Tag Archives: web 2.0

20 recent hyperlocal developments (June-August 2011)

Ofcom’s Damian Radcliffe produces a regular round-up of developments in hyperlocal publishing. In this guest post he cross-publishes his latest presentation for this summer, as well as the background to the reports.

Ofcom’s 2009 report on Local and Regional Media in the UK identified the increasing role that online hyperlocal media is playing in the local and regional media ecology.

New research in the report identified that

“One in five consumers claimed to use community websites at least monthly, and a third of these said they had increased their use of such websites over the past two years.”

That was two years ago, and since then, this nascent sector has continued to evolve, with the web continuing to offer a space and platform for community expression, engagement and empowerment.

The diversity of these offerings is manifest in the Hyperlocal Voices series found on this website, as well as Talk About Local’s Ten Questions feature, both of which speak to hyperlocal practitioners about their work.

For a wider view of developments in this sector, you may want to look at the bi-monthly series of slides I publish on SlideShare every two months.

Each set of slides typically outlines 20 recent hyperlocal developments; usually 10 from the UK and 10 from the US.

Topics in the current edition include Local TV, hyperlocal coverage of the recent England riots, the rise of location based deals and marketing, as well as the FCC’s report on The Information Needs of Communities.

Feedback and suggestions for future editions – including omissions from current slides – are actively welcomed.

What I expect at news:rewired — and what I hope will happen

Screen shot 2010-01-06 at 11.23.20Next Thursday is the news:rewired event at City University London, which is being put on by the good people at journalism.co.uk. I’ll be on hand as a delegate.

All of the bases will be covered, it seems: Multimedia, social media, hyperlocal, crowdsourcing, datamashups, and news business models.

Continue reading

Clay Shirky on Twitter and the social media revolution

Here’s a great interview with Clay Shirky by GRITtv’s Laura Flanders.

Clay Shirky talks about the power of digital networking, and how social media  can do everything from cause revolutions to create whole new political parties when done right.

The simplicity of Twitter, of course, is its genius. It has the power to do so much by doing so little. But that’s not the only thing that’s simple about Twitter. The service itself was only intended to share 140-character messages with the world. Its significance is its evolution. Everything from @replying and retweeting to using hashes and symbols can be attributed to the users. It has brilliantly allowed users to define it – almost entirely. As Shirky points out, “Most of the uses of Twitter were not imagined by the designers of the service – they were managed by the users of the service.”

As Claire Cain Miller wrote in this NYT piece, Twitter exploded to unprecedented popularity by outsourcing “its idea generation to its users.” Continue reading

The end of news websites?

The question is no longer just a hypothetical one. With increasing convergence between social media and traditional content, what is known as a traditional news website might not exist in the coming years.

Perhaps a revealing example is the creation of Facebook applications by a Seattle-based aggregator, NewsCloud, which received a grant from the Knight Foundation to study how young people receive their news through social networks.

With developer Jeff Reifman leading the way, NewsCloud has developed three applications (Hot Dish, Minnesota Daily and Seattle In:Site) that engage users in news content through linking to stories by providing a headline, photo and blurb. The applications also allow them to blog, post links themselves and much more – all while getting points for completing “challenges” that can be redeemed for prizes, which works as an incentive to stay engaged. Prizes include everything from t-shirts to tickets to a baseball game to a MacBook. Some of these challenges are online ones (sharing a story, commenting on content, blogging, etc.) and others are offline challenges (attend a marketing event, write a letter to the editor). Continue reading

Newspapers on Twitter – how the Guardian, FT and Times are winning

National newspapers have a total of 1,068,898 followers across their 120 official Twitter accounts – with the Guardian, Times and FT the only three papers in the top 10. That’s according to a massive count of newspaper’s twitter accounts I’ve done (there’s a table of all 120 at that link).

The Guardian’s the clear winner, as its place on the Twitter Suggested User List means that its @GuardianTech account has 831,935 followers – 78% of the total …

@GuardianNews is 2nd with 25,992 followers, @TimesFashion is 3rd with 24,762 and @FinancialTimes 4th with 19,923.

