Monthly Archives: October 2008

Mobile phone users want the web. Apparently.

The first annual U.S. mobile phone user survey by Azuki Systems Inc. suggests that the long-heralded move to the mainstream mobile web is getting closer*. Some choice quotes (via Research Brief):

Almost 80% of those surveyed said they wished it were easier to access information from the Internet on their mobile phones, and an equal percentage stated they wished it were easier to access rich media on their mobile phones. Continue reading

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The notification homepage

Written by Wilbert Baan

The last year has seen social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn updating the design of the homepage to turn it more into a notification page: the homepage as a place where you can see what your friends are doing. Your virtual center of the network.

These updates let you know what your friends are up to, but they also let you know what your friends like or share. The social networks often work as recommendation networks as well. Continue reading

Dave Cohn in the Spotlight

Alex Gamela talks to Dave Cohn, founder of the non-profit, crowdfunding journalism project Spot.us, winner of a Knight News Challenge grant, and a suggested new model for the news business. On the eve of launching the Spot.us official website, Dave told OJB how he is putting his ideas into practice, and his views on the current state of journalism.

Four months after winning the KNC grant, Dave Cohn is a happy man. He started with a wiki where he presented and tested the different sides to his project, and he quickly managed to fund three stories. Now it is on its way to fund a fourth one. All of this even before having an official website. Continue reading

Researching online journalism – the networked way

I’ve created a social network for anyone researching news and journalism. It’s at http://onlinejournalismresearch.ning.com/

It’s an attempt to provide a way for journalism students and academics to get in touch with others researching the same area, exchange ideas and tips, and ask for help on everything from finding relevant literature to sourcing contacts and the best research methods.

Research is traditionally a solitary, frustrating endeavour. It doesn’t need to be. If you work with journalism students, please encourage them to join the network and contribute a question or an answer.

If it helps, I’ll be hanging around trying to help as much as I can, and I’ll be inviting others to do the same.

Let’s get news research networked.

Lessons in community from community editors #4: Tom Whitwell

I’ve been speaking to news organisations’ community editors on the lessons they’ve learned from their time in the job. Today, The Times’s Tom Whitwell:

1. Trust the readers

Self-policing often works. I had a case where a sports writer was annoyed by a commenter who said he’d got his facts wrong. He wanted us to take the comment down, but by the time we got to the page, there were 3-4 other commenters backing up the writer. On the whole, we have very intelligent readers who leave great comments.

2. Interaction is incredibly subtle and variable

Similar articles with similar traffic can get very different responses – something in the wording of one will inspire hundreds of comments, but not the other.

Some people are hesitant about leaving a comment, but they might be very willing to vote in a poll, or fill in a survey. There are an infinite number of ways that websites can get readers more engaged.

What do you think of the new commenting system (IntenseDebate)?

A couple weeks ago I switched to the IntenseDebate commenting system, which has a number of advantages (threading, voting) and disadvantages (er, video commenting is disabled). The result seems to have been fewer commenters, but commenting more often – an increased sense of community.

How have you found it? (Feel free to comment via Twitter if it annoys you that much)

Blog08 – a video patchwork of impressions

So I was speaking at Blog08 last Friday – here are my vlogged impressions upon my return…

…and here is a snippet of video to give you a taste of that A List Bloggers panel tackling, of all things, ‘Is blogging journalism?’ The American speaker is Loren Feldman – a reactionary trapped in a revolutionary’s body – the Brit is Pete Cashmore of Mashable. Continue reading