In breaking or developing news situations, with audiences wanting to know the latest and most up-to-date pieces of information, many news outlets have introduced live streaming approaches to their news output, from liveblogs to more permanent pages dedicated to the streaming of the latest news snippets, images and social media content. The final panel will discuss the different approaches to this real-time reporting of news online, the decision making processes behind it and its impact on process within the newsroom.
With: Jason Mills, editor, web for ITV News; Raju Narisetti, managing editor, Wall Street Journal Digital Network; Patrick Heery, UK editor, BBC News website; Pete Clifton, executive editor, MSN; Ben Schneider, senior director and general manager for CoveritLive, Demand Media. Moderated by Kathryn Corrick, digital media consultant
As news become increasingly social, outlets are using social media to reach out in different ways both to tell stories and to gather videos, photos and feedback from their networks. This session will look at how to engage the title’s community and how individual journalists are building their own personal brands.
With: Luke Lewis, editor, NME.com; Faisal Islam, economics editor, Channel 4 News; Mark Coatney, media outreach director, Tumblr. Moderated by David Hayward, head of journalism programme, BBC College of Journalism.
At the shiny MSN HQ in London, near Victoria, here’s the intro from the News:Rewired site:
A one-day digital journalism conference focused on the latest tools, techniques and tips on how to produce the best journalism online and make it earn its keep, with innovative case studies from the industry.
Welcome address – Pete Clifton, executive producer, MSN
Keynote – Cory Haik, executive producer for digital news at the Washington Post
Keynote panel – Engaging the digital mindset
Digital journalism experts discuss digital-first strategy, how journalism processes and structures are being adapted with digital in mind and ways to encourage others to maximise the opportunities afforded by the digital environment, even when working in legacy print or broadcast media.
With: Joanna Geary, digital development editor, the Guardian; Raju Narisetti, managing editor, Wall Street Journal Digital Network; Martin Fewell, deputy editor, Channel4 News and Alex Gubbay, director, digital platforms, Johnston Press.
Sarah says that the project was much bigger than the video shown today. “It really punched above its weight”. The making of digital objects was an important act of the project – reflecting back progress.
Choreographic Objects: traces and artifacts of physical intelligence Principle and Co-Investigators: James Leach (Principle Investigator and Award Holder)Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen Sarah Whatley (Co-Investigator)ceMAP, Coventry University Scott deLahunta (Research Fellow)ARTI, Amasterdam School for the Arts, NL Project Partners: Art Research, Theory and Innovation group, Amsterdam School for the Arts, NLWayne McGregor | Random DanceIntel, People and Practices Research Choreographic objects: traces and artefacts of physical intelligence is the title and focus of a series of three workshops centring on the output of four research teams working in collaboration with the choreographers William Forsythe, Siobhan Davies, Wayne McGregor and Emio Greco PC.
Paul talked about ephemera and digital objects such as the BBC indents (the hippos) and their relationship with RedBee media. He was very insightful on the dynamics of ephemeral content and the persistence in people’s minds not designed by its creators.
Clare Reddington says that the Digital Economy is a lot about enabling people to reconnect with the physical world with the help of digital technology. It’s about the layering and richness of experience. “We have to do better than Minority Report”. It’s about experiences. And the way digital changes the way we live. There is a speed function (cites Agile). Temporality and the creative economy.
Good point well made by @clarered at #beyond text that digital economies are multiple economies. Not singular. #beyondtext
Sarah says we want more than the value of models and templates. We are seeing a proliferation. It’s also about engagement and values -both material and ethical. The future has to be about re-use of material. And new creation from combining these objects.
Paul Grainge says that he does not have a problem with the word content and there is ‘blurrring’ between disciplines.
So @billt – is prepared to use the term “Digital Society” but not “Digital Economy” who knew? #beyondtext
Sarah says we are seeding the emergence of short-lived digital objects that don’t persist like photos or written documents.
Big discussions going on about archiving across different disciplines. And changes in the way archives are and can be used (such as pictures of children). And how about reputational issues of researchers ‘private’ notebooks.
Bill points out that the BBC has great difficulties in looking at the digitisation of archives and a ‘duty of care’ to the participants. The issue of online identity and provenance. How do you verify who can see it?
Andrew Burn – says that clearance has been an import aspect of his work especially about images of children. He agrees it needs to be handled carefully.
Until they got over the fear of the amateur, the funders found difficult to make progress
Semi-digitised existence – and multiple conversations. Says Rebecca Kill.
Creativity beyond text – where next for the Creative Industries?
Rebekka says it’s interesting that there is a ‘where’ in e title of this session. Was what we did really radical – at music festivals; would it have been more radical at a shopping centre or in a University.
Environments for Encounter Award Holder Dr Alice O’Grady Higher Education Institute University of Leeds Partner Organisation Rebekka Kill, Leeds Metropolitan University Our proposal explores the phenomenon of relational performance within contemporary music festivals as an emergent genre of creative communication.
Rebekka says this is the first time she’s seen the video – it was e-mailed to her this morning.
Dani Salvadori says she sees convergence in the ‘college’ job at Central St Martins; whereas in her university job at University of the Arts she sees divergence. Companies and students coming together – not a hard sell on either side. On university side sees divergence – means dealing with Science and Technology – this is largely a b2b role.
The most depressing meeting I’ve been to recently was the #cdec meeting says Dani Salvadore of CSM at #beyondtext
She says that there is too much operational thinking and British businesses risk being left behind. It’s not just business – it’s also in science, technology and engineering education – too narrow.
Jeremy Silver says I have two jobs too: advising the TSB on Creative Industries and trying to help get the money spent wisely. And the rest of the time he works with small companies helping them to do ‘real stuff’. And he says that we haven’t updated our definitions of the Creative Industries. And these don’t help – especially when the redefinitions of terms seem to reduce the size of the industry.
The main problem facing the industry is what Jeremy describes as the incumbents’ dilemma and their difficultly in working out how to change. Legislative change – says the Digital Economy Act drove people further apart.
We have an inexorable drive to be businesslike – but we don’t all have to be businesses – not everything can become a business. Let’s not force everything into becoming a business.
#beyondtext Dr Jeremy Silver asks does everything have to become a business? Dani Salvadori questions gap btween tech ops + creative design
Sally Taylor says that she works between Universities and culture. The list of 13 captive industries has lasted since 1997 – and is probably in need of getting rid of. There is huge demand she says and more creative people working outside the creative industries than in. Need to talk about creative people. It’s a difficult game she says. But “it’s yours”.
TCCE had a conference on Creativity in Business recently. There are positive and negative aspects to creativity in business. Some of the positives are the world’s most iconic buildings.
The problems to deal with are about people; and academics have a role to play.
Where next for the creative industries? How about de-industrialisation. Let’s abolish or radically reduce copyright terms – make things move faster. Less agonistic and maybe more effective.
Jeremy thinks that reducing the term to 12 years would be interesting but the incumbents won’t go for it – implausible.
Rebekka questions the idea of deindustrialisation – and what it really means. Dani says it’s really happening and creation on the Internet is evidence of that. This country is “half deindustrialised” anyway.
Danger of programming in schools is that it will be pushed into ICT education and they will not realise that to make good computer games you needed to bring together music, narrative, writing etc.
Evelyn Wilson says we over fetishise the creative industries – the notion of boosterism cite by Kate Oakley. But what about what next for creativity?
Rebekka says there is no shared view of what ‘creativity’ means – don’t want a definition but the recognition that we are all on different pages.
Ghislaine Boddington says that internationally we have a good reputation and a very high level of quality for digital artists – it’s leading work worldwide. She mentions Creative Europe and the term Culture and Creative Sector – and says doesn’t mention “industry”.
One contributor says that we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the English language. Dani says she doesn’t agree – most of the work is of a visual nature – language is not important.
We need the new stuff to come from creative work and be driven by that not led by industrial need.
Sounds like the #beyondtext event was interesting lookin at tweets by @brian_condon @JeremyS1 @clarered
With: David Banks, former editor of the Daily Mirror and editorial director of Mirror Group Newspapers. Worked in London, New York and Sydney over a thirteen-year career with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp during which he edited two papers in Australia. Now a columnist and regular broadcaster.
Jane Martinson, women’s editor of the Guardian and former media editor;
Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust, an independent charity that looks for ways to foster high standards in news and a founder of the Hacked Off campaign;
Toby Young, freelance journalist and associate editor of The Spectator, where he writes a weekly column. He also blogs for the Daily Telegraph and is the author of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People and The Sound of No Hands Clapping.”
This year Twitter made its impact felt on the Party Conference circuit. I went to NESTA Fringe meetings in Brighton last week and in Manchester this week. I came up with the idea of seeing whether the Tweetstreams might tell us something about the relative states of those two parties. The results are, I think, intriguing.
#cpc09 beats #lab09 hands down
I’ve looked at the main hashtags being used at both the Labour and Conservative Party conferences over a comparable period in each case (beginning on Sunday and ending on Thursday). The total volume of Tweets with the #lab09 tag was 10,379 compared with 12,733 with the cpc09 tag. The numbers are derived from time series data kindly provided by What The Hashtag?! and I acknowledge the help of Mark Bockenstedt for his advice in understanding how to use the API.
Naturally, all I’m doing is looking at Tweets tagged with those particular hastags – I don’t know at this stage what the contents or stance of the Tweets might be; whether positive or negative.
Time series data . . . hmmmm
We can also examine the flow of Tweets over time (and looking at the structure of flow is always instructive).
This picture shows the daily volume of Tweets with the #lab09 tag, beginning on the Sunday (Day 1) and running until Thursday (Day 5). When I saw this picture, I wasn’t particularly surprised – it shows a build-up of activity each day with a ‘peak’ on Tuesday; the day when Gordon Brown did his ‘big speech’ to conference. Looks like activity diminished somewhat on Wednesday and Thursday – and indeed, recalling the news coverage at the time there was talk of the conference ‘going a bit flat’.
Looking at the daily volume of Tweets tagged #cpc09 is a bit more surprising. Day 2 (Monday) was the day Boris Johnson ‘did his thing’ and William Hague gave a keynote. Day 3 was George Osbourne’s Gloomy Day. Day 5 (yesterday) was David Cameron’s ‘big speech’.
Now examine the two charts together
Look at the volumes; only once did the #lab09 tag reach over 3,000 per day; and that was when Gordon Brown spoke. And the daily volumes were consistently larger for #cpc09. Activity levels higher across the piece. And it seems to me, by observation, there seems to be more ‘momentum’ in the #cpc09 hashtag. Certainly, I noted (and Audioboo’d about) the generally less cheerful and relatively more cheerful feels of the Labour conference people I observed versus the Conservative conference people. Note I was just in each city (actually on the Tuesday) and at Fringe events outside the ‘security zone’.
It’s just an observation – and you may have some thoughts
What does it mean? I should add that I’ve looked at hashtag activity extending both sides of the Labour conference and for the run up to the Conservative one. There are no glaringly obvious patterns and, in any event I have produced comparable stats on the same chart scales for each conference.
I’m still thinking about what, if anything, this analysis tells us. It could be that the volume of #cpc09 tweets reflects relatively more negative traffic (ie Labour supporters using the hashtag to criticise the Tory conference) than is in the #lab09 Tweetstream. It could just be that the disquiet of the Labour supporters is reflected in their lower use of the #lab09 hashtag – staying quiet rather than Tweeting negative thoughts. Please feel free to comment if you have further thoughts.
Why no #ldc09?
Well, I can’t get back in time as far as the Liberal Democrat conference – Twittersearch says “No older Tweets available” and they’re not there on WTHashtag?! either. Which brings me to a further thought – Tweets are ephemera. they vanish into theether after about 10 days or so as I understand it. However their nature Which, will, I think, become an issue if Twitter starts to have an impact on the political process . . .
Because it should have been #ldconf
Thanks to Tory Bear for pointing out my error, and also, see his comment below. My reading (such as it is) of the Tweetstream from #cpc09 does tally with his view.
So here we have the Tweets from the Liberal Democrat conference alongside the Labour and Tory ones (it’s not quite midnight oil burning yet . . ).
The choice of hashtag is a bit odd, I think – not including the year does not follow ‘best emerging practice’ such as it is. I wonder, to what extent, the choice of this hashtag was really planned?
Now for the timeseries data, shown on the same scale as #lab09 and cpc09 above. At this scale, the detail is not apparent – and when I look at the numbers, the daily volumes vary from about 700 Tweets per day (Shall I define a new unit – Tpd?) to 900 Tpd. So the idea tha the Lib Dems are somehow more sociable and chatty does not seem to be borne out by the evidence.
Endnote: You can find my other material on the conference fringe events on the Amplified09 website:
A fabulous event in Liverpool that still has me thinking about the issues and means that I have to blog about it. This event really does try to ‘boundary cross’ – between the arts and technology, social media, music, geeks, non-geeks (not many!) and businesses (could be more). Overall a great event and I learnt a lot.
Here is some stuff on the opening and on the importance of narrative. The importance of stories keeps coming up in events. Especially events that have someting to do with social media. We neglect stories at our peril!
There was a bit of noise on Twitter both during media140 and after it on the extent of ‘obvious stating’ going on at the event. Much of this comment was of a critical nature – ‘they don’t get it'; referring to the somewhat Twitter-sceptical journalists in the room. The bigger players there (Sky and the BBC) indulged in a bit of un-necessary and rather tedious sparring. Both of them, I suppose, feeling secure in their knowledge that their respective ‘market’ power and ‘broadcast’ mode will leave them largely unchanged by the openess and pervasiveness of social media generally and Twitter in particular. Hmmm.
Following media140, I’ve been reading blogs and the press coverage – reportage mostly; who said what and with little commentary or analysis about what it all means. Perhaps it’s too scary for the Potential Legacy Media (currently known as MSM) to think about? And sometimes that means the obvious needs a bit of stating.
As part of the ‘post match’ coverage there was an interesting if largely self-referential segment on pods and blogs on R5Live with journalists and a thoughtful comment from Mark Jones of Reuters who also provided some excellent comment and analysis on his Reuters blog.
I used Audioboo and Scribblelive at the event. I also generated the wordle above based on my liveblog. You can find the liveblog here and ‘hat tips’ to contributors here.
Those of you who liveblog events will know the level of concentration it needs. Using Scribblelive actually increases the level of complexity as you try to bring in other people’s tweets, try to avoid too much duplication (most sole tweeters at events do so in realtime and there’s often duplication in the aggregated stream). Trying to join in, provide some realtime feedback and combine inputs is ‘not for the faint-hearted’ as the Scribblelive people say!
In the next sections, I provide some thoughts on media140 after reflecting on the issues, the coverage and my own liveblog and Audioboos made at the time; I name the presenters in the Audioboos and you can also refer to the Agenda.
The 140 Character story
This panel kept bouncing off the argument – they had a silly discussion about whether Twitter was journalism or not. And we kind of forgot the ‘realtime news’ tagline of the entire event. What was missing for me was:
What the aggregation of information carried across Twitter enables (the analogy from Bill Thompson of the Twitter ‘seismograph’ is insightful);
The speed at which news can propagate through memes and hashtags and the level of self-organisation enabled by this form of cooperative production (Retweets, comments, links to blog posts, realtime and near realtime video streams and websites); and,
The need to filter true signals from the sheer noise and volume of the information available.
Sources, editorial control and workflow
The panel did discuss the risks of ‘opening up’ the news process and the potential impacts on the way news is made and perceived. I wonder what happens to the ‘news cycle’ in a General Election when many of us have access to realtime video production on our mobile phones or can report events directly as they happen over Twitter? We’ll find out soon!
The panel focused on the risks. An example of the risks seems to have been happening while the event was on, but I’m not sure anyone realised it.
Skynews.com used Coveritlive to add a Tweetstream to their site. There seems to have been no filtering so there was lots of spam. And seemingly little editorial control over the Tweets. Just what risks Sky may have been running can be imagined; the links to ‘goldencasinoflash’ could have been links to anything. Anything at all….
My Tweets were being carried live by Skynews also – even though I was effectively doing competing realtime coverage using a rival platform to Sky. I don’t know to what extent there was active editorial control of the Tweetstream – the amount of spam they let through might suggest very little?
One of the few times in the event when the room went really quiet and people listened really hard was when Guy Degen, freelance journalist and a member of the Frontline Club, played some audio and video footage from Tblisi. He was sent there on his own for Deutsche Welle; he had no gear and no time to get any, no crew and used a mobile phone to cover a riot. Frontline indeed.
Kevin Anderson was insightful on the impact of social media on reporting on a roadtrip style assignment in the USA.
Local and human
Local news = newspapers? #fail
Joanne Jacobs ably chaired the final panel session and brought the whole event back pretty much on time so kudos to her. It was an interesting and stimulating panel – and you can pick up some of the flavour of the discussion from pp 6-8 of the liveblog.
Given what’s happening in local and regional news, the discussion after the short presentations seemed to spiral into being about newspapers. But surely local news is going to be much more than papers – but I can see there’s a painful transition to go through for a lot of people. Some of the more ‘gung ho’ social mediarati might like to think about that.
No-one mentioned the ‘backchannel’
The backchannel (what happens in the social media space during an event or presentation) didn’t get a mention.
Here’s an example from media140:
I first came across the backchannel in tech conferences in the USA about 5 years ago – using chat room software over local wireless networks and, in some instances allowing external participants ‘listening-in’ to audio streams to interact with the chat. All these messages were projected on a screen behind the speaker so it was generally impossible both to present to the audience and watch the backchannel at the same time. The backchannel often had more stimulating and interesting stuff on it than was happening on the panel. And dangerous sometimes for both speaker and audience. I remember taking my PowerBook onto the stage and using it in a panel session both to contribute to the backchannel and comment on what other panelists were saying. Apparently, this was unusual at the time. The audience reaction was interesting!
So it seems to me that the Potential Legacy Media faces the same risks as a pompous or tedious speaker in perpetual broadcast mode with an active backchannel. Like a politician giving the answer to a question the interviewer didn’t ask, the risks of audience alienation are high. And when the real backchannel turns against you, as it has for our MPs recently, life can get very unpleasant.
Being Human and Connecting
Jeff Pulver over a quite good Skype video link finished off on an optimistic note. We can move from a position where the one-way broadcast mode can become much more interactive. It has to be more than ‘promotion'; it must be much more about connection. Above all, it’s about being human and taking that humanity with us into social media spaces and connecting.