’ blog, Sam Harrelson, explains rather neatly the reason for this:

"In our post-modern world, ideas such as “trust,” “objectivity,” “disclosure,” and “reliability” have been turned over and rendered subjective. That doesn’t mean that these terms are meaningless, it means that things like trust are now subjective in the eyes of the beholders. Authorial (or editorial), on the other hand, is meaningless. How I perceive you means everything."

This is important for PR and marketing people to understand as it reinforces there are no half-measures when working in the blogosphere/live web/whatever.

This also dovetails nicely with something Steve Rubel wrote about last week. In his view, the PR industry needs to move away from ‘pitching’ stories to online communities and instead move towards ‘participating’ with them.

I agree completely but I’m still grasping at just how we do this genuinely, without adopting different identities… or maybe adopting different identities online to participate in a number of atomised communities is something that will become second nature.

Technorati tags: Federated+Media; Jeff+Jarvis; transparency; conversation+marketing; Steve+Rubel