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July 26 2012


Digital Bites -- #Net2Fail

I got so used to thinking about failures as opportunities, that it is even difficult for me to recall any. Obviously, they do feel like failures when they happen. There is no way of immediately tricking your heart and mind into treating whatever you did not expect or hoped for as, at the end of the day, “the best”. But then, after the initial wave of disappointment, you start rationalizing, you move on, and you can’t believe that what started so badly could have taught you so much.

Although a lot has been said about what good can come from failures in theory, examples are the only good way to examine this statement. And the July edition of our neo-newsletter Digital Bites brings some famous ones to your attention. One of them comes from Steven’s Flower, the NetSquared Local Organizer from Manchester. Steven’s advice is to... be easy on yourself (if you don’t succeed at first).

Want to know why and more? Put your headphones on (there is an interview to listen to!), click through, and let us know what you think. Also: share your own #net2fail story on this blog if you feel like it. We will surely enjoy reading it. It is always easier to learn from your own failures,but it surely is easier to enjoy the ones of others!

September 16 2010


Does journalism need a fail whale?

I thought about the title of this post as I was reading around about the recent update to twitter has caused a flurry of posts outlining what it will mean for journalists.

Over at the Nieman Lab Megan Garber ponders what the new twitter might mean for networked journalism. They make a good point about how this might be effected by “Twitterers, end-user innovation-style”.

But she ultimately concludes that:

The Twitter.com of today, as compared to the Twitter.com of yesterday, is much more about information that’s meaningful and contextual and impactful. Which is to say, it’s much more about journalism.

You could take a view that she means twitter has now become more useful to journalism. But I have to ask how much journalism is ready to take advantage of what it has to offer.

In amongst the early comment I particularly liked Laura Olivers pondering on what the new features could offer:

I can also see clever journalists using the embedded feature to tease stories with video snippets and by giving their Twitter audience more content encourage those followers to visit a news site and engage there too

I love that idea. But how many newsrooms are ready to take advantage of it.

It’s easy to dismiss putting time in to getting your multimedia on twitter as a waste of time. Like the ipad, it’s easy to dismiss things like twitters new features as gadgets and technology that get in the way of proper journalism.

But experimenting with getting a video on to twitter is not about video on twitter. That’s the easy (now easier bit). It’s about exploring if you have the capacity to do video at all. Just like exploring delivery of content to the ipad is a way to experiment with html5. Hell, if nothing else it’s a convenient excuse to try.

If you don’t take the opportunity to experiment then you will find that you have less of a capacity to do produce the content your audience will want and no ability to chase them as they migrate to platforms that do.

When they come to you, you may as well have the newsroom fail whale up: “Sorry we are over capacity”

Real capacity

Maybe we should be more honest about what we can and can’t do. Be more bullish about what we do well. Perhaps we should get over wanting to chase them everywhere (or corral them in one place behind a paywall).

Or maybe we should take advantage of the free, open and engaged platforms to see just what capacity we really have.

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