Recent posts in my Social media Category
January 28, 2013
Is video-loop sharing app Vine the most high-profile experiment yet with the concept of the “Minimum Viable Product”?
There is already a lot of grumbling on the net that new video-loop sharing app Vine is ‘pointless’. Perhpas the point isn’t necessarily the output alone…?
January 25, 2013
The Guardian swapped flat comment threads for ‘nested’ ones. The Manchester Evening News swapped ‘nested’ for flat. Guess what happened next…
January 17, 2013
The Guardian’s website has been no stranger to controversy over the last couple of weeks, and yesterday was no exception, with the decision to have comments open on the live blog of the unfolding reporting of the helicopter crash in London.
January 4, 2013
At the risk of just turning into a linklog to Matt Andrews’s blog, he wrote a great post this week about trying to set aside the British curse of negativity. During the course of it he spoke about his own reaction to Menshn, and it has prompted me to dig this unfinished blog post out of the “drafts” folder.
December 7, 2012
At news:rewired, Dave Wyllie of BreakingNews.com talked about the duty of care the service had to the citizen eye-witness sources it uses. Here are my notes
December 6, 2012
At news:rewired the Guardian’s Katie Rogers was talking about how the US arm of the paper used social media to cover Hurricane Sandy as it landed on their New York doorstep. Here are my notes from her talk.
November 9, 2012
The Guardian are currently trying out some changes to their commenting system. Like most changes to a major website, the backlash amongst some users is very, very vocal, and everybody gets to watch.
October 14, 2012
On Friday I was involved in a Twitter conversation with Guardian journalists Sean Ingle and Sid Lowe about the value of comments underneath football stories on newspaper websites.
August 12, 2012
Services aggregating social media around the London 2012 Olympic Games remind me of a service I created in 2008 to grab pictures and tweets from the Beijing Olympics - Fansivu.
July 25, 2012
I recently appeared at an event entitled “Is social media destroying journalism?”. Here is the essay version of what I said on the night. Featuring a certain B-movie favourite...
July 18, 2012
July 5, 2012
Neal Mann and Simon Rogers appeared on the same panel at the Guardian’s London Activate Summit, talking about some of the ways that digital technology has changed the way that they carry out their roles as journalists. Here are my notes.
June 13, 2012
The Times new Opinion Tumblr doesn’t signal a retreat from the paywall - if anything, it potentially raises the “value for money” that customers think they are getting.
May 30, 2012
There’s a really interesting post by Oliver Reichenstein doing the rounds at the moment entitled “Sweep the Sleaze”, about why sites should remove share buttons from their pages. If you haven’t read it, you should. And then come back and read why I don’t agree with it.
May 14, 2012
The climax of the Premier League brought out an astonishing display of churlishness amongst non-footie fans on Twitter.
May 8, 2012
There has been quite some hoo-ha on the web suggesting that Facebook “Social Reader” apps are dying, based on a piece written by BuzzFeed’s John Herrman - “Facebook social readers are all collapsing”. I worked on the Guardian’s app - here’s my take on it.
April 18, 2012
Live tweeting the demise of the Titanic in real-tile seemed acceptable, yet a few months back the Guardian was severely criticised for taking a similar approach to tweeting the events of 9/11. Here are some thoughts on why that earned criticism and why it was right for the tweeting to be halted.
April 3, 2012
February 18, 2012
A quick glimpse into the future and some of the blog posts and stories I expect to see written about Pinterest in the coming weeks and months...
February 17, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I was part of a panel session talking about social media optimisation at news:rewired. I was talking about the Guardian’s Facebook app, and the rest of the panel consisted of Darren Waters from MSN, the BBC’s Chris Hamilton, and Nate Lanxon of Wired. Here are some points that came out of the Q&A that followed the talks.
February 16, 2012
At news:rewired, MSN’s Darren Waters discussed how, with limited resources, MSN were adopting a human social media voice, and reaping rewards in increased user engagement.
February 15, 2012
I tweeted today that “Twitter did/did not break news” is the new “bloggers vs journalists” - a tired old trope that gets periodically trotted out. It was this dreary ReadWriteWeb piece about the origins of news of Whitney Houston’s death that provoked it. News breaks for the user where they first find it - and that isn’t a broadcast network anymore, it is a real-time peer-to-peer one.
February 14, 2012
As part of news:rewired earlier this month, there were workshop sessions on skills like SEO and datajournalism. Leading one of the sessions was Nicola Hughes, aka DataMinerUK, teaching people how to use social media for search. Here are my notes from a session that raised interesting issues of ethics and security for investigative journalists using social media.
February 8, 2012
Last week at news:rewired I was talking about the Guardian’s Facebook app. During the Q&A after my talk, the topic of privacy cropped up several times, especially with regard to younger people using the Facebook platform. Here are three important things that I think adults should know about when they are discussing privacy amongst teenagers.
February 7, 2012
February 3, 2012
At news:rewired today I was part of a panel discussing optimising news sites for social media. I talked about the Guardian’s Facebook app. Here is an essay version of the talks.
January 30, 2012
The release of 60 new apps that employ Facebook’s “frictionless sharing” has sparked another round of internet debate about the value of the functionality. Here’s my take.
At the Guardian, most days we have a five minute talk about something digital during morning conference. Often it is our own products and services we showcase, but sometimes we talk about something outside the building that has caught our eye digitally. Last week I was talking about This Is My Jam.
January 26, 2012
Last night I went to the Community Managers meet-up in London. Markham Nolan was talking about how Storyful sources social media content from accidental citizen journalists.
January 23, 2012
Today is “Community Manager Appreciation Day”. If you’ve ever taken part in online community, used UGC for research or entertainment, or chased up story leads from comments left across the web, you probably owe it somewhere to an unsung community manager. I’m not normally a big fan of organised recognition, but I believe, especially in the news space, that community management is a dangerously under-valued skill.
January 11, 2012
January 9, 2012
Everybody loves a social media story with a happy ending - by which I don’t mean that PR stunt about that other Martin guy. Here are two that have caught my eye over the last few days, involving a student trying to get an internship, and the Muscatine Journal in Iowa.
January 6, 2012
Mathew Ingram wrote yet another great post on GigaOm the other day entitled “Yes, blog comments are still worth the effort.” He was responding to what is beginning to seem like a trend for bloggers deciding not to have comments on their site. I’m one of them - and here’s why I need a break from them.
January 4, 2012
Over the holidays the Guardian published the second ebook collection that I have edited them. Following on from “Who’s Who: The Resurrection of the Doctor”, I’ve tackled “Facebook: The rise and rise of a social media giant”. Here are some notes on the editing process of the book.
November 9, 2011
There are a limited number of letters in the alphabet, and so, with the suggestion that journalists should be using “NT” to demonstrate a neutral point of view when retweeting, I thought we should just go ahead and define the entire alphabet of inept journalistic use of Twitter etiquette all in one go.
November 7, 2011
Here is a miserable set of reading if you: 1. Like the internet. 2. Are a man. 3. Would prefer it if you lived in a society where it wouldn’t be acceptable for someone to threaten your mother, sister or daughter with rape and sexual violence for the dreadful crime of expressing their opinion on the internet.
October 24, 2011
Here are my notes from Chris Sumner’s Hacks/Hackers London talk about using tools to map social networks across the web, and what that means for information security and digital journalists.
October 12, 2011
It is just over twenty days since we released the Guardian Facebook app. I’ve been engaged with a lot of conversations with people about it on Twitter over the last couple of weeks, and I thought I might put down a few thoughts on the app, and some of the reaction to it.
September 18, 2011
This week I braved the potential troll hordes of the interwebs with a piece for Comment Is Free about the trolling phenomena, commissioned as part of our coverage of the prison sentence given to Sean Duffy for some unsavoury internet posts mocking the deaths of teenagers. Given the subject matter and the potential audience, I think I got off quite lightly in the comments, especially after it ended up with the headline “All you trolls out there – come out and explain yourself”.
September 2, 2011
This is an essay version of a talk given at last week’s Hacks/Hackers meet-up in London. I presented eight things that I believe news organisations need to stop doing, start doing, or do better, in order to cope with the way that digital has transformed the news cycle.
September 1, 2011
I happen to think that if you take most community management guidelines or blogging and commenting guidelines for staff, they basically boil down to “Don’t be a dick”. In fact, I think there is quite a simple flow chart to follow if you find yourself on the wrong end of a moderation decision on a news website.
August 24, 2011
I’ll be speaking tonight at the London Hacks/Hackers meeting, and one of the points I’ll be making is that the digital publishing revolution is a perpetual revolution, one that requires constant learning. That section of my talk is partly fuelled by how angry I was made yesterday by a piece in the Press Gazette, which suggested that editors do not value digital media skills.
