For the last 18 months I’ve been talking to people across the industry, reflecting on the past 7 years of teaching the MA, and researching the forthcoming second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook. Here, then, are the key conclusions I arrived at, and how they informed the new course design:
How do you reach an audience which is consuming more content on mobile than desktop – and at different schedules to the traditional print model? At Monetising Media last week industry leaders shared their concerns and strategies for succeeding on mobile without losing quality and content. Maria Crosas Batista sums up some of the key takeaways:
Product rather than platform: Lee Wilkinson, Hearst Magazines International
I’ve been fiddling with the mobile location-based social networking game Foursquare for a few months now. The concept is simple: as you move around a city you ‘check in’ to locations. You can see where your friends last checked in, and you can add comments as you go. But does it have journalistic uses? I think it does. Here are just 4:
1. Finding contacts
Until recently I refrained from pressing the ‘Tell Twitter’ or ‘Tell Facebook’ buttons when I checked into a location. However, that changed when I realised what happens when you do.
In one example, David Nikel, a political candidate in Birmingham, ‘checked in’ at Birmingham New Street train station 5 minutes after I had. Although I hadn’t ‘shared’ my check in via Twitter, because Nikel did, his automatically generated tweet said that I was there too. This alerted me and led to us meeting.
2. Social capital
Foursquare plugs into your existing social networks but adds an extra layer of information. If you know that John spends a lot of time at Urban Coffee Co you can make a point to go there yourself more often, or at least have it as a potential conversation-opener.
Users can add ‘tips’ to locations – a feature which is currently underused but has potential for leads as well as…
Foursquare has already signed deals with Metro in Canada, Bravo TV and the FT. The potential is obvious: content directly relevant to your location. The big issue for Foursquare is whether it can achieve the scale that most publishers need.
How about you? Are using Foursquare or one of the other location based social networks, such as Brightkite or Gowalla – and how has it been useful?