Dashboard for real-time video monitoring of Internet broadcast sources.
I created this and shared this with you here to show how a journalist can go beyond just using Hootsuite to monitor sentiment in real-time social media and to get information for real-time curation and reporting. Most of the links to services I’ve provided are set to Egypt, but you can manually enter a search term of your choice when you click them open.
Photo below is from my desktop and illustrates how I’ve arranged a group of applications that I use to monitor the Internet in real time from my desktop PC.
To monitor, open applications across your monitor, and resize the browser window for each and alt-tab to toggle between them.
Open Blinkx.com to search and view available broadcast content. [The tool allows you to embed it on your site. To view the individual videos, hover cursor over the top of each monitor and information will pop up.]
Less, not more. Adding more and more pages without strategy just creates a confusing user experience and makes the website unwieldy and hard to maintain from the inside. I’ve seen sites that add new pages while abandoning old ones because they weren’t perfect, and the result is a veritable graveyard of content of no use to anyone. Have a plan. Why is content created at your workplace? Where does that information come from? Do you have quality control? For more dynamic sites, do you have an editorial calendar of how often new content is generated, who’s generating it and how it is organized? Unfortunately, these questions don’t have good answers for way too many sites. Ask “why” and “who”? If departments want to plug a new shiny tool into their website, or add a Facebook page or YouTube Channel, two great questions to ask are “why do you need it?” and “who’s going to keep it current?” Especially in higher education, buyers get easily excited about a new product or social media platform, but after the novelty wears off they have no plan — and maybe no idea — how to maintain it at a baseline level, let alone how to keep it fresh and engaging.
Good questions are treasure troves … because they so effectively open new vistas, provide new perspectives, and challenge our most basic assumptions. Good questions are those which the questioner cannot answer. They are used to initiate a dialogue where answers, even short and partial ones, begin to crystallize and shape themselves, provoking still other questions and answers, like waves rippling onto waves, interminably.
Make Use of OpenCourseWare. Although online learning still has a ways to go to compete with your local library, OpenCourseWare is very close. Check out MIT’s selection of free online courses. These can help provide the structure of a formal course with the low costs and flexibility of self-education.
Crunching the Numbers on Social Media Advertising Growth as Part of the Global Advertising Market.
One of my favorite things to do is to ask questions on Twitter. Last Saturday, I instead sent out a tweet asking people to send me a question that they thought I should be able to answer.
I got a great bunch of questions and answered them as quickly as possible. Some sought my opinion, while others required a little searching to find an answer — and then boil it down into less than 140 characters.
The most intriguing question came from my friend and fellow journalist, Ethan Dreilinger @esd714. He asked me if I had an answer on when social media spend might overtake traditional media in advertising spend. I didn’t have an answer, but I really liked the question and quickly shared a couple of links with Ethan via Twitter. One was even good enough to get a reply – Ethan said he had not seen the second and was interested in the content.
The first link I shared was from an article ReadWriteWeb that points to 2012 as the year that social media peaks. The article then wondered around some charts on search terms but didn’t go much deeper than that.
Deloitte said that in 2011, social networks will reach 1 billion unique members and will serve 2 trillion advertisements.
The firm estimates ad revenue of about $4 per member for the industry, making total ad revenues of $5 billion, on year-over-year growth of 40 percent. That represents a tiny slice – about 1 percent — of total ad spend of nearly $500 million.
Social media’s total user base is the estimated 2 billion global computer-based Internet users. Facebook says it has 600 million users, which would be a quarter of the user base. The big pastry in the bake shop is China, which officially blocks Facebook from its estimated 420 million Internet users. However, I found a link that says there are some 24,000 Facebook users in China, according to http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia.htm. [Learn more about Facebook and China in this article, Will Facebook Friend China, from Foreign Policy, December 23, 2010]
Now, going back to Deloitte’s calculations, the article says that
“if social networks’ advertising revenues are only worth $4 billion in 2011 with half the potential user base already signed up, or if future growth is largely restricted to the low-value mobile ad market, most of the upside for social networks would need to come from increased time spent on the network, or from improved CPM metrics.Yet even if the time spent on social networks grows by a factor of three, that might not necessarily translate into a threefold increase in advertising revenue. Increasing inventory could cause CPMs to fall even further.”
