It’s been a long 8 years.

Bush’s time in the Oval Office aside, the last 8 years has seen a boom online (termed clumsily as 2.0). Truly though, the internet has really come alive in terms of social networks and new media services since Bush made himself comfortable in the White House.

Rory at the BBC has posted a really interesting blog, looking at how the landscape today differs from Bush’s inauguration all those years ago.

Coolest of all?  CNN following up their election night hologram, by asking people in DC to take a photo at 12pm (EST), and email their photos in.  Then they’re going to use “Microsoft Photosynth to create what could be an extraordinary 3D image.” This is a fantastic citizen journalist stunt, where ‘old’ media mobilises people on the ground to create something totally awesome.

More info on CNN here.

More info on Photosynth here.

*Disclaimer* Microsoft is an Edelman client.


You’re Rank!


 Edel’ AR man, Jonny Bentwood must’ve been shirking his 9-5 duties because he’s come up with a pretty significant ranking system for the blogosphere!

His Social Media Index attempts to rank blogs not by the basic number of subscribers, hits and links, but by their impact and relevance within a broader range of social media – Facebook, Twitter, del.i.cio.us, etc. His thoughts….

Traditionally, an individual’s web influence was measured by the success of their blog. In its simplest form this was done by counting how many people subscribed and linked to it. However, in today’s Web 2.0 world, this is no longer a credible metric as people are currently using a variety of different social media tools to inform and hold conversations with their audience.

FACT: There is a definitive need to assess any social media publisher’s influence on the market as a whole.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the more engaged an individual is within the different channels available, the broader influence that person has.

I have developed a model, which recognises and attempts to quantify the impact and influence of multiple social media tools.

FACT: This methodology is not the standard.
The standard is a long way down the road. I have selected one way (of many) to analyse different individuals and I would like this post to provoke debate so that together the community can create a standard. This could include what social media tools to analyse (e.g. Facebook or MySpace or both?) and what weighting should be given to each category (e.g. is Twitter just as important as blogging?).

I admit that I am comparing apples and pears, adding them together and giving a total. I am sure that this would make any statistician have a coronary – but without any other scale to work on I have created my own index and hope that it can act as a catalyst to create something better.

 Tables, methodology and results on the Social Media Index after the jump 

Who has the Rights?

The North Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) could be taken to court after evicting a newspaper reporter from a baseball press box for blogging about a game while it was in progress.  All after the jump

“Reporters covering our championships may blog about the atmosphere, crowd and other details during a game but may not mention anything about game action. Any reference to game action in a blog or other type of coverage could result in revocation of credentials,” says the NCAA

The N.C.A.A. decision at the baseball tournament was ostensibly to protect the broadcasting rights that were sold to ESPN, which was telecasting the game, and CBS Sportsline.com, the official Internet provider of detailed descriptions for N.C.A.A. baseball tournament games.

An ESPN spokesman, Mike Humes, said: “To be honest, we didn’t ask for it. They didn’t consult us.” Bearby, the N.C.A.A. lawyer, said the N.C.A.A. initiated the action because “the entertainment event or sporting event has the ability to limit access to who gets that firsthand account.”

Blogging – amplifyig the public domain.

Interesting position. What do events rights owners actually control now? With everyone capable of reporting on an event in real-time, with wildly varying levels of commentary quality, how does a sports events organiser actually control the product?

“Citizen Big Brother?”


Robin Hamman at cybersoc.com has joined the beta test of Plazes, a new social networking site that “adds physical presence to the web. The Plazes website automatically detects your location and connects you to people and places nearby. See people in your area, discover other locations and follow the whereabouts of your friends.

So far, so ‘police state’.  Robin describes it as… “a service that tracks your mobile phone and/or the points where you connect to the internet and plots them on a map. You can then add descriptions and images to the new plazes you create so that other users can find them. Another nice bit of functionality is that you can search for Plazes and other users, including your contacts and others who have chosen to make their location visible, within a user determinable distance of 2 or 5 km.

It’s an interesting concept, merging offline with online worlds, but one that I’m still not wholly comfortable with. The UK isthe most scrutinised nation on earth; with 4 million cameras filming everyone – on average – 300 times a day, is there a need to amplify our Orwellian society with rampant web 2.0 narcissism?

I’m all for the expansion of social networks, but I find a system that uses mobile tracking to pin-point your location (albeit with the users’ consent) a little intrusive.

Robin’s going to continue with the beta test and write a fuller report sometime soon. I’ll keep you posted…

DERTY Link #3: OneStopPopShop

“I’m a self-facilitating media node, yeah… it’s well mexico!!!


Popurls is the dashboard for the latest web-buzz, a single page that encapsulates up-to-the-minute headlines from the most popular sites on the internet. Launched in March, it gives “a quick glance on what’s happening on the web while keeping the common newsreader clean from short-term headlines…a gate to an editorial selection of the most popular sites on the internet, presented in a usable way

PopURLS gives you a snapshot of all the most popular links from the most widely used aggregators. That’s A LOT of headlines, people. 

In all honesty there’s just too much to take in at once, but to get a good indication of web-mentality, the key discussions and news agenda online, popurls can’t really be beaten. It takes a moment to get your head round it but when it comes in to focus, it’s pretty amazing.

The list as it stands at the moment:

Digg, del.icio.us, reddit, flickr, newsvine, metafilter, tailrank, youtube, news.google, news.yahoo, netscape, ifilm, wire, slashdot, boingboing, odeo, fark, nowpublic, shoutwire, metacafe, clipmarks, dzone, videoshift and video.aol.

I could link to all of these sites individually, but I honestly cannot be bothered. Similarly, I could not be ar$ed copying out the ludicrously comprehensive list of contributing blogs – just go and look for yourself, it’s what it’s there for. 

As Barley would say, “Keep it foolish!”

Citizen jouranlists?


Suw Charman (ORG and Strange Attractor) has published a brilliant examination of citizen journlism at the Freedom of Expression project.

Read the whole article, or download the pdf. after the jump

The Changing Role of Journalists in a World Where Everyone Can Publish

info: Submitted by Lisa Horner on Sun, 2007-05-06 15:08.

by Suw Charman
Social media expert, writer and journalist

(Download a pdf version at the end of the paper)

Citizen journalism – when the general public investigate, fact-check and publish news stories – is changing the face of news. The historic role of gatekeeper, played until now by professional journalists, is obsolete. But new technology and increased civic participation are creating new opportunities for the mainstream media, and three key roles are emerging:

  1. Investigation – traditional in-depth investigative journalism made more transparent by publishing research and references.
  2. Curation – collecting trustworthy links and synthesising an informed and succinct overview of a story.
  3. Facilitation – working with the community to help people publish stories important to them.

What is ‘Citizen Journalism’?

Ask a dozen people to define ‘citizen journalism’, and you will undoubtedly get twelve different answers. This is not because agreement can’t be reached, but because many different activities have been lumped together under the same umbrella term. One definition might be:

“Citizen journalism: The execution of journalistic behaviours, such as investigation, fact-checking, and news publication, by the general public, usually on the internet.”

It doesn’t matter where these behaviours are exhibited, whether on a blog, a wiki, an independent website purpose-built to collect citizen journalism stories, or in a newspaper. Nor does it matter who is doing it – some journalists are also citizen journalists. What is important is that the general public now have the ability to investigate, report and fact-check news of every type and on every level, from international to hyperlocal.

However, some dislike the term ‘citizen journalism’, because:

  1. It sets up a false dichotomy between the professional journalist and the citizen journalist.
  2. The term ascribes the citizen journalist with a motivation – to become a professional journalist – that in the majority of cases does not exist.
  3. The term encourages people to make a value judgement, as if there is ‘real’ journalism and ‘citizen’ journalism, and that the former has more value than the latter.

There are many alternative phrases in use to describe mainstream media, including ‘participatory media’ and ‘distributed journalism’. But despite its flaws, the term ‘citizen journalism’ has gained currency and thus is the one this paper shall use.


The empowerment of the public has undoubtedly resulted in increased civic engagement30. Political apathy occurs when citizens feel disengaged from the political process, so it is essential to democracy that people are able to take part in public discourse: the ability to speak out, to be heard, and to make a difference is of vital importance in modern society. Citizen journalism plays a key part in this process, but with massive proliferation of information sources, we risk overwhelming ourselves, thus stifling instead of nurturing the conversation. The historical information bottleneck no longer exists, and the media are no longer in a position to act as gatekeepers who control the flow of information. Instead, they must now fulfil one of three core roles:

  1. Investigation – there will always be a real need for journalists who have the skill, time and resources to engage in investigation. The importance of this role in a functioning democracy should not be overlooked, particularly in the current climate of damaging cuts in the mainstream media’s newsgathering operations. However, journalists should publish their research and references wherever possible to provide more depth to their work.
  2. Curation – the more information is available, the more help we need to make sense of it, and the journalist who becomes expert at assessing other people’s content, creating a collection of trustworthy links and synthesising an informed and succinct overview of the story is performing a valuable service to a time- and attention-poor audience.
  3. Facilitation – there is a significant opportunity for journalists to work with the community as facilitators, helping people publish stories important to them, whether international or hyperlocal. These roles lie at the core of a healthy democracy, and we must consider their increasing importance in this connected, information-rich age.