Archive for the ‘social’ Category
I’m a tad proud today. I’ve become just learned enough to be invited to write for the BBC College of Journalism’s website.
The future of news has become something of an obsession and a specialty over the last three years. I’ve been part of a team looking closely at the way newsrooms work and factoring-in new ways of working incorporating, in my case, social media.
For a chunk of that time, I’ve been working at Newsbeat, on BBC Radio 1. It is has been a brain-stretching joy to be back in a radio newsroom. The place buzzes with energy. Even with the alarm going off at 5.30am, it’s a place where you look forward to going into work.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far, on the college’s own site. This has been tidily subbed down to fit their style, but in a couple of days, I’ll post the longer version.
If you work in journalism, radio, or social media, I hope it’ll be interesting reading, and I would really appreciate your comments.
Something new for entertainment executives to stress over
Over the last few days, I’ve been playing around with a mobile video app called Vyclone.
Check the site, download and play, but I urge you to play with other people who have the app in the same room. It’s really important you do, or you just won’t get it.
If you’ve ever been to a large event, videoed it, and have then been disappointed at the results, you’ll love this app. If you’ve experience of storytelling in video, the possibilities will probably charm you.
If you work for a commercial broadcaster, or in electronic distribution rights for events, it will probably stop you sleeping at night.
Vyclone finds all the other people in the same place as you, recording the same thing, and stitches their videos together into a multi-camera shoot. If you don’t like what it does automatically, you can make your own camera mix.
It’s the most disruptive, fascinating, troubling, creative, delicious, innovation I’ve seen in years. This is a game-changer.
Some perspective: 15 years ago, worried rights-owners would try to ban people bringing video cameras into their events (some still do). They had already sold the TV rights to another company and were obliged to protect that sale.
With mobile phone video, there were too many people to police, but they quickly realised it wasn’t a threat because these individuals made rubbish content. They weren’t organised and had no scale or impact. The individual YouTube stats for the uploaded videos proved that.
These elements have now irrevocably changed. A crowd-source video app offers both organisation and scale, automatically.
Let’s say I’m at Radio 1′s Hackney Weekend music festival. I’m recording Nicki Minaj performing ‘Starships’
(top chune btw). My camera only gets a general view of the stage. But at the front, two other people I don’t even know are recording the left and right sides of the stage. One might have Minaj in full close-up. Yet another person is recording the crowd and their friends further back.
The app stitches all of those shots together into a music video.
If you’re a broadcast professional, I can already hear your say “it still won’t be as good as our planned, directed TV coverage”, and you are absolutely right. But, here’s the kicker:
It’ll be good enough.
YouTube doesn’t amass millions of eyeballs a day because it’s professional. It has content that for the most part, is just good enough for the few minutes those millions want to watch.
Now, take my music festival scenario and imagine instead a riot. Or a war zone. You see how powerful this might be for news gathering?
There’s still a long way to go obviously. For now, you actually have to be recording through an installed application for the auto-mix to work. There’s a limit of 4 other cameras in a single mix. The video quality is, well, from a mobile phone. All these will improve and become less restrictive.
But even now, it’s good enough.
There are fights to come. The technology raises massive issues about whether anyone can “own” the resulting video when anyone is free to remix and share the individual parts.
Given the massive, lucrative sporting event about to engulf my home city of London, I’ll give you one last scenario to imagine the impact of a crowd-sourced, non-owned, multiple camera recording:
I wish the International Olympics Committee a good night’s sleep.
Facebook’s probably doing you a favour.
Some newspapers and bloggers are getting excited over the recent change to the way email is handled on Facebook. Another example of Facebook trampling over your rights, they suggest.
Here’s my take: It doesn’t matter. Not even a little.
First: you shouldn’t even be showing your email address on your facebook profile. This is an open invitation for spam, for privacy reasons it shouldn’t be there either. If you had set your email address to private then you won’t notice this change and don’t need to notice it.
Secondly: we’re talking about email people! The communication medium of the 1990s! Since when did people go to facebook to find your contact details to email you? Never.
