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Newser.com: Michael Wolff on why the internet could kill Murdoch

February 16th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff draws some damning conclusions from recent reports of “turmoil” at News Corporation-owned social networking site MySpace:

I tried once to make him [Murdoch] feel better about MySpace. It was a hapless effort: Every traditional media company that’s bought a significant internet company has failed, I said, brightly. I received a memorable scowl.

He may still retreat and practice his old black magic of making his errors disappear. But something’s got him. Something about this bloody internet has really gotten under his skin.

More and more, it feels like a death match.

Full post at this link…

Former media editor for the Times, Dan Sabbagh, disagrees with Wolff’s conclusion, but has some interesting figures on the Times’ finances that are worth a look…

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Jon Bernstein: Five lessons from a week in online video

July 22nd, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Comment, Multimedia

It’s now four years – give or take a few weeks – since broadband Britain reached its tipping point.

Halfway through 2005 there were finally more homes connected to the internet via high speed broadband than via achingly slow dial-up. Video on the web suddenly made a lot more sense.

And given that we’re still in the early stages of this particular media evolution, it’s not surprising that we are are still learning.

Here are five such moments from the last seven days:

1. If you build it they will come…
…provided you build something elegant and easy to use. And then market it like crazy.

This was the week that we learned how the hugely successful BBC iPlayer has overtaken MySpace to become the 20th most visited website in the UK . The iPlayer is now comfortably the second most popular video site even if its 13 per cent share is still dwarfed by YouTube’s 65 per cent.

If you want more evidence of success just look at the BBC’s terrestrial rivals. ITV, Five and even Channel 4 – which had a year’s head start over the BBC – are now aping the look, feel and functionality of the corporation’s efforts. No hefty applets to download – just click and play.

Of course, this model – a different player for each network – will look anachronistic within a few years. Maybe less. Hulu arrives on these shores soon.

2. Don’t do video unless you’re adding value
If you are going to put moving pictures on your newspaper website it’s a good idea to ask why? And the answer should be that it adds something to your storytelling.

Last week the Independent completed a deal that sees the Press Association providing more than 100 90-second clips a week, each focusing on a single news item.

Nothing wrong with the quality or content of the video that the Indy is getting, but where’s the added value? Unless the video has some killer footage or a must-see interview, why would a reader of a 500-word news article click play? I’m not sure they would.

As someone eloquently put it on my blog:

If it’s visual, it needs pictures and maybe video. If it’s verbal, sound will do. For everything else, words are cheaper for the producer and quicker for the consumer.

3. You can’t control the message
Singer Chris Brown chose YouTube as the medium to deliver his first public pronouncements following February’s assault on his now ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

He plumped for the video-sharing site rather than a TV or newspaper interview presumably so he could control the message – no out-of-context editing of his words and no awkward follow-up questions.

To some extent he got his wish. Within 24 hours of posting his 120-second, unmediated mea culpa, it had been viewed nearly half-a-million times.

More significantly, however, the video had received over 12,000 comments and most were hostile.

4. Brands love YouTube
In an oddly defensive post on its YouTube Biz Blog, the people behind Google’s file-sharing site set about busting what it claims are five popular myths.

Putting ‘Myth 4′ to rest – namely that ‘Advertisers are afraid of YouTube’ – the post asserted:

Over 70 per cent of Ad Age Top 100 marketers ran campaigns on YouTube in 2008. They’re buying our homepage, Promoted Videos, overlays, and in-stream ads. Many are organizing contests that encourage the uploading of user videos to their brand channels, or running advertising exclusively on popular user partner content.

We wait, breathlessly, for a follow-up post so we can discover how many of these elite brands made a return on their YouTube investment.

5. Death becomes you
Nearly a month after his passing, Michael Jackson’s life is still being celebrated online. Eight out of this week’s viral video top 20 are either Jackson originals or owe their inspiration to the singer.

A case of the long tail occupying the head. For a few weeks at least.

Jon Bernstein is former multimedia editor of Channel 4 News. This is part of a series of regular columns for Journalism.co.uk. You can read his personal blog at this link.

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Mashable: Local accounting for 74 per cent of advertising revenue on Facebook, says report

July 22nd, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Advertising, Editors' pick

According to a new report from Borrell Associates, local advertisers and businesses will make up 74 per cent of Facebook’s ad revenue this year – around $229 million.

Mashable points out that Facebook makes geographic targeting of ads particularly easy. But the proportion is significantly higher than the amount of revenue from local advertisers expected for MySpace and Twitter.

Full story at this link…

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BeetTV: Michael Wolff says News Corp. ‘knows nothing about technology’

June 17th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

From Beet TV: Journalist and Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff on why News Corp’s acquisition of MySpace could be seen as a ‘relative calamity’ because the corporation ‘knows nothing about technology’.  “We’ve seen this again, and again, and again and again … when mainstream traditional media companies buy technology companies they don’t do very well. Often they do terribly and often they actually collapse.”

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MySpace launches cit-j project uReport

April 22nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism

You’d be forgiven for confusing it with CNN’s iReport, similar name, similar project – US broadcaster Fox has expanded its citizen journalism initiative, uReport, onto MySpace [though can't seem to find a working link yet].

