GeoMeme is Hitching's side project, a real-time web app and also a location-aware mobile web app for iPhone and Android phones. It allows users to see and compare trends in specific locations; for example, you could see the most tweeted-about musicians performing at an award show or the most-tweeted political buzzwords in a given state or town.
Here's how it works: Users choose a location on the map (powered by Google Maps), and they select from the list of current trending Twitter topics or type in two search terms to compare.
Archive for November, 2009
Louise Turner called for much braver use of citizen journalism. Instead of just relying on citizen in places like London and New York, broadcasters should be tapping into networks in more remote parts of the world, she said.
If salary is a good way of assessing a Post employee's value to the organization, Web producers are below the level of a news intern, according to the guild. Management has proposed a starting salary of $40,000 for these folks, which is $4,416 less than a news intern.
The Lancashire Evening Post covers Preston and the surrounding Lancashire areas. It’s a Johnston Press title and is based at their multimedia/printing/production hub at Broughton, Preston.
I found that there were 35 pages devoted to news on 23/11, 25/11 and 27/11 and of these 6.25 pages were given over to ‘council reporting’.
Like others I’ve been finding there is little reporting of council meetings, more stories are created from council press releases and then a few quotes from councillors. It’s also not clear when these councillors were saying these quotes, although the councillors title and ward are always attached.
We were slightly surprised by the findings, as we had been fairly confident that a newspaper of The Oxford Times’ size and status would contain a good amount of council coverage. Its circulation area includes not only Oxford City Council but also district councils such as West Oxfordshire, Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale Of White Horse – which serve diverse rural areas.
But perhaps The Oxford Times assumes that other regional newspapers – such as the daily Oxford Mail, or the weeklies in the district, such as the Banbury Guardian or Witney Gazette – will cover the councils, and leave it to be more arty and intellectual.
As it stands, crowd sourced news is here to stay. Now that initiatives have arisen that promote crowd sourced citizen journalism and even provide a revenue stream, this new model can be seen as a way to regain the public’s trust.
But it looks as though some broadcasters are going even further in getting the audience to do the journalism. Vincent Giret from France 24, a trilingual news channel running services in French, English and now Arabic, described an experiment called "The Observers". The channel has recruited about 2,000 people from around the world who send in short video reports – everything from footage of a bomb going off in Baghdad to an Irishman giving his views on the Thierry Henry "main de Dieu" incident.
Using Google Wave allows newsrooms to reach out to their audiences and invite their active participation on news stories. In the process, waves become a vehicle to create an engaged local community who can also play a role in the newsroom. That may redefine how news is gathered, reported and presented to its audience, blurring the boundary between newsroom and community bulletin board.
This is more a call to action for the blogging community to be as legally aware as they are SEO-savvy.
Of course, not everyone should have to take a law exam before they are allowed onto WordPress. That defeats the object of Web 2.0.
What I am arguing for is as the blogging community slowly self-organises legal advice, or a place where a blogger could find it, is an overdue must.
YouTube Direct empowers news and media organisations to easily connect with these citizen reporters, and use the power of our platform to cover the news better than ever before."
Perhaps most significantly, blog posts now have a longer life span. In 2007 tracked posts saw 94% of engagement within the first day and 98% of that first day's engagement happened within the first hour. In 2008 that number fell to 83% within the first day and in 2009 it was a mere 64%. Thus Postrank concludes that 36% of reader engagement in the top blogs happens after 1 day. "While the real-time web is all about lowering the latency," Grigorik says, "the pervasive nature and number of people engaged in their communities and conversations (the Social Web) is helping with information discovery. People are worried that the real-time web will destroy their readership as everyone just gets distracted by the newest shiny thing on Twitter, but the numbers show something very different. It's so easy to spread information now that it lasts longer and finds more niches – this trend is helping content travel further."
So I ask: If citizen journalism activities were to stop tomorrow could professional journalists replace them?