If someone’s on Facebook and wanting to get your attention they will either:
a) write on your wall (‘wall you’, as the kids say) or
b) they’ll send you a facebook message ( ‘inbox you’, again, those kids).
By making your default email a generic @facebook.com address, Mark Zuckerberg is probably doing you a favour. Emails from people you don’t know, get sent to the black hole that is your ‘other’ message box and you won’t see them.
This doesn’t happen very often
I went to check with one of the crowdsourcing sites I’ve been to before to cross check.
http://www.downrightnow.com is where people alert that a site might be having trouble. The more alerts the site gets, the more likely a site is down.
Except Down Right Now is, err, down right now. Probably from all the people trying to report that twitter is down right now.
Luckily there’s always Down for everyone or just me?
When twitter comes back, follow me. www.twitter.com/robf
*UPDATE 1804 BST*
mobile.twitter.com is working.
Because Breakfast <> Breakfast
Just for the web and iPads currently, although a phone version is promised, it’s an EPG with social features. The major social feature being Twitter.
Zeebox promotes itself as a clever companion to TV viewing, although it wasn’t all that clever when I turned it on while watching BBC1′s ‘Breakfast’ earlier this week.
Anyone who’s ever watched BBC1 in the morning will tell you that a 3 hour show about having breakfast is hard to sustain (which is why it’s primarily a morning news show instead)
However, no one’s told Zeebox that, and as you can see from the photo above, it takes the name of the programme literally, helpfully giving me links to everything food related, and picking up everyone on Twitter burbling about what they’re eating.
I’m also not entirely sure how having a lot of keywords thrown at you represents usefulness, when you could almost as easily just put the word you were actually interested into a search engine, but what do I know, T3 loved it.
Now I could see the benefit of an app like this in the Breakfast TV gallery. Working the other way round, and scooping up info and ideas to enable the live producers to make the programme more interesting.
Incidentally, I notice that Yahoo bought a social TV app, IntoNow, earlier this year. It doesn’t do a lot yet either.
Got a useful TV app? Let me know in the comments.
Privacy just got too simplistic
I’m fully invested in social networks. I love knowing what my friends are doing – whether across timezones or across London, I feel like I’m still with my friends even if I’m not physically with them.
I’m also a lot more social in real life than I used to be, and although this maybe just my current stage of life, it wouldn’t surprise me if online connections did foster those in the real-world.
However, I have many friends and colleagues however who are cautious about putting parts of their lives online. No problem, I would say. Facebook is the best for that: its privacy settings are so granular. You can choose exactly what you do want to share, and what you don’t, and with whom.
At least, that’s what I used to say. Facebook has made a really significant privacy settings change, and unlike all the others up till now which have increased and made my privacy options more flexible, this one is a definite downgrade.
Facebook used to have four main type of ownership or tag:
- Your uploaded photos
- Your name tag in a post
- Your name tag in a photo
- Your name tag in a place
This meant that I could put default restrictions who saw which types of tag.
I don’t mind some people seeing my own pictures, but I may not want them seeing other people’s pictures of me. There are people who can tag me in posts, but I don’t let most people tag me in a place, or see where I am. With different types of tag, I could decide some blanket rules, then set and forget.
I’m notorious at the BBC’s College of Journalism for demonstrating my many levels of privacy. By mixing and matching the above combinations, I have seven (!) different Facebook privacy settings. (Claire Wardle and Sue Llewellyn always find this most amusing.)
As the joke goes, I’m not paranoid; they ARE out to get me!
But Facebook have wrecked my system. There are now only two main types of tag:
- Your uploaded photos
- Your name tag in a post, photo or place.
This means that I can’t separate different types of post anymore. If you can see my tag, you can see everywhere it appears. No more allowing people to see photos of me, but not where I am, for instance.
The result of this is that I’m not going to share quite as much, quite as freely anymore. All because Facebook over-simplified.
I can still make granular changes to individual posts, but only ones I’ve written, only as I make them, and only on the website. Now that’s complicated.
Your thoughts? Please comment.