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A Day In The LIfe Of The Internet February 9, 2013

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, News, Social Media, Trends, YouTube.
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The Internet is vast, sprawling, always moving and always changing.  At any given time, videos are being uploaded, pictures tagged, emails sent, and users joining any of the many social media platforms available. People are Googling questions, millions at a time, and clicking through various websites to find the answers.

We’re shopping online, banking online, scheduling appointments online, and otherwise occupying an enormous, virtual space. And while most of us are aware of just how much we rely on the Internet for all of our day-to-day activities, it can be easy to forget just how much is happening at once.

The fact of the matter is that the Internet never stops—in a single day, 2.4 billion users are crafting the Internet into something even bigger than what it already is. So just what happens in the world of the Internet in a single day?  The following infographic takes a look at just what goes on in a day in the Internet.

Graphic by InternetServiceProviders.org
Internet Day Infographic

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Advocacy, Viral Videos and Web Memes November 5, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, Online Video, Social Media, Web Video, YouTube.
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by Joanne KY Teoh (first published in ThinkBrigade)
Memes aren’t just about extracting a laugh anymore – they make political points too and sway opinion. Once relegated to obscure online communities and subcultures, memes have penetrated the public psyche to become part of Web pop culture.

The US presidential election is fertile ground for spawning Web memes. The TV debates give voters not just a glimpse of the candidates, but fodder to turn political discourse into mimetic entertainment. After two TV debates, “Big Bird” along with “horses and bayonets” have stormed the internet.

“Binders Full of Women” has become an instant internet meme after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s telling remark during a debate with President Barack Obama to demonstrate his past attempts to fight for women’s equality.

Memes predate the internet. They take the form of ideas, images, styles, catchphrases and videos that people find compelling enough to copy and imitate within a culture. The term meme is derived from genetics, describing the evolution of ideas and cultural phenomena by natural selection.

One can even “songify” TV sound bites for the Web. The Gregory Brothers have turned the third presidential TV encounter into a musical meme, with Romney and Obama engaging in a mellifluous battle for votes. The video is part of The New York Times Op-Doc series.

Could a neo-activism driven by viral videos and Web memes save the environment? Would the “songification” and “meme-ification” of abstract policy debates on climate change, melting icecaps and species extinction generate virtual memes, inspire local action, focus global attention and trigger social change?

Environmental memes are in a class of their own. They inform our view of nature – think Gaia, Pachamama and Mother Earth. Today, environmentalists have added viral videos and social media to their arsenal of advocacy and protest tools.

The slick video (below) by Greenpeace that purportedly showed a Royal Dutch Shell event going horribly wrong sparked a media firestorm in June this year:

Another video on The Great Pacific Garbage Patch went viral long before ending plastic pollution in the world’s oceans became one of the top 10 priorities of the Rio+20 conference.

The simple narrative of this video (below) struck a chord, spurring eco-blogs and green groups to tap information from the clip to start campaigns to “Take the Plastic Water Bottle Challenge” and ban plastic bags:

The startling spread of the Kony meme raises interesting questions for the future of green neo-activism online. Kony 2012, the viral campaign against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, is an infectious idea that transfixed a generation who use Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

The 30-minute video made by the US-based campaigning group Invisible Children has been lambasted by media scholars for ideological bias and its simplistic portrayal of a complex issue. But this is the way to reach and rouse a generation of multi-screening multi-taskers, native of the visual language of LOL cats.

Complex and multi-faceted, green issues were once given short shrift in mainstream media. But mainstreaming these issues is not enough. We need more green memes that catch fire online and the imagination of youth on the ground.

So-called MemeGenerators are enabling the meme-fication of issues. Properly exploited, memes and viral videos can be passed along via Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter to ignite social change.

If the intentions are good, the simplification of complexity is a powerful narrative tactic to spur web natives to start viral conversations using 140 characters or less. The seminal paper by Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter on the power of “weak ties” in networks posits that links among people who are not closely bonded are critical for spreading ideas and helping groups coalesce for action.

It is premature to assert that the era of network power has arrived. But with one in three people in the world now using the internet, online video could in time reach these folks and prove a game changer. And when mashups of funny online content inspire a flood of parodies, viral videos and internet memes might just save Mother Nature.

Web Journalists Should Learn Code October 29, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Education, Journalism, Multimedia, News, Trends.
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by Joanne KY Teoh
It’s more than digging up the dirt – journalists today need to get their hands dirty with a little code. How well are J-schools preparing their grads for the real world as digital journalism products move online?

From crafting a good lead for the front page, to building a story for a Web page, knowing how to code is an essential skill if prospective journalists want to become better and employable multimedia storytellers in the digital media age.

Traditional storytellers at heart, many journalist balk at the idea of coding. Textbooks of arcane code remind them why they chose to study the 5Ws and H of journalism instead of computer science or engineering.

But learning basic HTML, CSS, Javascript, or other front-end design codes helps journalists create their own online content and understand the parameters of technical journalism. Here’s what they do:

JavaScript: A scripting language to manipulate data between the server and the Web page. It can also alter the page based on user or server communication.

HTML: A markup language to outline the structure and content of the page.

CSS: A style language to tell the website how the layout, fonts and colors should look.

Learning how to build online interactive packages gives journalists a better understanding of how Web journalism is created and how they can enhance print or broadcast stories.

As with all multimedia skills, journalists are more likely to be invested in the technical process if they have an idea of what is possible.

Many journalism jobs now require someone who has both coding skills and writing experience, the latter of which many traditional computer programmers lack, giving the coding journalist an advantage.

Journalists with computer programming skills are in demand at media and technology companies. They analyze data for journalistic research, visualize data for news websites, implement content management systems, develop Web applications and oversee the creation of digital media products.

Several journalism fellowships and trainee programs are looking for journalists with programming knowledge. You can have the skills to apply for an opportunity to receive funding for your own cutting edge journalism projects.

The time is now for future journalists to learn about code. We need to innovate our curricula, really looking at what we are teaching our students. Learning, or mastering, specific software is not properly preparing our future journalists for successful, life-long careers. No one can learn digital storytelling in a semester.

Mastering Dreamweaver and Flash isn’t very future-friendly, and having a single mid-level “Online Journalism” course offered as an elective does more harm than good. We should be teaching code in all of our journalism courses — each semester, each year, until graduation.

Miranda Mulligan
Executive Director, Knight News Innovation Lab, Northwestern University

Newsrooms today need help to make cool news apps to complement and help build on their digital stories. PBS MediaShift Idea Lab talked to developers working in the news business to get their take on why they wanted to code in the newsroom.

Employers expect students coming out of J-schools to know the basics of video, audio and Web coding at a minimum, and be well-versed in mobile journalism and social media. J-schools need to integrate coding 101 as a core course so students grasp how Web pages and computers deal with their stories.

Journalists of the Youtube generation are already proficient in these skills. It’s the traditionalists and Luddites who are code-challenged. There has never been an easier time to learn coding. Check out these free or near free online coursework from Codecademy, the MIT/Harvard EdX program or Coursera and Google Code University

Related reads
Essential Tools of the Trade – CJR
In Defense of Journalism: 3 Essentials It Teaches – Poynter
Back to School:The Evolution of Journalism Education – Nieman

Infographic courtesy of OnlineCollege.orgProgramming Infographic

Where the Internet Lives October 18, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Online Video, Trends.
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Google server banks at its data center

Google has provided the most comprehensive look yet inside its mighty Internet infrastructure. The largest search engine in the world has released a portfolio of images offering a rare glimpse into the secret world of the vast data centers powering its online information empire.

These centers handle well over 50 thousand servers that power the services we use every day – 20 billion web pages indexed, 3 billion searches, and 425 million Gmail users daily. To kick this tour off permanently, Google has launched a Website called Where the Internet Lives.

The site shows images from all of Google’s 12 data centers and let you meet the staff who run them. Check out one of their data center via Street View technology:

For a more thorough look inside Google’s cloud factories, the search giant has granted a CBS News crew unprecedented access to its Lenoir, North Carolina data center for a tour of facilities the tech giant once refused to acknowledge even existed. Take a walk through the Lenoir data center here.

For years, Google refused to acknowledge these data centers even existed and all visitors have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Every person entering and leaving is tracked and if more than one person enters the doors at once, alarms sound.

Universities Embrace Social Media October 9, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Education, News, Social Media, Trends.
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Colleges and universities in the US are embracing social media to connect with students, alumni, prospective students, and donors.

According to BestCollegesOnline.com, one in three schools indicate that they achieve better results with social media than through traditional media.

Data from a study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth show:

98% of colleges and universities report having a Facebook page
84% have a school Twitter account
66% have a blog
41% have a podcast

This infographic shows how those in higher education are using social media.


Compiled By: BestCollegesOnline.com

Great Journalism Thrives on the Web April 20, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends.
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by Joanne KY Teoh
Movies have Oscars, cultural and scientific advances have Nobel Prizes. As far as awards go in media, nothing carries more cred than a Pulitzer.

Self-declared “Internet newspaper” Huffington Post, one of the most controversial players in online media, has been breaking out the bubbly after taking a step into respectability by winning a Pulitzer Prize, the traditional standard of journalistic excellence. (Yes, it earned the cred, not just link to one.)

