Tag Archives: online media

Online media consumption up by seven per cent, as a result of financial strife

Yesterday, Beet TV flagged up that a record number of users seeking online media information led to a seven per cent spike in traffic for Akamai, the delivery network which carries the internet flow for NBC, the BBC, Reuters and other news sites.

The current economic turmoil, hurricanes and the presidential campaign has helped boost the need for online information. At their peak, Akamai were registering 3.7 million requests per minute.

The spike follows a trend for online news sites doing well in times of financial strife: last month site traffic ‘exploded’ at the FT.com, as a result of the drop in share prices.

The need for information was felt on Wall Street, coinciding with a redesign of the Wall Street Journal Online. “Monday set an all time record of two million visitors”, a Wall Street Journal spokeswoman told Beet.TV.  Traffic on Tuesday was nearly as high.  “These are pretty big numbers, considering monthly unique visitors are 17 million,” she said.

The irony is that financial disaster, hurricanes and presidential elections seem to be a good thing for the world of online media.

New media types among Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners

Peter Mandelson had to be a last minute addition to the list because the magazine had already gone to press: being offline seems to be a recurring theme for the London Evening Standard’s 1000 most influential Londoners list, out this evening.

Can we get an online version? Can we heck! After time wasted going round the editorial houses through the Evening Standard switchboard, Brighton-based Journalism.co.uk is getting sent a print version.

So in the meantime (till the print copy arrives) here’s the online media and general media types we’ve spotted on the list of 50 that are featured on the website. And it looks like new media gets a fairly good representation.

The little ‘see new media’ under the names almost had us thinking we could click on links… no chance. Well, we’re not in London; we don’t really exist, clearly.

Shiny Media’s three founders are included – and quoted as being “highly influential in the UK online world”. They aren’t among the very top 50, but you can see a scanned in bit of the list on the Shiny blog.

Media/Online types from the top 50:

  • Nikesh Arora, GOOGLE, EUROPEAN VP: Boss of the internet giant’s most important base outside California, bringing in close to a billion pounds a year in advertising revenue in the UK. Landed Google job after 17 interviews. (New Media, TV & Radio)
  • Jonathan Ive, 41, APPLE, DESIGN GURU: The world’s most influential product designer, involved in the iPhone and iPod. He is returning to British roots, buying a £2.5 million retreat here. (New Media)
  • Mark Thompson, 51, BBC, DIRECTOR-GENERAL: From deception scandals to swingeing job cuts, Thompson has had to weather many storms while rival broadcasters pitch for a slice of the corporation’s income from the licence fee (Television & Radio)

Outside of the big 50 we’ll have to rely on the Guardian’s Media Monkey for information:

“…chief exec James Murdoch, Ashley Highfield, chief exec of the Kangaroo on-demand TV project and, drum roll please, Evening Standard owner Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT! Who’d have thunk that thisislondon.co.uk was such a groundbreaker?

Other media bods on the list were Paul Darce, Rebecca Wade, Ed Richards, Mark Thompson, Simon Cowell, Simon Fuller, Nick Ferrari, Emily Bell, Eric Huggers, Evan Davies, John Humphrys, Jay Hunt, Peter Horrocks, Alexandra Shulman and Gok Wan.”

Survey showing that ‘trust in the UK’s national media is on the up’ actually shows nothing

Do you trust the telephone more than the internet, might have been a more valid question than that asked by media company Metrica’s UKPulse survey this week, when it questioned respondents on what they thought were the most trustworthy forms of media.

According to their press release (to which there is no link on the Metrica site), the study asked 13,000 UK adults whether they trusted the internet more than newspapers.

So far so good – it’s an important question. But in the company’s analysis of the results, it compared the internet with news sites.

“The internet in general has gained four percentage points, with 34% of UK adults now saying they trust its content. News sites as a specific online media type though do fair [sic] a lot better with 54% – more than national newspapers!”

That’s like comparing the percentage of people who trust the printed pages of books, with the percentage of people who trust Bill Bryson. It’s simply not a useful comparison.

The internet is the publishing medium, and is not comparable to TV channels or newspapers, which are editorially directed. The internet is the technology by which material is reproduced (in some cases the same material as that appearing in newspapers). When people said they trusted television they weren’t talking about their television sets, rather the channels they watch.

