News.me app launched

April 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Mobile, Technology

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

The Journalists Formerly Known as the Media: My Advice to the Next Generation – Jay Rosen: Public Notebook

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Media, News, Print

The newspaper business model will not be saved with the introduction of paywalls because it is a rejection of the newspaper business model. The current model, entirely based on advertising paying for news, is in the process of being left behind by those who would defend it. It is worrying that users will now be made to pay for news simply because marketing departments are unable to make online advertising work.

The central argument, that users need to pay for news to recoup costs, is an effective raising of the white flag. It’s an admission that, unlike at Google, the media industry is bereft of ideas about how to make online advertising profitable. This extends to the entire industry, all of whom are discussing the merits and timetables of a user-pays model. It just so happens that the News Ltd announcement has thrust that model back into the spotlight.

It reminds me of a rant from David Cross in the outtakes of Arrested Development: “If you can’t market that kind of show and get better ratings, then maybe the problem doesn’t lie here, maybe it lies with marketing”.

In The Australian’s Media and Marketing section on August 10, Mark Day said a paywall would allow newspapers to wrest back control of their business model. How? The way the music industry did, through the “grim enforcement of copyright, uniform action by the music companies and technological advances such as the iTunes micro-payment systems”. The music industry business model was all but destroyed by online, and rather than bludgeoning users to return to the good old days, they instead bow to the consumer who is willing to pay, but demands to control how, when, and what they pay for.

I disagree completely that “the [music] industry was able to wrest back control of its product”. The music industry was dragged kicking and screaming to its knees, finally relinquishing control to a micro-payment model after consumer outrage put a gun to their head and forced the issue. Introducing a user-pays model isn’t about wresting back control of the news product at all, and you could not pick a worse example of an industry to emulate than the music business.

As an aside, in the music industry consumers have always paid for the product. In the news industry, consumers have never paid for the product, advertising has. The cover price of a newspaper wouldn’t cover the cost of the ink on its pages.

Surprisingly there were a few things I agreed with Mark Day about (despite the column’s title, Bloggers may howl, but cash for content makes sense), like his examples of the three strands of news (happening, manufactured, investigated) and what kind of news people might be willing to pay for. It’s a valid argument, and one industry people are having everywhere, but I do wonder if it’s the sense of inevitibility that is now driving the debate. Now that the introduction of pay-per-view content seems inevitable, everyone is expending cognitive energy on the issue, speculating about how the paywall could work, or what content people are willing to pay for. This, instead of developing a model where advertising still pays for news.

Whether it was the classified “rivers of gold” or advertising on the page, the news industry has for some reason given up on that model working online. I find it inexplicable that nobody in the news industry, across the globe, can figure out how to make advertising work online. Google are just smarter, I guess.

No less than the president of media at Thomson Reuters, Chris Ahearn, recently penned a piece titled, Why I believe in the link economy

Blaming the new leaders or aggregators for disrupting the business of the old leaders, or saber-rattling and threatening to sue are not business strategies – they are personal therapy sessions. Go ask a music executive how well it works.

From Mark Day’s Bloggers may howl, but cash for content makes sense

It is clear a free internet has the power to wreck the economic model of newspapers and news-gathering itself. But the irony is, if that were to happen, the most valuable elements of news — that which is investigated, tested and credible — would disappear because of a lack of funding. Ultimately, that serves no one. Society would be the loser.

We do a disservice to society by making that valuable and important news inaccessible, by telling society that, unless you pay, we will withhold the information that informs your understanding of the machinations of government and the economy.

Related reading:

I first started writing this post over a week ago. The biggest addition since then is the Associated Press plan for content charging online, assessed by Nieman Journalism Lab after they got hold an internal AP document labeled, “AP CONFIDENTIAL — NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION.”

UPDATE:
Last week I tweeted about an article that literally took the words out of my mouth in relation to this blog post.
Five Key Reasons Why Newspapers Are Failing | SPLICETODAY.COM
The first point there illustrates this post:
1. Consumers don’t pay for news. They have never paid for news.

Update

June 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Mobile, Podcasts

Julie Posetti was kind enough to link to this site from a recent PBS MediaShift article, Rules of Engagement for Journalists on Twitter. Unfortunately, I’ve managed to make the list of journalists she linked to completely disappear.
UPDATE: The list is back online, thanks to ireckon.com fixing some rogue code for me. Thanks Darryl!!

I made the fatal mistake of messing with the code on my live site, and have somehow broken the relevant post, Australia’s Top 100 Journalists and News Media People on Twitter.

Thinking I would make a minor change to the comments.php file last week, I have somehow managed to block out the most visited post on the site. It’s still there, you just can’t see it, and I haven’t worked out how to fix it.

I’ve already tried reposting, only to see the same effect. I’m convinced the problem is in the paged comments part of the code, but have either not restored to the original, or have but to no effect.

In the interim…
In other news, I’ve been catching up on some podcasts and just listened to a great Pods and Blogs episode from April 7. One of the things mentiond in the podcast was a live streaming news centre that was set up by some students to cover G20.

From the PodcastDirectory show description:

This week Jamillah talks to the students who created a news streaming page from the middle of the G20 protests when many reporters were unable to get in, or out, of the thick of it.

Some of what they did sounds awesome but I was put off, and disagree completely, with one of the students interviewed. They suggested what they had done could not necessarily be done by members of the public, that they were trained in the technology, and knew how to speak to the camera as a journalist.

As I said, I completely disagree. There are plenty of people all over the world who are better trained (and self-trained), who could do a better job of framing the story on video. Or with their voice, or a still image, a piece of art, a song, or a line of code that generates a visualisation.

People tell stories every day in different ways, to all sorts of other people

I rant. You can find the podcast on Pods and Blogs, BBC Radio Five Live.

I’ve also been catching up on Dave Winer and Jay Rosen‘s regular fireside chat, which they’ve named Rebooting the News. I’ve started from the beginning and only made it to about number four, but there has already been some good listening. Check it out.

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Interview with Dave Earley on Citizen Journalism

April 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media, Print, Social Networking

Griffith University
Image via Wikipedia

Stephanie Sword, a Griffith University communications student, asked me a few questions for an assignment. Below are Stephanie’s questions and my answers about Citizen Journalism: read on to see my comments on the term itself, and generally where I think the “citizen” fits in the evolving media environment.

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Does the Experience Curve apply to Journalism?

April 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media

Just read this, linked from Twitter by news.com.au deputy editor Paul Colgan, and had to post it immediately. I’m not saying “experience” is what’s wrong with journalism today, but experience could be what’s wrong with journalism today.

The experience curve was simple and powerful. But it had one troublesome characteristic. Every experience curve was in the end a diminishing returns curve. The more experience accumulated in a specific industry, the longer it took to get the next increment of performance improvement.

Does the Experience Curve Matter Today? The Big Shift – Harvard Business

Just shut up and do your bit as a piece in the small cog, until you have the experience that warrants having an opinion worth listening to. Of course people need experience, but demanding institutionalised experience over any other kind of experience could snuff out the next round of innovation and performance improvement. Maybe that really is what’s killing the news today.

Can institutionalised experience bring about the breath of life, and innovation, that the news media needs? If not, where will that innovation come from? Am I being unfair? Let me know in the comments.

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Individual as Brand – Sustaining news during the Unthinkable

March 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media, Print

A picture from the top of the Geoman Press at ...

Who else can have an opinion on Clay Shirky’s Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable? Me, apparently, but maybe I’m coming at it from a different angle. When thinking of a business model destroyed, the first thing that came to mind was recent discussions about the individual as a brand. Specifically Andy Dickinson’s contribution to the Carnival of Journalism in December 2008, where he said 2009 is the year of the individual journalist. I’m not suggesting I have any answers, but here’s one of those fanciful theories: Maybe the individual as a brand can sustain news beyond “The Unthinkable”.

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PANPA students – media interaction?

March 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Print, Social Networking

PANPA - Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association

PANPA - Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association

I left a comment over at the PANPA students’ blog last night, asking how they determined Facebook to be a “media outlet”.

Based on a survey of six students, they listed Facebook as the media outlet most accessed.