This first Pulitzer for the seven-year-old Huffington Post is a milestone for the popular AOL-owned news site, often derided as an aggregator that built its audience by recycling the journalism of other outlets and sourcing free content from bloggers.

Huff Post’s senior military correspondent David Wood won a Pulitzer for national reporting for his 10-part series on the struggles of wounded American soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, “Beyond the Battlefield.”

Wood, 66 is not any Millennial Gen geek remixing multimedia assets or trawling Google News for trendy stories to repurpose for search engine optimisation. He was previously a Pulitzer finalist and has covered conflicts in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central America.

Wood’s piece was not aggregated from other sources around the Web. While his Pulitzer legitimises the aggressive Web-native editorial approach of Huff Post, it is important to remember the team of editors, proof-readers and reporters behind the high-calibre journalism of the series that typifies traditional print media.

We are delighted and deeply honored by the award, which recognizes both David’s exemplary piece of purposeful journalism and HuffPost’s commitment to original reporting that affects both the national conversation and the lives of real people…

…One of the core pillars of HuffPost’s editorial philosophy has been to use narrative and storytelling to put flesh and blood on data and statistics, and to help bear witness to the struggles faced by millions of Americans.

Arianna Huffington
President and editor-in-chief
Huffington Post Media Group.

Huffington says the site will continue doing multi-part series on big issues. It currently has 26 reporters working on a series on poverty in America.

Huff Post has differentiated itself from being only an aggregator to a site that has attracted eminent journalists and added them on top of its formula of sourced content. As Websites go, this editorial model makes smart business sense and is being emulated by newer sites, like Business Insider.

The real differentiator between old media and new is how we relate to and interact with our audience. We see it as setting the table for an ongoing discussion that we plan to stay on for a long time.

Timothy O’Brien
Executive editor of the Huff Post.

This year’s Pulitzers broke with tradition by honouring two primarily online publications, Politico and Huffington Post. The prizes were restricted to print newspapers until 2008 and now include text-based “online news sites,” as opposed to “online news magazines” or websites for TV or radio stations.

As the business of producing and consuming information offline shifts to online, no other industry is as vulnerable to disruption as journalism. This Pulitzer is an acknowledgment by the industry of the seismic shifts in digital journalism.

The easy narrative is that online news and blog sites have finally made it on the Internet, once a source for memes and cat videos. With the global jury still out on whether non-traditional news sites have finally arrived, a Pulitzer is surely a great nod to the great journalism thriving on the Web.

Reads
Some Suggestions for New Pulitzer Prizes
David Wood talks to Lean Back 2.0

Old Media Is Embracing Web Video April 2, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends, Web Video.
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Leading publishers, broadcasters, and advertisers are embracing Web video as the online visual news explosion impacts their business models.

At the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, Richard Tanner, senior producer of video at The New York Times, spoke on how the paper of record is adapting to new media by changing a corporate culture entrenched in print.

To learn how the NYT Web Video Unit started creating online original content in 2006, watch the full video below.

This session discusses how converging media technologies are redefining traditional distribution methods, how interactive and on-demand services are changing, and how entertainment and news video are being consumed on new platforms.

Moderator: Troy Dreier, Senior Associate Editor, StreamingMedia.com
Speaker: Richard Tanner, Senior Producer, Video, The New York Times
Speaker: Jeff Freund, VP, GM, Web Content Management Group, Limelight Networks
Speaker: Marco Parente, Sr. Product Manager, Video, The Nielsen Company
Speaker: Darren Feher, CEO, Conviva

Webcast: Be Better at Social Media March 7, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, Social Media.
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Join Columbia Journalism School and BlogTalkRadio in their timely webcasts about the changing media landscape.

Following a major New York Times article about the importance of learning social media, join writer Jennifer Preston (@NYT_JenPreston; she was the paper’s first social media editor) and Prof. Sree Sreenivasan (@sree; he’s a social-media blogger for CNET News) for a conversation about the importance of learning how to use social and digital media in smarter ways.

Be Better at Social Media 03/02 by ColumbiaJournalism | Blog Talk Radio.

What Facebook IPO Means February 2, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media.
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Get ready for the sharing economy with a new form of media – social networking. Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has finally taken his company public, filing papers for an initial public offering – through which anyone will be able to buy shares of the social networking company on an open stock exchange.

Facebook seeks to raise US$5 billion in the IPO that looks likely to be the largest by a Web company since Google in 2004 and could place the value of the social network as high as US$75 billion to US$100 billion.

We knew Facebook was big – you don’t get to 800 million users making over 100 billion connections with each other without making a few bucks. But until today, we didn’t know just how big. The filing revealed Zuckerberg earned a base salary of US$500,000 last year, more than triple the salary of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin when Google filed for its IPO.

