Digital journalism and online culture.
h/t to Micro Monday for the introduction.
I wonder how IndieWeb specific his version of journalism is?
Digital journalism and online culture.
h/t to Micro Monday for the introduction.
I wonder how IndieWeb specific his version of journalism is?
With all that has transpired between Facebook and the media industry over the past couple of years—the repeated algorithm changes, the head fakes about switching to video, the siphoning off of a significant chunk of the industry’s advertising revenue—most publishers approach the giant social network with skepticism, if not outright hostility. And yet, the vast majority of them continue to partner with Facebook, to distribute their content on its platform, and even accept funding and resources from it.
A very solid question to be asking and to be working on answers for.
Personally I feel like newspapers, magazines, and media should help to be providing IndieWeb-based open platforms of their own for not only publishing their own work, but for creating the local commons for their readers and constituents to be able to freely and openly interact with them.
They’re letting Facebook and other social media to own too much of their content and even their audience. Building tools to take it back could help them, their readers, and even democracy out all at the same time.
Sadly, based on what I’m seeing here, however, even CJR has outsourced their platform for this series to SquareSpace. At least they’re publishing it on a URL they own and control.
A note from Tony Haile, CEO of Scroll
- Scroll is acquiring Nuzzel
- The core service isn’t going to change beyond removing the ads
- We’re spinning out the media intelligence business
Nuzzel is one of my favorite things, so I’m glad to hear that it will continue on… I haven’t heard much about Scroll, which appears to be a journalism startup, but hopefully they’ve got enough legs to make it for the long haul.
We need more competition in the space of “discovery” on the web and particularly in the area of allowing users to control the levers that go into some of that discovery. The blackbox algorithms of the social media giants certainly can’t be trusted because of their financial motivations. In some sense, I view Nuzzel as a real-time directory, but one whose cache is flushed at regular intervals instead of saving all the data for a later date and time or other additional searching. I wonder what a engine like Nuzzel would look like if it kept all the data and allowed itself to be searchable in a long-tail way?
"As you know, the company is going thru a reorganization..."
This is a bit hilarious given the recent layoffs many journalistic outlets are doing recently.
The odd part was that in terms of presentation I didn’t realize until almost the end that this wasn’t a primary part of BuzzFeed, but rather their “Community” section. While it’s nice that they give readers a place like this to contribute free content which only goes towards their own clicks for advertising, it would be far more interesting and useful if they were letting their community use their platform to host their own content on their own domains instead, and then allowing them to either pay for it directly or using advertising against it to cover the tab. This would be the sort of hybrid social media and journalism idea I’ve touched on in the past. Instead, this effort and those of others like the Huffington Post seem to be wholly benefiting the outlet more than they do the individual. The pendulum needs to swing back the other way soon.
I am sorely disappointed in The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo, CNN’s Brian Stelter, and other journalists who these days are announcing to…
I appreciate Jeff Jarvis’ points here about not succumbing to the techno-panic, but at the same time we do need some better ways to find and disseminate these stories than relying on toxic platforms. The conversation needs more space and flexibility and perhaps this is also part of the problem. There’s no reason we couldn’t simultaneously hope for better tools for journalists while still doing as Jeff indicates. Some journalists enjoy and find value in doing battlefield reporting, but this obviously isn’t for everyone. While platforms like Twitter make finding some unseen stories easier, they definitely aren’t the end-all-be-all of the depth and breadth of stories out there. Relying solely on looking at the conversation through the lens of Twitter isn’t always the best or even only way to appreciate the broader conversation. There are far more trenches we all need to be exploring.
Here yet again, I can’t help but think that journalistic outlets ought to be using their platforms and their privilege and extend them to their audiences as a social media platform of sorts. This could kill the siren song of the toxic platforms and simultaneously bring the journalists and the public into a more direct desperate congress. There is nothing stopping CNN or The New York Times from building an open version of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or even blogging platform on which everyone could participate. In fact, there are already several news outlets that have gotten into the content management system business and are selling their wares to other newspapers and magazines. Why not go a half-step further and allow the public to use them as well? The IndieWeb model for this seems like an interesting one which could dramatically benefit both sides and even give journalism another useful revenue stream.
As I read this, there are some underlying ideas that again make me think that newspapers, magazines, and other journalistic outlets should pick up the mantle of social media and help their readers (aka community) by providing them with websites that they can control and use to interact. Many newspapers and other outlets are already building their own CMSes and even licensening them out to other papers, why not take the next step and build a platform that can host and manage websites for individual users? They’ve got most of the infrastructure there already? Why not tack on a few simple things that allow their users to better interact with them on the open web. It solves their ownership issues as well as their reliance on social media silos and could even provide a nice, modest income stream (or even a bonus that comes along with one’s subscription?)
