In case there is anyone out there who thinks they don’t have the time to listen to Jay Rosen for six minutes and eight seconds, below is a transcript of the video of Jay Rosen moderating the SABEW conference workshop, Using Social Networking in Business Reporting.
USING SOCIAL NETWORKING IN BUSINESS REPORTING
Jay Rosen, New York University and author of PressThink blog
It’s not about the technology … The whole art of doing any kind of social network reporting is in organizing people
This is one of the most important things about the internet. This is one of the things that’s changing the world most profoundly today – is the falling costs for people with the same interests, or people of like mind, to find each other, share information, pool their knowledge, collaborate, and publish.
I’m going to say it again. The falling cost for like minded people to find each other, share information, collaborate and publish back to the rest of the world, is a major factor changing government, politics, media, social life – at the same time.
USING SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOLS TO IMPROVE THE REPORTING OF A BEAT REPORTER
We’re trying to figure out how we can use Gillmore’s insights, and the tools that we have now – like blogging, social networking tools – to actually improve the reporting that a beat reporter does on their
the potential is there to mobilize thousands of people on a single story
beat, and we’re several months into that project, and I can tell you some of what we’ve learned from it.
LESSON ONE: SLOW & DIFFICULT WORK, NO BREAKTHROUGHS TO REPORT
Our first lesson is that this is slow and difficult work, and that we don’t have any breakthroughs so far. That it’s a lot easier to understand the concept ‘My readers know more than I do’, than it is to work out a regimen in which that knowledge can actually flow in and start influencing the articles, and scoops, and series and so forth. So it’s slow and difficult work. We don’t have breakthroughs to report yet.
LESSON TWO: THERE IS NO FORMULA
Secondly there is, and I know this is frustrating, no formula for doing it yet. Because we can’t easily point to somebody who uses social network reporting to complete their beat every day.
LESSON THREE: ECONOMIC REALITY LIMITS TIME TO DEVOTE TO SOMETHING NEW
Third, one of the things we’ve learned is, in the current economic climate in most newsrooms, especially in newspapers, reporters are under a great deal of pressure. They not only have to produce on deadline, they have to produce more than they used to. And, despite their enthusiasm for this project when they signed up for it in November, the economic realities of the newsroom are such that many of them have almost no time to devote to something new.
And this is very much getting in the way because the immediate pay-offs in terms of scoops, meeting your production quotas or breaking big stories so that you can explain to your bosses why you’re putting time into your network are not really there, so this has become very frustrating for some of our people and it’s very much a sign of the times and a sign of the economic climate out there.
LESSON FOUR: IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
My fourth lesson is by far the most important lesson that I’ve learned in this work.
It’s not about the technology. It’s not about what tools you use. It’s not about which blogging software you adopt. It’s not at all about whether you should use Facebook or Twitter or some of the other technologies that are out there. The whole art of doing any kind of social network reporting is in organizing people, and how people are engaged to help journalists, rather than the tools and technologies we have for reaching those people. And it’s hard to overestimate how important this is and how easy it is to forget it.
LESSON FIVE: THE TEN PER CENT RULE
The fifth important lesson is sometimes called, among those who study user-generated content, the ten per cent rule. The ten per cent rule is that if 100 people sign up for your network, if 100 people sign up for your citizen journalism project, about 10 of them will actually contribute anything in terms of content. Whether it’s a blog post, whether it’s comments in a thread, whether it’s tips sent in by email, about ten per cent will actively contribute. And one of those ten will become an extremely committed contributor, what is sometimes called super-contributors in online organizing.
THE CHALLENGE: GIVING YOUR AUDIENCE SOMETHING TO DO
And so the real challenge is not getting people to sign up or participate, it’s figuring out how to give them stuff they can do that actually makes its way into your report, so they can see the results of what they do. And if you can do that, people will participate.
THE POTENTIAL: MOBILIZING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ON A SINGLE STORY
And so if you want to know why am I here talking to you about this, it’s because the potential is there to mobilize thousands of people on a single story.
WWW.TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM – a model internet news site
The model of an internet news organization is this one, because it is completely involved in filtering, processing, editing this huge inflow from readers, packaging it as news stories and blog posts, sending it back out which in turn stimulates more inflow from the readers.
I always thought it was a joke when someone said there were directions in Google Maps to kayak across oceans. And yet, I accidentally stumbled upon just that when looking for some directions.
Not much logic behind the recommended kayak route – Seattle to Sydney. Wouldn’t something like San Diego to Brisbane (since I’m going to Brisbane) make more sense? But we’re kayaking some 12,700km (7,923m), there is no sense.
There are some pretty good jobs up for grabs at News Digital Media at the moment.
Due to the growth of the business we are currently looking for a talented and passionate Senior Video Journalist to produce journalistic video and multimedia content…
Due to the growth of the business we are currently looking for a talented and passionate Designer who will be responsible for the design of mobile sites and mobile advertising campaigns as well as online and print creative.
It’s good to see a growing awareness of the importance of user friendly mobile content.
Image by mushon via Flickr
I’m all for mobile news-particularly as it relates to providing information in developing countries-but at this early stage I would say mobile is going to be part of a resurrection of local news providers.Uptake could be too slow to save the paper
Help Dave Cohn take “Journalism” out of his blog description.
“I don’t care about that word [“Journalism”] persay. What I care about is the open and honest exchange of information, as I believe THAT’S what is needed to keep a democracy strong.”
I somewhat agree-I just can’t see chiefs of staff seeing it as anything other than a waste of time – could also be legal issues.
“Each reporter should take responsibility for the comments on[their]stories and[.]be encouraged to actively participate[.]”
Training then needs implementation.
“The best multimedia journalists are sometimes those who take it upon themselves to learn […] The online revolution[.]will never happen unless […] organizations make a financial commitment to training their existing staff”
Video has archive value too-don’t hide it!
“archive video to create a long-tail business[.]Broadcasting is so accustomed to the idea of instant obsolescence (what we do today doesnâ€™t matter tomorrow) that we miss opportunities for niche videos”
Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just a few links I have added comment to or that I think particularly useful. I have also retitled the post. This is in preparation for a blog redesign, where I no longer want posts titled “links for YYYY-MM-DD”. A live stream of Delicious links will also always be available in a sidebar widget and/or stand-alone page.
Two weeks ago I posted that Australia’s ABC Online was down, showing an ‘outage’ message.
At the time I thought it was because of the Pope’s visit to Australia, but now it’s down again. It would be interesting to know why they’re down, or what’s causing the down time.
Again, the message on the screengrab is the same:
Weâ€™re unable to supply the service you have requested. This may be due to unavoidable technical problems or very high load on our site. We apologise for any inconvenience and anticipate that normal service will resume shortly.
I spend a lot of time reading RSS feeds – as evidenced by these screenshots from Google Reader.
I often come across things I’d like to write a post about but don’t have the time, so finally implemented delicious to post a daily links roundup here on the website.
It also allows me to at least make comment on a few things, even if I won’t go to the extent of a full post.
What Google Reader is less able to do is manage my growing addiction to Twitter – which is becoming an entire other reading list. I’m also on FriendFeed, but haven’t yet taken the full plunge there. I’m still a little intimidated by the torrent of information on display.
I don’t really use the ‘share’ feature in Google Reader. I tag things as my Reading List, and share that instead. It’s currently feeding into my sidebar.
And my top 20 reads in Google Reader.
As the internet leads a wending path, a range of discussions (starting with Jeff Jarvis and on to Stilgherrianâ€™s comments section) brought me to news.com.auâ€™s live Twitter coverage of the pope at WYD08 on http://twitter.com/popedownunder.
I like the live Twitter event coverage (as a personal effort instead of just a pushed RSS feed).
The Twitter account web link was to news.com.auâ€™s in-depth WYD08 coverage page, linking to their Whatâ€™s on when? page, with an embedded Google map.
Follow that through to the same Google map, full sized, showing, amongst other things, pilgrimage routes, papal motorcade and boat-a-cade routes, and locations for mass.
The creator of that map, news.com.au journalist Alexandra Marceau, has also created 58 other news maps for individual stories. What’s great about creating a map for an individual story is that itâ€™s a mapped record of that story, available through a permanent list of user-created maps.
Obviously, you say, but Iâ€™ve been in the habit of giving a quick search-generated map reference link to online for a news story, one that simply points to the intersection where said news event took place, for example. That’s not a permanent record, and doesnâ€™t extend the news into the â€œuser-generated contentâ€ section searchable within Google Maps. Creating individually annotated news maps is something Iâ€™ll consider doing from now on, time permitting.
It would also be much better if I could mash up a geotagged rss feed with Google Maps to automatically show news down to the street, or at least suburb, level. That’s something I would still like to work on, again, time permitting.
Mind you, somebody much smarter than me is probably already doing that.
Image by Bill on Capitol Hill via Flickr
“we MUST understand and then embrace the notion that print is no longer our primary focus.
..reporters chained to desks working with large desktop computers..so last century..Transition them to laptops..get them out of the newsroom and into the community”
How important is comprehensible data presentation to new journalism?
“visualisation is a way to turn usually a lot of numbers into images, so you can look at all the data that you have at the same time and try to see patterns – or interesting trends…”
Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just a few links I have added comment to and that I think particularly useful. I have also retitled the post. This is in preparation for a blog redesign, where I no longer want posts titled “links for YYYY-MM-DD”. A live stream of Delicious links will also always be available in a sidebar widget and/or stand-alone page.
The ABC website was down for a while yesterday morning. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen their site offline, and the message would seem to suggest it wasn’t scheduled.
I was trying to find something about a contact who was on Australian Story earlier this year, when I was faced with this ABC Online: Outage page. I tried navigating to a few other pages, but the entire abc.net.au domain was off the radar.
We’re unable to supply the service you have requested. This may be due to unavoidable technical problems or very high load on our site. We apologise for any inconvenience and anticipate that normal service will resume shortly.