Zuckerberg, now 27, famously started Facebook when he was a student at Harvard University in 2004. For those who have seen the movie “The Social Network,” the Zuckerberg juggernaut is continuing unabated. Just as Apple challenged Microsoft for software supremacy, Facebook now challenges Google for Web supremacy.

The two Web giants are at war over what Jeff Jarvis calls “signal generation” – the ability to get us to generate data about ourselves – who we are, where we are, what we like, whom we like, what we buy, what we want, what we know, what we want to know – so they can serve us more relevant and valuable content, services, and advertising.

While the default in society is still privacy and anonymity, Zuckerberg hopes to strengthen how people relate to each other and sees a future where things and value should be tied to our identity. Beyond Google and other net services, which “crawl the web” with algorithms to seek information, his master plan is a social networking platform that connects humans to generate data, information and knowledge in a sharing economy.

This new form of media will not only redefine the Web, change human relationships, create a new marketing landscape, and challenge Google, but it will now rescue and alter the economy itself. It will infiltrate markets, creating new opportunities for a peer-to-peer “social” economy to take root. So if you buy this, buy Facebook shares.

There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future.

The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

This is the full text of the letter Zuckerberg included to investors in his IPO filing.

Reads
The Death of the Cyberflâneur – NYT

Designing Games for Civic Action December 10, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, MIT5, Social Media, Trends.
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Some food for thought for designers, theorists, and activists on game design as insights, tools, and practices from gaming are increasingly integrated across different areas of life, leading to talk of the ‘gamification’ of everything – including civic media.

What are the possibilities of and challenges for civic games? Independent game designers, networks like Games for Change, and perhaps even major industry players are moving towards linking gameplay with realworld civic actions.

What is the state of play, and what is coming just over the horizon? In theorizing and developing civic games, what can we learn from games with civic content – as texts, processes, and points of community engagement? How can we understand game design itself as civic engagement, as communities become not only game players but increasingly also design, mod, develop, and critique games?

The age of e-mail is ending. A recent PEW study found that email is now the least used form of digital communication for young people, with 11% of teens engaging in daily email use. On the other hand, as of 2009, over half of teens were communicating daily via SMS, up almost 50% from 2006. For civic organizations, SMS open rates of texts are near 100%, whereas email open rates often hover between 5 – 15%.

Moving forward, organizations wishing to communicate effectively, especially with young people, must develop mobile strategies. What are the opportunities and limitations of SMS as a communication tool, particularly for driving user behavior?

This lunch talk at MIT will discuss learnings from some initial experiments designed to maximize engagement via SMS, as well as provide their insights into trends to watch for the coming years.

Webbys Honor the Best of Web 2011 June 18, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Convergence, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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The stars came out to celebrate the best of the Web at the 15th Annual Webby Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom! From the Red Carpet to the Show, see who shone at this year’s Webby Winners.

Through an innovative partnership with Facebook, fans were able watch this year’s ceremony, hosted by Lisa Kudrow, live on the Webby Awards official Facebook Page, as well as on participating partner pages including The Huffington Post, Martha Stewart, (RED), BuzzFeed, National Geographic and SportsNation.

On these pages, fans can now view the five-word acceptance speeches, backstage and red carpet footage and other special access footage from the live show.

About The Webby Awards

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps. Established in 1996, the 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: AOL, Vitamin T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Ford, Dentyne, Facebook, MLB Advanced Media, Rackspace Hosting, LBi, Buddy Media, (RED), YouTube, HP, USA Today, Financial Times, Business Insider, Geekosystem, 2advanced.Net, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Time Out New York and Guardian News and Media.

Related
The Webby Awards Channel – YouTube
The Webby Awards – Facebook
Webby Awards 2011 Winners

Reinventing Education for 21st Century March 11, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, News, Reviews, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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Digital anthropologist Michael Wesch has produced thought provoking videos using Creative Common licensed materials about the web, education and online communities. In ‘Rethinking Education’ he compiles sound bites of thought leaders (Tim O’Reilly, Yochai Benkler, Brewster Kahle, Ray Kurzweil, etc.) in describing how technology is altering mainstream education. Michael Wesch is professor at Kansas State University and was keynote speaker at Open Video Conference in New York in Oct 2010.

Egypt: Web Videos Spur Facebook Revolt February 12, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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Amid euphoric scenes on the streets of Egypt, it is clear that the Web is a potent catalyst of political change. As befits a revolution galvanized by social networking, the feeling on the streets is one of individual and collective empowerment as citizen videos show the historic moment, when Mubarak’s resignation as President of Egypt was announced at the hour of evening prayer.

This video shared by YouTube’s Citizen Tube through Twitter shows people at prayer in Tahrir Square holding off the celebration until it is finished before breaking into cheers.

