Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

January 03 2012

14:44

Demo

This is a demo post. I will kill it momentarily. I am showing how to blog to an unnamed strategic genius.

July 12 2011

19:32

Philadelphia Media: print and digital operations need to be integrated aprupt, here's how

Poynter :: “We have only one option — totally integrating our print and digital operations,Philadelphia Media CEO Greg Osberg, told fellow newspaper executives at an industry conference this spring, “and it can’t be gradual; it needs to be abrupt.” Osberg was true to his word as he revealed details of three initiatives this Monday. The announcements also served as a sort of first anniversary report on the news organization’s progress under his direction and ownership by a group of private equity investors.

In a brief phone interview, he told Rick Edmonds, Poynter, of several more digital launches in the works.

Outline of the strategy - continue to read Rick Edmonds, www.poynter.org

June 27 2011

04:36

Which UK news sites post the most stories? Do more stories lead to more visitors?

paidContent :: May 2011, The Telegraph posted the 1,099 stories on Thursday. But do more stories lead to more eyeballs? New data shows which publishers are churning out most articles - but is the strategy working? paidContent provides with interactive charts to hover and click in order to explore the data …

[Robert Andrews:] Story volume does correlate with audience size, but not universally. Although Telegraph.co.uk publishes more stories than anyone (not including its blogs), it ranks third for audience size.

Continue to read Robert Andrews, paidcontent.co.uk

March 24 2011

16:32

Channeling the news brand on Twitter and Facebook

Tips for using Twitter and Facebook as a news brand for everyday interaction and breaking news. [...]

March 21 2011

19:19

Channeling the news brand: Persona and strategy

Questions to ask and tips to consider when setting a social media persona and strategy for a news brand. [...]

December 14 2010

18:00

Jeff Israely: Speeding up a startup, but slowing down at the same time

Editor’s Note: Jeff Israely, a Time magazine foreign correspondent in Europe, is in the early stages of a news startup called Worldcrunch. He details his experience as a new news entrepreneur at his site, but he’ll occasionally be describing the startup process here at the Lab. Read his past installments here.

Okay, here’s my shot at a new law of physics to apply to our news startup: Q. When does speeding up help you to slow down? A. At the exact moment that slowing down will help you speed up. Experienced entrepreneurs (and basketball players) will recognize this quantum bit of gobbledygook as the art of the pivot. Here’s how this particular apple fell on my head.

A month ago, when we unveiled Worldcrunch in this space, with a signup page and basic description of what we’ll be doing, it was part of a fairly straightforward plan and timetable for getting our site launched. Step 1: Announce the thing and open Facebook and Twitter accounts. Step 2: Complete the back office and site development. Step 3: Revamp the design and refine the functionality. Step 4: Solidify the core crew of multilingual journalists to begin building the editorial structure. (Note: Fundraising, partnerships, and legal issues are always at the top of the list…but their timetables have a logic all their own.)

Once steps 2, 3, and 4 began to fall into place, we’d start. Gradually. Privately. Our homepage/signup page would be a placeholder, while the various pieces came together behind the scenes. Through December, we’d use a special password for access to begin to show what we were doing (design, functionality…and the articles themselves) to our friends and colleagues, potential partners and investors, and those interested enough to sign up. Then, by the first week of January, shazzam: Launch!

But in the span of 72 hours in mid-November, two things happened that convinced us it was time to, er, slow-down-and-speed-up. First, we were presented with the chance to create an innovative front end for the website, which also held the possibility to integrate iPhone and iPad apps more rapidly down the road. This new front end would slow us down. Around the same time, one of our news partners, top French business daily Les Echos, told us they were extra eager to have us begin producing their stories to post on their website. Well, we thought, after we saw the first few Worldcrunch-produced stories on lesechos.fr, we realized we should (as is foreseen in the partnership agreement) also start posting them on ours. This would speed us up.

Putting these two equal but opposite forces on some kind of pulley system attached to a pair of fisherman’s sinkers (10th-grade physics don’t fail me now!) created the perfect conditions for our startup to make that famous pivot.

So as of two weeks ago, we are live, sort of — for anyone to see. It is not our beta, or even alpha, version. Yet it’s not quite a blog either, since we are not just publishing stuff about what we’ll be doing, but actually starting to do it. We have chosen to call our temporary public home The Garage.

This was a major decision, strategically and psychologically. As such, it was bound to test the fiber of the team, and again proved that despite our occasional bickering like brother and sister, my co-founder Irene and I are truly in synch. There was a lot riding on the decision to both push back the beta launch, and in the meantime go live with our stories. It would change both how we’d present ourselves to the public, and the mechanics of how the actual site (and company) might evolve. Yet after two brief conversations between us, and consultations with our investors, we agreed on the change of plans as if we were thinking with one brain. This bodes well for other big decisions — and pivots — that are sure to come.

A pivotal meal?

