Monday, October 04, 2010

Preston suggests Google TV for UK local media

Over the weekend Peter Preston suggested Google TV as a way to resolve the issues around local TV in the UK.
In a sense, there's nothing totally revolutionary here. 71% of university students (on one recent YouGov sample) already watch two hours of TV online every day. 52% habitually watch television and mail or text their mates at the same time.
That is a YouGov poll for the UK. So as Google TV spreads in the USA the only gap will be to establish some UK local search tags.

There are dedicated TV sets with google TV software but the approach could start without them. Watching video online is possible with many devices. This can coexist with many forms of TV.

Preston welcomes print prospects for news

Peter Preston claims there is still a future for print.

The point to note isn't how vulnerable our printed newspapers are but how surprisingly resilient.

However I think he should visit print trade shows every so often. At IPEX there was no equipment on show from Man Roland. They may not expect to sell many new machines in the UK.

At Graph Expo in Chicago I notice there are no stands from Heidelberg or Komori. So litho may not be facing up to digital print this time around.

Digital is suited to short runs or relatively short runs. There could be more regianla variation in the Saturday Guide or other supplements. I think the Guardian should check out forms of print that benefit from web input.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What would Jeff Jarvis do?

The Guardian / Observer seems to be quite interested in the Times paywall. It is not that clear that they have a different policy.

Peter Preston seems to think that not only will people subscribe but then rethink their experience of the Web -
So, once I've stumped up cash for access, I don't necessarily look at paywalled paper newspaper sites in the same old digital way. I may read them as I would a print newspaper. I'm not clicking around, adding page view to page view, following a tale that interests me from site to site. Consistency counts. My habits have changed because I've paid good money. The stuff behind the wall looks like a newspaper and basically exists to be read as an electronic newspaper. There's a certain logic here.

Well, time will tell. It is not only Peter Preston but also Media Guardian on a Monday that is on the Murdoch case. Charles Arthur asks whether Facebook is a friend or foe? The assumption seems to be that the media pages are only read by people who work as journalists, probably in print, and that most print journalists see Murdoch as a champion of their views. The suggestion is that Facebook is a bigger threat to newspapers than Google so Murdoch should redirect his "ire". The evidence is muddled because there is a detail in the depths of the story. Google UK directs "21.9% of clicks to news and media sites, compared to 6.72% for Facebook." So the earlier remarks about Facebook compared to Google dotcom do not make a lot of sense except as a base for sweeping claims in the headline.

Anyway, my main point is that this directing of clicks through to news sites is seens as evidence of the terrible danger posed by social media, clearly a bad thing. Apparently Facebook is full of quotes lifted from newspapers. My own impression is that most of Facebook is based on personal experience. Twitter is followed by journalists looking for news.

If the Guardian is taking a different direction then acceptance of social media could be a consequence of an open site. The OhmyNews model welcomes contributions from readers and links to other sites. I realise this is repeating earlier posts but we seem to be going back in time.

I still think Jeff Jarvis is not getting the space in media Guardian that he did last year. I have tried to check this but got no reply. It was never definite but seemed to be every other week at one point. He turns up on the central pages but not as a regular towards where the ABC numbers on newspapers might be.

What would he do if on the Guardian staff with a regular spot? Is there a case for being more direct about the Times paywall? What sort of involvement from readers would be welcome?

James Murdoch recently suggested that the British Library should limit public access to newspaper archives so that there was more of a market for publishers. There is a lot to discuss.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Social Media

Still thinking about time and place. Settling back into Exeter so less likely to visit London again this week. I have started two new things at "Tales of Things" for Internet world, a stand for Brand Republic and the keynote theatre featuring Meg Pickard. This may be a way of asking a question. Or it may need to continue. What I wonder about is what these "Media Groups" actually think about print. Haymarket and the Guardian both seem to be moving online but still the print versions are a bit negative about digital. I did not find anything in the Guardian or Observer about the Digital Zone at the London Book Fair. Not long ago there was questioning piece about the "paperless office".

Blogger Jo Francis has reported on the digital aspect of the London Book Fair on her blog, but claims that the screen of the iPad is smudgy so not easy to read.
Top tip for putative iPad purchasers: you'll need to carry a microfibre cloth with you at all times, the screen's ability to pick up fingerprint marks is on a par with that of a black glass coffee table from Argos.

So at Internet World there will be Brand Republic with a stand and Guardian social media with a keynote. What to think?

Readers of Printweek could get involved in production of digital content. I asked at the Digital Zone if there would be a presence at IPEX and the view seemed to be that this was a different world. Last year there was an Espress book machine at the bookfair, later delivered to Blackwells on Charing Cross Road. Jo Francis has commented about the quality of the binding and also the problems with spare parts that closed it down for weeks at a time. However the idea of getting short run production closer to retail is worth investigating. Currently it seems that short runs are delivered into the existing national distribution. Generally I think there are ways for print companies to develop as part of communication, even though mostly digital.

