The Now/ledge

A Guide to the 'Now' Revolution in News / by Alan Soon

IM as a real-time social tool? Yes, it’s still alive

Nielsen today released an interesting — and surprising — set of numbers on internet use in Singapore.

According to the Nielsen Media Index, the number of people joining social networking sites jumped — no, doubled — to 23 percent this year from 12 percent last year. Not all that surprising; we’ve seen that elsewhere.

But guess what — instant messaging is also growing, adding 3 percentage points from the previous year. Good to know that instant messaging is still in the ‘now.’

IMs were especially important for Generation Y (the 15-29s), taking third place after email and video.

So how important is IM to you?



Filed under: Social Media, Tools

The rise of social media and how it could save your business

If you’re finding it hard to convince your business and newsroom about the merits of social media, here’s some help.

Chris Goddard from Affilorama has a wake-up call for companies: Generation Y is growing up, and like it or not, they will be your core market sooner than you expect.

That means if you want to reach out to this group, you’ll have to come to terms with their habits. Goddard’s advice: Don’t bother with newspapers, TV or radio (Gen Y is all about illegal downloading!). Instead, get in touch with your users directly through social media.

Filed under: Social Media

University adds Twitter class to journalism course

One journalism school is getting into the social media act.

In a recent move, Australia’s Griffith University made Twitter classes compulsory for journo students.

The surprise was in the reaction by some students weren’t convinced that there was much use in learning about social media in a formal education curriculum. Oddly, some of these journalism students even had no idea what Twitter was.


Filed under: Social Media

Facebook’s ‘now’ tweaks and the importance of filtering

Filter this!

Facebook today rolled out a new version of its home page — and like all changes to consumer habit, brought a storm of complaints and cheers.

The redesign is a compromise of sorts, bringing back the ‘old’ news feed and reworking the Twitter-like feed that the company introduced in March.

Many users didn’t like that March update since they couldn’t figure out interesting updates from the trivial. So the biggest change this time around is the addition of a ‘Live Feed’ tab which is meant to help users figure out what’s happening right now.

This is an important test for the ‘now’ revolution — how best to surface and filter out the noise from the information overload of real-time streams. It also represents a huge opportunity for innovators: we need platforms that are better at figuring out how to deliver relevance.

The jury is still out.

Filed under: Social Media

Webinar: Twitter for Business

This isn’t specific to the news industry, but the principles aren’t that far apart.

Ogilvy PR and the Wall Street Journal are putting together a webinar (free!) on November 4th to cover topics such as how to develop a Twitter strategy, do’s and don’ts with Twitter and case studies of businesses that have used micro-blogging.

Details and registration are found here.

Filed under: General

Why you’ll be wasting more time on Google Reader

Keyboard optimized

Great. Yet another reason why you’ll be spending more time on Google Reader (I know I will!).

Google is adding a little bit of magic to the popular RSS reader that will (through some voodoo, no doubt) figure out what you really, really like to read and pull it out for you.

We use algorithms to find top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions), collect them in the new Popular items section and order them by what we think you’ll like best. Now you don’t have to be embarrassed about missing that hilarious video everyone is talking about — it should show up in your “Popular items” feed automatically.

Read anything interesting lately?

Filed under: Tools

Bill Keller tries the digital cold turkey

So Bill Keller of the New York Times is trying an experiment on himself: Reading his own newspaper ‘mostly in digital forms.’

I love print, and while this experience is making me appreciate more the versatility and creativity of our web staff, nothing has yet made me love print less.

This is obviously a difficult change of habit for a newspaper man (let alone an executive director), but his findings will have massive implications on how the NYT is run and new innovations for the news industry as a whole.

Overall, he was pleasantly surprised it seems. Check out his findings here.

Filed under: Newspapers

Status update ‘fad’ grows up, reaches more people


Here’s something for those of you who feel Twitter and this whole social media thing is just a phase and will soon pass.

A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that some 19 percent of internet users in the U.S. now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about other people.

This is a massive increase from the previous survey earlier this year, in which 11 percent of users said they used a status-update service.

The median age for a U.S. Twitter user is 31 — little changed from the previous year. Facebook appears to be graying just a little, with the median age moving from 26 to 33.

This presents plenty of new challenges for news organizations as the user profile evolves. What are you doing to target your audiences in specific age groups?

Filed under: Social Media

NYT: Skip the pageviews, we’re not American Idol


Executive Editor Bill Keller, fighting the storm in his newsroom at the New York Times over staff buyouts and feasibility of the company’s business model, told the Silicon Alley Insider that the paper doesn’t judge its success on how many people read their articles online.

As for our journalists, we evaluate them on the quality of their work, not the quantity of their pageviews. We’re not Digg. We’re not American Idol.

Sure, traditional journalists get it — news isn’t a popularity contest and page views aren’t a measure of quality. But get over it. Online readers lead the way by their clicks on a page and advertisers pay for that. Until we find a mass audience that is willing to pay for good stories, popularity contests will continue to chase after advertising dollars.

There may be some hope of changing the pageviews model. Check out this recent call by former CNET co-founder Shelby Bonnie to kill the CPM.

Filed under: Newspapers

The Now Generation


We should have seen it coming.

In the pre-social news days, television was already do it — delivering the ‘now’ in its coverage of breaking news events. I was there.

Today, news isn’t news if it isn’t ‘happening now.’ The social media revolution has changed the game. News now follows you through Twitter and Facebook — curated, re-tweeted, surfaced, edited largely by friends and experts whom you trust.

Success in the modern newsroom isn’t about just breaking news, it’s about where you break it and how. The Nowledge is all about that — what social news is doing to where and how information is created, moved and distributed. And why it matters to your community.

Filed under: General

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