Because he sends me an email every December, Nic Newmanhas a tag all of his own on this blog. So as this year’s email lands in my inbox here’s my annual reply around what I’ve noticed in the last 12 months — along with some inevitably doomed predictions of what might happen in the next year…
Surprising in 2017: horizontal storytelling and Facebook disappointments
When you get a new laptop – with no cookies on it! – it’s a great opportunity to start afresh and protect your privacy online by default. As I recently got a new laptop here’s what I did as I set it up…
Start from scratch – no importing of settings/applications
Many laptop setup wizards offer the option to import applications, documents or other elements from your existing laptop. I didn’t do this, partly because I didn’t want to bloat my new laptop with anything that wasn’t necessary (and if you use cloud storage then you can download from there anyway), but largely because I wanted to check the settings of each application as I went – this is much easier to do if you’re installing them.
Browsers – install them all
I use at least four different browsers: Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera. (You might also want to install Tor for particular use cases, although I’m not going to cover it here).
It’s useful to have different browsers partly because they offer different functionality, but also because it allows you to separate different activities. For example: Continue reading →
As part of a series of articles on the innovators tackling the filter bubble phenomenon, Andrew Brightwell interviews John Gable, founder and CEO of AllSides, a website that has devised its own way to present alternative perspectives on American news.
When a man who helped build the first successful web browser says there’s something wrong with the Internet, it probably pays to listen.
“The internet is broken.”
John Gable’s diagnosis has authority: he has more than 30 years in the tech business, including stints at Microsoft, AOL and as a product manager for Netscape Navigator.
Now he is founder and CEO of AllSides Inc, a news website with a distinct mission. Visit AllSides.com and it offers the news you’d expect on any US politics site, except that its lead stories include a choice of articles: one from the left, centre and right.
“The headlines are so radically different that even reading [them together] tells you more about that topic than reading one story all the way through.”
In a new series of interviews, Andrew Brightwell talks to the innovators fighting the polarising force of social media filter bubbles. First up, Read Across The Aisle – an app that monitors the political bias of your reading habits.
“This was a problem created by apps, so it’s natural that it might be solvable by apps.”
Nick Lum is describing his latest venture, Read Across The Aisle, a smartphone app that he hopes will offer its users a way out of their politically partisan echo chambers.
Currently, on KickStarter, Read Across The Aisle promises to do for your politics what Fitbit has done for your health.
By colour-coding the political slant of the news sites you read, it will indicate the potential bias you’re getting from your news. Continue reading →
Every year Nic Newman asks a bunch of people for their reflections on the last 12 months and their anticipations for the year ahead. Here’s what I’ve said this year — as always, to be taken with significant doses of salt.
What surprised you most in 2016?
Perhaps the sheer number of significant developments (compare the posts for 2015 and 2014). It was the year when bots went mainstream very quickly, and platforms took further significant steps towards becoming regulated as publishers.
It was a year of renewed innovation in audio. 2016 saw the launch of a number of new audio apps, including Anchor, Pundit, Clyp and Bumpers.fm, as various companies attempted to be the ‘Facebook of audio’. The only problem: Facebook wants to be the Facebook of audio too: at the end of the year they introduced live audio. Continue reading →
If there was always a suspicion that it would happen eventually, this year it was confirmed: in 2016 platforms from Facebook to Snapchat, Twitter to Tumblr, all took significant steps towards becoming fully blown publishers. Here are 7 things that happened this year that swung it. Continue reading →
Well here’s an update: not only is that infrastructure now a reality, but it has become much more complex. And as these tools have become more widely adopted it has shifted the focus on information management from the institution to the individual journalist. Continue reading →
Twitter’s analytics service is a useful tool for journalists to understand which tweets are having the biggest impact. The dashboard at analytics.twitter.com provides a general overview under tabs like ‘tweets’ and ‘audiences’, and you can download raw data for any period then sort it in a spreadsheet to see which tweets performed best against a range of metrics.
However, if you want to perform any deeper analysis, such as finding out which days are best for tweeting or which times perform best — you’ll need to get stuck in. Here’s how to do it. Continue reading →