Also, as Haymarket develops online what to make of the Printweek views?

Meanwhile Emily Bell has a few worries about Facebook and what established news organisations should be doing.
o completely spurn out of hand the incredible reach this platform could offer would simply be madness, at a time when finding a relevant audience for news and other content is the biggest challenge. But to hand over all of this activity wholesale to Facebook suggests that within five minutes there will be another head-scratching session as media executives hunt for the teaspoons from the family silver Google left behind.
I think it could have been sensible to make more of Guardian Talk, a board i have contributed to. The public can start a new topic as suits their interest. There has never been any promotion in the print Guardian. No Guardian staff have ever contributed anything as far as I know, except one prepress bit of news on PDF. The format for Comment Is Free assumes that the journalists set the topic. Comment is closed after quite a short time. The only coverage of OhmyNews that i know about has been on the Technology pages, now closed down. True, the not very funny series on a fictional citizen journalist has ended, but not much factual content has replaced it.

So will Facebook make more sense for most people? Probably. There is no print version with a dissonant view.

It will be interesting to see what turns up online from Earl's Court this week.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rusbridger tests the iPad

The Observer had a long review of the iPad from Alan Rusbridger. There may be some clues for the future of the Guardian. He likes the options for video and rich content. He would prefer a keyboard but seems to think about it as a device for people to consume content. Maybe this is why it gets more space than other devices. He is a bit dismissive of the Kindle and Sony Reader. The issue is not covered that there could be damage to eyesight if staring at a backlit screen too long. I think there is still a demand for text and also through moving text about people can select and comment. The iPad is only one option.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#likeminds , citizen journalism

Found this Idio blog through Twitter and following @scottgould from #likeminds connections.
Citizen Journalism / Crowd-sourcing

With every major international event that occurs, it seems that citizen journalism takes another step into the mainstream. From Twitter reports emerging out of the streets of Iran, to videoblogs during the earthquakes in South America, the world is taking notice of personal voices, as tools such as Twitter and Youtube become a protocol for mass individual reporting. Many publishers have made great strides in this area, but still the vast majority of mainstream news is produced by paid journalists. There are certain areas which are very likely to move towards the crowd-sourcing model in the next years, including sports reports and hyperlocal news. And since a lot of reporting is already been done for free, why shouldn’t publishers take advantage?

This is about fourth in line as an idea to lower the cost of journalism. Thing is, citizen journalism also involves some editorial scope for the citizen. Not just video of the earthquake for the professionals to select. But at least citizen journalism is still on the agenda.

By the way, still no reply from the Guardian as such. Jeff Jarvis has commented on this blog, and returned to Guardian in print. But I would still like to know how to check a fact about the Guardian.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jeff Jarvis leaves you wanting more as Victor Keegan relaunches on Twitter

There was Jeff Jarvis in the print Guardian yesterday but I still get the impression some coverage is reduced. He was on the main page for comment. Last year there was often more pages to come, including analysis on newspapers. I will look carefully for how this continues.

Meanwhile from Twitter I discover that Victor Keegan is leaving the Guardian. When is not stated. The Technology pages were really good to read. Blogs etc are ok but there is nothing wrong with considered print once a week.

Apparently there will soon be an app based on poetry in London. And Tweets will continue.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Guardian conversation continued

Jeff Jarvis has commented on the previous post and it turns out he will be in the print version of the Guardian tomorrow. So I look forward to this.

However I have not heard from the Guardian as such. I have an email for the Press Office from the switchboard and have left a couple of voice messages. My statement that there has been less Jeff Jarvis than I would expect is still reasonable. Why this could be is speculation, only encouraged by a lack of information.

Generally I think the Guardian could explain itself a lot more, especially to people who might be supportive. The Talk website is hardly ever mentioned in print, there is never any reply from Guardian staff to any contribution. My interest is in PDF and citizen journalism/OhmyNews .

Today Peter Preston states the losses for the Times and Independent. Why do executives leave the Guardian? Who knows? Some sort of citizen journalism model might be useful sometime soon. Requires engagement in conversation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Any views on Jeff Jarvis in the Print Guardian ?

I am still trying to check out my guess that the print guardian has reduced the frequency for Jeff Jarvis on a Monday. Two voice messages now for the Press Office. I have been told an email address but no reply to that either.

This is only a blog but I do try to check some facts.

There are losses for the Guardian and I know there are job losses. But my general point is that readers who could also contribute would do more if there was more open information. So far this year there has been the closing of Technology in print and a "slimmed down" Observer. There was an announcement that Simon Caulkin was dropped. Jeff Jarvis just seems to have gone away.

There is still almost no detail on citizen journalism. Both reports i know of were in the Tech pages. OhmyNews has some problems and is changing the business model to seek subscription support. But I think the value of interactivity has to be a part of a new approach.

The print Guardian has done almost no explanation on the closure of local TV in Manchester.

So if anyone has any info on when or if Jeff Jarvis will appear in print, please add a comment.