Even though Mubarak has stepped down, the story of Egypt is not over, and neither is the work of cyber-activists. With the military now running the country, it is uncertain what level of digital freedom or online surveillance lies ahead.

Asmaa Mahfouz, a 26-year old Egyptian woman who began online political activism in 2008, is now credited for launching the video call that sparked the revolution. Mahfouz recorded the video below on January 18th, uploaded it to YouTube, and shared it on her Facebook. Within days, the video went viral:

Young people forwarded it on mobile phones – a communications tool that some 65 million Egyptians use. Soon after, the government blocked all mobile phone networks. This was not the first time a young activist used the Internet to mobilize, but it departed from the convenient anonymity of online activism.

Mahfouz is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, a group of young, Internet-savvy activists. Time will judge whether it is accurate to credit this one video and young woman with catalyzing the Egypt revolt. At the very least, her video advocacy captures the zeigeist of an important moment in history:

If Asmaa Mahfouz’s Web video captures the spirit of the political times, Egypt’s anti-Mubarak street movement found a hero to rally around in Wael Ghonim. The 30-year old Google marketing executive created an anonymous Facebook page, “We Are All Khaled Said” named in honor of a blogger beaten to death by police last summer.

The page, launched over six months ago, became a rallying point for demonstrations. What started as a campaign against police brutality grew into an online hub for young Egyptians to share their frustrations over the abuses of the Mubarak regime. Ghonim was detained for 10 days after starting the Facebook page.

The online organizing through Facebook, e-mail list serves and Google Docs that sprung out of it catalyzed cyber activists to collaborate on a kind of movement wiki that is being continually re-edited and improved upon by an expanding Web of contributors.

This is the revolution of the youth of the internet, which became the revolution of the youth of Egypt, then the revolution of Egypt itself.

Wael Ghonim

The Facebook page that Ghonim ran sounded the call for the initial protest on Jan. 25. As the page’s following approached 400,000 people, and word of the event spread, it hosted a constant stream of news, photos, and videos, downloadable fliers, and emotional entreaties for all Egyptians to join the push.

The active early participants in the “We Are All Khaled Said” community were young activists and dissident bloggers, many of whom knew one another and had been organizing against Mubarak’s policies for years. Emboldened by their cyber-purpose, activists took their collective confidence to the streets, giving each other the sense that they just might bend history on the ground.

Wikileaks Iraq War Logs October 24, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Web Video.
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Whistle blowing Website WikiLeaks has released nearly 400,000 pages of classified military logs chronicling the Iraq War, despite attempts by the Pentagon to stop the document dump. In the largest leak of its kind in US military history, the logs offer an incomplete, yet graphic portrait of one of the most contentious issues in the Iraq war — how many Iraqi civilians have been killed and by whom.

The documents themselves are known at the Pentagon as ‘SIGACTs,’ raw field reports chronicling “Significant Action” in the conflict as seen by U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq. The archive is the second cache obtained by Wikileaks and made available to news organizations.

Shedding new light on the war, the secret logs allegedly show the US ignored systemic abuse, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to news reports. Der Spiegel, Al-Jazeera News, The Guardian and Le Monde have been collaborating with WikiLeaks on the latest leak.

To search the Iraq documents, click here.
To view documents in an interactive map click here.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is ‘a hacker fighting for the freedom of information.’ At 39, the former journalist has built his life around an uncompromising quest for information. He has no home and travels the world with one bag containing his clothes, and another holding his computer. The Iraq papers is the latest stage in a life of action against vested interest.

Wikileaks’ operators and volunteers – five full-timers, and another 1,000 on call – are almost all anonymous. The intentions are laudable – to “allow whistleblowers and journalists who have been censored to get material out to the public.” Who will watch the watchdogs? The Web has its own wisdom, and the crowds will provide the needed context, analysis and background.

Wikileaks’ most high-profile previous success came with the release of a helicopter cockpit video that showed civilians shot in Baghdad. The publicity from video added US$1m to the group’s coffers and prompted more people to come forward with leaks of their own. Read more.

Related reads:
Iraq war logs: WikiLeaks v Washington
Wanted by the CIA: Julian Assange – Wikileaks founder
Wikileaks: How website shines light on world’s darkest secrets
Wikileaks: Web Censorship Won’t Work

Building Solutions for Human Rights Video October 8, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Web Video, YouTube.
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Webs@Work participated in a “ hack day ” at the 2010 Open Video Conference in New York City. We gathered t at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) on Sunday Oct 3 for an all-day open space gathering of innovators, HTML5 developers and transmedia storytelling experts. Some of the stuff we did:

– Make interactive HTML5 video with WebMadeMovies tech like popcorn.js
– Map a transmedia strategy for content
– Build a custom HTML5 player for Websites
– Create robust video sites with Kaltura CE 2.0 self-hosted software stack.