Last week was The Lunch. If some day Worldcrunch ends up realizing its full potential, the cafeteria-chic meal at Gustave in the Eighth Arrondissement will stand as one of the key moments that set us on our way. The occasion was the arrival in Paris (for the LeWeb confererence) of Lili Rodic, our indefatigable Zagreb-based web development team leader. Along with Irene, there was also Frederic Bonelli and Diane Grappin, two of our first investors. Fred has been advising us on key technical and digital publishing strategy. Diane is driving all that is product- and design-related at Worldcrunch.

We were at lunch to talk about refining the Garage, and the next steps for moving closer to the beta launch. But inevitably what we need to do today, particularly in the development of the technology, leads to discussions about the future: about how to build into the technical framework the right tools to allow our editorial and business ambitions to be realized. We brought up ideas that had already been floating around. We factored in budget and timing issues. We ate our nouvelle cuisine off of plastic trays.

But at a certain point, Fred began to lay out his vision for what the architecture of Worldcrunch should be, literally mapping it out for Lili (and the rest of us) on a piece of scrap paper. Something in that moment started to crystallize. We could suddenly see how our editorial and technical potential was naturally intertwined. It was the blueprint for a news enterprise built with new eyes — as I put it a year ago in a blissfully ignorant “about” page for my blog — and legs.

Still, big plans aside, my days now are mostly (and finally!) filled with the nuts and bolts of producing stories. We have the beginnings of a dynamite team on the editorial side. Together, we are using this time in the Garage to begin to create what in some ways is a wholly new editorial process: the selection and production of stories in English from the best of the foreign-language press, in real time. There is much to dissect, much to learn, and it will of course be a topic for future posts. In the meantime, both the day-in, day-out journalism we are doing and the other dot-connecting to come is proof of another theorem: The quality and efficiency of the editorial side improves in direct relation to the quality and efficiency of the business and technical sides. And vice-(vice)-versa. But this is not another new law of physics: just the old, yet ever valid formula for what we still call the news business.

May 17 2010

20:49

Wanna Come Out and Play? Community Engagement & Technology Development

When my old friend and collaborator Leo Burd returned to MIT as a research scientist for Center for Future Civic Media's (C4FCM), we started to gather some like-minded folks to discuss how media and mapping tools and youth civic engagement can intersect in the world of the Media Lab. Both of us have often been called a bridges or a translators between technology developers and underserved community members.  We see a value in equalizing the power that comes from self construction, blurring the role of creator and user.

At first, we just wanted to be part of multi-directional conversations and find creative ways to document the ideas exchanged.  Across what seemed like a very disparate set of projects, we found a common value in finding or making new technologies that are appropriate for youth use directly reflect on and affect change in their everyday worlds.   Our individual place-based approaches didn't hinder us from talking about replicability across complexities of culture, politics, and context, in places like Rio, Lima, Gaza, and Roxbury.  These conversations and ideas became a new kind of renewable fuel for further development of new or more appropriate technology tools for youth in underserved situations.

At heart, we wanted to create processes of development where innovation happens iteratively with community educators, activists and youth as collaborators not end users. Many of us come from the Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten (LLK) school of constructivism, project and personal interest-based hands-on learning.  In a world of imagination and play, invention is without limits and most importantly FUN.  New half-baked technologies, like new toys, lets us be kids again.  Through a collaborative process of software development, tinkering can equalize the role of inventor and user and harken us back to a space where imagination and creativity can win you the power of attention and solidarity.

You could make an argument that play is just play, but many child development researchers would argue that play is an essential part of children developing into social and productive human beings.  Linking play, and the innovation it can produce, with tangible utility and action in a certain place is an exciting opportunity.  So when we reviewed Kate Balug's class project proposing a new city department focused on youth mapping their own safe play spots in their own neighborhoods, the Department of Play moniker and a vision was born.

Belfast Computer Clubhouse, Ireland 200

Playing games in a public space are more fun with different kinds of players and if they keep happening over time.  Early on, we prioritized outreach and relationship building as an essential building block of our community engagement approach at the Department of Play.  This approach is essentially the next generation of LLK and Computer Clubhouse Green Table.  At each Clubhouse and later at the Media Lab at monthly meetings of coordinators and MIT students, the Green Table was both a literal and symbolic "village green," a space for open assembly and participation.   This spring, the core members of the Dept. of Play facilitated conversations and new relationships, sparked in weekly researcher meetings across fields and department and in a monthly meetups where we invited local Boston community organizers and educators into the mix.  Then we started to reach out to other theoretical thinkers or experts in the fields of children's rights, international development, and community based change.

Time and time again, we told our own personal stories of creating tools for change in a place, with the idea that mutually beneficial relationships can yield the best cycles for feedback and development.  We centered conversations about functionality and use around everyday issues, not because we wanted to just observe or validate our own ideas and tools.  We want to build a community of creators who will take to play with innovations that worked in one place and vision if they could apply in other contexts.