I realise he contributes to a podcast but I am still concerned with the print product I subscribe to.

Meanwhile Buzzmachine continues. Spheres of discovery shows human links as part of the scene.

And how is money made? We don’t know that yet, either, of course.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding Jeff Jarvis

More mystery on the Guardian Media page for Monday. No mention of the closing of Channel M in Manchester that I can find. The Guardian must know about this. Why not share with the people who buy the paper?

I think the future model must involve the public somehow.

Also is the BBC worth some consideration? roughly what the print journalists have done is to block the BBC, then sell off the print and back off the video. My guess is this will be the pattern for the UK. The established media have enough clout to block new models but not enough whatever to actually base anything much in the UK. there is local news on Facebook, hosted somewhere. Here in Exeter we are still officially in Plymouth.

Another thing I think Jeff Jarvis may have been discontinued or cut back a bit. Very unusual now to find him in the Media on a Monday. Buzzmachine continues. Recently some excellent thought about comments. I wonder if Peter Preston reads this sort of thing?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Augmented Observer

I cannot get used to where to find things in the Observor. The Media page is much reduced for anything positive about the Web. The Networker is now in the Review along with Discover Science though this turns out to be technology again on several occasions. Technology was closed down in the Guardian for a Thursday, maybe this is where to find it. But is has a fashion gossipy kind of gloss. The argument seems to be that barcodes can be used to add multimedia to print. This is amazing for advertising. Surely this could be on the Peter Preston page?

It was interesting for me that Exeter was mentioned. I live in Exeter but the #likeminds event feels like a disconnect with usual life. More on this another time.

Yet there are some who think that AR has already had its brief time in the sun. At the Like Minds conference in Exeter at the beginning of March, Joanne Jacobs, a social media consultant, described an AR application that demanded you buy a T-shirt and then go and sit in front of your webcam – so you could play Rock, Paper, Scissors. By yourself.

"It's hopeless," Jacobs said.

There could be more critique at a future event. the claims for social media, however augmented, are so extensive and so accepting of advertising in the mix that a thorough check would be in order.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Observer is ok

The revised Observer seems ok as a read. Peter Preston still has reservations about the BBC and bloggers but what to expect? This will just continue as the print version gets smaller.

I think this bit by Blake Morrison may be about bloggers as well as a review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields
Every artistic movement is a bid to get closer to reality, he argues, and it's in lyric essays, prose poems and collage novels (as well as performance art, stand-up comedy, documentary film, hip-hop, rap and graffiti) that such impetus is to be found today. Key components include randomness, spontaneity, emotional urgency, literalism, rawness and self-reflexivity. A loosely defined genre, then: in fact, a genre committed to genre-busting. But a genre opposed to current fiction.

I may well include some fiction as well as links etc. Stories for OhmyNews will continue to be based on fact.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Observer and web policy

There must be more going on than we are told. Guardian sell off Manchester local paper and others. The new launch of the Observer seems to be just smaller. The Media and Business section looks like ending up as part of news. I find little explanation of this in the Media pages. Peter Preston mentions that the CEO talks of "digital disruption" but that is the full quote about what may be a strategy. Long ago on a Saturday there was a blog page in which people from the Guardian explained what they were doing. Why not bring this back? People who read the Guardain and Observer could contribute to something new. On Monday John Mulholland wrote about a "digital revolution" without explaining what the new approach had to do with it.

I still think citizen journalism is worth detailed study. So far the Observer has been even more dismissive of bloggers etc. than the Guardian. Will this change?

There are reports of declining use of MySpace. My guess is that Rupert Murdoch's constant claims for paid content are not helping. He appears not to like the stuff that is offered for free. Something similar may happen with newspaper titles that do not have a clear web presence or interactivity. Meanwhile presumably the money from the regional operation will be spent on something.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Research" universities

"Research" universities make strong claim on Guardian page one. Meanwhile still thinking about BETT. Continues on learn9 blog.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trade show exists in web context (part one)

Monday's print Guardian confirms my impression from last week - the Google phone was the star of CES. Emily Bell is clearly taking it as significant for media. By the way, her writing is the right length for a newspaper which is what I have bought. I may got to a website for technology news but I think the print version should cover technology also. Where is Victor Keegan expected or do I have to search every page?

Charles Arthur (Technology Editor) has no mention for Google but points out that Apple got more attention than the Microsoft CES keynote. Also he links to a Wired UK blog about how magazines may need to get used to video and audio as well as the web as a print equivalent. Will this topic turn up at BETT? Parents may yet be blamed not only for failing to teach children to talk but also not having equipment to edit video.

More about this as BETT news clarifies. see Madeleine Bunting (page 29) for background.

Next post will be on the IPEX blog about the companies that will not attend the NEC. News on the Printweek website about liquidation of Positive Focus prompted me to ask what this implied for IPEX? this is the sort of company that makes a visit worthwhile. Later comments included the suggestion that for web software companies actual real life shows were not essential.