Archives for category: Future of Publishing

It used to be the case that the news media’s engagement with social media and the commercial web was once reminiscent of Dr Samuel Johnson’s quote about women preachers  ‘ a dog walking on its hinder legs.It is not done well, but you are surprized to find it done at all’.  Not any more.

Rupert Murdoch’s gift to the rest of the ailing packaged media this New Year was his sudden, spontaneous and apparently authentic appearance on Twitter . It is astonishing to see (apparently) a man that the world’s media media has spent decades trying to decode, announcing as a casual aside that he favours Rick Santorum in the GOP race . The feverish delight at his debut gave way to slow news day speculation about his interest in Twitter in general. I was one among many wondering (on Twitter, naturally) what would happen if Rupert Murdoch liked Tweeting so much, he bought the company?

A Murdoch purchase of Twitter is not the point of the thought experiment. The point is really to sharpen focus for journalists on what their use of  third party platforms really means for the long term.  Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter does not have many users in Abbottabad in Pakistan, where Facebook is apparently more the social platform of choice. But it has enough to break the first sounds of gunfire in the fight which was to eventually lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Sohaib Athar, with his @ReallyVirtual Twitter handle, is not the future of news he is the present of news. Read the rest of this entry »

A slow Labor Day news day maybe I thought when I noticed that the NYT was carrying a piece on Monday entitled : ‘Some Newspapers, Tracking Readers Online, Shift Coverage’. As old news goes this is positively antediluvian isn’t it? Despite the fact that most newsrooms have  developed metric tracking systems for their websites, and many use them creatively and effectively, it remains a controversial area. Quoted in the piece, Bill Keller, editor of  the New York Times says :

“We don’t let metrics dictate our assignments and play….because we believe readers come to us for our judgment, not the judgment of the crowd. We’re not ‘American Idol.’ ”

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If you missed the sad news that the Web is Dead, callously broken by Wired, you were probably too busy playing Angry birds on your iPad. Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff sketch out a scenario in which we a) all want more convenience and ease and b) industrial economics have caught up with the web.

The article encourages the idea that the open web is becoming an unfashionable part of cyburbia, where the houses are boarded up and Tim Berners-Lee bravely keeps the unprofitable corner shop going so elderly utopians can still get milk and Rizlas. The rest of us have decamped to Jobstown, a gated community, where there is a giant Tesco, a farmers’ market, and no graffiti. Read the rest of this entry »