Accessible Twitter is an alternative to the Twitter.com website. It is designed to be easier to use and is optimized for disabled users.
Up and down the country, newspapers and publishers are throwing away that chance to interact directly with the audience, and therefore become part of the online community which should be interestd in the content. In short, some newspapers are simply shouting their content online.
The papers which make the most out of Twitter etc are those which encourage their reporters to go on there – not just on Twitter, but on LinkedIn, Facebook and so on – and make connections.
Two very different experiences this week have had me musing on whether there’s a north-south divide in how social media is used.
Looking first at the #1pound40 event in London. It was an intriguing concept – for just £1.40, the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas with some of the leading lights of the social media UK whirl.
There were Tuttlers, journalists and broadcasters; there were geeks, students and marketing types; the venue was impressive (Reuters in the Daily Planet like environs of Canary Wharf) and the whole event had an air of expectation.
Something was going to happen. SOMETHING IMPORTANT.
So, a couple of days later, why do I still have this niggling feeling that, if something did happen, I must have missed it?
Perhaps this feeling was in part provoked by my experience the night before at Leeds Social Media Surgery.
The surgery was an opportunity for charities and not-for-profits to come and find out about social media and see if it could help them in their work. I spent the evening talking about blogging with a woman who wants to provide the opportunity for interaction via a blog for workers in the mental health sector, as well as hearing about an impassioned campaign to help Palestinians where I was able to offer some basic advice about libel. In this setting, the social media tools were just that – tools to be utilised as part of a wider aim.
Back to London and what was described as ‘a curated unconference’, the purpose of our gathering was to explore issues raised by social media – questions such as if Twitter was a force for good, whether journalism was being democratised by the tools of web 2.0 and my old favourite – who can be called, or call themselves, a journalist?
Unlike other ‘unconference’ events I’ve been to, there were no sessions or pitches and instead small groups at tables discussed the issues between themselves before sharing their individual pithy conclusions via Twitter.
(As an aside, oddly for an event which ended up being monopolised by talk about Twitter, the backchannel wasn’t always in evidence – in fact when it was projected behind the panel at the end of the event it proved to be such a novel intervention that it completely distracted both panelists and audience!)
As the sessions concluded I took stock – had I learned anything? No. Had I contributed to anyone else learning anything? No.
It felt like we were all saying the same thing, speaking the social media speak. The digerati in full flow – agreeing with one another.
Some of the topics touched upon digital inclusion and the potential for political engagement through social media, but while we were talking, tweeting and pontificating, who was actually listening? What do the views of a bunch of always-on wired meeja professionals in London have to do with delivering news and information services to people working in tough but essential spheres such as the mental health sector, or living in areas where broadband access is still an aspiration not a reality?
That’s not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable event – I caught up with some people I haven’t seen in a while, put some faces to Twitter avatars and met some completely new people I’m sure I’ll enjoy following. As a meet-up, it was most conducive.
But all in all, for me at least, it was an afternoon inside the echo chamber, the reverberations of which will probably not even reach Islington, let alone Leeds.
There’s some other coverage of these two events that I’ve seen, as follows;
* The Guardian’s Mercedes Bunz gamely attempted a live blog of #1pound40 here and here.
* Leeds Social Media Surgery organiser John Popham summed up the evening here.
* The echo chamber is one of the topics which Christian Payne (AKA @documentally) also discusses in this audioboo which considered the psychology of Twitter.
* The Business Two Zero blog discusses the £1.40 event and also provides plenty of links to other views from the day.
Students on the MA Online Journalism have been putting their knowledge to the test with a new website aimed at providing news around Birmingham's city centre area.
The site – Hashbrum.co.uk uses an innovative design created by Alex Gamela that combines a map of Birmingham with a slideshow of multimedia material as ways to navigate to articles.
Your Blog is the most important part of your Social Media strategy. If you don’t already have a Blog start one today. It’s that important.