July 17, 2012

How Flipboard is changing everything

Chris AbrahamI first told you that Pinterest redefined social media from being mostly text to being mostly photos, illustrations, graphics, and infographics.

Now, illustrating your content is not just preferable, it’s mandatory. Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have become much better at following links and automagically populating your shares with photos, videos, titles, and teasers (instead of just making your Bit.ly links hot); aggregator sites such as The Huffington Post and link-share and social bookmarking sites also spider the link, proffering a selection of images to choose from to be associated with each submission.

If your goal is to be shared or read and you’re participating in social media in order to further your personal or corporate brand, then blog, tweet, Facebook, Tumbl, and Posterous without illustrating that content with a photo, chart, illustration, pull-quote, logo, portrait, or infographic at your own peril.

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August 29, 2011

How WikiLeaks has changed the role of journalism

Kristinn Hrafnsson, spokesperson for WikiLeaks (photo by JD Lasica)


WikiLeaks official criticizes New York Times before international group of journalists

JD LasicaWikiLeaks has changed the role of journalism and “made journalists braver,” Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks, told an international group of journalists assembled in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday.

Braver, that is, with one striking exception: the New York Times.

“The timidity of the New York Times came as a surprise and disappointment to me,” Hrafnsson told the assembly of 60 news executives, editors and reporters. “It was not the New York Times of the early 1970s where the Times was willing to take on the Nixon administration by publishing the Pentagon Papers.”

It’s pretty much a given that Hrafnsson, or any WikiLeaks official, would be arrested if he set foot in the United States. Hrafnsson also is certain that the National Security Agency monitors every email he receives.

After his presentation, I asked Hrafnsson, a veteran journalist from Iceland, why he was singling out the Times for criticism. (I spoke to the same group a few hours later.)

When WikiLeaks released 77,000 Afghan War documents to news organizations in July 2010, the New York Times was accorded the right to publish the scoop on its website. Instead, Hrafnsson said, the Times apparently was so worried about the likely furor over release of the Afghanistan war logs that critical minutes passed, and the Times decided to report the news only after other publications had done so.

“They were deathly afraid of being the first one to post it on the Internet,” he said. “They were dead frozen with their finger on the button.”

Hrafnsson surmised that the paper feared it would be branded “a traitor” news organization by political figures still incensed over WikiLeaks’ earlier release of classified State Department diplomatic cables. Three months later, when the Iraq war logs were released, the Times — unlike the vast majority of overseas media outlets such as The Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel, Sweden’s SVT and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism — led with a peculiar news angle about Iran’s influence in Iraqi affairs. It downplayed the big news: that the U.S. military was routinely turning over captured civilians and Taliban militants to Iraqi government officials for torture.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that they did what they did for political reasons,” Hrafnsson said. Continue reading

November 8, 2006

More at Web 2.0

More from the Web 2.0 Summit:

Citizen journalism

Tuesday afternoon, Barry Diller and NY Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger shared the stage with emcee John Battelle. (Moments earlier, when Google CEO Eric Schmidt walked backstage, Diller joined him. Would have loved to have listened in on that conversation.)

I asked Sulzberger — who’s a hero in the media world for supporting some of the best journalism in the world — why the Times doesn’t showcase more rich-media citizen journalism. There are astonishing examples of user-created photos and video on sites like Flickr and Ourmedia, and sites like BBCNews.com and the Dallas Morning News showcase amateur works, and NY Times reporters can’t be everywhere. When a political rally or disaster occurs, why can’t we see a citizen journalism showcase on the Times?

Sulzberger said they’re working on just such initiatives, and that we should see it soon. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

Best quote of the conference so far came from Diller, who said, "It’s impossible to argue against net neutrality. Who’s on the other side? [AT&T’s] Ed Whittaker?"

Related: Paul Krugman’s column in the NY Times critcizing Diller for earning an exorbitant income last year after a mediocre year for his company: America’s Laziest Man?  "Last year, Barry Diller took home a pay package worth $469 million, making him the highest-paid chief executive in America."

Open media profile

One of the event’s highlights was Tuesday afternoon’s appearance by Six Apart founder Ben Trott (a friend). Ben announced Vox, a way-cool new blogging platform that aggregates all your social media sites.

SixApart has managed to find a way to tap into Web services and open APIs such as Amazon’s open search, Google GData, Yahoo Media RSS, Flickr’s open API, etc., so that you can bring all (or many) of your online presences under one umbrella.

"We took open search as a base, extended it, and come up with an Open Media Profile" that you can take with you," Ben said. Want to get your API hooked into this service? Get the whitepaper at development at sixapart.com or contact Ben.


From Tim O’Reilly on stage: "This is the start of the real disruption. … The bubbling up of user-generated content is just the beginning of Web 2.0. The Web 2.0 of next year is going to be very different rom the Web 2.0 of this year. " Still waiting to hear how.