Knight Ridder’s concept iPad app – bridging the paper-digital divide. In 1994.

April 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Apps, Media, Technology

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Check out this video, showcasing the Knight Ridder Information Design Lab’s concept tablet news device. With personalised news feeds, articles read aloud and even voice command recognition, it sounds like it could be a news application being developed for the iPad right now.

Only this is 1994.

Imagine where digital news distribution could be by now if, in 1994, Knight Ridder had been able to build that “bridge of familiarity to get us from the ink on paper product into the digital world”.

Maybe a media company could have come up with a user experience like Flipboard a decade ago, or been innovative enough to create a new communication platform like Twitter, instead of constantly being left behind or playing catch up. Suffice to say, the industry would pretty well know by now what works and what doesn’t.

Instead, the merits of all manner of form and function in the digital news process are still being discussed, tested, failed miserably and, if we’re lucky, refined until successful.

Roger Fidler, director of the Knight Ridder Information Design Lab, says in the video:

“This is one of the most exciting places to be in the newspaper industry today. This is where I think we’re going to play a role in changing history.”

Maybe an idea before its time, but one that really could have changed the history of digital news if it had succeeded.

I wonder where Roger Fidler ended up. (UPDATE: Roger Fidler is Program Director for Digital Publishing at RJI, the Reynolds Journalism Institute)

and from Wikipedia:
“Knight Ridder had a long history of innovation in technology. It was the first newspaper publisher to experiment with videotex when it launched its Viewtron system in 1982.”

UPDATE: This was on Mashable in August 2009!
Thanks to @garykemble for the heads up.
And in an interview that same year, Roger Fidler said the tablet concept was never built because screens were too heavy and required too much power. See the May 2009 Bloomberg interview with Roger Fidler here: http://bloom.bg/iiMio0

News.me app launched

April 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Mobile, Technology

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For all of us tragics who went to the blank news.me website all those months ago and signed up for an email alert, well today’s the day! News.me for iPad has launched. They’re saying all you need is an iPad and a Twitter account, but you don’t even need an iPad…

For those without an iPad, you can get the same stream ‘digest’ via email.

I’m yet to get beyond opening the app and authorising my Twitter account (it’s Good Friday!), but the recommended/featured users for me to follow were very digital news media centric. That’s great if the app has picked up on my area of interest already, based on my bio and who I follow.

I imagine it’s more than a glorified Twitter stream. It should be! You can get that through Flipboard, Zite, and numerous other great apps without paying a $1.19 per week subscription ($0.99 in US).

Read the full email from news.me below:

20110422-103603.jpg

News.me for iPad launched today! It’s available in the App Store for download: http://on.news.me/app-download.

News.me is a different kind of social news experience that shows you not just
what your friends are sharing on Twitter, but also what they are reading—a great opportunity to read over the proverbial shoulders of close friends and mega-interesting writers and thinkers alike. All you need is an iPad and a Twitter account to get started!

If you don’t have an iPad, you can still use News.me – just sign up to receive a daily email digest of the most interesting news flowing through your Twitter stream: http://www.news.me/email

Want to read more about News.me, how it started and who’s behind it?
http://www.borthwick.com/weblog/2011/02/21/news-me/

Thanks and let us know what you think!

Team News.me

twitter.com/newsdotme
feedback@news.me

Australia drops in World Economic Forum Tech Study

April 14, 2011 by  
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In the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011: Transformations 2.0, Australia ranks 17th in the Network Readiness Index, with New Zealand right behind at 18.

That’s a drop of one place for Australia, which was ranked 16th in the 2009-2010 report.

via World Economic Forum Tech Study Shows U.S. Lagging – NYTimes.com.

For the second consecutive year, the United States finished fifth in the study’s comparison of 138 countries that make up 98.8 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product. Sweden was first, followed by Singapore, Finland and Switzerland.

These rankings, for 2010, are based on an index of 71 economic and social indicators, as diverse as new patents, mobile phone subscriptions and availability of venture capital.

So amongst the 71 economic and social indicators that combined rank Australia at 17, what are we best at?

The report lists Australia as number one in the world on just one measure, “Internet and telephony competition”.

And our worst ranking? Of the 138 countries, our worst ranking is 115, for “Business monthly phone subscription (PPP $).

Full report here:
World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011: Transformations 2.0

Half of all tweets generated by just 20K elite users

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Media, SMO, Social Networking

A new report from Yahoo! Research has used Twitter in an attempt to answer Lasswell’s maxim: “who says what to whom in what channel with what effect”.

The report, Who Says What to Whom on Twitter | Yahoo! Research, found that 50% of all tweets consumed are generated by just 20,000 elite users.

For the purposes of the study, they classified Twitter users into “elite” or “ordinary”, breaking elite users into the categories media, celebrities, organisations and bloggers.

One of the more interesting things looked at in the report is the lifespan of content, and what they found with media-related tweets.

“We find that different categories of users emphasize different types of content, and that different content types exhibit dramatically different characteric lifespans, ranging from less than a day to months.”

In its conclusion, the report found that “media-originated URLs are disproportiantely represented among short-lived URLs”.

We also find that different types of content exhibit very different lifespans: media-originated URLs are disproportionately represented among short-lived URLs while those originated by bloggers tend to be overrepresented among long-lived URLs. Finally, we find that the longest-lived URLs are dominated by content such as videos and music, which are continually being rediscovered by Twitter users and appear to persist indefinitely.

That can be seen in this figure, generated by unshortening 35,000 URLs that “lived” at least 200 days, and mapping them to 21,034 domains.

Read the abstract and get the PDF of the report here:
Who Says What to Whom on Twitter | Yahoo! Research