By and large, news site content is the same as the content of newspapers, so it seems bizarre that people trust online news sites more. What is even more baffling, is that blogs fared worse than news sites for gaining people’s trust. But, these very news sites have blogs.

I need persuading that any kind of fruitful analysis can be gleaned from this rather badly thought out study. When someone comes up with relevant and comparable categories then this type of study would be extremely revealing.

For example, do people trust a well-known newspaper journalist’s blog more than an unknown blogger’s?

Furthermore, as Adrian Monck points out in the comments on Roy Greenslade’s blog:

“The problem with trust polling is that it says nothing about the reliability of the media, whilst giving the appearance of providing an answer…”

Greenslade himself asks us about the significance of the increase in trust in UK media, but I think the real question to be asked here is how to profitably analyse people’s trust in different types of online media.

Does anyone know of any good studies conducted on people’s trust in new media? Or how best to measure the media’s reliability?

SpinSpotter: unspinning online news?

Aimed at uncovering ‘bias and inaccuracy’ in online news stories, new service SpinSpotter has gone live.

The site, which describes itself as ‘very beta’, lets users install a special toolbar – Spinoculars – to identify, share and edit online articles, which they consider biased.

“I believe that journalism has become spin-heavy because journalists operate in an echo chamber. They eat with other journalists, socialize with them, and ride in cabs together. Closeness of groups can drive closeness of opinion and intellectual laziness,” said Todd Herman, founder and chief creative officer of SpinSpotter, in an open letter.

SpinSpotter has attempted to create an objective criteria for what is and what is not biased by working with US journalism schools and using the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.

“Their [the journalism schools’] expert knowledge (…) were then combined with guided user input and sophisticated algorithms to identify each instance of bias and inaccuracy in online media, whether it is a reporter stating opinion as fact, an unattributed adjective, a paragraph lifted from a press release, or an expert source with a clear conflict of interest,” a press release from SpinSpotter said (it’s okay, I’ve flagged it up and linked to the release).

Looks like the Spinoculars are only available for Firefox at the minute. Once downloaded and turned on they’ll identify if elements of a news story have previously been identified by another SpinSpotter user.

You can also use them to select and report articles or parts of stories that are biased according to different ‘rules of spin’, whether its as a result of the reporter’s voice or a lack of balance.

SpinSpotter comes hot on the heels of NewsCred – a site aiming to gauge the credibility of news sources – launched late last month.

Hurricane Gustav hits online media

Hurricane Gustav, which according to Breaking News Twitter reached the coast of Louisiana at 11.19am (BST) today, is being avidly blogged, twittered and mapped by US news organisations online.

The Houston Chronicle has set up a special section of its site – Hurricane Central – to cover the storm, featuring live radar maps of its progress, forecasts of the storm’s path and related news stories.

The Chronicle has also created a guide for readers on how to prepare for the hurricane when it hits.

Kansas City’s KCTV5.com is mapping Gustav with its interactive Hurricane Tracker, which allows users to compare and contrast past storms in the US.

KCTV5 is also streaming live footage from cameras located on the US coast.

Elsewhere intern with the Knox News Sentinel, Willow Nero, is blogging from New Orleans’ airport as she tries to catch a flight to Paris (thanks to Jack Lail for the tip);

A quick search for New Orleans on Twitter Local shows a wealth of residents using the microblogging service to update on their evacuation or as they sit out the storm.

Mark Mayhew, twittering from 932 Bourbon St, New Orleans, is using the service to update followers from the ground:

Weberence has created a round-up of twitterers affected by the hurricane giving a highly personalised account of the storm; while a Twitter account set up as the American Red Cross is giving followers up-to-the-minute details of evacuation procedures and safety information.

PPA Magazines 2008: BBC must collaborate with digital media, says Yentob

The BBC must continue to collaborate with digital media and the magazine industry, Alan Yentob, BBC creative director, has told delegates at the PPA’s annual conference.

Yentob said the corporation would be ‘stunted’ if it did not look for partnerships with other online media and services.

“The way forward for us is a collaborative one, because the public don’t want to be told ‘no entry here, we won’t tell you what websites are also interesting’,” said Yentob.

