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- Charlie Beckett On BeatBlogging In A Networked World
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It’s a safe bet that Charlie Beckett, online media aficionado, director of POLIS at The London School of Economics and the author of Super Media: Saving Journalism, knows a hell of a lot more about the media than most of us. If his credentials aren’t convincing you, check out this interview. Somehow, he sums up the current state, ongoing failures and legitimate potential of beatblogging in a networked world in three questions. Plus, he’s got a British accent and it makes him sound super authoritative. Continue reading
Obama’s inaugural address sounded pretty familiar to frequent readers of Slate.com. Perhaps that’s because 455 of them wrote it.
Well, not quite “it,” but something surprisingly similar in many ways. There was no huge meeting; no conference of the politically-minded, Obama-loving Slate readers. Rather, there was a website, and a fairly new one at that. The site is MixedInk.com and the collaborative writing service it offers is powerful.
Here’s how it works: decide what you’re going to write about and allow hundreds or even thousands of interested participants to submit their two cents and comment on others’ contributions. As content comes in, contributors vote for the best, build off one another and end up with a cohesive piece of writing that takes the collective good stuff and leaves the bad behind.
MixedInk’s two most impressive projects thus far — the Slate collaboration and nearly 200 online activists who used the service to create a democratic platform, a small part of which ended up on the actual platform — have been political. But the MixedInk method is also incredibly applicable to beatblogs with active and opinionated readerships.
“It’s not good for five, 10 people collaborating,” acknowledged co-founder David Stern. “But there can be some pretty big niches for beatblogs. As long as it’s a big enough group, I think MixedInk is relevant.”
So if your “beatblog” is you and your sister interviewing your best friends about relationships, MixedInk probably isn’t for you. But if you’re a member of a community — online or otherwise — looking for a way to harness the creativity of the group, it’s your one stop shop.
David called it “a way to process news and summarize what’s happened, analyze it and say what it all means, to opine and take a position as a community.” As far as beatblogs are concerned, MixedInk offers a means of bringing reader interaction beyond comments, forums and Twitter responses. It offers the possibility of a site moderator posing a question and readers’ responses coming together as more than a group of remarks largely isolated from one another.
The site has been up and running since April 2007, but the MixedInk team is currently working to make it more widely accessible. They’ll do this by turning MixedInk into a free widget for smaller sites and a white label service for larger companies who want it fully integrated into the look and functionality of their sites. The widget should be available within the next couple weeks and David says its best for small publishers “who just want to figure out where their community stands — do something more engaging.”
Check out a video demo of the site below. For more specific “how to” info, click here.
*If you’re not one of my media business professors, you’re not going to want to read this. Seriously, look at the picture above, realize that this could not be any less fun, and read about nail polish or puppies instead.
Rupert Murdoch is a newspaper fetishist, two time divorcee and authentic Australian. And, oh yeah, also the founder of News Corporation, the third largest media company in the world. The company has its hand in eight different segments of the industry: 1) Film 2) TV 3) Cable Networks 4) Direct Broadcast Satellite TV 5) Magazines and Inserts 6) Newspapers and “Information Services” 7) Books and 8 ) the oh-so-mysterious “Other”.
Basically, for all intents and purposes, there’s a pretty good chance that News Corp owns something you’ve looked at today. And they could definitely buy your house, your family and probably your dignity. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a closer look at some of NewsCorp’s more notable holdings: Continue reading
Back in New York after three days of Miami sun and media talk. Didn’t bring home a check but did come away with a depressing picture of the current media business landscape. Peopled by a combination of old media folk quietly aware of the fact that their publications are fading fast and new media youngins making even less money than their elderly counterparts, WeMedia ’09 was a disconcerting look at the fact that I probably won’t have a job when I graduate in two years. Continue reading
Ted Madger e-wondered whether or not The Times can survive online only. The answer? No.
First the tangible reasons: their operating costs are astronomical even before you factor in production costs, the new building is super sexy but ridiculously expensive/ill-timed. More damning than foolish spending though, is their outdated general approach, one that doesn’t lend itself to survival in the cash-lite online atmosphere that they’re sort of, kind of looking to embrace.
Because the days of online only print are well on their way, here are a couple things that The Times— and its many gray paper brethren– need to do if they’re looking to succeed:
1) Realize that they are not God and citizens can also participate in journalism. The crowdsourcing, cost cutting methods that will help journalists cover their respective beats are not irrelevant and should not be ignored.
2) Use external rather than self-referential links more often. NYTimes.com is woefully under connected to the massive internet in which it exists. Though some links do deign to leave the site, they are relatively few and far between.
More to come throughout the semester…