Video Above: Rocky captured and posted some video of the Palo Alto Fire near our office (well right across the street) there’s no audio, but you’re welcome to make your own helicopter sound effects, I did.
On Monday, during a meeting with Frank Gruber and Jen from AOL we started to smell smoke. At first I thought it was incense but then one of our colleagues came into the room declaring “The Stanford dish hill is on fire!”. It’s warm right now in California, in fact a few hundred homes had burnt down in Tahoe this last week.
The Palo Alto hills were on fire, which are just across the street from PodTech offices. I saw Rocky and Scoble scramble out the door with a video camera (Although the natural reaction is to go the opposite way, video guys, go figure) and Rocky has put together some of the footage in the above player. If you want to know more details about the fire, Topix has some details has the details.
I took some pictures too, but Rocky’s got the real action. Citizen Media. What’s intersting is that Rocky’s video has more depth and detail than Fox News.
Here’s a picture I took of the fire. Here’s a google map of the hill, obviously it’s unburnt.
Robert Scoble, who’s on a rant about Techmeme not caring about bloggers just swung over to my cubicle and told me about an upcoming rant/rave about Ustream and Kyte TV. It’s a good thing he talked to me because his rant would have been incorrect, and I gave him some key details that prevented him from looking foolish. As you know he relies on his community to help shape his conversations in the comments, often they correct him. In this case, they probably would have corrected him in comment #2.
Robert Scoble said; “The problem with being bombastic [as a blogger] is that you’re not always right.”
Rocky and I laughed our asses off, Robert too.
Just some food for thought today. I make mistakes in my post, and try to correct them as fast as possible. For those of you who’ve corrected me thanks, but no need to email me about typos or grammar, just facts please.
By the way, I’m not an A-lister, and I don’t care to be (not that there’s a definitive point where everyone agrees you are). I’m not that controversial (except when I say corporate websites are irrelevant), and I don’t pick blog fights or try to smash other people. I don’t embargo news, and I link to anyone I think is valuable, including my competitoirs. While not all A-listers do this, these are strategies they do to get to that upper echelon.
Lastly, when I meet journalists sometimes they shudder when I tell them I’m a blogger; “so you’re one of those guys that doesn’t fact check when reporting”. I often respond to them: “I’m not reporting, I’m having conversations with my friends”.
Frank Gruber is coming over here in a few minutes, he’s going to show us MyAOL, I’ve been ranting that AOL is not innovative, they’re like a stalled bus, Frank may prove me wrong.
I recently provided some feedback to NBC 11′s Hometown project, an advancement for hyperlocal citizen journalism and the neighborhood network in USA. I was pleased to meet Jennifer here in Singapore who’s very involved with citizen journalism here with the one of the most notable newspapers, the Straits Times.
She toured me through a sub-site called STOMP, which is a hybrid of citizen journalists that report in and classically training journalists and editors (yes, with fact checking). From a user experience standpoint you’ll find the design of the site to be very graphic heavy which may seem foreign to western eyes.
One area is to watch the Hot Topic area Singaporean seen, which includes stories from the first-hand witnesses on the streets, pictures, testimonials are present. Some contributors don’t feel comfortable giving their identity, and the newspaper will honor that. The editors will help them write the story (as many are contributed orally) and then give a round back to the contributor for final review –it’s a merge of both words
I’m pinging my friends at the Stanford Innovation Journalism program as well as UC Berkeley, where they’re also carving out the future of Journalism. This is a good case study.
As it ends up, I’m going to be interviewed by the Straits later today, I’ll post a link when the interviews goes out. Are you familiar with what we’re doing with the San Jose Mercury news? Old and new media can work together.
Update: I’ve given this some thought, one of the strategies I recommend to clients is to consider building a community website that aggregates all types of content from the community, not just one. Check out what Techmeme does for the tech industry, it’s a combination of mainstream and social media all on one page –this is yet another form of the future of media. It’s an “and” not an “or”. It’s a “we” not a “me”
(Left: I chatted with Erin FitzGerald, Robert Calo (who’s running the program) and evangelist Kara Andrade at UC Berkeley last night)
I shared with Berkeley’s The Initiative on the Future of Journalism
While my focus is primarily on corporate web strategy, I was asked by Kara to come in and share with graduate students at the The Initiative on the Future of Journalism, here’s their project site. The folks I met (and their facilities) are geared up to use the new (social media) tools that are present in today’s modern communications. They’re adapting quickly where others have withered.
The news room itself was rows and rows of brand new Mac computers, and when I walked in I saw Twitter, their blog, and tons of other tools, you can check out their site to learn what they’re doing. As I understand it, Dan Gillmor, (we both presented at the New Media Summit this week) is a big supporter of this program. Be sure to read his eloquent piece that Journalism isn’t dying it’s evolving, I have to agree, I witnessed it last night.
I hope that this group meets up with the Stanford Innovation Journalism program. To me, they should be bouncing ideas off each other in near real-time speed. I’ve already made some introductions via email. PodTech has hosted the Injo program at least twice.
Key concepts we talked about:
Faster and Faster: From asynchronous to real-time.
I showed them how communications are moving faster and faster with tools like Twitter and Ustream (a company I advise). As I launched Ustream (live video streaming with chat, watch the archive) Chris Heuer jumped into the chat room and started to ask questions and add to the conversation. That’s disruptive (in a good way). I’m speaking at Chris’s event the Social Media Club this Monday, and he added a very good point in the chat room. Editing still has an important role, as no one has time to watch JustinTV all the time, a 10 minute summary once a day in video format would really make it digestible. I recorded the live ustream video, usually I’d spend more time with aiming the camera, but this is more of a demo.
Amorphous and Ubiquitous media
Media is taking new forms and shapes, expect media pieces to be captured everywhere (some of the students had the new Nokia phones) distribute everywhere and into different shapes and forms (RSS will pull content into new forms) and then morph into something new as the community will help add, edit, or comment it. I’ve been discussing this amorphous ubiquitous concept since 2005.
Join vs Build
I shared how they need to start learning how to listen, by using Technorati to find people in your community (whoever has been linking to Stanford’s Injo program is in your community) and how to add them to your feedreader. Why only use Lexis Nexus, when the communities that you’re reporting on are telling their stories first person using social media tools? In many ways, journalists could be embedded reporters, by just using a feedreader to listen in on what’s being said. I mandated that those present should be using a feedreader in the next five days. How can you report if you’re not listening to the stories already being told? Those that are already sharing may be the most passionate, knowledgeable, and connected ones in your industry so you’ll need to connect to them both to get your story as well as help distribute your story.
This is my focus area. I was asked to share some ideas on how to launch a story, or an interactive story. The future of media is amorphous, so be prepared for your content to take many shapes. It could appear in a feedreader, an aggregator, a widget on Facebook or on a blog. Your website is no longer a static website authored by you. Embrace the community in which you’re reporting about, include links, quotes, or aggregate their content.
I explained that I believe that corporate websites are irrelevant, and that probably relates to news websites too. The future of websites will have all members of the community writing, adding, editing, and voting on it. This is why I’m closely following tools like PublicSquare, which allow just that (more news on that soon). I forgot to share with the group about newstrust, (my review of newstrust) which is a unique multi-tiered system that I was given a demo by the founders, it uses several sources of editorial layering.
Audience replaced by Community
It’s an ecosystem where everyone is sharing (remember that you can share without ever typing, there are tools like Digg, or even sharing from your feedreader like Scoble). The concept that journalists are writing for an audience needs to evolve. Journalists should join the communities (it’s easy with social media) that they are learning about, adding value. In return, these communities will add to the piece, promote the piece, and build upon it.
Us vs Them
When I attended the WeMedia conference in Miami earlier this year, I was amazed at the tension of “us vs them”. It was clear that the hard liners were resisting and having a hard time letting go to gain more. It didn’t feel like this with this group, or with Stanford’s Injo. I remember that the hardliners were attacking blogging as journalism. Blogs are simply communication tools and can be used in a variety of ways, by no means am I a reporter or consider this blog a news source, it’s intended to be a living white paper. Of course any media revolution is only as good as it’s message. Even with mass layoffs at the SF Chronicle this last few weeks, it’s a clear indicator that the hard-liners are being asked to move off and new skills and concepts that it’s “We” not “us vs them” are needed.
Case Study: Coexistence in the Tech Industry
Let’s take for example the tech industry. For the most part journalists and bloggers co-exist (except from a minor scuffle here and there). That may be due to the ‘open source’ mentality that we all share in order to gain more collectively, or that bloggers read mainstream, and vice versa. Techmeme is a manifestation of this, as it aggregates the conversations and stories and viewpoints in near-real time. Here’s an example of Dan Gillmor’s piece and the discussions around it. On the preferences, be sure to expand discussion excerpts, there you will see the site cascade like a threaded river of news. Also check out Tailrank which has similar features.
The press room of the future
I forgot to share the future newsroom, where PodTech hosted BlogHaus at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for 120+ hours straight at a suite in the Bellagio. Here we accepted bloggers, pocasters and videobloggers as the new journalists. It wasn’t exclusive however, we embraced mainstream journalists in addition. This video is a good sample of this event, the output, just staggering, see my clip report. What is PodTech? It’s a network of video bloggers, (some are former journalists) we’re an example of this new media generation, we break news, be interesting, or add value.
What’s my role with the evolving journalism industry? Honesty, I’ve not given it much though before meeting Tina (who’s with Stanford’s Injo program) who’s now on loan at Podtech this is an expanded scope in my focus. I see how it can directly apply to corporate web strategy as I will need to make sure that corporations stay relevant to adapt to the changing media landscape, and how employee/prospect/customer blogs can easily be aggregated for new stories in any industry.
I affectionately call Kara Andrade the sneezer, or the evangelist. Why? Because she got me to come, and now I’m sharing with you all on this blog, I’m sneezing to my community, and everyone I linked to, it spreads that fast. Kara gives me a tour of the facilities, there’s a pretty advanced multi media lab and video lab. Check out the video below for details.
I’m part of the Media 2.0 Group, a collection of thought and practice leaders on the next generation of media
You can learn more about PodTech
My ustreaming gear
Forrester’s Technographics Report
PodTech and San Jose Mercury are working together
I recently met some of the folks at NBC 11 at the Social Media Club’s Silicon Valley chapter last night, and they shared with me a hyperlocal website that they’ve launched. While NBC is known as a media creator, this time, the neighborhood and community are the producers of the content.
What’s in Hometown? Pretty much everything important to your neighborhood, (check out this one of downtown San Jose) from restaurant reviews, to business reviews, and even an area to post one’s information and link to exterior blogs. From one glance, I could also check the weather or even add to a community calendar.
The good folks have just launched this site and are looking for people to jump in try it out and provide some feedback, which is testament they understand the new media landscape –real time feedback from the community. Overall I like what they’ve done and have a few suggestions for getting the ‘conversatoin going’
It was suggested I provide feedback so here’s a few things that could help it grow:
-Cool user interface, seems standard in navigating and getting around, I wasn’t confused.
-I like how users can create their own neighborhood, neat.
-Caution: I see this site as replicating content that exists elsewhere, read my thoughts on community.
-I hope they take a look at Topix, which aggregates local content, I’m sure it will scrape the content found in Hometown.
-Create a local aggregator, so content can be scraped off the web and shown on the site
-Pull in and display images tagged with local locations, some modern photo applications have geo coordinates in them
-Content doesn’t only have to have news from the neighborhood only
-Check out Chowhound and Yelp to pull restaurant reviews from those sites
-Check out Craigslist.org and pull in content from those sites
-Look at voting type features in addition to reviews, and build ‘best of’ lists for the bay area
-This is listening and intelligence tool for NBC, the community will start to tell you what’s important, and what NBC should be covering in it’s mainstream news.
-Bonus: check out what Newstrust is doing with their multiple layers of content filtering
Again, overall this is a fantastic start, and it’s a tread of what smart organizations are doing to let others join in creating content. It ties to why I believe the corporate website is irrelevant, and the future holds the communities creating it in addition to marketing.
I’m a spectator in the journalist + social media world, and recently was in a video that shared my thoughts on the future of media.
Congratulations to NBC for letting go to gain more.
Please check out the hometown site, and leave your feedback here in the comments
1) What’s good?
2) What could be improved?
3) Would you use it?
4) Would you tell others about it?
Tina Magnergard Bjers, a fantastic journalist is working with us at PodTech for a few months, she sat down with myself, Scoble, and Marisa Meyer of Google to ask us our thoughts on the Future Landscape of Media.
I’ll be at an event she’s involved with, the Stanford’s Innovation Journalism Conference, there’s a great lineup of speakers, I’ll see you there today, I plan on Ustreaming the event live. A few months ago, we hosted this group at headquarters.
I’m super pleased to announce that PodTech (my employer) and the San Jose Mercury news are teamed up for a weekly video blog. The official word? “PodTech to be distribution and advertising partner for weekly video show “Inside Silicon Valley”. Their first episode is at the Brickhouse, a new Yahoo funded incubator for startups. More news from Christina from 901am.
A few months ago, I visited WeMedia conference in Miami, wow the journalism industry could not agree on who’s in charge and what direction to go. John Furrier, our CEO recently hosted Stanford’s Innovation Journalism program at our Palo Alto HQ, in fact we were lucky to score some great members of that organization for a summer internship. The San Jose Mercury News realizes a new set of tools is available. We welcome them to the distributed and two-way conversation.
What else is new with PodTech? Lots.
Martin McKeay, Security Blogger “A-lister” has joined PodTech, he talks about his video strategy in his latest. Liz Gannes covers the latest relationship between Jerry Zucker and PodTech.
Pictures from the Mercury news
CEO John Furrier
Last night John Furrier and the rest of the PodTech family hosted the Innovation Journalism Stanford fellows, many of them are from Sweeden, Finland and other countries.
During their tour they visited CNET, Red Herring, and the SF Chronicle, it was interesting to have them attend our small startup office after visiting those established media giants. More interestingly enough, is how we are compared to the Wall Street Journal which is just a few feet from our HQ, their loading doc is larger than our entire office.
One of the guests, Anders Frick shared with me the Swedish version of Techmeme called http://knuff.se/. As it ends up, Gabe Rivera, the creator of Techmeme stopped by. Tom Foremski made some interesting comparisons to our neighbor Wall Street Journal as “old and new media“. To me, mainstream and social media get along hand-in-hand. Our clients have asked me is it a replacement? I always respond it’s an “And” not an “Or”. Robert wasn’t there but quite a few people in his life are all connected in this small intricate web, including his former boss Steve Sloan, who was impressed by Furrier’s experience in technology and focus on media.
I was blogging in real time, and some guests found that it was interesting that we were publishing in real time, while some of them were working on issues for their July publications. I was also asked about the editorial process and fact checking, a conversation of ‘reporting’ vs ‘having a conversation’ was held.
I’m an outsider to the journalism industry, but having recently attended the WeMedia conference in Miami, I was able to make some interesting observations. I noted that this is an industry undergoing change.
Update: Marayam Scoble, a truly sweet person, shares why she likes working for John. Maryam helped to coordinate this event, it’s so often that event coordinators go unnoticed. I noticed, thanks Maryam and other PodTechlings, our first event at HQ was a success! Oh, and I loved the Persian food, what’s the name of the place?