Monthly Archives: August 2008

2 ways to get SMS text messages from Twitter – what are yours?

As soon as Twitter dumped SMS alerts for most of the world, a bunch of us started trying to find workaround solutions that would allow us to still get text messages from Twitter. After much fiddling, online discussion and frustration, I’ve come up with two solutions that seem to work: Continue reading

YouTube and the first casualty of war

“This is the dramatic moment a TV reporter was shot by a sniper as she reported live from war-torn Georgia,” according to the Daily Mail, MSNBC’s Clicked, USA Today, the Herald Sun in Australia and a whole host of others.

The problem? None of those media outlets address the possibility of the video being a fake, despite dozens of comments like this: Continue reading

Twitter cancels UK SMS – the Facebook campaign to sort it out

UPDATE 10: Current startups include TweetSMS, Zygotweet, Twitmobile, Twittex, HootSMS, 3jam, Tweeteroo and TwitSMS.

UPDATE 9: Two workarounds suggested

UPDATE 8: Avatar campaign now under way. Now available for  the following mobile operators: 3 (http://www.tw3t.com/f/25l); O2: http://www.tw3t.com/f/25m; Orange: http://www.tw3t.com/f/25g; T-Mobile: www.tw3t.com/f/25o; Virgin Mobile (http://www.tw3t.com/f/25n); and Vodafone: http://www.tw3t.com/f/25k. Generic image also created by dear2world

UPDATE 7: Nathan Monk is suggesting a campaign of sending ‘boo’ tweets to Twitter founder Biz Stone

UPDATE 6: Journalism.co.uk reports on the impact on many newspapers’ plans

UPDATE 5: Interview about TweetSMS at ArabCrunch.

UPDATE 4: Also filling that gap are Zygotweet.com – also recommended is Jaiku.

UPDATE 3: Also from the Facebook group wall: Some are calling for a ‘Twitter strike’ on August 18

UPDATE 2: That gap in the market has already been spotted: TweetSMS.com (also on Twitter) offers to deliver text messages “for a low price”. On the Facebook group Wall Bullying.co.uk (also on Twitter) notes of Twitter’s official statement: “the prices they are getting charged are way over the odds: on the volume they are hitting it could be as low as 0.3 – 0.5p a text.”

UPDATE: Nicolas Gosset has set up a group to campaign in France

So Twitter has cancelled SMS updates for users outside of the US, Canada and India, apparently because it has been unable to arrange decent billing deals with mobile operators outside of those countries.

So I’ve set up a Facebook group in the UK to put some pressure on mobile operators to cut a deal, fast. It’s in their interests, after all – how many of us started to use text messaging more often because of Twitter? And how many of us are now going to stop?

Hope you can join and add to the numbers (even if you’re not in the UK). Also, if you’re not in the UK, please set up a group for your own country, let me know about it, and we can build a network of these.

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More about that social-media-for-news training next week

Being the sort of person who puts all their work online, I thought it might be useful to put the agenda for next week’s one-day training course up, along with useful hyperlinks. As always, contributions welcomed. Here’s what I’ll be covering: Continue reading

MNA joins the rush to mobile news sites

The Midlands News Association is the latest publisher to embrace the mobile web with mobile-friendly sites for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. The sites were built by the Midland News Association’s online arm MNA Digital with mobile technology partner Wapple, based in Bromsgrove. Particularly impressive is how easy it is for users to make comments – normally one of the most difficult acts when viewing on a mobile.

The move comes barely a week after The Telegraph also (re)launched its mobile version, while Trinity Mirror has announced its plans to take 14 of its newspapers mobile in the next few months.

Mobile Computer has a good overview of the various national mobile services,

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CNN lets you see the ‘BackStory’

BackStory

CNN have a fancy new tool which allows you to see the “history, context and background to a developing story”. BackStory presents previous stories in a slideshow format with links to the full articles.

I’m not sure if this is a ‘Previous Stories’ link box for the broadband age that brings new life to a story, or a waste of resources that might have been better spent elsewhere. The timeline could work well, but doesn’t seem particularly usable in the Anthrax example. What do you think?

Rachel Clark, senior producer, tells more on CNN’s Behind the Scenes blog. (via Journalism.co.uk)

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Money, money, money (if you’re a community org or blogger)

If money’s what you’re after, here are some avenues opening up:

The Knight Community Information Challenge is offering $20 million to support US-based initiatives aimed at “using media and technology to better serve local communities with information.” Interestingly the focus seems to be on community organisations rather than media organisations. Continue reading

Training – is your employer still doing it?

UPDATE: Seems this is too sensitive an issue for public discussion, so feel free to send me an off the record email or DM tweet instead.

UPDATE 2: Here’s one way to solve staffing issues and training issues at the same time.

Next Wednesday I’ll be teaching a small group of newspaper journalists about using social media to track breaking news. I’ve noticed that most of the attendees are employed by one particular publisher. Other publishers are conspicuous by their absense, as are broadcast journalists. Are employers cutting training? Or just doing it in-house? Has training matter changed to keep up with changes in the media, or does it remain largely traditional? As always, I’d love to know your experiences.

Quebec news websites added to Interactivity Index

David Carter in Canada has added several news websites from Quebec to the Interactivity Index, which now compares the interactive features of news websites in the UK, US, France, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland. Scores for the Canadian websites range from Voir’s 1300 points down to Quebec Science with 300. Anyone want to add Canadian websites outside of Quebec?

Try it out below: