The Path from Journalism to Opinion.

New Matilda has announced it is folding due to a lack of funds. I’m saddened for the people involved and I will miss its often amusing and sometimes incisive opinions. Although some (readers -rather than insiders) are already calling for a funding campaign- I wonder if it is simply too much of a struggle to continually crowd-source the finance to keep it going – and perhaps, completely beside the point. There is an acknowledgment here of a failed business model rather than a failed media project – there is a big difference NewMatilda was a commercial concern – love alone will not float the boat.

I’m intrigued by the fact that this form of pro-blogging has been adopted by all the major newspapers to varying degrees (The Drum, The National Times amongst others). I wonder if this is just one more crystal in the seemingly glacial move toward the realisation among various content industries that you can’t sell what is freely given. I’m not talking about Journalism- this rise of the pro-opinion-blog hasn’t tried to sell ‘Journalism-as-we-knew -it’ – I’m talking about attention. In this sense the fold of successful and entertaining pro-opinion-blogs like New Matilda doesn’t bode well for an industry that has lazily and tardily decided to meet newmedia way more than halfway down the path that leads from newspapers to the blogs. I’m not advocating a return to some mythical past of industrial economy journalism – but more creative experimentation based on an analysis of the functions Journalism served, afforded, and realised in the industrial age and how they might translate to new media economics. I’m vaguely thinking about the the Guardian’s Open Platform as one form of relatively radical (and it don’t take much relatively speaking) rethinking and experimentation of the newspaper as the engine for a co-dependent implication of attention/news.

Of course the implications extend well beyond the news sector…are you listening academy?

Come gather round people wherever you roam....

From designobserver via found -would love to work with light

AAAA Visuals -Ars Electronica from Aaron on Vimeo.

flowpi 2 from Jonathan McCabe on Vimeo.

Social Media, Marketing, and the Vitality of the Network. (Part 1/2)

This is adapted from an edited discussion opened my Mark Pesce; Futurist, media networker, and commentator after I (amongst others) objected to the Social media strategy employed by Australian telecommunications company, Telstra, in the promotion of their service offering the HTC Desire mobile phone.

In short the strategy involved a ‘competition’ to take part in a social review process – the entrants/applicants were then screened for both the quantity and quality of their ‘social graph’ with the 25 deemed most suitable by Telstra given a HTC Desire and thus employed to ‘review’ (comment on in Blogs and on twitter/facebook) the product over a period of two weeks. All reviewers were asked to disclose their interest and to be honest in their appraisals. I’ve extended this engagement substantially to take in some more of my thought on the subject of professionalism, marketing, and public relations in the social media space. I’ve also edited what was originally a comment to remove some of the now out of context interpersonal banter.

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Social Media, Marketing, and the Vitality of the Network. (Part 2/2)

It is useful to think through what other ways corporate and interest voices might speak in social spaces….it’s an interesting conundrum and a minefield for any interest (corporate or otherwise) and/or author. For me its interesting once we understand the corporate as just another form of interest voice – what I am saying here applies to any interest that would employ social networks to develop their own social graph. For me this is now more than simply a question of the commercialisation of the social (although that is a big reason I entered the discussion) – its about how we connect and communicate in this new space effectively and how we might build vital cultures within these spaces.

In addition to what I’ve written on Mark’s blog and posted above.:

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determinedly happy spanners

no truck with expression

A sound artist – i can’t remember who- in describing his work proclaimed he ‘had no truck with expression’. I like that. Anything good i ever did somehow escaped intent…

Expression often stops me from producing anything. There is a sort of arrogance there. That someone will be moved enough to care either way…

The world doesn’t need expression-Is there a writing that isn’t the expression of a need- the need to be valued, the need to connect, the need to organise, to revolutionise, to focus, to prohibit, to communicate, to be read or written.

can writing be accidental?
could it matter?