The hack lab was a follow up from the previous day’s workshop where we came up with three areas to cover: 1) Safety and Security 2) Distribution (including low/no bandwidth) 3) Data Driven Storytelling. Taking the ideas from the brainstorming, we sought to build prototyped mobile video solutions in response.

Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project led the really geeky part, using the built in facial recognition libraries in the Android platform to build a prototype of a mobile video tool for advocacy activists.

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/ricoloco/videos/em-in-ny-geeking-out-with-nathan/embed_view

Open Video Documentary Movement September 18, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Web Video.
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by Joanne KY Teoh

Check out Open Video Conference in New York City. – a summit/festival of ideas and activism by journalists, filmmakers, lawyers, academics, artists and entrepreneurs to explore the future of video on the web.

I’m leading a workshop Rapid Media Creation in Crisis, showcasing grassroots video advocacy at ground zero of the Asia tsunami, cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the Sichuan earthquake. My presentation draws on reportage, Beyond the Disaster News Template, that began with the Asian tsunami.

Open video is the idea that the moving image should belong to everyone. This vision requires not only free and open video technologies, but also that viewers are empowered to go beyond just watching–creating, sharing, and engaging in the multimedia public sphere they now inhabit.

The first Open Video Conference was host to over 800 guests, including 150 workshop leaders, panelists and speakers. Over 8,000 viewers tuned in from home to watch the live broadcast. The event earned coverage in WIRED, NewTeeVee, BBC News, Filmmaker Magazine, and The New Yorker.

This year, OVC is expanding. In addition to highlighting industry progress toward open video, OVC2010 will feature inspiring talks, hands-on workshops, technology working groups, film screenings, and much more. It is as much about the underlying technologies as the people and projects who use them.

A session to check out – Wendy Levy of Bay Area Video Coalition Director of Creative Programming hosts: The New Story-makers: Open Video Documentary Movement.

Synopsis:
More than ever before, international communities are empowered by DIY storytelling and the collective interest of a global public. Long form documentaries and investigative journalism provide a much-needed context for new story-driven technologies that directly support on-the ground movements.

Collaborative editing, crowd-sourced microfinancing, live video channels, robust mobile tools, hyperlocal citizen journalism, interactive data mapping and media-rich data archiving, augmented and virtual reality are all just a small part of an ongoing, realtime conversation that has transformed storytelling into open and collaborative storyMAKING. The process includes filmmakers, technologists, NGO leaders, advocates, journalists, philanthropists, bloggers, social entrepreneurs, and a diverse audience of authors.

In this session, you will hear from independent media makers, activists, and curators working on new projects at the core of this cultural and creative movement. It’s all on the table as we discuss exciting new directions and models for documentary and public media, changing roles for filmmakers, emerging tools for real impact, creative pathways to engage and collaborate with audiences.

Can these innovative projects that are leveraging emerging and participatory digital media technologies actually make a difference in the world? Is the new documentary movement, fueled by the digital revolution, empowering a generation of storytellers who don’t know their past?

News 2.0 the Facebook Way July 31, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends.
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Facebook has outlined best practices on how news organizations can connect with its user base as part of their social media strategies. The findings are the result of a study that examined Facebook use at news organizations such as CNN, The New York Times, and Univision.

After implementing various combinations of Facebook tools on their sites, referral traffic at ABC News jumped 190 percent. Referrals at Life were up by 130 percent, Scribd’s user registrations went up by 50 percent, and Dailymotion saw as many as 250,000 users engaged with a single video.

Facebook boasts 500 million active monthly users with average monthly time-on-site of seven hours. So integrating Facebook into your news site could translate into lots more traffic. Tools like Like buttons, Activity Streams and LiveStream can keep users clicking through stories on a site. And the Insights analytics tool provides valuable demographic information.

For a Facebook strategy customised to your news organization, contact the team at Sapphire Studios. Journalists can learn more about the techniques and discuss how to improve upon them at facebook.com/media. Here’s a snapshot of what you can do to merge news with social media:

Optimize the Like button

There’s a lot of power in those little Like buttons, both on the Facebook site and off. When a user clicks Like, that gesture is broadcast to all of his friends — on average, 130 people. Depending on how a site implements the button, clicking the like button may add a link to the user’s profile page and make the liked page discoverable in Facebook’s search system.

Anything on the Web is potentially Likable: a news story, an organization, or even a reporter. Crucially, once a user Likes a Facebook Page, the administrator of that Page gains the ability to push new content to that user’s Activity Stream. In essence, that single click is all that’s needed for users to opt-in to future messages — and if they don’t like your content, to opt back out.

