Friday, January 23, 2009

Editorial on YouTube

The editorial on media and broadband makes a lot of sense. YouTube has a major role in public broadcasting. I have started to notice more local reporting and also I have spent a lot of time checking out the music around the inauguration. Not sure why it was hard to find on UK TV. The BBC presenters chose to speak over the chamber music so I gave up on them. Sky was better, but much more content on YouTube.

The "debate" seems to be about how to find new money to prop up old systems. Nothing I can find about resources for citizen reporting, user content or whatever it may be called. Again YouTube could help here. They have the volume and the systems to support niche communities and to store content over time. I find with the Guardian that on Talk topics are deleted too quickly for themes to develop. On Comment Is Free the comments seem to stop quite quickly when allowed. A new headline is then launched so it is hard to sustain a line of argument. There is scope for further change in how the Guardian approaches the Web.

Simon Jenkins at 180 degrees to reality

You have to hand it to proper print journalists for readability and amusement. The text's readability, your amusement, not sure I can even structure a sentence with a verb in it. But hey this is only a blog.

Simon Jenkins argues at length that fashion is moving back in time. The Rolling stones can still tour. There is book publishing interest in the second world war. So therefore there is new interest in newspapers as in print. I think this is the main point he was getting to. The evidence apparently is the launch of "The Printed Blog" and he suggests for authority that we Google it, not look in a library for a journal.

However, when I look at the site,the Printed Blog turns out to be nothing like a traditional newspaper. It is much more like OhmyNews who publish a free weekly in print to get wider interest in their website. It appears there is not much of a budget for the source bloggers. They will gain from interest in their websites. The jobs advertised are for some inside journalists but there also seems to be an emphasis on editing. this again is similar to OhmyNews. They concentrate resources on editors, partly to support citizen reporters with advice and training. I still think Jeff Jarvis could allow for more sub-editors, not less, in his model of a future news organisation.

So the Printed Blog is not a throwback. Print and online continue to co-exist. The Guardian is still worth 90pence in print as a curiosity but as a guide you may want to check with other sources.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Haymarket moves Marketing Direct online

Mailing shot arrived this morning by post, encloses a fairly slim magazine - Marketing Direct - and announcement that this will be online from next month, February.

So what is the Haymarket take on print? What to make of editorial in Printweek and Printing World?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Guardian reports e-books as games

I have had a good look at the books review section of the Guardian from yesterday and cannot find anything about e-books, the condition of the publishing trade or the implications for access to knowledge resources. All the blog links have gone and the Bookseller extracts also.

So I do not feel I was too sweeping in stating that the ePUB format and the clarity of e-book acceptance at Online Information have not been reported.

Meanwhile the games page in the Guide reports that Harper collins have packaged 100 classic titles for the Nintendo DS at only £19.99. Dickens, Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters with others presumably also out of copyright. Apparently "from the dustier recesses of the HarperCollins back catalogue". It may not be off topic to recall that some New York publishers never paid royalties to Dickens anyway. The comment in the Guide is that some people will be disappointed and will try to swap it for a "proper game". There are several other issues to consider. Do the schools have a duty to inform pupils about Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive and other free sources for the classics? Literary review publications try to sell advertising to publishers but also should inform readers of what is on offer. Sony also claim "free" titles as a benefit for the Sony Reader but promotion in Waterstones fails to mention other free stuff available. The cost of the Sony Reader is enough to put a lot of people off so information on savings is relevant. There is also publishing scene around Creative Commons ideas and the Feedbooks service creating ePUB from blogs and RSS.

Last week the guide covered "Pop" as distinct from literature etc as found in the Review. It will be interesting to see how this works out over time. "Pop" might include anything on a portable device while the critics only recognise hardback books.

Perhaps the HarperCollins package includes some software but this could still be free. Stanza for the iPhone/iPod is being downloaded in larger numbers that the Kindle is delivered. Similar free software for existing mobile devices may be a large part of the scene around e-books, however described. Maybe the Guardian will report this on a Thursday.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Digital Planet and the death of culture

Trying to remember what I heard during the night on the BBC World Service. Usually this is part of going back to sleep again. During the holiday this was a bit of a blur anyway. Pretty sure this is a text version -

Internet critic Andrew Keen this month launches the new edition of his book The Cult of the Amateur – How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture.

In it, he claims that, ‘MySpace and Facebook are creating a youth culture of digital narcissism; the cacophony of anonymous blogs is deafening today’s youth to the voices of informed experts and professional journalists.’

Solana Larsen disagrees. She is managing editor of Global Voices Online, which publishes the best blogs from around the world.

They join Gareth for a discussion about the affect blogs and social networks are having on global culture.

I am jumping about a bit, but why Andrew Keen again? The Guardian has not reviewed at all the book "Everything is Miscellaneous" by David Weinberger. Nothing against Solana Larsen or bloggers, just asking why the literary world ignores a book? Maybe Digital Planet is not as respectful of a book as most of the BBC. Not sure about this but the tone of the introduction for Andrew Keen suggested to me that there is some special form of regard.

Stronger claims for bloggers this year

Getting back to normal life post holiday. Studying the Guardian for example. They are interested in the Web. The hard copy version claims that most news still comes from newspapers. But I can't find that bit in the online version. This just reports that newspapers are not the trusted source of news you might expect from some arguments about the danger to civilisation if print circulation continues to decline.

I think this year will feature some more rudeness about citizen journalism. The chances of most UK news organisations changing their methods to really welcome public engagement is pretty low. Hope I am wrong about this.

My own reporting for OhmyNews is standing up quite well to later events. The stories from people who are not professional journalists can be based on particular interests or niche knowledge. I have now done two stories about the ISO survey to show that certificates indicate a stronger base in China and then some decline in US/UK.

Also I think that e-books are not reported enough on the literary pages, for example the Guardian on a Saturday. This section just carries on as a print item. They dropped the blogging extracts. Very little about the Kindle or Sony Reader. They could cover the changes in forms of writing.

OhmyNews have published my three stories on the ePUB format, Penguin support for ePUB, and the Online Information show.

I think the Online Information event was an adequate base for e-books to flourish in the UK. There was a supplement in the Guardian ahead of the event but no reporting I remember on what happened. Probably around the time of the London Book Fair there will be some more on the dangers for culture of all this blogging stuff and predictions that the printed book will never change. Maybe they will report on what has already happened. The Sony Reader in the UK is about three years later than the model for Japan.