Screenshot of the data

Screenshot of the data

Other findings

  • Glorified RSS Out of 120 accounts, just 16 do something other than running as a glorified RSS feed. The other 114 do no retweeting, no replying to other tweets etc (you can see which are which on the full table).
  • No following. These newspaper accounts don’t do much following. Leaving GuardianTech out of it, there are 236,963 followers, but they follow just 59,797. They’re mostly pumping RSS feeds straight to Twitter, and  see no reason to engage with the community.
  • Rapid drop-off There are only 6 Twitter accounts with more than 10,000 followers. I suspect many of these accounts are invisible to most people as the newspapers aren’t engaging much – no RTing of other people’s tweets means those other people don’t have an obvious way to realise the newspaper accounts exist.
  • Sun and Mirror are laggards The Sun and Mirror have work to do – they don’t seem to have much talent at this so far and have few accounts with any followers. The Mail only seems to have one account but it is the 20th largest in terms of followers.

The full spreadsheet of data is here (and I’ll keep it up to date with any accounts the papers forgot to mention on their own sites)… It’s based on official Twitter accounts – not individual journalists’. I’ve rounded up some other Twitter statistics if you’re interested.

BBC Free: Help us persuade the BBC to open their RSS feeds up

The internet blows my mind. Ryan Carson opened my eyes to the power of it a few months ago. We can sit down and create a blog or web application and have it instantly accessible to the world. That’s unique, and it’s exciting.

We’re asking the BBC to join us in this creativity. Today, we’re launching BBC Free – it’s a campaign to convince the BBC to offer full article RSS feeds.

Current short bbc feeds

Currently, their feeds are just a single line or two and this hurts your RSS experience, and it also hinders creativity in online news. RSS feeds are machine readable and a ton of great startups base their news products off that content. By making the feed “full article”, we can be far more creative with how we improve your online news experience.

We’re not asking the BBC to create an amazing news API like The Guardian. The BBC doesn’t run adverts, any users of RSS will appreciate this change, and people who don’t use RSS won’t know anything has changed.

We’re imploring you, internets, to help us with our campaign. Full details are at our site http://bbcfree.net – the twitter hash tag is #bbcfree and you can follow the campaign at @bbcfree.

– Peter Clark, CEO of Broadersheet.

Retweet this.

External links: the 8 stages of linking out denial

Do you have a link problem? You can handle linking. It’s just one post/article/page without a link. You can link whenever you want to. Or can you?

Where are you on this scale …? (Originally posted here.)

1 Don’t link to anyone

Link to other sites? But people will leave my site. They won’t click on my ads. They won’t read other pages. I’ll leak page rank. No way.

2 Add URLs but don’t make them hyperlinks

OK, that’s a bit ridiculous. If I’m talking about other organisations, I can’t pretend they don’t have a website. I know, I’ll put web addresses in. But i won’t make them hyperlinks. Brilliant, yes?

3 Add an ‘external links’ box

Even I’m finding that no hyperlink thing annoying when I go back to an old page and have to copy and paste the damn things.

I suppose I should have some links on my page. I’ll put them in a box. Over there (down a bit …). I’m going to use some sort of internal redirect or annoying javascript, though, to make sure I don’t pass any page rank. Mwah, hah hah.

4 Put some links in the copy

I don’t seem to be getting many inbound links. I guess I’m not playing fair. I know, I’ll sort out my workflow so that it’s possible to add links easily inside the actual copy. But I’m still not passing any pagerank. I’m going to put “rel=nofollow” on every link.

5 Give my users some google juice

Commenters seem thin on the ground. Maybe I’ll let them link to their own sites. I’ll use some annoying javascript to hide the links from google though. Most of my commenters are probably spammers, and I can’t trust them to police their own community, after all.

6 Link when I have to. And remove nofollow and any other annoying tricks

That seemed to make everyone happier. There are a few proper links on my pages. And people seem to want to link to me now that I’m playing fair with my links.

7 Acknowledge my sources

Oops. Spoke to soon. Been outed as pinching someone else’s idea and not attributing it. From now on, I’m going to make sure I always link to everyone I should.

8 Enlightenment: Make linking part & parcel of what I do

Internet. Inter as in inter-connected. Net as in network.

I get it now. I’m going to become a trusted source for information and advice, AND of what else people should read elsewhere on the internet. Blimey, more and more people are visiting my site and linking to it. Continue reading