Citizen Media Watch

mars 14th, 2008

Annika Lidne: The walled garden approach won't work for Facebook

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Facebook Garage Stockholm

Annika Lidne compares Facebook to AOL, the walled garden approach.
– The walled garden didn’t work for them, and it won’t work for Facebook either. It’s a mindset that says ”we’re not really interested in our users”.
She also critisizes the lack of data portability, that you cannot extract your information from Facebook.
– I am not going to log into a bloody site three times a day to view something. It’s not built for being more than a FunWall.
There was a good discussion in the backchannel. Many people brought up the Events as one of the good points of Facebook. On top of that, I think status updates and the fact that your non-early adopter friends are there is what keeps me returning.


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mars 14th, 2008

Myspace: We've been pioneering the monetization of social networking

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Facebook Garage Stockholm

Jonas Nyvang from MySpace talked a bit about MySpace apps and Open Social.
– We give 100% of the revenues you can get from the app you develop. We’ve been pioneering the monetization of social networking.
Like when Arna and I met him in september last year, he doesn’t want to see Facebook as a threat. He makes this distinction between MySpace and Facebook.
– Facebook is more about the social graph, while MySpace is more about your interests, what you strive for and your passions.
His/MySpace’s view of how the web is evolving isn’t new. It is becoming more personal, more portable and more collaborative.


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mars 14th, 2008

At Facebook Garage Stockholm

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Facebook Garage Stockholm

The usual crowd has shown up for Facebook Garage Stockholm, the third event organized by Nustart in Stockholm. The focus is on Facebook, but also social networking sites in general and their development. The first speaker is from MySpace, for instance.
– This is an audience-generated event, says moderator Beata Wickbom.
That’s what sets these Nustart events apart. Things like backchannels have become an integral part of the events.

All my pics from Facebook Garage Stockholm


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mars 12th, 2008

Personal transparency, the eleventh change for journalists

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

A lot of comments have been made to Paul Bradshaw’s (read his blog too) excellent list of changes for journalists in the upcoming ten years in the Press Gazette lately. In short, the list is made up of:

1. From a lecture to a conversation
2. The rise of the amateur
3. Everyone’s a paperboy/girl now
4. Measurability
5. Hyperlocal, international
6. Multimedia
7. Really Simple Syndication
8. Maps
9. Databases
10. Just a click away

I’d like to add an eleventh change/challenge for journalists. One that is closely connected to no. 1, but I think it deserves it’s own mention.

11. Personal transparency

As a consequence of blogs, wikis and citizen media sites becoming more important sources of information for the general public, I think we’ll see a new awareness of the importance of trust, and knowing who your source of information is. Bloggers are often open about what their views are and who they are affiliated with. If they’re not, you bet someone else will find out and make it public.

I am convinced this openness will be demanded of journalists as well. You might not need to reveal details about your private life, but you will need to give your readers/viewers/listeners an idea och what you represent. This is an important distinction, since for instance journalists working with sensitive information, infiltrating or walraffing will need to remain fairly anonymous when it comes to for instance how they look and sometimes even what their names are in order to do their job well. But they can still build up trust. Swedish blogger Beta Alfa is a good example that you do not need to reveal your real name in order to achieve this. Being open about your affiliations, for instance, and anything else that might influence or be suspected to influence your work, is a good start. Also simple things like providing a list of links to what you’ve written before on a subject.
I call this personal transparency.


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mars 3rd, 2008

Transparency – not for Canadian soldiers

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

The Canadian defence department has sent a memo to soldiers, urging them not to use social networking sites like Facebook, writes CBC News. The reason is said to be that terror organizations like Al Qaeda are monitoring these sites and any details revealed by soldiers might compromise missions and potentially threat the safety of the soldiers and also their families.

There are many areas where transparency is a good thing. In some ways, this isn’t one of them. At the same time, social media or indeed citizen journalism is one of the few ways to really find out what’s happening in troubled areas like Afghanistan or Iraq. Wherever wrongs are being committed by either side, I for one hope the soldiers are brave enough to go public with it through the media – citizen or traditional – so that we don’t get another Abu Ghraib scandal.

(via IDG.se)


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mars 2nd, 2008

67 percent of Americans think journalism is "out of touch"

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

The results of a recent We Media/Zogby Interactive poll shows that two thirds of the American respondents think that traditional journalism is ”out of touch” with its audience and its needs. This despite the fact that almost half of the respondents use the internet as their primary news source.
There are indeed great challenges ahead for media sites, around the world. I think Nachison is right – quality is the key.

”For the second year in a row we have documented a crisis in American journalism that is far more serious than the industry’s business challenges – or maybe a consequence of them,” said Andrew Nachison, co-founder of iFOCOS. ”Americans recognize the value of journalism for their communities, and they are unsatisfied with what they see. While the U.S. news industry sheds expenses and frets about its future, Americans are dismayed by its present. Meanwhile, we see clearly the generational shift of digital natives from traditional to online news – so the challenge for traditional news companies is complex. They need to invest in new products and services – and they have. But they’ve also got to invest in quality, influence and impact. They need to invest in journalism that makes a difference in people’s lives. That’s a moral and leadership challenge – and a business opportunity for whoever can meet it.”


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mars 2nd, 2008

Hard times for bloggers and journalists in Sri Lanka

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Living in Sweden, and especially taking an active part in covering and exploring social and citizen media, I take many things for granted. One is the right to take photos in public areas, another to report about what I see and opinions and thoughts I have on any thinkable subject.

In other parts of the world, however, those simple actions can get you into serious trouble. I recently read an article in AsiaMedia about the situation in Sri Lanka. The country is the world’s third most dangerous place for journalists to operate, with only Iraq and Somalia being more deadly. Seven journalists were killed there in 2007.

Pedestrians who use their cellphones to film bomb attacks or even everyday events get questioned by police, and it’s not only authorities that pose a threat to reporters or anyone with a camera. There’s a trend of citizens not turning to the tools of citizen media to improve their situation, but instead turning against anyone trying to do this, or anyone remotely suspected of it.

Anyone with a still or video camera in public is immediately suspected as a ”trouble-maker.” This endangers our right to click and shoot for personal or professional purposes.

Despite this, however, there is a movement of citizen journalism, though it’s a lonely and vulnerable job, especially with a decrease in democracy in recent years. New media activist Sanjana Hattotuwa is interviewed, and says:

– In Sri Lanka, the significant deterioration of democracy in 2006-2007 has resulted in a country where anxiety and fear overwhelm a sense of civic duty to bear witness to so much of what is wrong. No amount of mobile phones and PCs is going to magically erase this deep rooted fear of harm for speaking one’s mind out.

The article writer, Nalaka Gunawardene, brings up an example which clearly shows the poor state of democracy and the hardship for bloggers in Sri Lanka.

A fellow blogger recently wrote a moving piece about a 65-year-old woman who sells fruits and vegetables at her local market in Colombo. The story behind the story was how the blogger had been surrounded and questioned by four men and the police, who demanded to know whether she had ”permission from the municipality to photograph.”

Luckily, the vegetable sellers came to her rescue. ”They… said they asked me to come with the camera to take some photographs of them,” she wrote.

But she posed the question: ”Do we have to have a camera license like a gun license of yesteryear?”

(via Social Media)


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