1. It’s an amazing form of distribution
2. It’s where things happen first
3. As a search engine, it rivals Google
4. It’s a formidable aggregation tool
5. It’s a great reporting tool
6. It’s a fantastic form of marketing
7. It’s a series of common conversations. Or it can be
8. It’s more diverse
9. It changes the tone of writing
10. It’s a level playing field
11. It has different news values
12. It has a long attention span
13. It creates communities
14. It changes notions of authority
15. It is an agent of change
Well worth a read for how he explains each point in turn, and then concludes that:
Increasingly, social media will challenge conventional politics and, for instance, the laws relating to expression and speech. [...] we can be sure that the motivating idea behind these forms of open media isn’t going away and that, if we are blind to their capabilities, we will be making a very serious mistake, both in terms of our journalism and the economics of our business.
Twitter, which exacerbates the demands of immediacy, blurs the line between reporting and postulating, and forces writers to chase too many bum steers. With every media company unabashedly playing the "We Had It First!" game, reporters' salary and credibility hinges directly on how many stories they break. That entices reporters to become enslaved to certain sources (almost always agents or general managers), push transparent agendas (almost always from those same agents or GMs) and "break" news before there's anything to officially break. It also swings the source/reporter dynamic heavily toward the source. Take care of me and I will take care of you.
The evangelists of social media don’t understand this distinction; they seem to believe that a Facebook friend is the same as a real friend and that signing up for a donor registry in Silicon Valley today is activism in the same sense as sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960. “Social networks are particularly effective at increasing motivation,” Aaker and Smith write. But that’s not true. Social networks are effective at increasing participation—by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires. [...] In other words, Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice. We are a long way from the lunch counters of Greensboro.
Georgi Kobilarov illustrated the difference that aggregated linked data should make in the lives of people. He said that on his smartphone, he can download apps from Qype and Yelp and Foursquare and any number of data providers about listings or venues, using geolocation to tailor the content to where he is. But he doesn't want to have to check a multitude of data sources to find out what to do. He doesn't care about the apps themselves, or the app provider, he cares about the information that will help him plan his evening. He wants an app that bridges them all, and uses information from Facebook and Twitter to say 'There is a pretty lousy bar around the corner, but two of your old high school friends are there, so it is probably your best bet right now'.
The news and journalism version: "Accident has happened in a remote location, you have friends currently on vacation there… send them a message on Facebook to see if they are ok?"
I was initially cautious. As a broadcaster who is used to rabbiting on for ages, I was always going to find it difficult to condense my thoughts into 140 characters. But my appreciation for what Twitter can provide has grown to such an extent over the past 15 months that I now class it as an essential tool of my trade.
In my view, the list of stars at this World Cup – which already boasts Mesut Ozil, Ghana, vuvuzelas etc – should also include Twitter. This has in many ways been the Twitter World Cup.
So what does the Library of Congress think is worth saving? Here are the portions of today’s web your grandchildren will be able to access through the Library of Congress:
1. Twitter feeds—all of them [...]
2. National Election Candidates’ Internet Presences [...]
3. Facebook Pages—A Selective Few [...]
4. Notable Historical Events [...]
5. News Sites That Give Permission
Unlike libraries in some other countries, the Library of Congress has no legal mandate to preserve the web. Therefore, the web archive team can’t collect everything they would like to without asking permission. Because news sites and blogs earn money on their content, the Library needs to get consent before it includes their pages in the archives.
Grotke says that few news organizations that the web archive team contacts for permission ever respond, which means that not much of the content in the web archives comes from news sites.
Great overview of recent analysis of social media by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Among the highlighted findings:
"Social media and the mainstream press clearly embrace different agendas. Blogs shared the same lead story with traditional media in just 13 of the 49 weeks studied. Twitter was even less likely to share the traditional media agenda — the lead story matched that of the mainstream press in just four weeks of the 29 weeks studied. On YouTube, the top stories overlapped with traditional media eight out of 49 weeks."
"AFP, like a lot of more established organizations, seems unable to change their perspectives on Twitter to address what the service actually is. That Morel posted some of the most important photos of the decade on Twitter before any other publication shows the power and flexibility of Twitter as a legitimate news service. AFP's argument, that Twitter is in some way nothing more than a digital bulletin board with no accompanying rights, is worrisome–it's a different kind of news outlet than AFP, but that doesn't mean its value in news can simply be ignored.
As Jeremy Nicholl says, "the whole situation is a mess." AFP's position might not hold much water, legally. But if the AFP does manage to get away with, in essence, scraping a photographer's work and selling it simply due to the venue in which it was published, both Twitter and new media journalism have serious problems to overcome."