Citizen Media Watch

december 3rd, 2006

BBC hosting blogging workshops in Manchester

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

The BBC will arrange a blogging workshop in Manchester, as a part of the Manchester Blogging project, an interesting approach in which the BBC simply wants people to blog more, and to submit their RSS feeds so that BBC staff can keep track of them. Or, in their own words:

This project is an experiment in doing things a bit differently. Rather than building platforms, we want to help people create their own stuff on existing third party (non-BBC) platforms. Instead of contributors sending us content members of staff here at the BBC sifting through that content in a bid to find the good bits, we’re simply going to ask contributors to tell us where they’re publishing their content online and we’ll keep an eye on it. The BBC won’t claim any rights over the content and won’t own anything.

The workshop aims at getting more people blogging, going through the basic stuff like where and how to set up a blog, syndication etc, but also blogging with a certain responsibility:

we’ll talk participants through the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines and talk about about the BBC’s production values

As online news, and citizen journalism in particular, gets more and more local, BBC is sure on the right track. I like their approach, and I’m sure we’ll see similar projects in other UK cities in the near future.


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december 3rd, 2006

US: Podcast listening up, but still marginal

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

A survey by Pew Internet & American Life Project (The report states: ”The Pew Internet Project is a non-partisan, non-profit research center that examines the social impact of the internet. It is part of the Pew Research Center and is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.”) states that podcast usage in the States is up from 7 percent in January/February this year to 12 percent today. But those numbers are based on the percentage that has downloaded a podcast at any point, ever. In both surveys, just 1 percent download a podcast on any one typical day. Note the low response rate though: 28 percent.
More results:

Men are more likely than women to report podcast downloading; 15% of online men say they have downloaded a podcast, compared with just 8% of online women. And those who have used the internet for six or more years are twice as likely as those who have been online three years or less to have downloaded a podcast (13% vs. 6%).

While podcasting audience is growing, it is still marginal. Mark Glaser at MediaShift has made an intersting observation when it comes to how the survey’s been covered by traditional media and blogs, listing some of the headlines about it. It’s quite a big difference between ”34 million ears perked for podcasts” (eMarketer) and ”Podcasting falls on deaf ears” (PC Authority).
Yes, how indeed do you interpret the result? The main problem, Glaser writes, is that the survey is too shallow.

OK, millions of people are downloading podcasts, but do they eventually listen to or watch them? How often? And do they listen to podcasts online with streaming audio instead of downloading them? And do they listen to the whole thing or just bits and pieces? It seems like every piece of data we get about podcast usage spawns more questions.

More research in this field is indeed needed. I’d like to see some numbers for Sweden too. My guess is that the numbers are even lower in Sweden, but that’s just a guess.

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december 3rd, 2006

MSN survery: Male autority blogs most popular in India

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

A recent survey posed to 1000 Indian visitors to MSN’s portal has mapped Indian blog behaviours. Blogs founded by business leaders make for the most enjoyable read, writes The Hindu. Second in line are politicians’ blogs. Many also read blogs to get entertained.
Blogging in India is just on the verge of becoming as the new fourth estate in India, writes India Daily.
Indian blog readers trust what they read to a higher extent than elsewhere, though not even half of the respondees actually knew what a blog is. Blog reading is also tech-oriented, which makes sense in a country that has gone through such an enormous development over the past few years thanks to tech savviness.

A desire for self-improvement and personal development is found to be a key driver of India’s blogosphere with a large majority of online users reading blogs to stay informed about world events. They enjoy reading about technology the most, followed closely by news and education. Elsewhere, technology content ranks low.

One seventh of Indian net users blog, three quarters of them men.

Dina Mehta at Conversations with Dina rightly points out that the survey is only representative of MSN portal visitors.

This is by no means representative blogosphere in India – not many bloggers I know think highly of MSN or go to the portal at all.

Probably the percentage of women is a bit higher than the study indicates, and also the other percentages might differ in a more representative poll, but it is interesting none the less to see these trends.

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december 2006
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