links for 2008-12-01

  • "These are all journalistic functions – reporting, gathering, organising, verifying – that anyone can now take on. Traditional news organisations will still perform these tasks, but in new ways. posted a front-page notice asking witnesses in Mumbai to send reports. The Guardian, CNN, and other news sites instead curated what was popping up on Twitter, Flickr and elsewhere. In the future, I believe, organising news will be the most important role of news organisations.

    "At the next huge event, we may see the next step in this rapid evolution of news: witnesses will not only use their phones to broadcast live video. I've spoken with engineers at a phone manufacturer working on software to enable assignments to be sent to people at the scene: imagine being able to find who is near a news event, collecting their perspectives, even quizzing them from afar."

  • " 9-A journalist is more a traffic cop than a private investigator. Or even better: there will be more traffic cops than private investigators.. .I’m sorry to destroy a romantic image of journalism, but there will be less Humphrey Bogarts, the rise in the volume of information will demand for more traffic managers. Their role will be essential to guide the masses in the search for information. Sites like are a good example. Journalistic creation and investigation will continue to exist, but most of the work will be redirecting users and contents into the right places."
  • "Every company that works online today ought to consider hiring three amazing people to lead these projects:

    1. COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. Find and connect and lead a tribe of dedicated users that contribute to and benefit from the work you do.
    2. STATS FIEND. Measure everything that can be measured. Do it efficiently and consistently. Find out what metrics are important and cycle until they improve.
    3. MANAGER OF FREELANCERS. Find and hire and manage the best outside talent in the world. If it can be defined as a project, and if great work defeats good, seriously consider having the MOF get it done."

  • "Newspapers are still almost entirely focused on the print product, and still aren't devoting sufficient resources to optimizing and maximizing their online offerings. Yeah, they've got Web producers, but all they're doing to wrangling print content onto the paper's Web site. Sure, there are newspaper Web ad sales reps, but they're calling on the same advertisers that have been feeding the print side for years, trying to sell banner ads that are little more than online versions of print ads. Yes, there are (maybe) Web technical and marketing and (maybe) business development staffs in newspaper companies, but invariably they're overwhelmed and undermanned–token efforts compared to their equivalents on the print side.

    "This is why Marc Andreesen's daring recent suggestion that The New York Times dump its print edition and focusits efforts entirely online is so intriguing to many of us who've been watching the newspaper industry founder for years."

  • "6. Still photos, transmitted by citizens on the ground, will tell more than most videos.

    7. The right video will get so many views, your servers might crash (I’m not aware of this happening with any videos from Mumbai).

    8. Live streaming video becomes a user magnet during a crisis. ( Live: 1.4 million views as of 11:30 a.m. EST today, according to

    9. Your print reporters need to know how to dictate over the phone. If they can get a line to the newsroom, it might be necessary."

  • "Also: Once I wondered whether Wikinews would be a valuable journalism source. It’s increasingly clear that Wikipedia itself is vastly more important when it comes to major events. Compare the Wikipedia entry above to the Wikinews Mumbai entry, and you’ll see why."
  • "Social media in crisis management intrigues me, excites me. What kind of things? Here’s a list of some of the things I witnessed in Twitter these past days:

    * People used Twitter to find other people, loved ones, relatives, friends, acquaintances. They provided status updates to others who needed that information. Sadly, even lists of those that perished. Reducing the workload on emergency services personnel. Most of the time, the tool used was a mobile phone.
    * To raise awareness of the need for resources.
    * Twitter became a go-to-place for important telephone numbers, particularly for overseas contact numbers.
    * Twitter also performed one other critical function: the democratic nature of the beast meant that the voices of extremists and rumour-mongerers was drowned out.

    "The two-way participative nature of social media, coupled with the always-on affordable ubiquity of the tools used, changes the game. This is not about news and journalism. It’s about participation

  • "I was talking with Bob Kerrey of the New School as he praised the quality of the lectures available online from MIT. I suggested that the aggregated university could be built around a distributed version of the Cambridge system with lecturers (the guys from MIT) and tutors (local teachers who guided students personally). Thus s learn from the world’s best while also getting the attention they need."
  • "Could social media like blogs and Twitter be used to:

    * Give all those people who understand that global warming is an acute crisis practical and meaningful ways to contribute to helping stop it?

    * Support good science and kill disinformation cold?

    * Connect and mobilize American citizens to support of strong federal laws that cap carbon, advance clean energy generation, transform petro-dependent agriculture, and get started on the many other undeniably difficult tasks to come?

    "And if blogs, Twitter, participatory journo sites, or other current technologies aren't the right social media/social network tools to apply to solving this problem, what are?"

  • "Gannett's acquisition of social media services firm Ripple6 is another indication of the newspaper publisher's aim to expand its digital businesses while enhancing its core operation. Ripple6 powers Gannett's growing set of mom-centric local social sites,… Ripple6 will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gannett, and will continue to serve clients like Procter & Gamble and Meredith.

    "The social platform enables advertisers to engage with social network users through "cloud communities," essentially allowing them to create content that can be distributed and commented on by users. For example, P&G's Pampers might create a group on a MomsLikeMe site dedicated to newborn care. That content can then be syndicated to other communities enabled by Ripple6, such as a Meredith community. Brands can measure user engagement through demographic and psychographic analysis tracking which information resonates with communities, and how it's shared."

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