Like buttons are easy to make and come in a variety of features and sizes, from tiny rectangles to full-featured iframes that include profile pictures and comment boxes. Facebook has found that “Like” buttons do best when they’re close to content that is both visually engaging and emotionally resonant, such as video.

In addition, full-featured Like buttons tend to do better than smaller ones. Adding faces of other Likers to the button and including Facebook comments increased the clickthrough rate from as low as zero up to 0.2 percent — comparable to the click-through rate of a banner ad. Because Facebook delivers this content to publishers’ sites through an iframe, only a small amount of code is necessary to implement the “deluxe model” Like buttons.

Tailor content specifically for Facebook users

Content matters on Facebook. Touching, emotional stories earned 2 to 3 times as many Likes as other stories, as did provocative debates. Sports stories tend to perform particularly well, with 1.5 to 2 times more engagement than the average.

With that knowledge, news organizations can identify stories likely to perform well on Facebook and push those stories through social channels such as Facebook Pages and Twitter. Publishers can even strategize around when they push this content. There’s a spike in Likes at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., so having fresh content at those times is crucial.

Deploy activity plugins on every page

Increasingly, news site home pages will be customized to users’ tastes and networks. On CNN’s home page, for example, an Activity Feed plugin shows users what their friends have Liked on the site. Publishers should set aside real estate on every page on their site for the Activity Feed and Recommendations plugins, which suggest relevant content to users.

Sites that placed the Activity Feed on both the front and content pages received 2-10x more clicks per user than sites with the plugins on the front page alone. Sites could use Facebook’s LiveStream plugin, a real-time chat box that gathers users in a conversation about live, breaking news. The plugin could be seen as a competitor to live-tweeting and live-blogging tools like CoverItLive.

Create separate pages for major events

For major stories that break over several days, some organizations increased engagement by creating a dedicated Facebook Page for that event. Stories published from a World Cup-focused Page of one major media company had 5x the engagement rate per user than stories from the company’s main Page.

Of course, that technique isn’t without some degree of risk. Publishers might worry about fragmenting their audience and losing viewers when an event is over. For example, after a flurry of wall posts, ESPN’s World Cup Page abruptly stopped posting on July 15. The 636,000 or so fans have continued to post to the wall, but with no response from ESPN, they are likely to lose interest.

Manage your many pages

Depending on the type of item that a user Likes (a person, a show, an article, and so forth), almost every Like button generates a new Page on Facebook. As more people click “Like,” publishers will need to organize and manage an ever-growing volume of Pages — some of which aren’t even visible to most users.

Facebook uses what are called “Dark Pages” to connect publishers to users. Invisible to everyone but administrators, Dark Pages represent pages on the Web that have been Liked but do not have a publicly visible Page on Facebook — for example, a single news article.

Publishers must place the Open Graph and Facebook tags such as and on each page of their site to identify the content. Then, once a publisher has claimed its page (dark or otherwise), it can publish new content to the Activity Streams of their Likers and examine Insights to learn more about their users’ demographics.

Publishers could wind up with thousands of Pages to monitor. There’s not a perfect method to manage that onslaught of Likable content, Kelly said, but he expected that solutions would emerge from Facebook’s outreach to publishers.

Turn status updates into infographics with the streamlined API

Just as newspapers invested in printing presses, online news divisions must now invest in software development. Facebook recognized that developing social tools can be confusing and resource-intensive, so the company recently streamlined its API – the clean, comprehensible data that developers can access from simple URLs such as http://graph.facebook.com/markzuckerberg.

Facebook’s new API is structured around objects and connections, just like the user experience on the site itself. It can be used to generate innovative visualizations like the New York Times’ visualization of soccer players’ popularity. In addition, Facebook has developed a more robust search tool, which can be used to find content from public status updates, not just people. Journalists could use the tool to gauge community interest in a story or to find new sources.

Facebook has also streamlined its authorization process, implementing OAUTH 2.0, which offers improved scalability and ease-of-use. For users, authorizing applications is now a single-click process, rather than having to click through one dialogue after another. For publishers, that translates into smoother engagement with users.

Social networks — particularly Facebook — are quickly becoming a key way to learn about breaking news, a phenomenon that Facebook is only too happy to embrace. The recently released research is just a foundation for what Osofsky hopes will be a long-term collaboration with media partners.

Anyone involved with news — journalists, editors, software developers – do visit facebook.com/media to learn about Facebook’s engagement with the news industry, to share ideas, and to contribute to the emerging practice of integrating social tools with journalism.

