2011 was a big year for news—from the Arab Spring uprisings to the debt-ceiling meltdown, to quakes, floods hurricanes and the Republican presidential smackdown. Fortunately, the year also saw the emergence of a new approach to presenting breaking news—reported aggregation, a form that offers the chance of a truce in the battle over original reporting vs. aggregation (aka Bill Keller vs. Arianna Huffington). Reported aggregation blends curation, social media, and traditional, pick-up-the-phone-or-hit-the-streets reporting to deliver up-to-the-minute coverage of breaking news and, increasingly, ongoing coverage of in-depth stories. Successes include Andy Carvin's breathtaking Twitter feed, which combines you-are-there retweets with crowdsourced verification and original contributions, is one example; Mother Jones' highly popular explainers, which Nieman Labs called "a fascinating fusion between a liveblog and a Wikipedia page;" HuffPo's and Slate's ongoing experiments with curation/reporting blends; and more. In this session, we'll look at what makes this form so successful, share ideas and best practices, review tools that will work for even the most tech-hating hack, and discuss the potential of reported aggregation as a new gold standard for breaking news.
In the past, an editor, a professional trained to vet content for a publication decided what you consumed. Today, content is vetted by our friends, celebrities, and strangers we've 'liked', followed, or circled. Influence over who shares what, how often it is shared, and eventually what shows up in search is the holy Grail for anyone who wants their content to be consumed: news organizations, PR professionals, marketers, bloggers, and more. We will discuss where this is leading us, what we can do to make sure we get information we "need to know," and how that information/content is
prioritized and weighted by trust.
The Internet today consists of a morass of partial and redundant content: the ~17m businesses and POI in the US, for example, are duplicated over 1.2 billion website across over 5 million domains. This tangle of duplicate, fragmentary, and often incorrect information ensures that unequivocally identifying a person, place or thing on the Internet will always be a challenge. The members of this panel are working to fix this, and will discuss their projects in the Library, Government, and Big Data sectors to create an Internet where real-world people, places, and things can be referenced unambiguously. It focuses on pragmatic, real-world examples: the panelists from Factual, the Sunlight Foundation, Jetpac, and the Internet Archive each highlight their specific experiences in creating platforms and apps that identify and disambiguate individual entities across applications and verticals, and describe both the pitfalls and benefits of working towards an Internet of Entities.
In the beginning, there was Slate's beloved news roundup, “Today’s Papers.” Then, in 2001, The Week magazine landed in the States with great success and pioneered the art of news and opinion curation in print. But it wasn’t until the Huffington Post crashed the party, generating huge traffic with dozens of rewritten stories from other sources every day, that "aggregation" became a dirty word, and critics began calling it theft. Join top media writers and the trailblazers of aggregation for a conversation
about the art of filtering and curating other organizations’ content, and where this editorial model fits into the new media landscape. Decide for yourself: aggregation—friend or foe?
Will ________ save journalism? It’s a typical, and tired, question with everything from paywalls, iPads, programmers or hyperlocal, microlocal, over-aggregation filling in the blank. But the subject of design is often absent from these conversations. Why? Design is one of the most crucial ingredients; it’s the glue between intent and engagement, between content and comprehension. Yet news design on the web feels stagnant. From the perspective of designers in the newsroom trenches, where the headlines meet the HTML, we want to look at design’s successes and failures and examine what’s next for this still nascent field. We look forward to the input of many voices before, during and after this session. Let us know what you think.
Writing is never going to die. Crafting thoughts into clear and useful communication is always going to be important online. But aspiring writers these days would be smart to enhance their skill set to include online video production. As online journalism evolves into video, writers have a new career opportunity: translating their journalism skills into strong online video production.
This panel will feature some of the best online video producers out there who can share their insights in this nascent field and discuss how to make the jump from writer to video producer. What's worked? What hasn't? What skills are needed most? How many people should be on a video production team? What types of online video work best, and how and where do people see them? How can good online video support media sites and tell a different yet unique perspective.
The Internet has made everyone a publisher. Even brands are now doing what used to solely be the domain of media companies: creating compelling content. Great content is being used to gain fans, inform customers and increase exposure on the Internet. This panel will discuss the principles of successful viral content - whether articles, infographics or videos and how companies can apply these to branded content. And we're talking about more than just slapping your logo on a pie chart. We'll discuss how to get started, measure results and set goals, as well as the importance of a consistent strategy. You've heard the phrase "content is king" over and over again; this panel will show how and why.
by Brandon Holley and Pam McCarthy
For magazine editors today, the delivery of digital content is an undeniable reality, and a terrific opportunity. Digital platforms–the web, tablets, and mobile–allow editors to take their magazines to places they’ve never been before. In this conversation, Lucky Editor-in-Chief, Brandon Holley, and The New Yorker’s Deputy Editor, Pamela Maffei McCarthy, will explore the new magazine landscape. How do editors make the leap from print magazines to multi-platform brands? Holley and McCarthy will explore the evolution of the editorial process –from article choice and presentation to workflow issues to the role of social media—as well as the changes in their audiences’ expectations. Holley, formerly Editor-in-Chief of Jane magazine who also launched Yahoo! Shine, has extensive experience working primarily for younger brands as well as digital environments. McCarthy first worked on reconceiving iconic titles for new eras as Managing Editor of Vanity Fair and Executive Editor of Esquire.
On Thursday, June 2, 2011, LulzSecurity.com registered for CloudFlare — a service designed to make any website faster and more secure. One hour after they registered, they published 3.5 million usernames and passwords allegedly stolen from Sony Pictures' website.
For the next three weeks, LulzSec claimed to hack organizations ranging from the CIA, to the US Senate, to the Arizona Immigration Police. In the meantime, law enforcement, cyber vigilantes, and rival hackers worked to unmask LulzSec and launch major attacks of their own to knock LulzSecurity.com offline. CloudFlare watched it all from the heart of the crossfire.
We've received permission from LulzSec to tell exactly what it's like to be one of the most notorious hacking groups of all time and how to keep your site online when the whole world is trying to shut you down. This is the inside story.
The scientific method revolutionized the world of truth-seeking. Yet journalism - which, like science, seeks truth - is far less rigorous. We’ll walk through why this gap has led to record levels of distrust in journalism, and why journalism that’s replicable, trackable, and reviewable can help to restore that trust.
To be clear, journalism isn't science. It's got tight deadlines and other limits on its ability to gather evidence, no peer review, and often, very little that resembles methodology. But online tools and new reporting techniques are enabling journalists to be much more scientific in their methods.
From the rise of database journalism, which adds empirical rigor to narrative journalism’s fog of anecdotes, to the emergence of accountability projects that permit tracking and peer review over time, we’ll outline a system of news that can help us better discern the truth amid a rising onslaught of information. We’ll focus our session on identifying solutions and painting a vivid and inspiring picture of what journalism can become.
The big dilemma for digital news publishing platforms is how to balance what people “want” to know with what people “need” to know. Most algorithms learn readers’ news consuming habits but have no ability to predict people’s interests when the next tsunami strikes. Likewise, publishers around the world are learning their assumptions of how, when and where people want their news are all wrong. For example, tablets have given a second life to long-form reading, thought to be dead because of the move towards shorter stories online. We will discuss the right formula for news publishers – both platforms and news media companies – to help them define the content they push to readers. We will examine readers' wants, needs and desires based on their consumption patterns, or touch points: when, where and how they want to get their news and how to create the right mix of news offerings to satisfy a reader that has more choices – and more control over those choices – than ever. And we will discuss the topic of serendipity: how to accurately predict interests ahead of time without missing something important, fascinating or plain interesting that’s out of people’s favorite topics. Panel includes executives from Pulse, Evri and Hearsay plus experienced media observers.
by Peter Meyers
Some ebooks are print edition replicas, some are overstuffed mediafests. Neither fulfill one of screen publishing’s biggest promises: adapting content to meet readers’ needs. The digital page can do much more than its “dumb” static counterpart. Possibilities range from memory-coaxing character summaries embedded “beneath” the digital canvas to continuously streamed in updates. Join author Pete Meyers (“Breaking the Page”, O’Reilly) for a lively group chat. He’ll kick off with a fast-paced tour of digital document design principles and best practices. From there he’ll help attendees compare modern readers’ most pressing needs to the kinds of just-in-time services digital books can deliver. Together we’ll swipe away the notion that digital book design is just about picking fonts or adding video. It’s about shaping content on an infinite canvas so that ebook readers become ebook lovers.
Online culture, unlike any other medium, was mostly created by people dicking around. Fake Twitter accounts, single-topic blogs, microsites, image macros, even 4chan trolls are building a rich, constantly evolving creative tradition by subverting tools meant for more serious purposes.
Learn about the often-inscrutable online creative process from internet around-dickers and the people who study them. Learn how to do this stuff yourself, for fun, for money or to improve the world (with fun and money).
J-Lab counts more than 1,200 entrepreneurial news start-ups around the country. Placeblogger counts 4,000-plus placeblogs. These sites often get bad raps from traditional media for being the equivalent of unlicensed drivers behind the wheels of quasi-journalistic enterprises, trafficking in rumors and opinion. Yet many are trying to do the right things, tip-toeing through pay-to-play pressures from advertisers, navigating the reporting of locals' minor infractions, sunsetting search-engine tidbits, and fielding partisan accusations from political candidates. A corps of entrepreneurs is developing new codes of rights and wrongs.
Reviews are so Web 2.0 – the next generation of crowdsourcing goes well beyond a simple user-generated review. But, how can companies utilize the power of the crowd to build content and, ultimately, their business? Does the power of the crowd still have value in today’s web and mobile economy? What kind of information can be mined, and what results can realistically be expected from content supplied by users? Crowdsource experts will discuss the pros and cons of crowdsourcing and the types of content that can be solicited and mined from users, which can help alleviate overall business costs, and cover the possible business implications of relying on crowdsourced information.
by Rick Schwartz and Tom Perry
Over the past decade, we’ve seen consumers opt for digital downloads over the almost-extinct CD. In 2010, CD sales suffered a 20 percent decline for the fourth year in a row, with digital downloads garnering a 13 percent increase. With the proliferation of new cloud storage services and music streaming solutions (e.g., iCloud, Amazon, Pandora, etc.), we are now seeing another shift in the way music is consumed. With these new services that offer anytime, anywhere access to music content, will the once-revered digital download be the 8-track of the future?
This “Core Conversation,” led by PacketVideo’s content manager, Tom Perry, will offer a platform for attendees to discuss the future of music consumption. Participants will be prompted to offer opinions and insight into how this shift away from digital downloads will impact the music industry as a whole, and how new music services will foster the consumer need for anytime, anywhere access to music.
by Keith Plocek
Placing the letters "NSFW" on an article is supposed to tell people to keep away unless they're browsing from home, but seasoned web producers know those four letters usually bring in more readers than they'll ever turn away. Nudity for the sake of nudity is something else entirely (hint: it's porn), but burlesque shows, adult conventions, nudist colonies, performance art and the porn industry are all valid subjects of journalistic inquiry -- there just happen to be lots of naked people there too. This talk will explore the unique issues facing bloggers and photographers who cover NSFW events.
9th–13th March 2012