David Kirkpatrick

June 15, 2009

This revolution is not televised

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:51 pm

I’m going to assume the televised media will eventually pick up the ball on the ongoing situation in Iran. It’s only the most important geopolitical story out there. Thirty years after deposing the Shah, Iranians are rejecting both a sham election and the corrupt Islamic leadership.

Of course if you want any serious coverage of the Iranian green revolution you need to hit the BBC, the blogosphere, NYT’s website or Twitter. For the most part mainstream media is proving its irrelevancy once again. The Sunday edition of my local paper had exactly zero mention of Iran on its front page. Sadly I can’t type “unbelievable” because utter crap has become par for the course.

Hit the link for a Twitter #iranelection hashtag search.

March 30, 2009

Social networking and news distribution

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:57 pm

Interesting idea, but it completely sounds like college a thought-experiment that won’t really port over to the real world.

I could be totally wrong if social networking continues to grow as a hub  featuring a confluence of online and real-world interaction  along with information seeking and gathering. Right now social networking is cool, it’s fun and it is useful, but it isn’t a total clearinghouse for users.

The release:

U of Minnesota researchers test new ways to involve people in news through social media

Facebook app could be future business model for newspapers

University of Minnesota researcher Christine Greenhow, Seattle-based news aggregator NewsCloud and student newspaper The Minnesota Daily today announced the launch of the Minnesota Daily Facebook application. The Minnesota Daily application aims to become the hub of news and sharing for U of M students and community, combining both professional student and citizen journalism. Researchers will use it to test new ways to engage youth in news and information through social media.

The Daily, the U of M’s 109 year-old independent, student-run newspaper, has teamed up with researchers to provide the application with its Web content. The application, funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, includes an incentive-based feature for users that allows them to receive points for completed challenges and to comment and share stories with Facebook friends. After a user gains a certain number of points, they are eligible for prizes offered by The Minnesota Daily.

“It could revolutionize the way young people engage and interact with news through their social network,” said Vadim Lavrusik, editor in chief and co-publisher of The Minnesota Daily.

Moreover, Lavrusik said, the application could provide a future business model for media organizations that are struggling to find viable revenue on the Web. Media groups with such applications could work with business to post challenges to the users that they would gain points for, such as visiting a business’ Website or attending a restaurant’s happy hour, resulting in direct business to the advertisers. “It changes the way we think about Web advertising, but business could see direct results,” Lavrusik said.

U of M researchers, led by Greenhow, will use the data provided by application users to investigate how online social network sites such as Facebook can engage youth in world events, build community and generate real world impact. The study, with an anticipated publication date of fall 2009, seeks to discover which strategies work best to engage 16 to 25 year-olds in current events and how the Internet can be used to educate, inform and connect students in new and powerful ways.

“Understanding how youth not only consume online information but manipulate, produce and talk through it for social and educational purposes will move us closer to understanding how to develop students’ digital age competencies, such as their online communication, collaboration, and citizenship, thus informing the design and development of successful media-rich environments,” Greenhow said.

The Minnesota Daily application is the second media publication on Facebook launched by Greenhow’s team of researchers. The first, called “Hot Dish: Serving up the hottest climate news” launched in March 2009 and focuses on building community and sharing news around climate change.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, the proportion of young people getting no news on a typical day has increased from 25 to 34 percent since 1998.

“It’s important that we find new ways to reverse these trends by engaging young people where they increasingly spend time — online in social networks,” said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation journalism program director.

“We’re excited to apply our technology to support Dr. Greenhow’s research,” said NewsCloud founder Jeff Reifman, the Seattle organization behind the application’s development. “We hope these publications serve as a model for using Facebook to engage younger readers in important current events.”

 

###

 

To view The Minnesota Daily Facebook application, visit: http://apps.facebook.com/mndaily/

February 15, 2009

Contextual analysis, content and Sphere

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:07 am

Sphere’s content widget on mainstream media websites has driven traffic to this blog on many occasions when I’ve posted on breaking, or hot, news. Sometimes the post of mine is peripherally related to the article that drove the traffic, but not about the exact story. That makes sense now I see where Sphere is a big proponent of contextual analysis, rather than behavioral analysis, to sort content.

Here’s an interesting post on the debate between the sorting methods on Sphere’s blog.

From the link:

For the past year, we at Sphere have been waging a polite and respectful war on our cousins in the space, powering related content using behavioral analysis.  We’ve believed and maintained that behavioral analysis (ie: forming relationships based on repeat user connections) cannot compare to contextual analysis of the content, mainly because readers don’t always group their reading so systematically by topic.  I blogged about this last year and our opinions/learnings haven’t much changed.  We think behavioral matching is a cool technology and extremely valuable in other applications – such as commerce.  I love the feature on Amazon.com where it tells me that 64% of users bought the item I’m looking at, 24% bought another one and still, 14% bought a third.  It makes my shopping experience more informed and leaves me feeling better about my purchases.  Likewise, it’s helpful, when buying an iPhone, for instance, to know that most previous purchasers also bought the charger set and plastic case.  Content, though, is a different story.

November 18, 2008

Nate Silver opines on today’s media and Lee Atwater

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:24 pm

Insightful post from Nate Silver on today’s mediaand an added bit on Lee Atwater operating in today’s blogospherized political environment.

I’m really happy to see Nate and Sean at FiveThirtyEight keeping up analysis of the political scene. For anyone who doesn’t know, Nate is a statistician for Baseball Prospectus and brought rock-and-roll number cruching skills to this year’s election. And pretty much nailed the results. Probably has changed the world of political polling and projections forever, because partisan hacks just get exposed in his model.

He became something of a media darling with multiple television appearances as the site grew in traffic. It was a point of wonder what would happen at FiveThirtyEight once the election was over and there were no projections in the near future. Looks like, to all our benefit, those guys are going to sort through their thoughts and apply lessons learned to share some inside dope with the blogosphere. And I think that’s great. I love the site and hope it only continues to grow.

From the first link:

CBS’s underlying problem — and the commonality between the three items that I described above — is the arbitrary and largely ineffectual nature of the fact-checking process employed by the mainstream media. I have written for perhaps a dozen major publications over the span of my career, and the one with the most thorough fact-checking process is by some margin Sports Illustrated. Although this is an indication of the respect with which SI accords its brand, it does not speak so well of the mainstream political media that you are more likely to see an unverified claim repeated on the evening news than you are to see in the pages of your favorite sports periodical.

One of the questions triggered by the Frontlineprogram is what would have happened if Atwater were still alive today; might he have had more success in undermining Barack Obama than Steve Schmidt apparently did? My answer is very probably not, because the blogosphere serves as the fact-checkers that the mainstream media is too negligent to employ. On the contrary, I think that Mr. Atwater would have been smart enough to realize that he’d be eaten alive by Daily Kosand Media Matters and Keith Olbermann, and would be thoroughly enjoying himself in retirement playing in a blues band in South Carolina somewhere.

The Silver is the New Black Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers