Email is old news to Generation C

January 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Podcasts, Social Networking

LAMP - Laboratory of Advanced Media ProductionOn the LAMP blog, a podcast with Head of Innovation at Nine MSN Jennifer Wilson is instructional for those pushing online news as a social, sharing medium.

She describes Generation C as the 12-24 age range, who think email is for their parents – it’s outdated. They almost exclusively communicate via social networking.

So what are online news sites doing to push every possible integration with social networking sites to increase coverage in this demographic – other than selling out news coverage for entertainment?

The New York Times has started text message news alerts via keywords

I’m not sure how the text message news alerts are different than the text/im/web updates that are already available through their various New York Times Twitter updates. I imagine having the in-house control of text message distribution of news opens more possibilities for monetisation of that media further down the track, rather than waiting for Twitter to start advertising.

New York Times on FacebookThe New York Times also has a Facebook page (approaching 10,000 ‘fans’) and Rob Larson, vice president of product development and management at said, “We intend to use every available platform to disseminate The Times’s quality news and information.”
via The Editors Weblog

The New York Times is by no means the only media organisation experimenting with digital access and social networking for news. They’re just recognised as one of the leading ones.

In Australia, very few news organisations use Twitter. As full disclosure, before I continue, I’m a journalist at The Courier Mail newspaper, where I worked as an online multimedia producer until December last year before moving into editorial.

Twitter logoI set up Twitter accounts for all of The Courier Mail’s news sections in early October last year, making our newspaper one of the only two news outlets in Australia using Twitter (that I have found), and definitely one of the largest media contributors to Twitter by number of content categories, but not necessarily volume of content.

Our current crop of 20 Twitter user accounts are providing free SMS/IM updates on topics ranging from sports, to business, to breaking news, all with tinyurl links to the original story content. I’m now trying to find time to play around with a Facebook page for The Courier Mail, although I rarely have any spare hours at home to spend doing that.

During the process of setting up these Twitter accounts, I did a search to see if other Australian news outlets were already using Twitter.

Of News Limited mastheads, apart from The Courier Mail, none of the other existing News Ltd Twitter users have posted.
Of Fairfax mastheads, only The Age has a single feed, last updated in May 2007.
The ABC has two feeds – one of which I follow to receive local news alerts on my mobile phone.

An informal audit of a selection of Australian media and their Twitter presence

Fairfax Digital logoFairfax masthead sites

ABC News - logoABC News

News Digital Media - News Limited logoNews Limited masthead sites

I am assuming the unused Twitter accounts above belong to these publications, but it’s entirely possible someone could simply be ‘squatting’ on the Twitter user names.

A search for “news” in Twitter, yields a lot of results. Here are just a few (listed as their Twitter user name) that may be of interest – financialtimes, npr news, cbcnews, wired, ITN_NEWS, BBC, SkyNewsBusiness, indianews, SkyNews, and CNETNews.

In the UK, the BBC and Sky have a larger selection of Twitter updates that can be followed.

The 2007 federal election was approaching when I was working on the Courier Mail Twitter accounts so, having already written a story about politics and social networking, I had a look at what political parties had on Twitter.

At the time the results were:
Three updates in total, all on August 2, 2007, that are worth mentioning.

The Greens have established a twitter and are testing it.
04:11 PM August 02, 2007
Do you receive my Greens twitter?
04:26 PM August 02, 2007
Hrrrmmm, if I was 14 I’d know exactly what would happen
06:39 PM August 02, 2007

Liberal (both spoofs)
Labor: none
Democrats: none
Nationals: none

In 2008, however, the Greens seem to have got their act together with a Twitter page feeding from the Greens Blog website.

I also didn’t find this during the election last year , but is another spoof Twitter account.

Qtrax launches free and legal music downloads

January 29, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Online, Podcasts, Technology

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Qtrax logoQtrax, a new online music service, has made 25 million songs available for free and legal download.

Qtrax requires a software download, much like the iTunes store, to browse, play and download the songs. The service is said to be supported by limited advertising around the Qtrax player window.

The Mac version of the Qtrax music player software isn’t due for release until March 18.

via: Download 25 million songs for free – legally | Australian IT

UPDATE: Apparently Qtrax didn’t have the support they thought they did, so in fact have delayed their launch.

The Super-Journalist

January 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Journalists, Media, Online, Videos

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Vic Ellis - One man bandCan a single journalist really be a one-stop shop for all your online multimedia needs?

I like the thought of that future, but hadn’t been able to wrap my mind around the concept of how the journalist could record audio, video, get some stills and take a few handwritten notes all at the same time.

The picture I had was similar to that of the one-man band – bass drum strapped to back, harmonica brace, foot pedals, cymbals between the knees and a violin for some fast fiddling.

But for Jane Munro, one of the Radio Online producers for the ABC, it’s just part of the job.

‘When I am shooting a video story I use the camera to acquire everything I need to publish on a range of platforms.
‘I extract the audio from the video package, and sometimes broadcast that audio unchanged as a complete radio package. I then extract still images from the video to accompany a text article. That and a compressed version of the video is published on our local website.’

More available from Issue 48 of Inside the ABC

Some journalists can’t wrap their heads around more than asking questions and taking notes. It’s easy enough to set up and leave a small camera on a tripod while you interview someone, or record audio (which many do for personal record anyway), but the problem comes in the production process.

