Citizen Media Watch

januari 28th, 2009

Major migration of the Swedish microblogosphere to Bloggy

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Bloggy is the new microblogging site of choice for Swedes. In a short time the site has gained about 3 000 users and continues to grow.
– I was thinking: Can I do this better?, says Jonas Lejon, the man behind the service, to Citizen Media Watch.

Jonas Lejon, BloggyIn Sweden Jaiku has to a large extent been the microblog of choice. But with frequent downtimes, no new features for a long time and Google’s recent announcement that they’re turning it into an open source project, people were ready for an alternative.
In steps Jonas Lejon, an entrepreneur who’s behind several blog-related services in Sweden, who puts together Bloggy, a microblogging service in Swedish. He gets enthusiastic cheers, good feedback, and he responds. More than that, he responds quickly, adds new features, tweaks them, and does in a few months what Jaiku with all its Google backup hasn’t done in years.

When he announced a function for importing all your Jaiku contacts into Bloggy, there was no holding back the migration anymore. Over the weekend my mailbox has been flooded with friends requests from Bloggy users who have imported their contacts.
While it’s a bit sad to let Jaiku go, Bloggy is clearly where the action’s at for the Swedish microblogosphere at the moment. One of the great features is that you can easily follow and update both Jaiku and Twitter from within Bloggy, so you’re not really missing much, even if Bloggy still lacks support for channels. It has adopted many of Jaiku’s features, but it is a bit more like a community than a pure microblogging service.
I asked Jonas Lejon what made him develop the service.
– I was using Pownce, Twitter and Jaiku and I was tired of em all. I was thinking: Can I do this better? So i started developing Bloggy 8 months ago and implemented all the functions I liked from the other microblogging platforms, he says.
How come you decided to do Bloggy in Swedish?
– I think that the English language still feels uncomfortable for many Swedes and that providing a service in Swedish makes it more friendly. ”By Swedes for Swedes”.

So far, we haven’t seen how it performs under heavy load. Monday provided one challenge with Thomas Mattsson at Expressen writing about it and giving it lots of space on their front page.

Thomas Mattsson on Bloggy and Twitter in Expressen.se

Also Bloggy was mentioned in Dagens Nyheter the other day.
There were a couple of downtimes Monday, but Jonas Lejon assures those problems are now taken care of.
– I’m working very close to our datacenters and they are helping me out with upgrading the server all the time when I reach the limits and I’m fixing performance bugs all the time and now it seems that all problems are gone.
You deserve praise for the way you handle feedback quickly and keep on improving the features. You seem to be online on Bloggy 24/7. Do you ever sleep? : )
– Thanks! I’ve been working a lot the last few days but I’m trying to take some offline time now and then and relax.


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januari 20th, 2009

Twingly offers microblog search

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Twingly expands its search engine with a brand new microblog search tool. They’ve been working on it for six months and today it was released.
In the Twingly blog, they write:

When we last summer started to see the microblogging-hype we felt that a search dedicated to microblogs would be a quite natural development for us. We like Twitter Search and been using it a lot, especially at conferences and when news like Mumbai were having the best news source at Twitter. But because we used Jaiku ourselves it wasn’t what we needed in many cases.

Microblogging services covered by Twingly’s search engine are: Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Pownce (which is dead, but a six month archive remains searchable), Swedish Bloggy.se and the German Bleeper.de.
They will keep adding new services, and aim to cover all microblogging services out there.


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december 2nd, 2008

Pownce shutting down, becoming part of Six Apart

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Microblogging/microstreaming service Pownce announced yesterday that they are closing down the service and becoming part of Six Apart.

Leah Culver writes:

We have some very big news today at Pownce. We will be closing the service and Mike and I, along with the Pownce technology, have joined Six Apart, the company behind such great blogging software as Movable Type, TypePad and Vox. We’re bittersweet about shutting down the service but we believe we’ll come back with something much better in 2009. We love the Pownce community and we will miss you all.