They asked for feedback, so I provided it. Basically, the survey would be interesting if it was expanded to as many students as possible, and actually ask questions about what aspects of social networking use they consider to be news consumption, or news related.
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The arrogance of mainstream media, QR codes a new business model?, and all the tools you’ll ever need

January 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Delicious, Mobile, Online

Brockhaus Konversations-Lexicon, 1902Image via Wikipedia

  • Deconstructing the “real journalism” argument
    Terry Heaton takes a shot at the unending “woe, the internetz!” cries of mainstream media.
    “we’d get a lot further in the reinvention of professional journalism if we could get away from the belief that its an entitlement, one that’s necessary for the survival of the species […]
    “Who do we think we are? Surely our hubris has blinded us, for professional journalism never was God’s gift to culture […] We have done some good things, but our arrogance was our undoing. That arrogance is behind the notions that ‘real journalism’ can’t be practiced outside the paradigm of contemporary professional news.”
    (tags: online mediaindustry journalism media)
  • Why media companies are hosed
    “Wal-Mart is a media site in that it sells its reach to advertisers, a reach that vastly exceeds two of the top newspaper sites in the world. This is why I keep harping on everybody that the future for local media companies lies beyond their own walled garden websites, and those who refuse to hear that (like, everybody) are sprinting to the tar pits.”

    And an interesting viewpoint in the comments, suggesting QR codes could be the way of the future for cut-sized newspapers, providing direct mobile links to the full content.

    “Sooner or later, some newspaper people are going to figure out that the way to go is a 16- 24 page paper that mostly serves as a table of contents for info on the web.”
    (tags: mediaindustry future mobile qrcodes)

  • Tools for News
    A huge collection of “Tool kits” for everything you need for online content creation, whether you call yourself a digital journalist, online journalist, or you create content for family, friends or any other community you’re a part of.
    Check it out and get creative.
    (tags: digital howto newmedia tools reporting tutorial)

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.

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New business models for News: Affiliate Marketing in the Year of the (individual) Journalist

January 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Delicious, Journalists, Online

Illustration of the concept of affiliate marketingImage via Wikipedia

  • If the news business model is broken, and 2009 is the year of the (individual) journalist – read Andy Dickinson – then will this be a new business model for the individual journalist? And will hackles be raised at the ethical implications for the “unbiased” news media?

    “to make money in a world saturated by media, marketers need your help getting attention for their goods. Attention – eyeballs, ears, minds – is one of those intangible things that has huge value to companies needing to sell stuff. One of the quickest ways to start making money … is to do affiliate marketing. “

Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just the link I have added comment to. 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.

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Social Networking Distribution – Power of the reTweet

January 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media, SMO, Social Networking

My Twitter Social Ego NetworksImage by Nimages DR via Flickr

“by a conservative estimate, two tweets by journalists — my colleague and me — that took about two seconds of our time potentially reached nearly 3,000 people in less than 20 minutes. That doesn’t mean all 3,000 read the tweet, went to the link or were even online at the time”, but the potential is there.

The power of retweeting has been seen by almost everyone on Twitter, but an example of mine was with the story about police seizing a member of the public’s mobile phone and deleting content. I first Tweeted the link at 5.45pm on December 26 (Boxing Day, a public holiday).
From my calculations in less than three hours nine people including me distributed that story to a network of 7600 people. Of course they didn’t all see the link, or click on it if they did see it, but as Gina Chen said, it shows the potential for news distribution via social networking.

Admittedly I also gained an advantage by being part of mainstream media, but earlier tweets propagating the original story from Ben Grubb were also distributed as widely, or wider, than my later tweets.

Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just the link I have added comment to. 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.

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Future of Journalism – Brisbane

September 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Mobile, News, Online, Print, Social Networking, Videos

MEAA - Future of Journalism logoI’m not going to go into the Future of Journalism conference last Saturday in any great detail.
There is a post on the Future of Journalism’s Wired Scribe blog with a roundup of several good links to posts by people who were observers and panelists on the day. Interested people can read a roundup there.

You can also read through the live Future of Journalism tweets from various people on the day.

What I’m providing here is just a quick video of a question I asked of news.com.au editor David Higgins about the use of social networking tools for newsgathering.

Video after the jump…

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Mobile platform delivery begets mobile journalism – mojo

Electric NewspaperImage by mushon via Flickr

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.

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HOW TO: Get reporters out into the community

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Delicious, Journalists, Mobile

Mr. Pagination GuyImage 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.

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Mobile journalism, citizen journalism and virtual worlds

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Delicious, Mobile, Online

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.

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