August 13, 2011
The BBC Twitter picture copyright storm reminds me why I’m glad I don’t answer emails for the BBC anymore
Today there has been a Twitter-storm over an email sent from the BBC to Andy Mabbett. He had complained about the BBC’s use of pictures from Twitter, and the reply he got seemed to suggest that the BBC considered anything posted via Twitter to be in “the public domain”. The response was clearly wrong, and at odds with the BBC’s own guidelines about the usage of social media. Several BBC staff responded on Twitter and in the comments on Andy’s blog post. I have some sympathy with whoever wrote that original email.
There has been quite a fuss today about a BBC response to a complaint by Andy Mabbett. It implies that the BBC believes all material posted via Twitter is copyright-free and in the public domain. This approach is at odds with their own terms & conditions of use.
August 2, 2011
I’ve said on many occasions that I am genuinely baffled how so many news organisations seem to think they can grow an active community on their website, without investing in any community management. At the Guardian we have several people in a role called “community co-ordinator” who fulfill this remit. One of them, Laura Oliver, spoke at the last London Hacks/Hackers meet-up. Here are my notes on four of the key points that Laura made in her talk.
August 1, 2011
July 27, 2011
Over the last couple of days there has been loads of attention to a blog post entitled “How the BBC lost 60,000 Twitter followers to ITV” by Tom Callow on The Wall. Last night he tweeted: “TweetReach tells me tweets about my blog on the BBC's 'lost' followers reached over 1.3 million people via 1,100 tweets!”. Which is all well and good...except...is it true?
July 11, 2011
Over the last few months we’ve been holding a series of talks at The Guardian for staff around the theme of “digital”. Recently it was the turn of Benji Lanyado, who has made a name for himself as the Guardian’s travel writer who goes on #TwiTrips. He arrives in a city, and then relies on people tweeting him with tips and directions to find hidden gems and the things that the locals recommend.
July 6, 2011
Whilst I was in Atlanta I took the opportunity to take the Inside CNN Studio Tour, and was interested to see how an American news operation gets presented as a tourist attraction.
June 28, 2011
Paul Adams opened the UPA conference in Atlanta with a keynote talk that looked about how the web is being rebuilt around people. With a liberal dose of Facebook’s “Social by design” mantra, he explored the nature of our offline social networks as humans, and the differences between strong, weak and temporary ties between friends and people. Here are my notes from the session.
June 26, 2011
Steve Buttry on what the reaction to Gene Weingarten’s column tells us about the Washington Post’s brand
I don’t very often post to this blog just to write “Yeah! What he said”. But this is basically just that...
June 22, 2011
Yesterday I got involved in a long Twitter conversation about anonymous and pseudo-anonymous comments on news websites involving Adam L. Penenberg, Mathew Ingram, Anna Tarkov, Amrita Mathur and Brad King. It was kicked off as people responded to this piece on the issue by Mathew at Gigaom. I’ve tried to sum up the six main points I was making in bursts of slightly more than 140 characters, and I’ve tried to interweave some of the conversation.
June 13, 2011
Just recently at the Guardian we were visited by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance & Regulation from the Oxford Internet Institute. He was talking about “Forgetting in the digital age”, and how “digital permanence” was a problem for humans and society. Here are my notes from the session.
June 9, 2011
Whilst I was at FutureEverything I did a video interview about the panel session I was on, and when asked what I hoped to get from the festival, I blurted out “Giant robots smashing up the city skyline” or something to that effect. The actual robot count at the event was very low, but a couple of talks did at least have robots in their titles or subject matter. Here are my notes from talks by David Bausola and the Guardian double-act of Meg Pickard and Dan Catt.
June 8, 2011
The “Texas mass grave” that wasn’t demonstrates that the rush to get a story on air before it has been fully verified isn’t just something that happens when news is being broken on social media.
June 2, 2011
As I blogged earlier in the week, on Saturday I was at Kings Place, not for work, but to attend the Knight-Mozilla News Innovation Jam. Once the ideas generation got underway, I ended up on a team with Nicola Hughes, Jonathan Austin, David Asfaha and my colleague - and it turned out later judge - Daithí Ó Crualaoich. We ended up pitching four ideas around the theme of community.
May 29, 2011
On Saturday I spent the day in the Guardian’s offices as a guest at the Knight-Mozilla News Innovation Jam. As a preamble to the actual brain-storming and designing, there were talks from Guardian journalist Paul Lewis, interactive technologist Alastair Dant, and the BBC’s Jonathan Austin. Here are my notes.