The TED conference began in 1984 with the simple goal of bringing the top minds of the Technology, Entertainment and Design industries together for short, thought-provoking talks with their peers. The for-profit, invitation-only gathering was largely unknown in its early years outside of the small community of innovators who spoke at and attended the annual conference. Twenty-five years later, a very different TED announces TEDx, independently organized local events designed to share recorded TED talks with and capture new inspiration from a global network of community leaders. The brand’s evolution is a case study for what our institutions of higher learning should be doing: leveraging digital strategies and new technologies to create global resonance for content traditionally constrained by bricks and mortar.
It always stops me in my tracks when a television anchor utters a phrase that somehow references the real world as separate from the world of television journalism. As in: "Well, I guess out there in the real world...." Say what? As if they forget, for a second, that the sets aren't real and the stories are. So it's probably not surprising that, in the latest CNN Opinion Research poll, 70% of the respondents answered "yes" to the question "Are the media out of touch with average Americans?"
Consumers today can no longer rely on a few trusted editorial sources to filter the noise and deliver the most important news and information. Instead, consumers must make sense of the vast amount of information that reaches them daily and constantly make decisions about what to take seriously and what to ignore. Increasingly, they are turning to Social Curation
Wikipedia’s Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, P
Wikidata, the first new project to emerge from the Wikimedia Foundation since 2006, is now beginning development. The organization, known best for its user-edited encyclopedia of knowledge Wikipedia, recently announced the new project at February’s Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Berlin, describing Wikidata as new effort to provide a database of knowledge that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.
There’s a new movement underway. If you haven’t come across Pinterest yet, you soon will do. It’s a new virtual pinboard site that everyone’s talking about. It allows you to easily share visual things you’ve discovered online with your followers. You simply browse the web, spot something that inspires you and ‘pin’ it onto one of your boards. It’s as simple as that.
The future of social media in journalism will see the death of “social media.” That is, all media as we know it today will become social, and feature a social component to one extent or another. After all, much of the web experience, particularly in the way we consume content, is becoming social and personalized. But more importantly, these social tools are inspiring readers to become citizen journalists by enabling them to easily publish and share information on a greater scale. The future journalist will be more embedded with the community than ever, and news outlets will build their newsrooms to focus on utilizing the community and enabling its members to be enrolled as correspondents. Bloggers will no longer be just bloggers, but be relied upon as more credible sources. Here are some trends we are noticing, and we would love to hear your thoughts and observations in the comments below.
A recent video interview with Nova Spivack, co-founder of LiveMatrix, discusses the notion of how the real-time web is facilitating a redefinition of what the ‘now’ is. While the immense increase in availability of data and information brought on by the evolution of the internet has the power to make us smarter, it also bears the possibility of overwhelming us as we struggle to keep up with the constant flow of new information into our lives. In his discussion of the evolving nature of what ‘now’ means to us, Spivack observes that, prior to the 20th century, society generally was preoccupied with the past, studying history and reflecting on that past. In the 20th century we became obsessed with the future, as reflected in the furious pace of inventions and cultural fascination with science fiction. However, the 21st century thus far feels to be very much about the present.
Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley isn't afraid of big bad Facebook. At least, that's what he's telling us. Crowley's Foursquare, the still-fledgling service that tells you where your friends are hanging out, is suddenly facing an existential threat from 400 million member social network Facebook. Facebook plans to clone Foursquare's central service -- the ability for site members to use their phones to "check-in" from restaurants and bars -- and make it a mere Facebook feature.
There's a struggle with defining "branding" in digital. Some people claim that brands should be about utility, others that we need to build brand platforms and yet others think that brands should entertain us and give us something to talk about. Yet overall, surprisingly little has changed in the actual branding strategies in the industry. Something is wrong here.
Speaking as a card-carrying member of the old media, it has been my observation that virtually every magazine (old media) now has a Web site (new media, a.k.a. digital media), and that the proprietors of these sites don’t, for the most part, know what one another are doing; that there are no generally accepted standards and practices; that each magazine’s Web site is making it up as it goes along; that, as CJR put it in our proposal to the MacArthur foundation (which funded this survey), it is like the Wild West out there. For example, who makes the final decisions about what goes on the site, the editor of the magazine or, if there is one, the Web editor? Are Web sites fact-checked and copy-edited, if at all, with the same care as their parent magazines? On the business side, how much material is free, and how much is behind a paywall? What about archives—are they marketed, monetized, and curated in ways that differ from current content?
