Archive for January, 2010

Immersive Media releases 360-degree interactive video from Haiti

January 25th, 2010

Immersive Media Corp. has released 360-degree interactive video from within Haiti. Web users can use their mouse to access 360-degree, interactive, online video footage of the earthquake devastation.

The video is geo-coded so relief agencies, government and news organizations can see what is happening on the streets of Haiti.

The video is shot at 30 frames-per-second and has been optimized for low-bandwidth viewing. Web users can click and drag a computer mouse while viewing the video to change the angle, look left or right, and up and down. Cameras placed on top of vehicles in Haiti allow users to view 360 degrees. Furthermore, video can be paused and viewers can zoom in or out on specific content.

Every frame of the video is also geo-coded so planners and relief agencies can locate specific areas in need of relief, recovery or rebuilding.

According to a company press release, Immersive Media’s 360-degree interactive video is made in conjunction with IMTS, an organization that often works with military and special operations teams. IMTS has also shot 360-degree video in Iraq to help identify risks and threats, as well as monitor hostile environments.

“All of us at Immersive Media are terribly saddened by the events of Jan. 12 and want to do whatever we can to help improve the immediate and long-term situation in Haiti,” Myles McGovern, president and CEO of Immersive Media, said in a news release. “As previous natural disasters have shown, detailed imagery and assessments of the affected areas are critical to relief efforts and future planning. Since many of the first responders and government organizations are not on-site in Haiti, these 360-degree videos give them an unprecedented view of the devastation from the ground level.”

Samples video can be seen on DigitalJournal.com here.

Tip for entrepreneurs: How to be a better negotiator

January 22nd, 2010

Many of you following this blog are entrepreneurs, sales people or you work in an industry or business where negotiation is key to your day-to-day operations. This blog is a bit different than my usual media-related posts, but I think there’s a lot of value here so I wanted to share.

I picked up this video via VentureBeat and it features Deepak Malhotra,  associate professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School, who offers tips on how to be a better negotiator.

With so many start-ups and entrepreneurs in today’s market, I thought it would be beneficial to post this video here. If you want any tips on how to negotiate in the business world, Malhotra has some great advice:


Digital Journal announces Board of Advisers

January 19th, 2010

DigitalJournal.com made a big announcement today so I’m posting it here for all those interested:

Digital Journal, Inc., a leader in social news and citizen journalism, is pleased to announce the formation of a Board of Advisers.

The Board will provide expertise to the company’s management team to spearhead new initiatives to grow Digital Journal’s global media presence. The advisers are highly renowned experts in a range of fields, including new media, online journalism and venture capital.

DigitalJournal is a news network made up of more than 21,000 journalists, mainstream reporters and bloggers who report from 175 countries around the world.

“We’re very happy to have such an experienced and prolific group of individuals on our Board of Advisers,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, Inc. “We’ve developed an international contributor base and readership, and we’re moving forward to develop new revenue channels and technologies. Along with our Board of Advisers, Digital Journal is poised for strong growth in 2010.”

The board is made up of the following individuals: Jack Kapica, Andrew Waitman, Jen Evans, Kerry Munro and Dr. Michael Geist.

Digital Journal is currently exploring syndication and strategic partnership opportunities, as the company is often approached by organizations looking to tap into the growing citizen journalism field.

Recognized as a pioneer in the citizen-media industry, Digital Journal is often praised for its quality reportage and unique approach to citizen journalism. Journalists are paid for their work through a unique revenue-sharing program. They are taught how to report news, and on-staff editors work hand-in-hand with reporters around the world to fact-check, verify and source stories.

For syndication, strategic partnership or investment opportunities, please contact Chris Hogg, CEO, Digital Journal Inc. // Website Contact // Tel: (416) 410-9675

About DigitalJournal.com: DigitalJournal.com is a citizen media site where writers from across the world work with seasoned professional reporters. The company has been recognized as a pioneer in citizen journalism, and the news reportage has been heralded as quality journalism. Contributors known as “Digital Journalists” work 24/7 to report news from multiple perspectives, while special attention is placed on quality and accuracy.


Digital Journal Board of Advisers:

Chairing the Board of Advisers is Jack Kapica, a journalist and editor with more than 40 years experience. Kapica has been a staff writer and editor for The Gazette in Montreal before moving to The Globe and Mail in 1975, where he edited a section of the paper devoted to popular culture.

Jack also contributed to Digital Journal magazine between 2001 and 2007. Over his years at the Globe, Jack contributed to virtually every beat from literary criticism to religion, news and technology. He has been Books Editor, editor of the Letters to the Editor page, and World Editor for the week-in-review Focus section.

In 1985, he published a collection of the best letters printed by the Globe, in a book called Shocked and Appalled: A Century of Letters to The Globe and Mail. Jack helped train Globe reporters when the newspaper became computerized in 1977, and purchased his first computer in 1981.

From 1996 to 1999, Jack wrote many high-tech features as well as a weekly column called Cyberia for the print paper. He also regularly reviewed new products and software.

In 2001, he became the lead technology columnist and reporter for the technology section of the paper’s website, globeandmail.com.

Jack left the Globe in 2008.


Andrew Waitman is Chief Executive Officer of Pythian and Managing Partner of Blackswan Ventures, an angel technology investment firm.

From 1996 to 2008, Andrew was the Managing Partner of Celtic House Venture Partners, the largest and most successful IT venture fund in Canada, with more than $500-million under management.

He has been involved with more than 75 start-ups and a board member of more than 25 technology start-ups. His current boards include Fidus Systems and Pythian. Andrew has previously served on the boards of DNA13, Third Brigade, ModaSolutions, Diablo Technologies, Overlay.TV, TrialStat, Memsic (IPO on Nasdaq), Sandvine (IPO on TSE), OctigaBay (acquired by Cray), FastLane Technologies (acquired by Quest Software), Pixstream (acquired by Cisco), Abatis (acquired by Redback), OLAP@Work (acquired by Business Objects), BlueArc, Avesta Technologies (acquired by Visual Networks), Orchestream (IPO on LSE) and Ubiquity Software (acquired by Avaya). He sits on the advisory Board of Genesys Capital and the volunteer Board of SHAD Valley. Prior to Celtic House Andrew held senior positions at Eagle & Partners (now Dundee Securities), Citibank and Nortel.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA with distinction from the Richard Ivey School of Business. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.


Jen Evans is the founder and chief strategist at Sequentia Environics, a customer communications agency ranked as Canada’s 24th (2005) and 27th (2004) fastest-growing emerging company by PROFIT magazine.

She joined the board of ITAC in 2009 and has been the co-chair of the White Ribbon CampaignPCworld.ca and was a contributor to The Globe and Mail‘s online tech edition for seven years. since 2005, and also sits on RedFlagDeals’ advisory board. Jen writes a column on business and technology for

Jen has been talking tech on BNN (formerly Report on Business Television) since 1999, and appears in the Technology in the Workplace segment on Workopolis.tv. Jen and Sequentia Environics are pioneers in the world of community and social media, developing revenue-focused social content programs as far back as 1999.

They developed their first community program for Intel in 2004, and current social media and community clients include Yahoo!, TD Canada Trust, Palm, Coca-Cola Canada, Autodesk, and Bell Enterprise. Sequentia Environics’ groundbreaking social measurement methodology, based on customer ethnography, analytics and primary research, has helped more than 40 enterprises establish their social and community strategy and measure success.


Kerry Munro is former head of Yahoo! Canada. Over the past two decades Kerry has led and advised organizations on how to experience hyper growth by leveraging consumer behaviour and demystifying technology as a means to connect with consumers, build a digital brand, and increase revenues and shareholder value.

Recently he was the head of Yahoo! Canada, where it became the fastest-growing and best-performing business unit in Yahoo! worldwide, achieving annual double-to-triple-digit growth over four years and creating connections with more than 19 million Canadians monthly.

Kerry has been recognized as one of Canada’s top influential marketers. He advises executives, boards, growth companies and charitable organizations, and is sought after contributor to national news organizations.


Dr. Michael Geist is a professor of law at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.

Michael is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, and the BBC. Michael serves on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Expert Advisory Board, on the Canadian Digital Information Strategy’s Review Panel, the Electronic Frontier Foundation Advisory Board, and on the Information Program Sub-Board of the Open Society Institute.

Michael has received numerous awards for his work including the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009; the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008; Canarie’s IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada; and he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2003.

Study: 80% of news stories are repackaged from other sources

January 12th, 2010

According to a new study by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ), most of what the public learns still comes from traditional media outlets, especially newspapers. However, the amount of original reporting is on the decline.

The study attempted to look at who reports the news most people consume in their communities; the role of new media, blogs and specialty sites; and how a modern news “ecosystem” in a large American city works. The findings show most people still turn to traditional media to get their news, despite the fact there are more sources of information than ever before.

Using Baltimore, Md, as a test ground for one week, researchers examined all outlets that produced local content and examined six major narratives during that time frame. The study was conducted July 19 to 25, 2009 and the PEJ says this study is an attempt at trying to understand who is producing news and identify the character of what is produced.


According to the PEJ, “Much of the ‘news’ people receive contains no original reporting,” and “8 out of ten stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information.” The report goes on to say 95 percent of reports that did contain new information were from traditional media, mostly newspapers.

Scarcity of content

The PEJ says their analysis shows local papers are offering less content than they once did. According to their report:

For all of 2009, for instance, the [Baltimore] Sun produced 32 percent fewer stories on any subject than it did in 1999, and 73 percent fewer stories than in 1991, when the company still published an evening and morning paper with competing newsrooms.

Furthermore, the study indicates new media is not filling in the content void left by mainstream press, as blogs, Twitter and local news sites typically act more as an alert system or a way to disseminate stories from other websites.


New technology

Researchers concluded the Web is clearly the first place of publication now, as new technology has made it easier to publish quickly. With the rise of new technology, however, news is often posted with little enterprise reporting added. In fact, researchers noted they often saw official press releases posted word-for-word without that fact being disclosed.

They also said citing and crediting sources is an oft-skipped step, as they found many examples of websites reprinting sections of others’ work without credit.

Growth of media outlets

In Baltimore, the number of news outlets has expanded a great deal, as researchers identified 53 news outlets that regularly produce some kind of local content. These outlets range from blogs, to talk radio shows to sites created by former journalists. They also include “multi-platform operations that also make robust use of Twitter as a way means of dissemination.”

However, researchers say 83 percent of stories were repetitive and conveyed no new information, and the 17 percent that did were traditional media outlets. The Baltimore Sun is credited with producing 48 percent of these stories; a specialty paper focusing on business and law produced 13 percent; local TV stations and their websites accounted for 28 percent of enterprise reporting; radio stations produced 7 percent; and new media outlets accounted for 4 percent.


Researchers also note 31 percent of legacy media (newspapers, TV and radio) produced content on new platforms and nearly half of newspaper stories were online rather than in print.

In television, the PEJ says 36 percent of TV news stories were “anchor reads” and “tell stories” which is often material from wire services.

In radio, researchers say there was very little original reporting, with almost 50 percent of segments involving an anchor reading stories and 38 percent of segments including a host interviewing a guest or caller.

The PEJ says there were two cases of new media breaking information in Baltimore; one was a police Twitter feed and the other was a local blog that picked up a story the mainstream press nearly missed completely. A newspaper eventually found the blog and reported the story.

As more and more media outlets scale back on original reporting, researchers say reproducing others’ content has become a big part of the news media ecosystem:

Government, at least in this study, initiates most of the news. In the detailed examination of six major storylines, 63% of the stories were initiated by government officials, led first of all by the police. Another 14% came from the press. Interest group figures made up most of the rest.

The PEJ says new media, local bloggers and specialty outlets are “almost certain” to grow in number and expand capacity.

Topics vary by media outlet

The PEJ says the news agendas of media outlets were “strikingly different,” and “the world one encounters differs dramatically depending on where one seeks his or her information.”


According to their study, 23 percent of TV stories were about crime (double the amount of any other subject). With newspapers, crime reporting was nearly matched by reports on government, followed by business and education. In radio and new media, however, government was the No. 1 topic.

The study can be found online here.