Perhaps Kinja wasn’t a bad idea for a CMS cum commenting system, it just wasn’t open web enough?
How content-management systems will shape the future of media businesses big and small.
With all these self-made CMSes for distributing journalism, why not go a half step further and create a full-on network of hosted and managed IndieWeb websites? These could be for both their journalists to use (the way many do with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) in their research as well as for their own users which could also incidentally use them to interact with the paper itself as well as their surrounding communities?
For a low cost per month, it could be an interesting side business, or even be bundled with paid subscriptions?
"From a business standpoint, publishers aren't competing with each other so much as they are with the big technology platforms — Google, Facebook, Apple, and so on. Yet publishers expend huge amounts of energy optimizing competitively against one another."
“Instead of becoming more like technology companies or remaining beholden to platforms, publishers could help to build the internet they need.”
There are an impressive number of IndieWeb-related articles in this year’s list of Nieman Journalism Lab 2019 Predictions. Somehow I had missed the one written by our own Ben Werdmüller, or perhaps they continued publishing them after I’d seen the first batch?
"Let's replace the shadows that Twitter and Facebook and Google have been on the media with some business-model fundamentals. As 2018 has shown, they've offered us a lot more heartache than it feels like they're actually worth."
This is a very staid and sober statement about the ills of social media platforms (aka silos) and a proposed way forward for 2019. His argument is tremendously bolstered by the fact that he’s actually got his own website where he’s hosting and distributing his own content.
Ernie, should you see this, I’d welcome you to come join a rapidly growing group of creators who have been doing almost exactly what you’ve prescribed. We’re amassing a wealth of knowledge, tools, code, and examples at Indieweb.org to help you and others on their journey to better owning and controlling their online identities in almost the exact way in which you’re talking about in your article. Both individually and together we’re trying to build web websites that allow all the functionality of the platforms, but in a way that is both easy and beautiful for everyone to manage and use. Given the outlet for your piece, I’ll also mention that there’s a specific page for IndieWeb and Journalism.
I’d invite you to join the online chat and add yourself as an example to any of the appropriate pages, including perhaps for Craft. Also feel free to discuss your future plans and ask for any help or support you’d like to see for improving your own website. Together I hope we can all make your prediction for 2019 a reality.
But what if, in 2019, we take a step back and decide not to let the platform decide how to run the show? ❧
January 09, 2019 at 07:55AM
I’ve been working on a redesign of my site recently, using a more robust CMS, and the advantages of controlling the structure of the platform soup-to-nuts are obvious, even if it requires more upfront work. ❧
January 09, 2019 at 07:57AM
2019 is the year when publishers — whether big ones like Axios or the Los Angeles Times or tiny ones like mine or Judd Legum’s Popular Information — move away from letting someone else call all the shots. Or, at least, they should. ❧
January 09, 2019 at 08:01AM
"Local news organizations should become a driving force for better online public discourse, because Facebook and Twitter aren’t cutting it."
I wonder in an age of caustic social media why newspapers don’t build their own (open and IndieWeb-flavored) social media platforms into their products as a benefit to not only their readers but for the communities they service? This could help not only their bottom line, allow them to add a useful service to their product, but fight the vagaries of what social media networks have done to them and give them some additional ways to help improve community conversations.
This idea isn’t too dissimilar to Greg McVerry’s idea of having local libraries allow users to “check” out domain names and pre-built IndieWeb content management systems to use. (Greg, have you fleshed this out on your site somewhere?)
In any case, I’ve outlined a bit about how newspapers and journalistic outlets could use read posts in an IndieWeb way to take more control over their comments sections instead of farming them out to caustic social media platforms that they have no control over. There’s at least one outlet that has begun experimenting with these types of read posts. Some of these ideas (and similar ones on podcasting) might begin to address Marie’s idea about improving online discourse and making a better forum.
I see she’s got a book on the topic entitled Journalism, Online Comments, and the Future of Public Discourse. I’ll have to take a look at it soon.
Weblogs: A new source of News
An awesome “old” and prescient post about blogging and journalism. It’s interesting to look at this through the modern lens of social media and IndieWeb. Of course this article was written at a time when IndieWeb was the only thing that existed.
media organizations would do well to incorporate them [blogs] into their Web sites as an important new addition to the journalistic toolkit. ❧
December 21, 2018 at 08:09PM
Regular readers of Gillmor’s eJournal will recognize his commitment to user participation. “One of the things I’m sure about in journalism right now is that my readers know more than I do,” he says. “To the extent that I can take advantage of that in a way that does something for everyone involved ó that strikes me as pretty cool.”