Last night New York-based advertising agency Lume Creative hosted an industry only seminar on social media in fashion featuring two of the biggest names currently in the field: Scott Schuman of TheSartorialist.com and Garance Dore of GaranceDore.fr. This is the first time the two have spoken together in a public forum about their work, success, and vision.
Great content doesn't grow on trees, doesn't work in a vacuum, and doesn't need to be driven solely by what your readers tell you -- you need to have a strategy built around content to grow a site. Glen has written a really useful post that can help you see why content needs to get most of your attention -- he built and sold a site. He lists many characteristics that are part of my experience as well. Your results -- in this case mine -- may vary depending on the level of commitment and focus you put on them.
Documentary films could have been created the way books were, with writers using clips the way historians use quotations (that is, with no permission at all). And likewise, books could have been created differently: with each quotation licensed by the original author, with the promise to use the quote only according to the terms of a license. All books could thus be today as documentary films are today--inaccessible. Or all documentary films today could be as almost all books are today--accessible. But it is the accident of our cultural history, created by lawyers not thinking about, as Duke law professor Jamie Boyle puts it, the “cultural environmental consequences” of their contracts, that we can always legally read, even if we cannot legally watch. In this contrast between books and documentaries, there is a warning about our future. What are the rules that will govern culture for the next hundred years? Are we building an ecology of access that demands a lawyer at every turn of the page? Or have we learned something from the mess of the documentary-film past, and will we create instead an ecology of access that assures copyright owners the incentive they need, while also guaranteeing culture a future?
It’s certainly not the nicotine that has visitors returning in droves to Marlboro’s website. It’s the curation. Perhaps it's appropriate that a cigarette brand would have the right ingredients to make a website addictive. Relaunched nine months ago, the Marlboro website has surged with 1.5 million unique visitors a month. Traffic that size bounty of plenty for any site, the audience figures for Marlboro are astounding considering the brand’s restricted online presence: due to demands of state Attorneys General, the Marlboro website is gated. Visitors must register by providing their full name, address, last four Social Security digits, and indicate that they are customers of the brand.
Some 300 attendees gathered at the Saatchi Gallery last week for Ad Age sibling Creativity's technology conference, Creativity and Technology, were treated to musings on bleeding-edge digital communication from Europe's top talent in advertising, technology and design. Speakers ranged from agency creatives and technologists to writers such as Adam Greenfield, author of "Everyware" and head of design direction at Nokia. Here are a eight takeaways from the conference if you missed it.
You may not have noticed it, but YouTube is evolving. Unlike sites like Facebook, where even a subtle change in a header’s rounding gets noticed, YouTube has so much going on that it’s often easy to miss one of the site’s new features. But they’re there, and more are coming soon. Earlier this week the YouTube team invited me over to talk about how the video portal is approaching its role as an inherently social site, and what it’s doing to help surface videos that users will find interesting from the oceans of content that’s uploaded every day. YouTube PM Brian Glick describes YouTube’s social trends with three F’s: Find, Follow, and Feed.
What's the difference between personalization and customization? Are consumers really in control? Do brands (and designers) want them to be? Nick de la Mare considers curation and the myth and reality of control.
Google, long seen as an enemy by many in the news industry, is making a bold attempt to be seen as a friend with a new service it hopes will make it easier for readers to read newspaper and magazine articles. On Monday, the company introduced an experimental news hub called Fast Flip that allows users to view news articles from dozens of major publishers and flip through them as quickly as they would the pages of a magazine. Google will place ads around the news articles and share resulting revenue with publishers. Fast Flip, which is based on Google News, tries to address what Google considers a major problem with news sites: they often are slow to load, and so they turn off many readers. Google, the leader in Web search services and advertising, argues that if reading news online was closer to the experience of scanning through physical newspapers or magazines, people would read more.
For a long time now, I’ve been pushing hard the idea of journalist-as-curator. Every priesthood, it seems, is having a fit over loss of its centralized control: How dare people pick what they like without history degrees or share what they know without journalism degrees! The nerve!