The editing and posting online of content is where more technical skills are needed. Journalists shouldn’t be expected to learn and do these things themselves, but those who can or want to should be given the opportunity, and this is where organisation-wide collaborative systems need to be in place to make it possible.

It requires just a little effort. If a stills photographer has been taking their own camcorder out on jobs years before newspapers – let alone video – went online, it would be unwise of the organisation to not recognise that persons worth, or encourage their efforts.

The Bulletin Magazine closing down

January 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Print

The Bulletin Magazine logoACP Magazines announced today it was closing down Australia’s longest running magazine, The Bulletin, effective immediately.

Circulation has fallen from a high of 100,000+ in the mid 90s to just 57,000 in the last audit in September 2007.

The press release said the trend was “symptomatic of the impact of the internet on this particular genre”.

Surprisingly, The Bulletin will not remain in online form.

Director of Communications for PBL Media Arabella Gibson said there will be no online presence remaining, and the website would likely be taken down over the coming weekend.

At the end of the release, some information about ACP Magazines boasts that of its stable of 70 international magazines, “integral to its success are vibrant, information-packed reader websites”.

The Bulletin website is certainly information-packed, perhaps it’s just not ‘vibrant’ enough.

Related links:

Blog for a job

January 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media, Online, Other blogs, Portfolio

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If you’re a journalism or communications student, blog and understand the importance of being web-literate if you want to get a job in the new media landscape.

From Shawn Smith at New Media Bytes – to journalism students, and by association journalists:

But the bottom line is this: If you’re a journalism student (or anyone looking to succeed in mass comm), you need a blog. You need to learn how to cover a beat and write for a niche. You need to learn how to write for an audience and tap them for information. You need to be able to understand the web, or at least show a willingness to learn.

You’ve shown some initiative and taught yourself a few skills.

Why is ‘blog’ still a four-letter word? | New Media Bytes | Online journalism, web production and promotion

NYT Soundslides – Benazir Bhutto

January 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Pictures, Podcasts, Videos

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Soundslides logoIt’s still pictures and audio, but it’s compelling.

John Moore, a photographer who was snapping pics just metres from Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade when she was killed, talks about the rally and that day.

The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto | The New York Times

Audio with random photos overlaid is not great. A slideshow with managed photo placement to associated narration is great. For a newsroom that thinks they can’t afford video (they can), well produced audio slideshows are a good way to make your readers more open to the future introduction of video content.

Online News Video

January 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Social Networking

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When online video sharing is growing at enormous rates, and news video was the most watched category except amongst young adults in mid-2007, the logic is simple – share your online news video.

When I asked ‘where to news video?’ in the last post, I had forgotten about another Pew Internet survey I blogged about last year.

In that survey, it was found that news video is the most popular category for everyone except young adults.

My response, as young adults who are completely comfortable with online video get older and become more interested in news and current events, online news video naturally becomes a viable product with a genuinely loyal viewer base.

But you have to be able to share that product. Let a loyal viewer base help increase distribution, if they like your content they’ll want to.

Video sharing grows – where the news?

January 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Social Networking, Videos

Pew Internet logoAccording to a recent survey, daily visits to online video sharing sites doubled in 2007.

As online visits and online video viewership grows across every demographic, where does online news video fit in? The online department of a newspaper can’t cover every story in video, and shouldn’t be expected to. In Australia, international or national video stories for newspaper sites come from wire services, such as Reuters or Sky News video.

There’s no reason, however, for them not to come from independent video makers, or user-generated content, because they are competing with video-sharing sites.

What online newspapers should be doing better is local news video. They’re better placed and have better local knowledge to make the story more personal for their viewers. If they won’t do it themselves, providing the platform for user-generated content to appear could also be a ‘ratings’ winner.

User-generated ‘news’ content can be uploaded to a slew of video sharing sites, but it’s effectively invisible if people don’t know where it is or how to find it. Create the platform, and viewers will come to you for the people’s news, supplemented by your own. It doesn’t have to be extremely difficult either.

The Pew Internet: Video Sharing report showed that 15 per cent of respondents had visited a video-sharing site within a day, compared to 8 per cent in the survey a year earlier.

Overall, 48 per cent of those surveyed reported ‘ever’ visiting a video-sharing site, up from 33 per cent in 2006.

The largest percentage growth of users visiting video-sharing sites daily came from high school graduates, whose usage grew from five to 13 per cent, and was followed by women, who jumped from five to 11 per cent.

The largest demographic of daily video-sharing site users in 2007 was the 18-29 age bracket, of whom 30 per cent reported daily video views. The next largest demographic was men, of whom 20 percent reported using a video site ‘yesterday’ in the survey.

The only demographic in the survey not to record a growth in daily usage of online video sites was people aged 65 and over, who remained unchanged at four per cent use.

From a Pew Internet report from July 2007, half of those who view videos share the link, while three quarters of online video viewers reported receiving video links from others.
Pew Internet: Online Video.

Make your news video shareable, or even easier to view, and again the viewers will appreciate it.

New Media is creativity – Multimedia Journal

January 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online

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Multimedia Journal coverNew Media is about creativity, not technical skills.

Ever stuck for ideas on how to create multimedia content that your community can really connect with?

Richard Hernandez has compiled a book of exercises to get the multimedia creative juices flowing.

Download the first 15 pages of Multimedia Journal as a PDF (or purchase the entire book) from

via Multimedia Shooter.