“If you are going to create a unique resource you need to post it up in all directions.

Yentob said similar partnerships to the corporation’s collaboration with YouTube would be considered in the future.

“The BBC isn’t afraid of collaboration and we want to be able to give away content while at same time being able to control it.”

Innovations in Journalism – a plug in to ease sorting through web images and video from PicLens

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. Today, it’s searching easily though web images and video with PicLens.

image of piclens plug in website

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
Hi, I’m Alec Jeong from Cooliris.

We’ve developed PicLens, a plug-in that transforms your browser into a 3D environment where you can search, drag, and zoom around thousands of images and videos across the web.

PicLens makes your online media come to life in a full-screen, cinematic presentation that goes beyond the confines of the traditional browser.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Journalist regularly search for photos and videos on the web, tediously clicking in and out of web pages and image search engines to find the perfect image or video.

PicLens changes all that, by allowing you to search and view 100s or even 1000s of online photos and videos in an instant.

Need to see the photo in detail? Just click a toggle button and the photo or video will go full screen. Jump to the corresponding page of the image or video? No problem.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?

There is much more, much more to come. In the coming months, we will be adding features that will completely transform the way you use online media.

4) Why are you doing this?

We asked ourselves the question: What would the web be like if, rather than having to browse click by click, we were able find and share information quickly and directly through a single, rich media navigation layer that frees you from the confines of the traditional browser window and web pages?

We believe that you would discover that the web is richer than you’ve believed before, and that the added spatiality would enable you get much more from the rich online media and from your social connections.

5) What does it cost to use it?
PicLens is free to use and available for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

The “3D Wall” interface is available now for Firefox and IE and is coming to Safari soon.

6) How will you make it pay?
Our goal has always been to focus on providing the ultimate user experience. With several million downloads of our product in just the past few months, we are on a fast trajectory to bring in the next generation online media experience.

Social Media Journalist: “Facebook is overrated. The novelty is wearing off and people are getting bored” Matthew Buckland

Journalism.co.uk talks to reporters across the globe working at the collision of journalism and social media about how they see it changing their industry. This week, Matthew Buckland from Mail & Guardian, South Africa.

image of matthew buckland

1) Who are you and what do you do?
I am Matthew Buckland, the GM of Mail & Guardian Online.

As head of the online division I am responsible for the overall online and mobile strategy, with an overview of editorial, production, technical and online sales.

I am also involved quite heavily in our social media strategies and sites.

2) Which web or mobile-based social media tools do you use on a daily basis and why?
I use Twitter, both web and mobile. I blog on my own blog about online media, web 2.0 and technology, thoughtleader.co.za and sometimes on Poynter’s new media titbits.

I use Mybloglog on my blog quite a bit. I use Facebook web and mobile… but less and less these days. At the end of last year I began using Slideshare to share my presentations and see others. I Digg every now and again, and use a local version, Muti.co.za.

I also keep half an eyeball on Linkedin – but don’t really do it justice. I am an occasional Del.ici.ous user. I use both Flickr and Picasa as online photo albums/photo sharing.

For video sharing I use Youtube, obviously. I’m also a wikipediaholic.

I used SecondLife for about a week, but realised it would be best for my health to shut it down and never look at it again 🙂

Generally I find these social media tools are a good way of networking, sharing ideas and content, and building relationships with people. They also waste a lot of time and create noise in my life.

3) Of the thousands of social media tools available could you single one out as having the most potential for news either as a publishing or newsgathering tool?
I think of all the hyped up social media tools we’ve seen, blogging has shown that it is more than just a fad, but here to stay.

We’ve seen how mainstream online publishers have embraced blogs both as new publishing formats and newsgathering tool with considerable success.

4) And the most overrated in your opinion?

I’m beginning to think Facebook is overrated. The novelty is wearing off and people are getting bored, very quickly.

Somalian press gets web presence

A website dedicated to coverage of Somali print and online media has launched.

Somali Press Review claims to be the first website to highlight the work of the Somali press, both online and print media.

The London-based website features reviews of Somali news, opinions from selected Somali websites, a summary of some Somali language commentators and feeds from agencies and global new publications featuring Somalia.