Here are ten rules for fighting a 5G war.
1. Speed it up. Use tools that transmit information orders of magnitude faster: as close to real-time as possible. Your enemies use email. Use Twitter, Facebook, and iPhone Apps instead.
2. Microchunk it. Small resources, like messages, are more efficiently transmitted and utilized than big ones. Your enemies use lengthy, wordy messages — seriously inefficient communications. Try 140 character Tweets instead.
3. Meta-attack. You’re attacking with “facts.” But facts don’t matter, because your enemy doesn’t value information like you do. Life expectancy’s smaller in the States? So what — according to your enemies, you can’t trust facts from Cuba (or France). So you have to attack not with “facts”, but with meta-information about how to value facts. Start with meta-information about how to value insurance rationally — over a lifetime, not a day, for example.
4. Anti-defend. You can’t defend a centralized structure against a network attack in the traditional sense (just ask Twitter). But you can anti-defend against a network attack, by decentralizing your own resources to the edges — something that, in physical warfare, is a big no-no. When resources are spread and replicated across as broad, diverse network of your own as possible, if one node goes down, the others stay up. A few blog posts at Whitehouse.gov do not constitute a networked anti-defense — but a thousand every day across the WWW might begin to.
5. Darwinian counterattacks. What happens after a networked offense? A counter-attack: the remaining nodes link up, share resources, and then launch a portfolio of different counterattacks. The fittest ones — those most threatening to the enemy — survives. It’s like what hedge funds do, except it’s not lame. To enable a Darwinian counter-attack, you’ve got to offer suggestions, tools, and methods for a range of potential counterattacks.
6. Hack your enemy’s weapons. In a 3G or 4G war, you can’t hack the enemy’s guns, bombs, or knives. In a 5G war, you can hack the enemy’s information weapons — and that’s an often explosively powerful tactic. “Death Panels”? Call them “Life Panels” instead, explain that old Republican Senators already benefit from them — and enjoy your rise to the top of Google.
7. Normatize it. 5G warfare is problematic because we have no Geneva conventions to enforce norms of acceptable behaviour. And so anything goes. But it shouldn’t: a powerful tactic in 5G warfare is setting norms for what’s acceptable and what’s not. Discuss why smears and misinformation are unacceptable; make public and transparent who refuses to accept norms of good behaviour.
8. Self-organize hyperlocally. Reality Check is a good start — but it doesn’t enable self-organization. People should be able to self-organize into networks linked by the information you provide, so alliances form. These networks shouldn’t just be online, but offline - because in the real world, people have shared histories. They should be real-world networks that influence and counterinfluence hyperlocally: street by street, community by community.
9. Remix it. After self-organization comes the remix — just ask any bedroom DJ. You haven’t given people information in an easily remixable form, that they can distribute to others dependent on what is important at the time or to a given group of people. Making the info you provide microchunked and remixable, so it can be used and reused in more and more efficient ways.
10. Attack the base. This is a controversial tactic — but it’s often the key to winning a 5G war. Physical wars have to be fought on the front-lines. But information wars don’t. Your best bet is to attack not the enemy’s front-lines — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Sarah Palin — but the base of hard-liners who still oppose reform — hard, swiftly, and repeatedly, with better information faster.
Tonight I’ve been speaking at a Guardian-sponsored event in Birmingham: a special meetup of the Birmingham Social Media Cafe doubling as a sort-of-build-up-to-a-Hack Day.
And I think it’s a very significant event indeed.
For years I’ve lectured newspaper execs on the value of data and why they needed to get their APIs in order.
Now The Guardian is about to prove just why it is so important, and in the process take first-mover advantage in an area the regionals - and maybe even the BBC - assumed was theirs.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone: The Guardian has long led the way in the UK on database journalism, particularly with its Data Blog and this year’s Open Platform. But this initial move into regional data journalism is a wise one indeed: data becomes more relevant the more personal it is, and local data just tends to be more personal.
Reaching out to those with access to that data, and the ability and knowledge to pick through it, makes perfect sense. But it also means treading on regional toes, and it will be interesting to see how (and indeed if) regional newspapers and broadcasters react.
Cobbling together some sort of regional API would be a welcome start - but is not going to be enough alone: The Guardian have spent years building a reputation in technology circles for their understanding of the web. As The Guardian’s Michael Brunton-Spall pointed out tonight, theirs is the only newspaper to offer ‘full fat’ RSS feeds that allow you to read full articles on an RSS reader - not to mention customisable URLs that allow you to build your own feeds based on combinations of tags, authors and categories. And Open Platform is one of the most, well - open news platforms in the world.
So if other news operations want to compete in this arena, they’ll need to make cultural efforts, not just technical ones.
There are few people in those organisations who truly understand why they should want to compete. They may see it in the context of the mutterings about a move by Guardian Media Group (GMG) into hyperlocal media, but that could be a different kettle of fish entirely (a red herring of sorts if you want to mix metaphors).
These early moves on the data side of things are about more than the prospect of launching competing web publications. It means the Guardian (rather than the GMG) is well positioned to provide a platform for a bottom-up network of hyperlocal sites, to become, in short, a Press Association for the 21st century, catering for a grassroots journalism movement filling ever-increasing holes in the regional news map: not just feeding national and international news to local and specialist websites, but pulling data the other way (although that doesn’t mean there isn’t scope to meet GMG hyperlocal plans in the middle). They have competition here from Reuters’ Open Calais, but I’ve not seen evidence of the same cultural efforts from that direction.
It’s very early days, but things move fast in this sphere. A cry is being taken up that all news organisations need to heed: “Raw data now!“.Written by Paul Bradshaw - Visit Website
2. The newsroom should be a center of continuous innovation.
3. The newsroom should place its community at the center of everything it does.
4. The newsroom should collaborate with other newsrooms in its local ecosystem.
5. The newsroom should practice transparency to build and maintain trust.” —So… what is the future of citizen journalism and social media?
Remembering Woodstock today. No, I wasn’t there. Best i could do was the movie.
Earlier this week, in what I can only describe as a fit of pique, I let a piece of software do my thinking for me and nearly wrecked my Twitter account.
I have used Twitter since March 2007 and have increasingly enjoyed the experience. It is a critical tool for me as a university professor of journalism and as an interested citizen. Being connected is a vital part of my work and research. To that end, I have hundreds of RSS feeds plugged into my Google Reader. I used to spend much time on the reader, scanning and viewing the important articles it would bring.
But Twitter has rapidly begun to replace my Reader as a primary information source with the people I follow serving as great providers of the news and information I want to have — and need to have.
At the beginning of August, I returned from an 11-day road trip where I tested mobile-reporting technologies and used Twitter and Facebook as my social media hubs for reporting and sharing the information and experiences I had on the road.
One of the strongest feelings I had when I returned was that of disappointment at the amount of feedback I received from the nearly 900 Twitter people who followed my sharings. I’ve posted my preliminary findings at http://krochmal.storytlr.com/story/2621-on-the-frontiers-of-mobile-social.html Take a look and comment if you haven’t already.
So, to circle back to the point I’m making: I returned to New York all fired up about trying to make my Twitter account more conversational. I downloaded the Tweetie software and clicked yes when it asked to clean out non-followback people from my account. I went from following 894 people down to 519. I felt pretty satisfied and I tweeted it.
I’m not alone in this. One of the hot trends on Twitter right now is the unfollow. You can credit this back to Robert Scoble, the world’s busiest sharer :-) In early August, Scoble unfollowed 106,000 people on his Twitter account.
I can see the point and it’s something that I arrived at from a different vector than Scoble. I was frustrated that all my sharing on the road didn’t inspire better @ and DM love. Maybe it was the quality of my content? I didn’t spend a lot of time writing, as who can block out time for a 1,000-word blog entry when you are driving 10 hours a day?
So I cleaned house. My Twitter account is not as huge as Scoble’s, but I have hand-collated the people I pay attention to and have really grown both my friends and fans since January of this year, aligning with Twitter’s phenomenal growth.
But in one fell swoop, I almost undid all of that with software.
Luckily, before I went on my road trip, I had read a great piece of advice that said to download your Twitter people and keep the file as a backup. So, I had an Excel sheet with all of my before friends/fans and this morning, I set out to correct my mistake. I laboriously went through my lists and sorted through the folks I had unfollowed and started, one by one, to re-add those who I valued back to my account. I did this for 78 people.
I think at the end of this process, I have improved my chances for interactivity, for conversations and for learning by thinking about and pushing foward on the that side of the equation. And, I have improved my ability to gain serendipitous knowledge by adding people back like @lessig, @TinaSharkey, @robbmontgomery and others who have never @’d or DM’d me.
While I was feeling fierce about having only people who have followed me back on my account, and was initially looking for people who have conversed with me, I know / understand that it isn’t all about that interactivity and you can get valuable information from those with thousands of people on their lists and no inkling of who you are, or any desire to converse with you.
In my fit of pique, I tweeted about @acarvin, NPR’s social media guru. He was patient and kind enough to reply back. Why he did, I’m not sure. Was he responding to some random tweeter, or did I tweek him? Probably the latter. So, @carvin, thanks for your kindness and the tweets. I look forward to having the chance to share with something of value.
This all came to me after a discussion with a treasured friend and someone who is just so wise about social media. I really can not be thankful enough for that insight and I’m deeply grateful.
So, your take-home: Interactivity is perhaps the highest value that can come from social media, but it is also one of the key information channels of the future and you need to nuture that side of it too, by following folks who share information that is of value to you.
Don’t let the unfollow trend or your need to converse undo your Twitter channel like I almost did.