The article says that “social networks’ understanding of individuals’ backgrounds, preferences, social groups, activities, and behaviors are without equal. There have been hopes that this would enable social networks to deliver superior advertising results: but paradoxically, social network CPMs remained among the lowest of all forms of online advertising.”
That could well change, the article continues, as the ability to mine the myriad data or social networks may find new business models that allow for much higher advertising revenues, but for 2011 it is difficult to find the levers that would cause social network ad revenues to accelerate from their already rapid pace.
“Perhaps the vastness of social networks’ repository of user information is itself a limiting factor; as of 2011, it remains a challenge to economically extract useful insights from the volumes of user data that social networks generate. The billions of stated “likes” may not all necessarily signal an intent to purchase. Also, in 2011, as in previous years, privacy concerns may constrain the ability to collect the most valuable data. Nevertheless, once social networks figure out how to rapidly and economically analyze their data, and to monetize the billions of recommendations made, a new seam of valuable customer insights will be available to mine and exploit.”
How much subscriber growth is there? Well, new networks are springing up all the time, expanding the social marketplace, but how many networks can a person subscribe to? Well, if it’s me, something like 30 or 40, actually. And, I’m active on a number, but two – Facebook and Twitter – dominate my time and any more social-media participation has to come from somewhere and I don’t know where that is. Commonly accepted wisdom is that you can participate well in a couple of networks.
2010.12.06 NEW YORK—Global advertising spending to reach $502 billion in 2011, a 5.8 percent increase over 2010 spending of $474 billion, according to Group M, WPP’s media communications businesses management organization.
In the U.S. 2011 spending is expected to hit $147.7 billion, a 3.7 percent increase over the $142.5 billion invested in 2010, the company said in a press release in December.
The headline for this article might be: digital media outlets are challenging newspapers as the world’s No. 2 preferred medium (behind television) in measured advertising investment.
Advertising spending is recovering after the recession, but the recipients of the growth are on television and online – not newspapers.
Significantly, the report said measured Internet advertising is expected to contribute 37 percent of global ad growth in 2011 and is likely to reach $82 billion, a growth rate that suggests it will overtake newspaper spending (forecast at $90 billion in 2011) at some point in 2012.
Online advertising spending will exceed newspaper advertising spending for the first time this year in the United States, creating another challenge for many newspapers that continue to struggle with revenue.
Online ad spending will increase 13.9 percent to $25.8 billion, while print newspaper ads will plummet 8.2 percent to $22.8 billion in 2010, according to industry tracker eMarketer.
“Certainly, newspaper publishers — such as The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) of Sacramento, which has 30 daily newspapers including The Sacramento Bee and the Miami Herald — are attracting advertising with their online sites, but the dollars are less than print advertising. McClatchy has enjoyed some of the biggest online advertising gains in the newspaper industry, but it’s still much lower than its print advertising revenue, said the Business Journal publication.
If newspapers combine online and print advertising, the total revenue would reach $25.7 billion — $100 million less than online-only advertising efforts, such as Google, Groupon and Yahoo!, according to the Business Journal article.
The disparity between online and print advertising will continue in 2011, with print newspaper advertising declining 6 percent to $21.4 billion while online ad spending will increase 10.5 percent to $28.5 billion, according to eMarketer, said the Sacramento Business Journal article.
On an inside door on Monday in the town hall of Greenburgh, NY, hung a simple paper sign: “Student News Network.”
When I pulled the door to the room open, I was absolutely stunned to see a room full of young people from the community — students of all ages: middle schoolers and high schoolers as well as parents. There were kids with Green Bay jerseys on, others in cool animal-motif winter caps, hoodies and Uggs.
