At the Microsoft Centre for the latest News Rewired courtesy of Journalism.co.uk. The first thing that strikes me from the day is Joanna Geary pointing out that now business strategy and journalistic code are becoming one entity. Now we can measure our audience we feel we can control our revenue and drive it up. But eyeballs are people too and when you start building relationships exciting things happen. This can become a serious business model. We can no longer judge our news sense by whether our editor thinks we’re right, it is now by how we service our community. We have to build loyalty about what we do not who we are. Things start to change when you acknowledge people.
Building an Online Community from Scratch
Don’t replicate, try and encourage. Fill a niche and give the community something they can use and link to everything else that is already being done. Online is not as intimidating as in person, so you can get closer and more personal with the people you work for. That means take criticism and act on it. Meeting each other face-to-face is important so organise bloggers meetups and tweetups. [Ed Walker]
5 Things to Avoid: i) not having a clear objective will fragment your audience – need to help the community do what it wants to do ii) don’t be obsessed with numbers – they are not directly relational to influence and interaction iii) don’t broadcast at your community – it’s not all about you iv) it’s not about the technology – it’s about the people and the important people in the community v) avoid not being a part of it yourself [Neil Perkin]
99% of community attempts end in failure! That’s because the community already exists. You have to find it and find out how to connect all the pieces better. You need to ask yourself why you need the community, what’s it for, where are you going with it and how are you going to do it. Build a community using 4 C’s: connection, conversation, consultation and collaboration. Most importantly, every individual can do it. [Anthony Thornton]
You ultimately need to know when something is over and when you need to implement change to survive. A community is a fluid entity and what works today might not work tomorrow.
Branding and Entrpreneuralism
Entrepreneurs can teach journalists, as can bloggers and citizen journalists. Not just about their topic of interest but about business also. The best entrepreneurs are those who have been left out in the cold by traditional media. They know all about the old and have a need to embrace the new. Start with what you know and explore what you need that the mainstream does not provide. Look at the new habits you’ve adopted. Odds are there are more people like you. Put all you habits in one place. Online is about accessibility. Don’t employ people, it’s too expensive! Online is a place for personality, so a small team works. You need to think big about a small audience. The web is about the niche but you can connect to build a web – this is a business with the possibility of big revenue. Think big or go home! [Rory Brown]
Even if you are an individual you need to build your own brand. Mobile devices can put the newsroom in the field. You can feed this live onto a site. The ability to be technical is the ultimate tool for the entrepreneurial journalist. You need to be visible online and offline. Identify key voices. A support network is vital. The internet makes democratised stories and there’s a good business model to be made from good stories. [Alex Wood]
There’s a big difference between personal and personalised. If people aren’t taking ownership of your content, if they’re not using it on their own sites or in their own social networking spaces then your content loses validity. Social media is a new tool but it’s about what you can do with it. What do you have that people can connect with and feel there’s something substantial to it. You need to be able to create conversation outside your own brand. People build their own spaces and they want to interact there, not in your space. There’s an interesting development between the digital and the personal world. People want to be themselves online not split between brands and platforms. So collaborate and meet people offline. [Molly Flatt]
Linked Data and the Semantic Web
Linked data is not really linked in the sense in which we know i.e. hyperlinks. And it’s not really data in that it’s not all numbers. It’s about linking sociological processes that is governed by us, by our patterns and by the measures we need to make decisions on our behaviours. The web cannot distinguish these things. Linked data is meant to identify distinct entities so that the web may somehow be able to distinguish our behaviours in an intelligible way. It connects things in such a way that the web understands how they are connected. It’s trying to make the web more intelligent, more like how we think. In that out thinking is unique in the speed with which we can make distinctions. [Martin Moore]
Facts are sacred, bad data is sacrilege. Most time is spent putting crappy data in to usable formats. What causes huge problems is semantics (Burma or Myanmar, Congo or Dem Rep Congo or DRC, Slough Council or Slough UA). COINS in an example of how not to release data. Just a load of CSV files with millions of items – completely unusable. A new role with data is to put information out there and see what we get back from our audience. A good example of structured datasets – the Iraq War Logs from Wikileaks. It’s not journalism in a traditional sense but it is journalism. Linked data tells a story. But you have to know how to look at data. It makes a practical difference day to day on how journalists do their jobs. [Simon Rogers]
Content models rely on tags. Tags are entering into linked data. It means people can reuse content. Book reviews carry ISBN so that the content API can be queried by ISBN. Artists have tags which are put into MusicBrainz ID so people ca link to what they know will be the music artists and not just gobbledy gook. Data published in XML and JSON. It’s about publishing more data in formats that are being used rather than coming up with new formats. Make sure you have the right license for re-use. You then get a great amount of engagement specifically around what you are doing. It’s still all about the story. [Martin Belam]
Traditional publishing processes tend to struggle over time. You need to maximise the assets you have within traditional journalism. Once you get the tags sorted the model will handle all the data. Teach the model to infer and the story writes itself! Make a model that handles linking. When you have consistent and coherent linking you get very good SEO. The semantic web is doing for data what the web has done for documents. It creates a map for citizens to navigate society. [Silver Oliver]
Digital news and data journalism is not a threat to mainstream journalism. It is the next step that needs to evolve to cope with the new technologies that are become societal, almost sentient in their embeddability within the social fabric. People demand usability, portability and individuality. The tech market has clearly provided these and created a new social space which people prefer to communicate. Digital communication has become a part of our individual doxa. This has now become societal praxis. What is preventing the mainstream from evolving is the inflexible structure of business management and the difficulty in shifting work flow paradigms. The journalism work place needs to look not at the technological functions but at technological praxis. [datamineruk]