According to a press release announcing the launch:

“Members of the MySpace uReport community can become ‘uReporters’ by uploading video and photos tagged by specific news categories, including USA, World, Entertainment and Politics. This content could be featured in relevant programming on FOX News Channel and foxnews.com, with FOX News maintaining editorial control of the MySpace page.”

The social network has already dabbled in some user-generated news coverage, having teamed up with MSNBC for US election coverage.

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YouTube round-up: BBC Russian and Davos videos

December 17th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Multimedia

The BBC has made good on its October promise to launch six new video channels on YouTube in Urdu, Spanish, Russian, Persian, Portuguese and Arabic and has rolled out its Russian stream.

The BBC Russian YouTube channel will feature footage from BBC Russian correspondents and Russian-language reports on major news events.

The other multi-language channels will be launched between now and early 2009, a press release from the corporation said.

YouTube is getting in on the act again ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos next month by asking users to send their video answers to the following questions:

Are you confident that global growth will be restored in 2009?
Will the environment lose out to the economy in 2009?
Will the Obama administration improve the state of the world in 2009?
Should company executives have a code of ethics similar to doctors and lawyers?

The best clips, which can be uploaded to the site’s Davos channel, will be broadcast at the forum during sessions; while the user who creates the best video, as voted for by other YouTubers, will have the opportunity to attend the event, all expenses paid, as a citizen reporter for YouTube.

In a repeat of last year’s event, a YouTube booth for attendees of the forum to upload their video responses to the debates will also be available, according to a press release.

This seems to be just one strand of the forum’s multimedia activities. It’s also represented on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and  questions for press conferences can be submitted via Qik and Mogalus.

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MySpace and NBC select citizen journalism competition winners

August 7th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism

Decision08, a competition organised by MySpace, NBC News and msnbc.com, has selected two citizen journalists to cover the 2008 US Democratic and Republican conventions.

Matt Britten and Sara Pat Badgley were chosen by more than 50,000 users who voted in the Decision08 convention contest, a press release said.

Entrants were asked to post a video to the Decision08 MySpace site answering the question ‘How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?’

Below are the winning vids:

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Celebrity MySpace profiles hacked revealing security flaws

June 11th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

After last week’s report by the Press Complaints Commission into privacy on social networks raised concerns about access to users’ information by third parties, it seems no one is safe.

A Canadian computer technician has hacked into the private picture galleries of celebrities – well Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan – on MySpace, Valleywag reports.

Brian Ng used a loophole in MySpace’s mobile access to profiles. The method won’t work anymore apparently, but Valleywag asks whether the rush to make profiles and information accessible from all platforms is compromising security?

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BusinessWeek.com revises 2005 article on blogs because of ‘longtail’ traffic

May 28th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Search, Traffic

BusinessWeek.com has looked to data from its web traffic to update a story originally published in 2005 (pointed out by The Bivings Report).

After seeing that their article ‘Blogs Will Change Your Business‘ was continuing to attract significant traffic, authors Stephen Baker and Heather Green decided the demand for the information meant an updated version was necessary.

“Type in ‘blogs business’ on the search engine, and our story comes up first among the results, as of this writing. Hundreds of thousands of people are still searching ‘blogs business’ because they’re eager to learn the latest news about an industry that’s changing at warp speed. Their attention maintains our outdated relic at the top of the list. It’s self-perpetuating: They want new, we give them old,” wrote Baker and Green.

The article has not only been given the new headline ‘Social Media Will Change Your Business‘, but now features annotations and updates from experts.

An editor’s note at the top of the revised piece openly explains this strategy (emphasis is mine):

“When we published ‘Blogs Will Change Your Business’ in May, 2005, Twittering was an activity dominated by small birds. Truth is, we didn’t see MySpace coming. Facebook was still an Ivy League sensation. Despite the onrush of technology, however, thousands of visitors are still downloading the original cover story.

“So we decided to update it. Over the past month, we’ve been calling many of the original sources and asking the Blogspotting community to help revise the 2005 report. We’ve placed fixes and updates into more than 20 notes; to view them, click on the blue icons. If you see more details to fix, please leave comments. The role of blogs in business is clearly an ongoing story.

“First, the headline. Blogs were the heart of the story in 2005. But they’re just one of the tools millions can use today to lift their voices in electronic communities and create their own media. Social networks like Facebook and MySpace, video sites like YouTube, mini blog engines like Twitter-they’ve all emerged in the last three years, and all are nourished by users. Social Media: It’s clunkier language than blogs, but we’re not putting it on the cover anyway. We’re just fixing it.”

The original version still exists on the site, but directs readers to the updated piece. The writers have also been using their blog on the site to gain feedback from readers on what should be changed.
So that’s re-optimising the article for search engines, meeting the demands of readers and promoting the site as an up-to-the minute information source, all rolled into one.

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NowPublic adds mobile upload feature with ShoZu

May 21st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Mobile

Crowd-sourced news site NowPublic has teamed up with mobile and social media firm ShoZu to set up a new way for users to contribute.

Images and photos can now be sent to NowPublic from mobile devices through the ShoZu application, according to a press release. The app is freely downloadable and already features on certain Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson handsets.

The application can also be used to upload images, videos and text to a range of social media sites, including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, with the option to publish to multiple websites at once.

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