They were there to participate in a new town-sponsored news service and I was there to see if I could help. My good friend, Alan Brody, invited me to attend and speak to the group. I was really shocked to see the numbers that came out.
At the front of the large meeting room sat Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner, in his 20th year on the job, and the Town Clerk, Judith Beville. This was the second meeting of this group. I learned about the first — last week — from @paulfeiner, Supervisor’s Feiner Twitter account. Alan told me about the project and invited me for a visit.
Then, like a good journalist does, I did my homework. In GreenburghNY.com I learned that this town has a progressive and transparent approach to communicate with citizen, spearkheaded by Feiner, who has initiated a new concept called Dial Democracy, where residents have telephone access to town board meetings in progress. Town board meetings are also archived on the town’s web site: www.greenburghny.com. In 2008, the town board voted to stream its meetings live on the Internet. The board also voted to televise its work sessions. That might seem like as much fun as watching paint dry, but it impressive transparency for local government and something I, as a journalist, would like to see in every community. I believe that with today’s Internet tools, this is very easy to do.
To do its televising and streaming, the town has the meeting room equipped with automated 3-chip CCD video cameras in the ceiling. A control room for the broadcast is located across the hall with its monitors and audio board as well as PCs and an office. Upstairs there is a video with even more automated Sony cameras on tripods for 3-cam production, as well as a colorful anchor desk.
The town, which some years ago produced another student news production, has all the facilities for doing traditional broadcast production, and agreements in place for distribution over Cablevision and Verizon’s local systems.
But now we there is a new paradigm to deal with — the web.
Gearing up for Net Video
In 2008, I felt strongly that the future of journalism on the web will include more and more video because the technology is getting increasingly powerful and the production tools are getting less and less expensive. For journalists, that means that video should be a more important option in a storytelling toolkit.
To that end, I started integrating as much video as I could into my personal toolkit and take my learning and share it here, and then roll it out to my classes. At the time, I had already been using a Flip camcorder and web cams on laptops. I had even hooked my Sony TRV-900 to a WiFi-enabled MacBook and did livestream walkthrough from a news event, shared over my channel on UStream.tv.
I have integrated low-cost video tools into my curriculum for new-media journalism, creating learning tracks and workflows to enable students to learn how to record interviews, edit them and share them using free and open-source tools as well as low-end video equipment.
I opened a channel on Livestream.com, and one on UStream.tv. I created a Qik.com account and I upgraded my mobile phone to one that enabled mobile video live streaming.
I organized a student group to do a weekly broadcast, using the multimedia stories that my students were reporting for NassauNewsLive.com, the hyperlocal web-based news service I established for journalism students.
The streamcast editors took the video collected over the previous week and created a half-hour newscast around it. You can read more about the project here.
As far as I know, this was innovative and a model for other low-cost news ventures for citizens as well as professionals.
As we head into 2011, the moment for the integration of this tool with traditional broadcast methods is coming. Here are some bullets to ponder.
Mobile live — In the U.S., smart phones are expected to break above the 50 percent barrier in the market by the end of the summer. More info An application such as Qik, which works on the Apple, Android and Symbian mobile operating systems, costs nothing and enables users to send live reports that can then be archived and even downloaded for future editing.
I call it Static Livestream — I got into the habit of live streaming some of my classroom lectures and found that a Macbook with USB webcam allowed me to share my classes with former students or interested folks on Twitter, and would allow the class to be archived for later reference. I simply pointed the camera at the front of the classroom and recorded my whiteboard projections and the class while UStream shared and recorded the event through the cloud, all on its servers.
Produced stream — I also created a Livestream product, as I mentioned before, and the students used it to stream newscasts. This product has a huge learning curve and needs focus and teamwork to work. The students created the script for the show on Google Docs and read it off the screen of a computer sitting in front of the camera-equipped production PC.
In 2010, I decided to upgrade my video sharing to HD video and retooled my personal work kit to integrate the Apple platform, the only easy way to edit H.264 video. I decided on Facebook as my principle publishing platform, while sharing to YouTube and Qik as well as the various blogs that I maintain.
Edited video — The later after an event that you publish, the higher quality your video needs to be, unless you have exclusive footage. People will accept less-than-perfect video when you go live, or upload raw video immediately aftern an event. The longer you wait, the better your work should be, all the way up to documentary. But, there is no reason that you can’t share all along the process and build communication with your community as well as telling different stories with each iteration.
How to transfer this knowledge. The Greenburgh project offers a chance to share these workflows and create high quality work. I will take it on face value that very few of these students have done high end video editing and reporting before. I did a quick and informal poll to check for smartphones, and Facebook accounts among the attendees and saw almost unanimous adoption of these tools.
So, I believe my methods of teaching and using low-end tools can be a part of this project, and I might even be able to enable HD reportage with handheld camcorders.
There will be a teaching opportunity — getting the students and their parents together on Saturday for a video training workshop where they could all bring their phones or cameras and we could workshop some simple shooting, editing and production methods. It’s a bit ambitious, but I think worth the efffort.
If succesful, the students could go about their reporting and we would have enough time before the March targets for the newscasts to create and edit their stories.
That will all start with meeting No. 3 when the students should return with story ideas next Monday.
This is a critical point in keeping the students motivated and one where they really determine the agenda. For an effort like this, the stories have to be compelling to the storytellers — the students — to keep the energy flowing through February and into March.
The work of the group will be centralized into three platforms — Facebook, Posterous and a Wordpress-powered content management system.
The Facebook and Posterous sites will be private channels for the group to share video and stories and to comment while creating a community and a shared culture of collaboration.
The Wordpress platform points to publication and the needed layers of review before something is shared with the greater world.
This project will absolutely require parents to be on board with their students work as there are a lot of middle school kids and all are under the age of 18.
Yesterday, when they were given the opportunity to break into groups and talk about story ideas, the ones they pitched were great and with the okay from organizers will be even better as they will come from a kids’ point of view, guided by traditional journalism sensibilities and ethics.
The high school kids were ambitious and confident and quickly moved into group mode and pitched some thoughful ideas.
Over the last four years, I have thought about journalism and have shared best practices and my view of the future as an assistant professor in journalism. I have built a 100-student news organization, given students state-of-the-art skills and prodded ethically at them as they learned journalism.
I am a forward looking journalist and I have gotten the chance to learn how to use the new tools, and help others use them, and in Greenburgh, I see something that really makes me excited.
There are 40 young people, with the support of their parents and the community, who have an interest in sharing stories about their community.
I see it as young people talking to young people, telling each other stories about the world, through their focus and prism. I don’t see it as adults telling them what to do, but being there as guides and to provide insight and wisdom in making the tough decisions that journalism requires.
STUDENT NEWS NETWORK –STUDENTS TO HAVE THEIR OWN PUBLIC ACCESS TV NEWS PROGRAM..I was very pleased with the response at our first SNN meeting. About 50 students have expressed interest in joining SNN—reporting the news, commenting on issues. Our follow up meeting will take place Monday at 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall.At the meeting on Monday we will hear from Mo KrochmalHope to see you Monday at 4:15 PMMo Krochmal, a long-time new media journalist and an educator, will discuss creating a platform using free or open-source tools to enable students and young people to perform responsible journalism through multimedia storytelling to share stories about their communities. As the first digital journalism professor at Hofstra University (2007-2010), Krochmal designed and created the NassauNewsLive.com platform that enabled a small core of journalism students to manage a staff of 100 of their fellow students in producing state-of-the-art student-run community coverage on a real-time basis — with a minimal budget. Students used smart phones.
This article was published in the Scarsdale, NY, Patch.com site, but the service is not a Patch product, but an idea catalyzed by visionary Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner with the assistance of Town Clerk Judith Beville.