Citizen Media Watch

oktober 28th, 2008

Socialmedian focuses US election coverage on a special site

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

SocialMedian, the somewhat evolved digg-clone for social news and news tracking, has set up a special site for anything related to the US election. is the place to check out if you want to debate and share news, tweets and pics about the election. There’s also a special widget to put on your blog or homepage.

Atleast two mainstream media houses have signed up for using the widget: The WashingtonPost and The Guardian. The election site is co-presented by the Washington Post.


oktober 23rd, 2008 brings citizens' voices to established media

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom, a lifestreaming/commentary/microblogging service in video format currently in beta, is becoming a popular tool for bringing people’s opinion to established media sites. The site’s built on really short video clips (12 seconds, duh!) recorded by webcams or cellphones. Quick and simple ways to publish oneself, and the time restriction takes away some of the prestige.

Today the BBC is collaborating with the site by sponsoring the feature called ”the 12second challenge”, a daily question that users reply to. Users get to reply to the question ”Economic downturn – how bad can it get? Give some examples.” The replies may then appear on BBC TV.

Further, today announced to its users plans to involve them in extensive coverage of the US election day.

In an email to the service’s users, the 12seconds team writes:

Citizen Journalism is pretty important for the health of a democracy. For this reason, we’re going to put a lot of effort into Election Day. Where appropriate (and legal) we’d like 12ers covering reactions, parties, exit polls and emotions on November 4th all over the world. We’re assembling a team of people and will feature their content on Election Day.

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juni 10th, 2008

YouTube gets new citizen media channel – and beef over censorship

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Going through old posts on Beta Alfa’s blog, I found a post about YouTube’s new Citizen Media channel, Citizen News. They’ve appointed a News Manager and aim to collect news from citizen sources in one place, as a citizen news and interviews channel.

News Manager Olivia M calls out:

So here’s where I turn to you guys for help! If you see examples of fellow YouTubers doing great work in journalism and reporting, please let me know. If you’re a citizen journalist yourself, tell me how YouTube could better serve you. I want to hear how you guys envision news on YouTube and what you’d like to see. My ultimate mission is to make the site a go-to destination for news on the web.

A good ambition, for sure. But after 18 text replies, Olivia hasn’t yet got back to the users commenting her post. And with comments as this one, dated May 26, I feel it’s urgent that she should, if she wants this effort to be taken seriously:

We are very concerned about YouTube’s implementation of geolocational censorship in Thailand and elsewhere. How do you intend to distribute real news to its intended audience without being compromised by YouTube’s secret agreement with Thai government? Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)

Wishing Olivia and the YouTube the best of luck with the initiative, and hoping to see a bit more interaction with the users.

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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.


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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november 24th, 2007

David Haddad on the convergence of positioning technologies

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

David HaddadDavid Haddad of Spontu works with social networking on the mobile. Since Hubbub is all about convergence, he focuses on the convergence of positioning, connectivity and powerful mobiles.
He shares some lessons learnt:

  • Be intellectually honest about your motivation. Solve a real human social inefficiency.
  • Choose a technology that works, with an eye on the future.
  • Don’t compete, but rather build on other players. There’s a good basis available to build upon.
  • Build something that’s good enough today. It needs to solve a real problem.
  • Social networking needs to be all-inclusive, and work for everyone. Follow the least common denominator approach when finding your target audience.

– Execute a killer product strategy, don’t plan a killer app, David Haddad says.

He then answers three questions.
How will the mobile look like in the future, i e in four years?
– The Nokia N95 is targeted for the early adopters. Down in four years time, the phone that’s going to be in everyone’s hands is going to be similar to what you have now. The N95 is a good indicator.

How will social networking look in the future?
– If everyone in this room has an N95, how will that affect my experience with for instance Facebook? There are three things that differ from our current experience.
– The social networking will become concurrent, cirkumstantial and fundamentally socially impactful.

David Haddad thinks the adding of friends on social network sites will be automatic, by for instance bluetooth. News feeds will be more realtime.
Like Jaiku! : )

What can we do today to change the social networking environment?

  • Pick your development environment.
  • Choose your method of connectivity.
  • How do you want to position users? There are many different technologies.
  • How will you make money? Find a business model.
  • Who are you going to partner with?

He believes in combined solutions for web and mobile units.

In the q&a a few interesting issues, including privacy and more on killer product strategies came up, but unfortunately there were network problems… and I didn’t catch much. I’m sure others have more, though.

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november 3rd, 2007

Swedish version of Nettby to launch – but what will it be called?

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

A Swedish version of the Norwegian community site Nettby is to be launched shortly. Nettby is a success story with over 500 000 members. Now there’s a call for Swedish name suggestions at the site. Ironically, mostly Norwegians will name the Swedish site.

Here’s what the post on Nettby says (my translation):

If you have a suggestion for a Swedish name on a service like Nettby, send it to us! We will pick the top 10 suggestions and reward them with a 6 month Nettby Max subscription and Nettby t-shirts.
The person making the suggestion we decide to use will receive an Ipod Touch!

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november 1st, 2007

Two different takes on Open Social

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Today Google will announce its new web API for social networking sites called Open Social.
I’ve read two very different takes from Marc Andreessen and Dave Winer. I am leaning a bit more towards Andreessen, but it’s way too early to tell. Also he is already a Google partner in this, with Ning being one of the initial platforms that has encorporated Open Social.

Marc Andreessen explains the concept as similar to Facebook’s, but without the constraints. Any social networking system can be a container, and any application developed with the Open Social standards can be included in any of these containers.
One thing that seems promising is that it’s all HTML and javascript, making it easier to build applications.

Andreessen writes:

If you recall how I previously described the Facebook platform as ”a dramatic leap forward for the Internet industry”, you’ll understand why I think Open Social is the next big leap forward!
Open Social takes the Facebook platform concept and provides an open standard approach that can be used by the entire web. Open Social is an open way for everyone to do what Facebook has done…
…including Facebook itself, potentially

He has also published some screencasts and screenshots.

Dave Winer is more sceptical:

Standards devised by one tech company whose main purpose is to undermine another tech company, usually don’t work.
In this case it’s Google trying to undermine Facebook.
And I don’t think it’s going to work.
What would be exciting and uplifting, a real game-changer — Internet companies giving users full control of their data.
When Google makes their announcement on Thursday, the question they should be asked by everyone is — How much of my data are you letting me control today? That’s pretty much all that matters to anyone, imho.

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