We’re very happy that Six Apart wants to invest in growing the vision that we the founders of Pownce believe so strongly in and we’re very excited to take our vision to all of Six Apart’s products. Mike and I have joined Six Apart as part of their engineering team and we’re looking forward to being a part of the talented group that has created amazing tools for blogging and publishing.

So it looks like some microblogging functionality will be integrated into these blogging services. I for one think it’s only natural that we see some microblogging services closing down. There will probably be a concentration to Twitter, Jaiku and a couple others that turn out to be the better ones, or simply where people you know are. Though it’s a piece of cake to automatically update several microblogging sites, there’s little point as long as there are no smart ways to keep track of replies and be a part of the conversation without having to check all the sites manually. If you know of a good service that does that, please let me know.

Other news from Six Apart: they are giving away free pro accounts to laid-off journalists (via CyberJournalist) in the TypePad For Journalists Program.

We want to help independent journalists become more entrepreneurial, and to give you the tools you need to succeed with your own blog.

Cool initiative. For those who are not accepted, there’s always WordPress, of course.


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november 28th, 2008

Good use of microblogging in journalism – give us more examples!

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Whether status updates on social media sites should count as microblogging or not, the walled garden that Facebook still is to a large extent, makes status updates if not useless from a publishing perspective then atleast difficult to accommodate as they are on an open to all site. The same goes for users whose updates are not public on regular microblogging services. For crowdsourcing, feedback and research they are still good tools.

There are good examples of microblogging serving a journalistic purpose, though these initiative do not necessarily come from professional journalists.

  • The Twitter Vote Report is one, where Americans across the country made short reports on how the voting in the US election was really going, using hashtags to pinpoint where they were and what their report was about, for instance #machine for problems with the voting machines. They also reported on waiting times. It all ended up on a big map where you could follow the progress in real time.
  • Get eye-witness reports and comments. For instance check out this Twitter channel on the bombings in Mumbai. More on the Mumbai coverage here.
  • Live reporting from an event. By using an established microblogging site you get comments from site members and you invite them in a natural way.
  • Live commentary to tv shows. One example is Drive on Fox.
  • Coming up with questions for interviews. By asking people what they want to know from a person you’re to interview you get more interesting questions, and you know you’re asking stuff your audience want to know.
  • Local news gathering. Here’s an interesting example from Harrisonburg, VA. Or even as a source for bigger breaking news.
  • Cynthia McCune talks about microblogging as a ”21st century police scanner”, listing these uses for reporters: keep up with sources, get quick feedback, get referrals, post live updates to sport scores.
  • Breaking news. Anders Brenna at digi.no writes: ”Twitter is both the perfect journalist tool for being first with breaking news, and the best relief from the tyranny of breaking news.” Super-fast publishing of the latest news without risking that the reader won’t come to your site for the full story. You can even send a message and point to it once it’s out.
  • Paul Bradshaw has some advice for anyone wanting to use microblogging to cover a topic. Check out the comments too for a few ideas on good use.
  • Another post on how news makers have to change and use micro-blogging tools.

Do you have more good examples? We’ll collect them and update this list (giving you credit, of course).

Also, here’s some advice on what not to do.


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november 27th, 2008

Are status updates on social media sites a form of microblogging?

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Microblogging services like Jaiku or Twitter, which recently passed its 1 billionth tweet (via Media Culpa), are immensely popular, and some even say they’ll completely take over from regular blogs.

But what is the definition of a microblogging service? Does it need to be focused/dedicated to microblogging, or can it be a social media site having a microblogging component? The question arose at SIME, where Andie Nordgren posed a question from the audience: Is Facebook the world’s largest microblogging service?
Net Jacobsson, Director of International Business Development at Facebook, hasn’t thought of status updates as microblogging, and I guess that’s quite understandable as it’s not their focus.

What do you think? Are status updates on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn a form of microblogging? On which services do you actively update your status, and what kind of information do you put there? Give us your comments!


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