Excerpted from findings by Facebook Developer Network engineers Justin Osofsky and Matt Kelly at a Hacks/Hackers meetup.

iPad, I write, I paint, I am June 11, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Reviews, Trends.
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Guest post by Michael Ryan Chan in Paris

Print is dying. Bin the dregs of a medium based on dead trees. Good riddance! Once upon a time, book romanticists like me would have shed tears over this capitulation to pixelation. But Apple has bestowed on us a work of art that will redefine our own artistry. Tempted, I took my bite of Apple’s masterpiece at the Louvre in Paris. Voila!

iPad’s minimalist interface – no keyboard or mouse – just direct interaction with documents, is just the device I’ve been waiting for. Let reading begin anew. At once art and utility, this platform to create and consume rich-content stands among icons of engineering design like the Eiffel Tower:

At last, a life of the mind, entirely on dazzling screens, ergonomic keyboards, and blistering modems. Now I paint anew with my fingers on a tablet, tell stories with a tactility in ways unimagined and doodle with touchscreen brushes. I am artist, writer, sculptor – unmediated – all at once. iPad, I am:

It is not easy not to gush at this storytelling device with the bright beautiful screen. Its “frameless window” has already raised the interactive stories I create to a new level. And it will change how I do journalism with its immersive potential, its platform for rich multimedia, and its ability to deliver information based on where it is in the world. I am in good company with David Hockney, iPriest of art:

Famous for his pool paintings set in Los Angeles, the British pop artist has swapped paintbrush to create artwork on iPad. Hailing the device as a new art tool, Hockney sees a transformative effect:

The iPad is far more subtle, in fact it really is like a drawing pad. They will sell by the million. David Hockney

To understand why the iPad is so exciting, we have to think about how we got here since printed books and painted pictures. Historically we have not read long-form text or viewed images on screens. With iPad, we can define when content should be printed or digitized.

This conversation is just beginning for publishers, Web masters, content creators, authors and designers. For people who love beautifully made things. For storytellers willing to take risks and consider the best shape and media for their yarns:

Web 3.0 Make News Worth More June 2, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Reviews, Social Media, Trends.
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The Web has evolved from a tangle of text to a database capable of understanding its own content. As Web 3.0 or the semantic Web gets smarter, it’s possible for news publishers to improve the value and shelf life of news with rich metadata.

Web 3.0 can be used as a strategy for enabling communication between independent databases on the Web. For example, the wealth of data in databases at Amazon, the Environmental Protection Agency, Twitter and Wikipedia don’t know anything about one another. So there’s no way to answer questions like, “What is the impact of pollution on population?” or “What do people tweet about on smoggy days?”

News publishers can use the semantic Web to monetize content, engage users and launch new products because news articles lie between fleeting tweets and durable journals, and thus have the most potential to grab and retain readers.

Metadata improves reader engagement by linking together related media. For news users, that means more context on each story and a more personalized experience. For advertisers, it means better demographic data than ever before.

OpenCalais, a Thomson Reuters tool can examine any news article, understand what it’s about, and connect it to related media. This is more than a simple keyword search. OpenCalais extracts “named entities,” analyzing sentence structure to determine the topic of the article. It is able to understand facts and events.

The real magic happens when the databases come together, such as when the BBC wanted to create a comprehensive resource for information about bands. By merging its own information with entries from Wikipedia and MusicBrainz, the BBC created a website that seems to know everything about music.

Related read
How the Semantic Web Can Connect News

Pulitzer first for Web Journalism May 5, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends.
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Web news organisations have for the first time won Pulitzer Prizes, one of journalism’s most prestigious awards.

A journalist writing in a collaboration between non-profit online news service ProPublica and the New York Times magazine won a Pulitzer for investigative reporting. The report was about the urgent life-and-death decisions made by doctors at a New Orleans hospital in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

jo_propublica

ProPublica is funded by charitable foundations, staffed by veteran journalists, and focuses on investigative journalism many newspapers have found too expensive. It offers its stories to traditional news organizations, free.

ProPublica’s model represents a mode of journalism that will become increasingly influential, as fewer resources for investigative journalism remain available at the disposal of news outlets.

Sig Gissler, Pulitzer Prize administrator

An entirely online entry won in the category of cartooning for the first time. The Pulitzer was given to Mark Fiore, for his self-syndicated animated cartoons that appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle website. His cartoons can be seen on his Website here.

Fiore’s biting wit, extensive research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for an emerging form of commentary.

Pulitzer Prize board

The Pulitzer Board also recognized the way newspapers are branching out with new media. The Seattle Times employed Twitter and e-mail alerts to help inform readers about a deadly shooting, and used the social media tool Google Wave to encourage reader participation.

The Washington Post won the most Pulitzers, amassing four for its work in Feature Writing, Commentary, Criticism, and International Reporting.

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded annually by Colombia University to honour the best in US literature, journalism and music.