I did wonder if the blue was a nice homage to Microsoft’s universally recognised blue screen of death. The only reason I can think of for the site being down at that time is perhaps an influx of Catholics looking for news about the Pope’s arrival in Australia. Our 1-2am would usually be prime internet traffic time for both the west and east coast of the US (8-9am and 11am-12), as well as Europe (5-6pm).
Crime mapping is just the start. How do we leverage the freely available (but difficult to utilise) information from government sources?
The tribe should think about moving before the cold winter arrives.
How cheap is too cheap for video journalism on news websites? Even if it’s on your PHONE, just get out there and shoot, edit, experiment!
What makes the journalist? Will the rise of ‘citizen journalists’ deplete the number of voices with the access and ability to scrutinise the dishonest bastards?
Stop your crying and save journalism. Fight for it.
Virtual worlds could be the classroom, newsroom, place of work and community square of the future – especially when we can’t drive our cars because fuel has become either prohibitively expensive or non-existent.
Everyone’s touting mobile as the future of the internet – with the iPhone said to be pushing phone providers to actually make that happen.
I’ve been thinking the mobile web is the most likely way developing countries can join the global community
Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just a few links I have added comment to and those I think particularly useful. I have also retitled the post. This is in preparation for a blog redesign, where I no longer want posts titled “links for YYYY-MM-DD”. A live stream of Delicious links will also always be available in a sidebar widget and/or stand-alone page.
That post title is only mildly deceiving.Â Â I have finally started using my delicious bookmarks, and porting them into the blog as daily links.
At least that way I can comment on the things I may otherwise intend blogging about but never have the time to really commit to a full post.
The next few rounds of links to be posted to the blog will be fairly extensive, as I’ve picked through the last 100 or so blog posts I had tagged for following up in Google Reader, and have another couple of hundred unread ones yet to clear.
Perhaps it will breathe some life into this ailing blog.
I would normally never highlight stuff I’ve done at work, but this guy is a great story.
Either check out the video directly directly at YouTube, or read a little bit about him and watch the video on the story page. If you think it’s worth sharing please send the links around, or digg it.
James Smith first tried singing 18 months ago. That was karaoke – now he’s had 10 singing lessons, and on Saturday night he sang Nessun Dorma and several others at the Bastille Day Grand Dinner Ball.
I shot and edited the video. I rarely get to play with the video cameras these days… This is the first interview James has ever done. A story to rival Paul Potts – the singing mobile phone salesman from Britain’s Got Talent (YouTube link).We had to go with the video before both commercial TV news stations got him, despite my rough shooting and editing skills (back lighting on his porch, and why the hell is there not a tripod in that kit?). Both commercial stations did a story on their Saturday 6pm bulletins, 18 hours after my video went online, but this was James Smith’s first ever interview.
I had embedded the video here, but something to do with the code broke my webpage, so visit the links to see it.
Testing Digg blogging.
He sang for the first time 18 months ago at a karaoke bar. Now he’s singing Nessun Dorma and Ave Maria after just 10 singing lessons! He’s like a completely raw Paul Potts. Watch his first ever interview and a rendition of Nessun Dorma. You won’t believe your ears.
A lot of bloggers on mainstream news sites already do ‘live blogging’, often on a regular day and at a regular time, and this tool could make their lives a little easier. Even if not working with an already clunky CMS, managing a live blog can be difficult at the best of times.
I like the ability to embed the live discussion within a blog’s post page – or on any page – and then easily manage things from the Cover It Live interface. A three-pane view shows additional functions (like inserting a poll), the content box, and incoming comments.
The Media Library is a great tool.Â You can permanently store content in folders (audio, video, images, polls, links, ads and prewritten text), then drag relevant content for a specific live blogging session into a prepared show folder.Â (see demo)
The benefit of this is preparing a live blog with what you already plan to say and present.Â Many mainstream media blogs don’t really provide the functionality or interactivity of an actual live conversation.Â A blog post is made, and then the live blogger takes and responds to comments, with no real further addition to their initial post it is essentially a statement up for discussion.Â With Cover It Live, that can be spread out in real time, inviting more interactivity.
Image function could be improved.Â During the live blog session you canÂ post images or video that the participants will be able to open and watch.Â The way Cover It Live works, images at this stage can’t be too detailed as it looks like they’re restricted to about 330 x 220 px. Â A full screenshot, for example, is difficult to view, whereas a portrait image of a person comes out looking fine.Â In image selection, general web thumbnail standards should apply – crop tight.
Different templates can also be created that will show your branding before the blog goes live, while in progress, and once the live blog session has ended.
Cover It Live is probably best served covering a live event, and that was probably its intent.Â I can see the downside for mainstream news bloggers who take the statement-response approach would be that newcomers to the conversation have to try and catch up with what has already been said.
On the standard static screen, they can at least read all the other comments and responses, easily, before choosing to engage themselves.
The live blog I sat in on, including a review of Cover It Live:
And a review focused on live blogging news events using Cover It Live: