Archive for March, 2010

Twitter co-founder says monetization coming within a month

March 25th, 2010

Twitter’s monetization strategy has been a long time coming and while it’s still not known exactly what Twitter has planned, an ad platform is widely expected.

It’s still not known is when Twitter plans to announce its money-making plans, but we may now have an indication.

In an interview with CNBC, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said “later this month [we’ll be] revealing exactly how we plan to make a sustainable source of income so we can build a business.”

PaidContent notes that Stone likely means next month when Twitter has scheduled its Chirp conference. On the agenda is “monetization.”

Stone doesn’t give CNBC much more info, other than to say, “We’re going to roll out something that we think is appropriate not just for users but also for the ecosystem.” Stone says the roll-out will also “give us time to tweak the model and experiment with things.”

Here’s the interview:

Citizen journalism needs the opportunity to fail, strong community management

March 23rd, 2010

This post is about citizen journalism, and more specifically an interesting sit-down Megan Garber of Nieman Journalism Lab had with Minnesota Public Radio‘s Linda Fantin and the Sunlight Foundation‘s Ellen Miller.

In the video below, the two talk about experiments with community-generated journalism. The interview is interesting because the two mention a few points that distinguish a citizen journalism experiments from those in traditional newsrooms.

Working with Digital Journal, I absolutely agree with a few points.

The first point is the ability to fail: Unlike a big media outlet that cannot always afford to take risks and experiment, a citizen journalism news outlet needs to be nimble and accept not every idea will work.

The ability to fail is key to success, because without the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t, a user-generated news outlet doesn’t always get a chance to develop best-practice methods.

The world of digital media is changing, and changing quickly, so the more opportunities media have to experiment the more likely we are to come up with a future for journalism that is based on real-world experience and experiments.

The community element is also incredibly important, as a user-generated news network relies on contributors to grow.

At Digital Journal, growth has always been the goal, but we’ve done everything with the tenets of good journalism in mind; fact-checking, sourcing, balance, objectivity, etc.

The world of news needs good journalism to work, so growth needs to always keep that in mind. Throwing out the fundamentals of good journalism to increase pageviews is suicide for a news site, so I’ve always believed management needs to be very active within the community and encourage good journalism over simply going after pageviews.

My experience has been fortunate in this aspect; most of the citizen reporters I’ve had the privilege of working with have been keen to learn how to practice good journalism, or make their reporting better. They may not always know how to be a good journalist while they’re starting out, so when it comes to community a citizen journalism site needs management that will be nurturing, but also firm and informative. Clear direction is key.

The citizen journalists I work with every day work very well under pressure and follow guidelines to the letter when they’re given a bit of coaching. In the end, everyone wants good-quality work, so managing a citizen community well is key to the birth of good user-generated reportage.

There’s a cliche about teaching a man to fish that works perfectly as an analogy for building a network of good citizen journalism.

I won’t spoil more of the video at this point, and instead invite you to hear Fantin and Miller talk on the subject.

And about the background noise in the video: As Nieman Journalism Lab notes, “the video’s soundtrack, if you’re wondering, is an apparently epic game of ping-pong taking place in a nearby rec room.”

Ellen Miller and Linda Fantin on experimentation from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

Video: How gamers can save the world

March 19th, 2010

This is not quite the usual post for this site, as I’m not sure how many of you are keen followers of the gaming world, but it’s something I found to be very interesting and it does involve a form of media that is exploding in popularity, so I figured it was worth bringing to your attention.

I came across a speech by Jane McGonigal from the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and it’s really interesting to see how gaming and gamers could potentially change the world.

For those of you not familiar with TED, it stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design,” three subject areas that are shaping the future. Every year, some of the world’s greatest thinkers gather at TED to share their ideas.

In this talk (embedded below), game designer Jane McGonigal looks at how games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and “incentive to learn the habits of heroes.” She examines what would happen if gamer power could be used to solve real-world problems.

A quick bio before the video:

McGonigal directs game R&D at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit forecasting firm where she developed Superstruct, a massively multiplayer game in which players organize society to solve for issues that will confront the world in 2019. She masterminded World Without Oil, which simulated the beginning of a global oil crisis and inspired players to change their daily energy habits. McGonigal also works with global companies to develop games that build on our collective-intelligence infrastructure – like The Lost Ring, a mystery game for McDonald’s that became the world’s biggest alternate reality game, played by more than 5 million people.


Google, Intel and Sony team up in boob tube deal

March 18th, 2010

According to the New York Times, Sony has joined forces with Google and Intel to develop a platform under the Google TV name. The goal is to bring Web video into the living room with new TVs and set-top boxes.

The Web-based TV game is a competitive landscape, with big players such as Netflix, TiVo, Apple TV and a billion brand names you’ve never heard of making set-top boxes to stream content from the Web.

The Sony-Intel-Google partnership’s goal is to beef up their portfolio and extend their presence into another room of the house. Google and Intel have a lot of revenue potential if they can get market share in the TV space, and Sony could earn a competitive edge via a partnership with the big-G. Over the last number of years, the HDTV landscape has become highly competitive and Sony has seen its foothold slip, so a partnership that offers a new technology may help drive consumers to the Sony brand.

So what’s the big deal with this announcement? According to the NY Times, the three tech titans want to make it easier for TV users to use and navigate through Web-based applications such as Twitter, Picasa. Their goal is to make it as simple as changing the channel.

The TV sets will use Intel’s Atom chips and the platform will be built on Google’s Android operating system (the same one used in smartphones), and the code will be opened to developers and software engineers. The move is strategic in an effort to have third-parties assist in growing and developing the platform (the same way App developers have helped fuel the demand for Apple’s iPhone or iPod).

There are no details on release dates, but software and some products may surface as early as this summer, reports indicate. Peripheral maker Logitech is reported to make a remote with a small keyboard.

The Times report cites anonymous sources who indicate the partnership has been in the works for months. Nobody has spoken publicly yet, as details are still being negotiated.

[Via NY Times]

David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel look back on Jay Leno-bashing

March 17th, 2010

Anyone who followed the Conan O’Brien/Jay Leno fiasco would likely remember the night-after-night beatings Leno received from other late night talk show hosts.

For a lot of people, Leno was the bad guy who bullied O’Brien out of the Tonight Show, and Leno was punished for it incessantly by comics. Furthermore, local TV affiliates were outraged that Leno’s low ratings were hurting local news numbers.

So what’s happened since Leno left his 10 p.m. time slot and failed Jay Leno Show experiment? According to the AP, the 10 p.m. audience has increased by 45 percent. While Leno was averaging 5.15 million viewers a week, Law & Order, Parenthood, Law & Order: SVU, and The Marriage Ref have all been averaging 7.44 million viewers.

And now that Leno is back at the helm at the Tonight Show, other late night talk show hosts are back at it. Last night, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel joined forces to reminisce of the days when they were poking fun at Leno.

Kimmel laughed when he recalled being asked to do 10 questions with Leno, saying he turned the tables and asked Leno 10 questions about stealing Conan’s show. Leno accused Kimmel of sucker-punching him for the stunt.

“I didn’t feel like I sucker-punched him,” Kimmel said to Letterman. “Until I looked it up in the dictionary and it turns out I did.”

For those who missed it, I’ve embedded the clip below: