John

Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

Using Twitter in the Newsroom

In Online on December 30, 2008 at 10:45 am

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(Pic from Geekandpoke)

I hate to harp on again about Twitter, but it’s been heavily on my mind since the Mumbai attacks (This post was delayed for far too long, I know). Once again, Twitter was hailed as the on-the-ground, revolutionary, citizen-journalism breakthrough by the web community. More so this time, when mainstream media paid attention and leveraged on the reporting done through Twitter.

Following Twitter’s success in covering the San Diego fires, Obama”s presidential campaign, and the China Earthquake, there was little doubt that Twitter would take centrestage during the Mumbai attacks. This time around, however, the question of credibility was raised when the BBC admitted to mistakes made using Twitter coverage, especially in regards to the widely-reported tweet that the Indian government called for an end to Twitter updates from Mumbai.

This drew fiery responses from both sides of the issue: on the side of the traditional media gatekeepers are The Independent’s Tom Sutcliffe, who writes that citizens twittering news side-by-side with professional journalists is “a worrying development.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Flipside: How Newspapers Should Use Twitter To Disseminate Information

In Online on December 30, 2008 at 10:36 am

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(Chicago Tribune photo by Bill Hogan, plucked from The Huffington Post–great link to the back story on the Tribune’s social media evolution)

One thing that irks me about most newspapers is their poor understanding on how to utilise Twitter as a social media tool for disseminating their news. Sure, a newspaper could look “cool and hip” by adding Twitter on their list, but it gets annoying fast when all the Twitter account does is spew out RSS feeds like a bot.

So far, local news orgs have been treating it like another channel of news alerts: @tm_insider, @thenutgraph, @thestar_rage, mostly employ it as a one-way communication tool. (If you ask me, @msiakini is the biggest irritant in this regard–the tweets are often cut short as headlines stretch over 140 characters- – with no link! WTF, seriously) Granted, while @nikicheong is getting there with The Star’s Rage in being human by putting more than headlines and a link in its Twitter post, there’s hardly a relationship built there. Read the rest of this entry »

The MySimplifieds Experiment

In Online on December 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm

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So last week was the conclusion of my first beta-testing project that I’ve been working on. It’s this new site called MySimplifieds, a new online classifieds that just came out of the woodworks last Friday. It’s kinda great to see beta user comments actually come into place in the creation of a site, and they did a nice job taking out the best ideas and comments, because goodness knows there were tonnes of comments and suggestions that I wouldn’t know where to start. 

Me? Hah, well, I often chipped in rather late in the discussion list, but I did manage to speak. 

Stuff that’s improved (well beyond what was first introduced by the way) were a simplified layout, a changed logo, personalised user preferences, seller’s profile pages, seller ratings, social media sharing–well, there’s a lot more, but let’s just focus on the product. 

So, anyway. On to the site: they’ve partnered in with a few sellers like BookXcess, Lowyet, and Travel Profiler to post up some stuff to sell to kickstart it, but the site seems to be doing fine in attracting new individual sellers. And given that there are a growing number of online retailers out there, it’s got a big potential to grow. 

As to what the difference is between MySimplifieds, Murah and the other classifieds? Well, at least it does look pretty clean and organised (thanks to us beta-testers), but time, sellers’ reputations, and marketing will tell if the brand name gets out to the public. Will keep an eye on it in the coming months ahead!

Ev Sez: “Twitter’s Gonna Make Money, But I’m Not Gonna Tell You How” =P

In Online on December 5, 2008 at 8:47 am

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Pic from Comicbase @ Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The past week has offered some, but not much, insight as to what Twitter‘s revenue model will be like, with CNET and the New York Times reporting on the failed Facebook/Twitter deal and a morsel of information from CEO Evan Williams.

When reports of the failed Twitter acquisition by Facebook first emerged, my initial reaction was a slap on forehead. If, as Kara Swisher says, there was a $500 million deal in FB stock tabled, it looked to be a great deal missed, especially considering the collapsing Web 2.0 scene because of the financial turmoil, the tumbling prices of startups (MySpace’s Chris DeWolfe saying some are willing to sell at just 10% of their $200-300m valuations 6 months ago.), and the fact that Twitter still has yet to come up with any sort of revenue-generating model.

But not so, says CNET’s Rafe Needleman, who says that it’s a good thing that Twitter wasn’t bought by Facebook. The acquisition, if it were to happen, would represent “a double mismatch” for Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysian Adex To Hold Up In 2009

In News, Online on December 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm

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(Pix from sxc.hu)

There’s always some difficulty in relating the Advertising Expenditure (Adex) that are collapsing in the US and UK to the Malaysian market. In the print industry over there, every other day spells another dip in revenue for major papers, with even more disastrous news expected in 2009.

In Malaysia, however, there’s a different outlook for the 2009 Adex–and one that the print industry would be happy to learn. I was hearing this from this gem of a podcast produced by BFM 89.9, where the host interviewed Andrea Douglas and Sarah Liew of Nielsen Media. As predicted by the Economist, the advertising market in general was expected to rise in 2008 due to the major sporting events, but “some ad-men expect the knife to cut most deeply in 2009.” 

According to Andrea Douglas, the Executive Director of Nielsen Media, the Malaysian Adex of 2008 is expected to come up to about RM6 billion, about 11% more than 2007. “Next year, however, is a little bit of an unknown,” she says. “What’s happening now is that there’s been a decline in advertising growth, but it’s more in the developed markets, and there, they’re in static or negative growth.” Read the rest of this entry »

Transplanting The Magazine To The Web

In magazines, Online on December 3, 2008 at 8:50 am

sleepingcomputer.jpgLast week’s big news was the announcement that starting Feb 2009, PC Magazine will go 100% digital, according to its Editor-in-Chief, Lance Ulanoff. Usually, the announcement of going 100% digital usually spells the death knell of any publication, but the move has been seen as taking a step forward.

“While we are energized by the endless possibilities of the digital format,” Lance Ulanoff writes, “I assure you that the decision to stop producing a hard-bound copy was not an easy one. But the reality is that the ever-growing expense of print and delivery was turning the creation of a physical product into an untenable business proposition.”

By going 100% digital, PC Mag will be publishing a regular format of a “magazine” as we know it, except that it won’t be printed on paper, but distributed electronically via Zinio, a digital magazine subscription service. You can try out a free issue of December’s PC Mag issue on Zinio here.

This is where things get a little testy for me. I was never a fan of transplanting the magazine experience directly onto the web; it comes from the same thinking that led to several publishers just dumping their PDF files online and expecting to look “web-compliant”. Read the rest of this entry »