My City, My FutureA perfect example is a new curriculum we're developing, aimed at bringing Jeff Warren's grassroots participatory and activist mapping techniques to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro via the MIT IDEAS Competition winning My City, My Future project and behind the walls of Gaza and the West Bank via Voices Beyond Walls new Re-Imagining Project.  In all these places, we'll be taking lessons and technologies developed in action-based research and asking new groups of youth and adult mentors to add their own new ideas to developing tools for storytelling and visualization.  These three collaborators will work with youth on the ground to help us develop a neighborhood mapping tool on top of Jeff's Cartagen framework, then we'll bring this software to the youth here in Boston to try to adapt it to the context of their community centers and affordable housing developments.

Beyond finding resources to support projects and software development, the most challenging aspect of this approach is the TIME and effort it takes to build relationships and trust.  Groups like C4FCM are formed to take MIT innovations beyond ideation to sustainable civically-minded implementation.   At the Department of Play, we take it step further, trying to put that action in the hands of the youth with a spirit of purpose, curiosity and the joy of learning that adults too quickly grow out of unfortunately.

So Leo, mysef and the rest of the DoP team will keep purposely playing on the two teams of MIT and the youth community.  Come join us! http://departmentofplay.org

April 14 2010

21:20

TechSoup Webinar: Social Media Listening Dashboard

As social media tools like Twitter and Facebook become core components of nonprofit communication strategies, there is a corresponding need to assess how well programmatic messaging and organizational identity are propagating in those channels: “We Tweet; is anybody listening?”

In addition, nonprofits have an increasing need to know on what blogs, websites and other online venues they and their issues are being mentioned and discussed, both favorably and less favorably.

read more

January 14 2010

20:51

news:rewired Hyperlocal and community

I’ve spent the day at the very excellent news:rewired conference organised by the good folks at journalism.co.uk. Lot’s of interesting people and discussions. But I found one thing very frustrating. (actually I found it infuriating and apparently went a shade of purple not often seen)

It seems that some of the breakout sessions descended in to ‘arguments’ generated around an issue which can be best summed up as the “but they are not journalists” argument. The afternoon session on hyperlocal I sat in on certainly fell victem.

We had the whole gamut of arguments including a number of the old favourites, my personal fave was “someone holding a camera is not a photographer”. Erm…yes they are but…I found it frustrating because I thought we had moved on from this. By the time we got to the ‘close the BBC and local newspapers will thrive’ stage  I lost my patience and   my contribution reflects that.  But I realise that was naive and a little unfair.

Given the painful restructuring in the industry at the moment it’s perfectly understandable that people will be looking at where the pinch is. Adam Timworth made a good point to me that in terms of the stages of loss at least they had moved on to anger from denial. But I realised that it’s not really fair of me to dismiss that out of hand. I should have sat on my hands.

What did become clear to me is a growing divergence in the way hyperlocal and community are being defined and applied. Let me expand.

For me hyperlocal is now best defined by outfits like the Lichfield blog, represented at the session by Philip John. It’s content built on social capital. People are involved because it means something to them other than just a job or brand. Money is second to social status or altruistic motivation.

In contrast we could say that (in the context of the future of journalism) community is a strategy employed by media organisations and the journalists within them to engage with audience. Money is a defining commodity here in terms of starting it and sustaining it. Whether it’s to use that community to newsgather/crowdsource or to bolster the brand.

Both have economies of scale.

A hyperlocal site can only be so big. It will eventually get to a point where it demands more time and resources than volunteers can sustain. The economics of altruism only stretch so far. They can be be satisfied with ‘big enough’ or look at alternatives. Communities can, perversely, be too big to manage for large organisations, they cost too much for little return. In the context of profit and investment the economics don’t work

Both are different.

This inherent difference of motivation and a definition of the economic (investment and return) is becoming increasingly clear (and more so in the debate today) and in that a truth is evident. Hyperlocal websites are not a solution for media organisations who are struggling. You can not fill the gap that hyperlocal sites are starting to fill. A good community strategy may work but your core motivations make it different.

But just as hyperlocal is not the solution it’s also not the cause of the problems.

The truth is that the shift is creating a lot of friction (it’s perhaps bad taste to refer to shifting tectonic plates) and I think thats what created a lot of the ‘grief’ in the sessions.

There was a lot of criticism of hyperlocal as undermining/stealing/destroying journalism; you know the arguments. Likewise the crowd sourcing session seemed to descend in to sa similar semantic debate. As Adam reports:

There’s an undercurrent of hostility to the very idea of calling these contributors to crowd-sourced journalism “journalists” in any way – and that it’s under-mining credibility. In answer, people are suggestion that people can become journalists for single events – one time they happen to be at the right place at the right time.

But growing difference between parish pump websites and the local media, between community and audience, suggests that even discussing hyperlocal and community together is, perhaps, a mistake at a journalism conference.

The motivations, models and practice, it seems from the tone of the debate, are just too different.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 05 2009

11:30

November 23 2009

16:11

Net2 Think Tank Round-Up: Saying Thanks

net2 think tankNovember isn't over yet so there is still time to participate in NTEN's Member Appreciation Month activities and Epic Change's TweetsGiving campaign is this Tuesday-Thursday.  But, those aren't the only ways to say, "thanks."  At this time of year many organizations send messages of thanks to donors, supporters, volunteers, and their wider community.  In this month's

read more

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl