Monday, February 27, 2012

Digital Journalism

Journalism today is not what it was like five years ago. The popularity of blogs, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, plus the surge in independent online news portals is changing the landscape of publishing as we know it.

As more people get wired, they have at their fingertips, access to a wide array of online content free of charge. In light of this, how will the print industry (newspapers and magazines) keep their readership and sales levels up?

Then there is the issue of the "Independent Journalist", many journos with reputed news organisations are gaining a steady following through Facebook and Twitter - where their friends and subscribers get a dose of the news as it happens in a stream of quick updates. So by the time the story comes out in the paper the next day or makes it to the online edition, those in the social media world would have got the gist of it already.

Mainstream publications have taken to tweeting and facebooking news updates too, but it appears that readers prefer the personalised touch provided by a journalist reporting from the field. The issue of whether it is ethical for  journalists to provide updates from their social media accounts before the news is officially reported has stirred up some debate in the US and UK. Thus far however, it appears that this brand of individual journalism is here to stay.

Challenges and opportunities await publishers, editors and journalists in contending with this wave of change. As someone who has worked in publishing for the last 12 years, this is a huge area of interest for me as well. I'm a voracious reader when it comes to this subject.

So my interest was naturally piqued when I came across several articles published by on this issue. The articles are lengthy and wordy, yes! I know how a reader's attention span wanders off when it comes to online articles that are not short and snappy. But they contain interesting viewpoints and great tips for succeeding in the competitive world of online journalism.

The Links...........

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Facebook Movie

Ever thought of making a movie? Nope? Not even a slideshow of pictures accompanied by your favourite song.....? Well I suppose most of us would be too lazy to put our PowerPoint or amateur movie making skills to good use unless it was for a specific purpose.

If you fall into the above category, you might want to give the Facebook Timeline Movie Maker a try. This nifty app was created by Marketing Agency Definition 6 and Facebook. The app will scan your entire Facebook life and pull out random photos, videos and stuff posted to your profile to create a short history of your Facebook life.

Quick and Easy

Just log into your Facebook account and type "Timeline Movie Maker" in the search function. Oh and this app only works if the Timeline feature on your profile has been activated.

This page will appear, click the green button. The app will ask permission to access data from your profile. Your movie will be ready in a jiffy. However in order for your movie to be made, you will need to have at least 50 photos on your profile which have been shared with "friends".

Once your information and photos has been processed, the page will look like this. The app will not immediately post the video to your profile, you share it only if you want to.

The Cons.....

As cool as this app is, the bummer is that you can't download the video or post it anywhere else besides Facebook. Which is why all I can share with you is the above image and not the link to my video.

From what I read about this app, the user can remake the video by choosing the images they want, however I found that this was rather difficult to do. Also the app picks too many photos from one album instead of randomly selecting from different albums. As such I felt my video lacked variety in terms of the images chosen.

Well maybe a more refined version will be available in the future. Overall I'm sure all those who use it will agree that it's kinda fun to summarise your entire Facebook experience and share it with friends.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Mini Newspaper

How many of us still get our daily copy of The Star or the NST from dedicated newspaper vendors? Not many I'm guessing. Well if this particular invention takes off in a big way, in future we could be receiving our daily dose of news from this cute little device that prints news updates on paper the size of a sales receipt.

The innovators

This cool new product comes from Berg, a London based design consultancy that aims to revolutionise personalised publishing with this mini newspaper that will fit right in with the Twitter age.

How it works

The Little Printer prints news from news sources, social networks and other subscriptions on a receipt like paper no longer than 10 inches. It uses a roll of thermal receipt paper, so there is no ink to replace. The user gets to select the type of content they want printed via an app on their smartphone. The mini newspaper is then printed/delivered either once or twice a day.

It can also........

Be used as a miniature fax machine or to print out quick messages or grocery lists. The Little Printer will be available this year as a beta product first. More on this product at:

The Future of Publishing

This product by Berg could take off in a big way or be consigned to the heap of all "The Novel Innovations" that never quite took off. It all depends on whether people like the idea of having a personalised selection of updates humming out of a little device, or if they rather get it straight off the screen of their smartphones. I suppose in the long run convenience and usefulness will be the deciding factor.

Whether the Little Printer becomes a publishing staple or not, we will definitely be seeing the introduction of more products - digital gadgets or otherwise that will transform the way we receive news.

Information Overload

Whoever coined the term 'Information Age', sure wasn't kidding. There is just so much to absorb on a daily basis, and whether we like it or not, one cannot remain oblivious to all this information. In order to survive and thrive, we need to be in the know!

As such the kind of device or app that will appeal to consumers is one that will allow them to conveniently access information from different sites, present streams or updates in an easy to read format, and sort it according to level of importance.