Social networks ‘help to shake up the relationship between the individual journalist and the people formerly known as the audience,’ comments Roland Legrand, in charge of internet and new media at Mediafin, the publisher of leading Belgian business newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo. Here he feeds back from a newsroom workshop on social media with ideas for how journalists can best use networks.
1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
Dapper is a company with the vision of unlocking web content and letting publishers and users distribute and use content in new ways, such as feeds, widgets, Facebook apps and many more.
With Dapper, a novice web user can transform websites into feeds etc. within a matter of minutes, no programming involved.
2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
First, it allows news and media sites to easily distribute their content on new media platforms such as widgets, RSS and social networks without spending resources on reprogramming their systems.
Second, it allows the individual journalist to keep up to date with many web sources by transforming them into alerts and feeds, to consume on his/her own terms.
Many people also use Dapper to easily create dynamic dashboards and mash-ups that helps gaining insight.
3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
We have much more to come, both on the core Dapper service and on related products. Our Facebook AppMaker has enabled creating hundreds of Facebook apps and we constantly add support for new platforms.
4) Why are you doing this?
We have a vision for an open, semantic web, built from the grounds up. A web where anyone can consume and distribute content, and where a content marketplace is thriving.
We would like to see a web where people can easily leverage the web to realise their creativity in new ways, without necessarily being programmers.
5) What does it cost to use it?
The core service is free. We do sell SLAs for businesses who require a higher level of support/performance.
6) How will you make it pay?
We are leveraging the core service to introduce a new level of contextual advertising. Our first take on this will be released in April, so stay tuned.
One point I’d like to add is that we’re taking IP rights very seriously, and have a content distribution platform that allows content owners to define how they would like their content to be consumed and under what terms.
This allows for the first time for publishers to distribute their content while maintaining their needed level of control.