One fascinating aspect of Gillmor’s Weblog is how he lifts the veil from the workings of the journalism profession. “There have been occasions where I put up a note saying, ‘I’m working on the following and here’s what I think I know,’ and the invitation is for the reader to either tell me I’m on the right track, I’m wrong, or at the very least help me find the missing pieces,” he says. “That’s a pretty interesting thing. Many thousands more people read my column in the newspaper than online, but I do hear back from a fair number of people from the Weblog.” ❧
December 21, 2018 at 08:20PM
Anyone who’s dealt with networks knows that the network knows more than the individual.” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:15AM
Man, this is a beast that’s hungry all the time.” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:18AM
While many blogs get dozens or hundreds of visitors, Searls’ site attracts thousands. “I partly don’t want to care what the number is,” he says. “I used to work in broadcasting, where everyone was obsessed by that. I don’t want an audience. I feel I’m writing stuff that’s part of a conversation. Conversations don’t have audiences.” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:22AM
“The blog serves as a kind of steam valve for me,” he says. “I put stuff out there that I’m forming an opinion about, and another blogger starts arguing with me and giving me feedback, and I haven’t even finished what I was posting!” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:24AM
The Weblog community is basically a whole bunch of expert witnesses who increase their expertise constantly through a sort of reputation engine.” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:28AM
His dream is to put a live Web server with easy-to-edit pages on every person’s desktop, then connect them all in a robust network that feeds off itself and informs other media. ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:31AM
He suggests that struggling sites like Salon begin broadening their content offerings by hosting user-created Weblogs, creating a sort of farm system for essayists. “Salon could highlight the best ones on page one and invest time and effort in the ones that are inspiring and exceptional.” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:35AM
Indeed, Winer says his most gratifying moments come when he posts an entry without running the idea by his colleagues first. “It can be a very scary moment when you take a stand on something and you don’t know if your argument holds together and you hit the send button and it’s out there and you can’t take it back. That’s a moment that professional journalists may never experience in their careers, the feeling that it’s just me, exposed to the world. That’s a pretty powerful rush, the power to publish as an individual.” ❧
December 22, 2018 at 09:36AM
"If we do it right, users benefit from a feedback loop that helps make our work more valuable and relevant to them. And no journalist ever again has to wear their clunky CMS as a badge of honor."
Without saying it directly, there’s a very IndieWeb flavor to this piece. I’d love to see more journalists and technologists who are working in journalism contributing to improving the web. The Nieman Lab’s collection of Predictions for Journalism in 2019 also has some other IndieWeb-centric articles for those who might be interested.
Eric Ulken, product director for newsroom tools at the USA TODAY NETWORK, has a great list of UI elements in the article that many journalists, newsrooms, and even average people would love to see built into content management systems. I hope that as people build and iterate that they write about their experiences and open source pieces so others can use and leverage them.
Some things your tools will soon do for you — if they don’t already:
- Automatically find and link relevant background material.
- Suggest topics and contextualize newly created content as part of a bigger story arc, when relevant.
- Show which topics, story forms and content types, in the aggregate, are resonating with priority audience segments and help you take action based on that info.
- Dynamically alert you when there’s potential for promoting your work on other platforms and help you prioritize those efforts.
- Keep track of the things you’ve published, show you how they’re doing with key audiences and suggest follow-up opportunities.
- Call out popular evergreen content that could use freshening.
- Run headline tests and other content experiments directly from the authoring and curation environment.
- Identify missed opportunities and help you find out where your content fell flat with readers.
- Enable the creation of mobile-first multimedia narratives and other non-text story forms.
- Help you productively interact with your audiences and help them inform your coverage.
- Calculate — at the staff, team and individual level — effort spent on things that don’t serve audiences well (thereby helping you devote more time to the things that do).
- Elevate your phone from in-the-field last resort to full-fledged content creation and management tool, because the best device is the one you have with you.
Today’s leading-edge content tools are integrated context, collaboration and insight machines. We’re moving from unidirectional publishing of articles to organizing all our work and closing the feedback loop with our customers. I call this “full-stack publishing”. ❧
December 21, 2018 at 08:02PM
And while content analytics tools (e.g., Chartbeat, Parsely, Content Insights) and feedback platforms (e.g., Hearken, GroundSource) have thankfully helped close the gap, the core content management experience remains, for most of us, little improved when it comes to including the audience in the process. ❧
December 21, 2018 at 08:00PM