New Statesman – Welcome to the fifth estate

Kevin: Laurie Penny writes in the New Statesmen about the continued prejudice shown by mainstream commentators towards political bloggers in the UK: "Cosy members of the established commentariat eye bloggers suspiciously, as if beneath our funny clothes and unruly hair we might actually be strapped with information bombs ready to explode their cultural paradigms and destroy their livelihoods.

This sort of prejudice is deeply anodyne.

Bloggers aren't out to take away the jobs of highly-paid columnists: we're more ambitious than that. We're out for a complete revolution in the way media and politics are done."

Future of news innovation in the US is coming from outside of journalism | Editors’ Blog

Kevin: Martin Moore has a great post on about new developments in journalism in the US. He looks at the new round of Knight News Challenge winners and broader developments. "Much of the new development is emerging from US universities, such as MIT. At the MIT Media Lab’s Center for the Future of Civic Media, for example. It defines civic media as “any form of communication that strengthens the social bonds within a community or creates a strong sense of civic engagement among its residents. Civic media goes beyond news gathering and reporting”.

How new Fourwhere maps plotting Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla could be useful for journalists | Editors’ Blog

Kevin: Fourwhere promises to help journalists see what is happening at a specific location. From a business standpoint, Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp all have built their business on checking in with mostly commercial locations. It makes sense from the standpoint of building a business for these services, but it doesn't necessarily build up a full view of what is happening on a location. If the location-based services started to provide other types of check-ins, it could provide a broader service. Conversely, journalism organisations could start providing more comprehensively geo-tagged content that could be sold to these services. Will they build the infrastructure to do it? Or will they miss another opportunity to develop a revenue stream and financially support journalism?

Twitter’s International Growth: Becoming the World’s Water Cooler? | Fast Company

Kevin: Some fascinating statistics showing Twitter's international growth. Kit Eaton writes at FastCompany: "Specific events around the world sparked peaks in international growth, Sanford notes--with the February 2010 Chilean earthquake prompting a 1,200% spike in member sign-ups. A 300% spike was seen after Colombian politicians began to use the system, and speedier growth was seen in India after local politicos and Bollywood stars began to Tweet."

Listening – Connecting – Publishing

Chris Brogan talks about a handy framework upon which to build your social media strategy:

There are three main areas of practice for social media that your company (or you) should be thinking about: listening, connecting, publishing. From these three areas, you can build out your usage of the tools, thread your information networks to feed and be fed, and align your resources for execution. There are many varied strategies you can execute using these toolsets. There are many different tools you can consider employing for your efforts. But that’s the basic structure: listening, connecting, publishing.

This framework is ostensibly about external social media usage, but these concepts are just as important internally:

  • Listen to what staff what and need, and allow staff to listen to each other
  • Provide meaningful ways for staff to connect with each other
  • Allow staff to publish information in a way that makes sense to them

Does it work that way in your company?

links for 2009-10-01

  • Kevin: There has been an ongoing discussion about the Washington Post's new social media policy, and it's stirred up a rather predicable discussion about objectivity and credibility, which I'm still rolling over in my head. However, I think that Michele McLellan at the Knight Digital Media Center who says the basic message to journalists is not to try social media. "The Washington Post’s new social media guidelines seem destined to send this message to the newsroom: Social media – Don’t go there."
  • Kevin: What does it take to be a journalism entrepreneur? They should be great a research and networking, which should be skills that most journalists have, but Serra Media also suggests journalists finding success as entreprenuers "Can work cheap: Bootstrapping a company is a lot like journalism since it often means working for peanuts to pursue your calling." While I agree that's probably the reality, I might also suggest that journalists reeling from the recession probably don't want to hear this and don't want to work for cheap.
  • Kevin: An overview of how media organisations in the US including, ESPN, and BusinessWeek, are struggling with how to deal with Twitter and social media. It's a good article looking at how several organisations are dealing with staff use of social media. Sadly, I fear, it will mean less use, when it really should be about better use of social media.

links for 2009-09-29

links for 2009-09-26

links for 2009-09-25

  • Kevin: I agree with Zachary Seward at the Nieman Journalism Lab, DocumentCloud is a project to watch. I would say it's not only a project to watch, but if you're a news organisation, I'd say that it's a project to join. The project to house primary source material has signed up 20 more organisations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the New Yorker and The Atlantic, just to name a few. The other interesting part of this announcement is that they have also partnered with Thomson-Reuters OpenCalais to generate meaningful meta-data across all of these documents.
    Hats off to bloggers at Nieman Lab who have been doing some excellent original journalism covering developments like this.
  • Kevin: Dan Blank looks at how social media has changed the work of one of his colleagues, Wes Kennedy. He looks at how Kennedy uses social media, and he also explains "How to Leverage Social Media to Boost Your Career & Value". It's a useful post for why people do this. Those of us who use social media have found it valuable, but sometimes, it's important to explicitly make the case.