Archive for May, 2007

Blogging : less can be more

May 14, 2007

A quick thought to share. Some of the bloggers I read most eagerly are those that post less often. Neither Danah Boyd, Mike Manuel, Will Sullivan, or Rob Curley are daily posters. This means that I know I’ll only have a post or two to read, and not 100+, which PaidContent can rack up in an afternoon. With the rise of RSS feedreaders the audience you’re writing for shouldn’t disappear, as long as you provide them with a point of view they value however rarely you post.

24 hour personal broadcast : or, Uscream.tv

May 14, 2007

Anyone who works in the web will occasionally get asked “What’s the next big thing?” ( You get asked this often if you get very excited when the internet is mentioned, which I do). Annoyingly for my bank balance I don’t know that answer, however, I think I can see a next big thing. A future is Justin.tv and Ustream.tv.

These two sites have technology that allows users to video broadcast their every move. Justin now has a camera on his head transmitting his every move in San Franciso. Heck, even Jeff Jarvis’ son was able to rig up something that broadcast from his backpack. This makes blogging, vlogging and twittering seem like tools for the shy and retiring personal broadcaster.

I haven’t even watched that much of Justin.tv, but it is hypnotic. He’s cooking eggs. He’s walking. I’m watching. Why? Because human behaviour is fascinating. So if you’re not involved in a super neat Economist web innovation unit so can’t do anything about this, here are some things you could do :

i) Find 6 interesting people in diffferent fields and follow them as they interview artists, musicians, politicians and whomever.

ii) Or go niche. Find 6 intereting people who all do the same thing as they report on everything in music/politics/you get the idea. Remember, niche works.

iii) Find 6 socially stunted people who most definitely will not get on and make them live together and perform various taxing tasks. Yes, it is an even more hyper-invasive Big Brother with an out in the real world element.

Whatever, you do decide to do Mrs. TV Producer, do it quick. Because Big Brother is only Big because it got there first.

An amusing sidenote to this is that at the beginning of Project Red Stripe we did some thinking around potential future scenarios. Here’s one I doled out before either of these two sites came up (forgive the Terminator 2 style apocalyptic rhetoric) :

The Rise of The Connecteds

In 2012 there arises a group called The Connecteds. Emerging initially in South Korea, San Francisco and Finland this youth culture constantly records, broadcasts and diffuses their lives. They become multimedia centres that not only create output but constantly scan shifting tides of information in many different forms.”

I think that shows that either that i) if you ask me to think five years into the future I’ll be able to tell you what will happen next month ii) the web moves fast so move your ass .

Attention all wannabe journalists : Great internship on offer

May 3, 2007

Do you know anyone who wants to be journalist? Or are you a student looking to get into it? I ask because there’s an internship on offer at The Washington Post Interactive with multimedia news legend Rob Curley. If you can think of anyone this might interest then please pass the news on. For one the Curlmeister sounds like a pleasure to work with. Anyone who has “what we really want are self-motivated bad-asses” in a job description is alright by me. And secondly, it will be a chance to see what the newsroom of the future looks like.

Spread the word.

Apologies for corporate sucking, but my boss is great

May 2, 2007

I know this might qualify me for a Private Eye Order of the Brown Nose (I might even nominate myself) but I really did enjoy reading this article on Andrew Rashbass’ performance at MIX07. I’ll not dwell on it too long because singing the praises of your intelligent, handsome publisher looks cynical. So he was taking part in a debate on the convergence of marketing and content, however, as opposed to banging that drum he kicked off with this peach:

“It’s kind of funny to hear Robbie Bach [Microsoft's president for entertainment and devices] giving a talk on advertising and monetization when he just lost $300m in the last quarter.” (Link)

I won’t take out anymore highlights as it really would look too craven and sucky. Read the rest of the article, it makes some good points. The thinking is familiar to me as I heard much of it from Andrew on my third day of the job. Coming in all starry eyed about the web, only to realise that The Economist magazine format is sort of working (10% growth year on year for some time). Being a n00b I also made the mistake of asking Mr Rashbass what he did at The Economist…nice.

Site design is the new editorial

May 1, 2007

Just came across a nice little piece on why the comments you see on Slashdot are generally of a higher standard than the one’s on Digg. As your comments are now your content it shows nicely how site design and moderating systems are the new editorial.

Atthe base the problem is that Digg’s moderation system makes it easier for bad comments to show up, as they have to be voted down five times to disappear. Most people can’t be bothered to vote down one lame comment in a sea of lame comments, abbreviations and insults, that rarely happens.

However, at Slashdot the set up is different. Your comment can be hidden more easily, therefore you’ll put more effort into it, as “OMG this is lAme!!!!!11111!!!1111!” will not get shown. By creating the right incentive system for users, you will increase the quality of the content they provide. Maybe pay them. (via 25HoursADay).

- I do realise I have been away from this blog for a while, without so much as an explanation. I quite like it like that, as though Lord Lucan just wandered back into his kitchen one day and asked for a cup of tea. Needless to say we’ve been very busy and PRS is getting extremely exciting.


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