Carnival-goers' February answers...
We had a good turn-out for this month's Carnival of Journalism, which asked what significant digital trend is likely to impact journalism next. Thank you, all!
- It's only fair that our uber-host goes first. David Cohn turned my question a bit, and cited the Berkeley Thai Temple and its regular Sunday community brunch, for its visibility which results from providing a great (4-star!) service and creating a dedicated community. (I've partaken of this brunch; it's pretty famous locally.) "Local news organizations need to find their Thai Brunch," David says. Read his post to understand what that means...
- Let's let last month's host go next: digital video journalism guru Michael Rosenblum. He wrote one of my favorite responses to this month's question. It starts with a single grain of rice, and ends with: "...Technology is the greatest and most irresisitable driver of change there is. As the Borg once said 'resistance if futile'. And it is." You should read this essay!
- OK, let's allow this month's host (me!) his turn. ... I focused on Social-Local-Mobile, more commonly shortened to SoLoMo. This latest buzzword has been pondered more in the world of marketing, but it's discussed less so in the context of journalism. That's too bad, because this is a big deal for reporters and editors. Read on for an explanation, and why I'm enthused about a smartphone app called Banjo.
- Dani Fankhauser read my post before writing hers, and she picks up on and extends the discussion about the journalistic potential of SoLoMo. Dani writes: "I see the existing news orgs of today embracing new technology, but only looking to implement it into the way things are already done." And she calls me out: "Even Steve — who runs the reputable Test Kitchen, a place specifically designed to identify useful emerging technologies — wants journalists to be able to 'assign' or request info or media from citizens at a news event, which I think is the old way of thinking. It falsely tries to fit the disruptive technology into the old format."
- Jack Rosenberry, Communication/Journalism Department Chair at St. John Fisher College, offers up a crowd-sourced "Carnival within a Carnival." In other words, he presented the question to students in his multimedia writing class. They obliged with some insightful answers, highlighted in Jack's blog post.
- Kevin Wild is a Carnival newbie; below is his first submission to this august virtual event. (Welcome, Kevin!) He tackles the issue of news publishers seeming to rush toward setting up "paywalls" on their websites and suggests that recent Nielsen statistics don't bode well. Kevin writes: "According to these statistics, companies may have to ditch their biggest profit machine to find success in paid journalism. 64% of people said that if they must pay for content online, there should be no ads." (Check out the chart embedded below.)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication assistant professor Sue Robinson ponders the evolution of nonprofit news organizations as they try to innovate and make up for the losses of serious journalism by beleaguered corporate-owned news entities. She writes: "I consider the recent influx of nonprofit news agencies to represent an important trend in journalism – and one that is a direct result of digital technologies, especially social media."
- Clyde Bentley of the University of Missouri and the Reynolds Journalism Institute writes: "Everything I see points to a multitude of specialty mobile devices that likely will take us out of the iPhone's fold." (I love my iPhone4S, but I hope he's right.) "I'd love a compact phone that had a descent optical zoom lens, a broadcast quality microphone and a handwriting-recognition touchpad. But imagine what our reporters might do with devices in their pockets that could determine speed like a radar, measure noise levels like an audiometer or at least survive a flood?"
- Jack Lail stays on the topic of mobile, and posits that "augmented reality" may be finally ready to catch on. It's getting closer, he writes, to being "even-my-mother-can-do-it" simple. Watch for the soon-to-arrive Google Googles, Jack suggests. Also check out the video embedded below about Georgia Tech's Argon, the first mobile augmented reality browser based on open Web standards.
- Beth Wellington wins this month's Carnival award for best headline: "Zen and the !@#Oof!* of Journalism Impact." Beth picked up on my use of the word "impact" in my question, writing: "I had visions of the Hadron Collider, of accelerating particles banging into each other at great speed 'in hopes of grabbing a piece of the primordial fire, forces and particles that may have existed a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.' ... For particles substitute tweets and Facebook posts and cell phone text messages and pictures and videos, all coming at journalists faster and faster."
- "Trends are about people, not things," writes Mary Hamilton, who works for the Guardian and also is a zombie herder. (Apparently, there's money to be made in the latter.) Mary's media vision: "Letting people pick what they care about and customise their own experiences on our sites, and making it very easy to get our news wherever they happen to be online. It’s ceding control to the users, trusting them to know what they want, and understanding that they do value journalism enough to consume it voraciously, so long as it turns up at the right time and in the right place."
- Sheree Martin is looking for a resurgence in long-form journalism: "I think the professional storytellers and media organizations will begin to mine and refine their storehouses of content to put together what, if printed, might be a 'coffee table' style book." Sheree also points us to the innovative storytelling website Cowbird, as an example of riding the wave of long-form content returning in new forms, sans the traditional gatekeepers.
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