Category Archives: social media

Entrevista sobre o Buzz

Fui recentemente entrevistado para uma reportagem sobre o Buzz, publicada no Sábado passado no Diário Económico. Aqui fica o integral das respostas que dei. Aviso já que não estou nada entusiasmado com o GoogleBuzz, parece-me um FriendFeed a esteróides, com todos os efeitos que os esteróides criam.

A reportagem foi feita pela Ângela Marques

Surpreendeu-o que a Google decidisse lançar um produto que, aos olhos possivelmente mais desatentos, parece uma cópia do Facebook?

Acho que a Google tem estado atenta à evolução do Facebook, e ao aumento da sua influência. O Facebook agrega mais de 400 milhões de utilizadores, e é neste momento a maior fonte de informação para os seus utilizadores, ultrapassando largamente o Google News, por exemplo.  A Google já tinha investido nas redes sociais, com o Orkut, de grande sucesso no Brasil mas pouco mais, e com o Jaiku, que acabou por ser descontinuado, por isso não me surpreende que eles tenham tentado algo diferente. Mas não acho que o Buzz se assemelhe ao Facebook, mas mais ao Friendfeed.

Encontra alguma originalidade no Buzz? Qual?

Confesso que não tenho experimentado muito com o Buzz, mas de original não tem nada, o Wave tem mais interesse e um maior factor de inovação do que o Buzz, pelo que percebi até agora. A vantagem do Buzz é trabalhar com a rede existente de contactos do utilizador, que normalmente é grande para os utilizadores do Gmail, ou seja, parte de uma rede já criada, em embrião por assim dizer, e cria alguma dinâmica entre os vários membros. Mas de resto não encontro nada de verdadeiramente original, para já.

Acha-o uma rede social apelativa? Mais apelativa do que as que já existem?

Não acho apelativa, porque nem é muito intuitiva para quem nunca usou o Frienfeed, por exemplo, e essa já era pouco apelativa para o público em geral, que preferiu primeiro o Twitter e depois o Facebook. Mas acho que o Buzz é um investimento da Google para centralizar toda a nossa actividade online em volta dos seus produtos, onde o nosso perfil Google terá um papel importante.

Ainda há espaço para o Buzz?

Há espaço enquanto houver utilizadores, as dinâmicas nas redes sociais não são previsíveis, e daqui a uns meses pode surgir um FAcebook killer, depende muito dos utilizadores a quem apelar, e das diferentes funcionalidades que apresentar no futuro. A Google o ano passado apresentou uma alternativa ao Second Life e depois descontinuou o projecto apesar de ter alguma aceitação, por isso depende também muito da vontade que eles têm em forçar a criação de um espaço.

Tem ideia (terá lido nalgum sítio) de quantos utilizadores tem já o Buzz?

excerto

Não faço a mínima ideia, para mais sabendo que todos os utilizadores do Gmail são potenciais Buzzers, mas sei que tem gerado interesse: foi criado um website dedicado a tentar perceber onde é que o Buzz pode melhorar, e logo no primeiro dia teve sete mil participações. Por isso utilizadores não faltam, vamos a ver se a actividade irá corresponder. É um produto que já tem clientes, agora se o usam ou não é o que se vai ver no futuro.

Que qualidades e defeitos lhe aponta?

Os defeitos que tenho ouvido de alguns utilizadores é que não é intuitivo, e houve problemas com a privacidade dos contactos logo nos primeiros dias. Além disso sobrecarrega o Gmail, o que levou muita gente a procurar saber onde é que desactivava o Buzz. Mas o pior defeito, daquilo que que conheço até agora, é que na realidade não traz nada de novo.

Podem ler aqui a reportagem completa. Partilhem as vossas ideias sobre o Buzz na caixa de comentários.

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Parte2.pdf

news:rewired – how to make money

James Fryer, from SoGlos.com
This is  post number four on the news:rewired conference. You can read the posts one, two and three too.

The final session of news:rewired was dedicated to the ugly side of the future of journalism: how to make money, why journalists are not making money, law and copyright, audiences and advertising. This was stuff journos never had to think about, but that they should consider in their everyday practice, so they can make it financially sustainable. But the trick to be successful is the same as before: be one of the best.

The first speaker of the panel was James Fryer, one of the founding editors of SoGlos.com, the hyperlocal online magazine for Gloucestershire. I had already met James and his associate Michelle Byrne when they sat next to me during the morning sessions, and we got to talk about we should be networking more during the breaks. They we’re really nice, and as someone who developed an experimental hyperlocal website, i was interested in what they had to say.

Fryer gave us the top do’s and don’ts for a hyperlocal venture, and i’d like to highlight a few of his ideas.  He was one of the people who pointed out the obvious characteristic for any successful endeavor: be great. Without being great you’ll never stand out, and gain trust and respect from your audience and your advertisers. Besides that basic principle, you must know where you stand commercially, what is your market and it’s needs, and who could be your allies. But don’t forget to remain true to your starting idea, keep your editorial integrity. I’d like to see some of the major news outlets following some of these principles…

SoGlos was victim of some plagiarism, and the next speaker talked about just that. Caroline Kean is a lawyer, and she adressed some of the problems that affect online journalism, like copyright and privacy. She debunked the myth that if it’s on the web it’s free, and that companies should be careful about the misuse of costumers data. These are relevant questions that would suffice to organize a conference on it’s own. She was followed by Ben Heald,  “CEO of Sift Media, a leading business-to-business publisher specialising in online, interactive professional communities.” What i got from Heald’s speech was that pay walls will fail, and that money will come from niche communities that will pay for specific contents. I remember i liked his presentation, but i don’t have many notes about it. Probably it’s because he was stating something that was obvious for me, but that still hasn’t reached some minds.

Maybe me forgetting about Ben Heald’s presentation was Greg Hadfield‘s fault. The man has an incredible life story, and recent events in his professional course still put him in the game changers group. He delivered this simple yet powerful idea: journalists must act as entrepreneurs. This involves passion and vision, and one activity can’t be separated from the other. He said that when he was a journalist he never thought about advertising, it was “the stuff that made your article shorter”. Now it’s time to be entrepreneurial, since the face of the industry has changed forever. Adam Tinworth sums up some of Hadfield’s ideas here.

I must confess i was awfully tired by then, and a bit frustrated because i was looking around and recognizing some people from my twitter timeline and hadn’t networked with them live. Besides, wifi didn’t work for me and i had to sit offline the whole day, which put me in a state of deprivation close to a certified addict. But after this we had the End of Conference Drinks! More about that in the next post.

4iP : “We are not charity”

Tom Loosemore shows the map to 4iP strategy
Tom Loosemore shows the map to 4iP strategy

Channel 4 has been investing in digital platforms and products, not to transfer television onto the web, but to create new products that engage audiences online, through the 4iP program. Their new media Commissioners came to Birmingham to share what they’re doing and what are their plans for the future. And that involves other people’s ideas. Your ideas.

Mobile apps, gaming, native online content, social media, networks, collaboration: these are not the thoughts you’d expect from a TV channel. But Channel 4 has a different approach. They created the 4 Innovation for Public (4iP) fund, to deliver publicly valuable content and services on digital media platforms with significant impact and in sustainable ways. And sustainability is a huge issue for them. “We are not charity”, said Tom Loosemore, head of 4iP, but they are willing to invest part of their 20 million pounds budget to “support bigger, bolder projects”.

They are already supporting a few in the West Midlands, like Help me Investigate, Yoosk, Talk About Local, the place they described as the “hottest spot to be in the country” regarding new media. If you want to know how to propose a project to 4iP, just keep on reading. Many of the minds that got together this Tuesday at the Austin Court, left feverishly plotting their proposals.

Embarrassing Bodies and the Battlefront

First let’s take a look at they’ve been doing so far. Louise Brown, head of Cross Platform commissioning, explained that digital platforms “allow to increase the depth of impact with audiences”. Their TV show Embarrassing Bodies was divided into clips for screening on the computer or cell phones, to make all of the medical information more useful and accessible. Interaction is also a big deal for them. In their online drama “Hollyoaks”, the mainly teen audience had a chance to interact with the actors. Brown said that younger audiences “tend to expect and demand more”, and creating engagement is a huge part of that relationship.

“We want to focus on what the audience needs” and their needs for 2010 revolve around health, comedy and news, the three top goals they want to tackle next year. “We’re looking to hear from designers, production companies”, anyone who can provide “more innovation”, and that is what Louise Brown expects to be funded by the 3 million budget of the Cross Platform.

Innovation is also a keyword for Matt Locke, who’s in charge of the Education projects at 4iP. He defined his work in three simple steps: get attention, keep attention and add value. “We try to reach teens in their streams” and they navigate on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube. These networks filter the content for them, so Matt Locke defended that they have to “go out where the teens are”, to get their attention. After that, they must build a relationship, allowing them to express their views in comments, polls or other forms of participation. It’s that kind of engagement that adds value to the contents produced by them. He gave the example of “Battlefront”, a show about 20 young campaigners defending their cause with the help of online users. “Some of the campaigners had phenomenal responses”, and it showed that a lot has to be learned about how to combine video with online networks.

Networks are important, but gaming is one of the top priorities at the Education department. They even have a game about networking called “Smokescreen”, but their biggest success is the  “1066” flash game (related to the historical drama series with the same name) that averaged 250.000 plays per week, with users playing it for more than 20 minutes, in a total of 7 million players, most of them outside UK. According to Locke, they have been two years into this strategy, and the next item in their list is widgets, apps that sit within social networks, and more games. It’s all about the interaction, the relationships and debate.

Make some trouble

Tom Loosemore, head of 4iP, laid down the values of the company for us: “Doing it first; inspire changes in people’s lives; making trouble in public interest”. But if you want to approach them with an idea, your product must be sustainable. And that is not all, it has to be innovative, and since one of their key objectives is “to explore new business models”, all of the advertising supported projects are promptly sent to the bin. What you must consider is if your idea has “a center of gravity around participation and collaboration?”

He showed us some of the projects that stand for the company’s values: Mapumental, a project about commuting; AudioBoo, that was effectively used during the G20 protests in London, with people reporting from the frontlines using their iPhones; and MyBuilder, something he called as “consumer protection for the 21st century”. Tom Loosemore also enhanced another aspect to take into account:  “People’s media habits are fragmenting” and it’s harder to introduce people to great contents they don’t know about. “Discoverability” is the word, which is translated by helping users “bump into stuff they like” integrating Facebook and Twitter into the aggregated content of 4OD. “You can see what your friends are watching and talking about.”

For Tom Loosemore there’s an effective way to get a project running: build them quick and dirty and get them on the internet. If you want to submit your project you must remember that it has to be sustainable. “We are a business”, he emphasizes, but he is also looking forward for people willing to take risks. “It’s not about funding, but stimulating products” and if they can cause a stir, even better. They are looking for projects that fall under value number 3 (make some trouble) holding power to account, but they are also interested on Health and Wellbeing, Comedy and Arts.

But he warns that at the 4iP proposals website “people fail in the very first box: what do users need?”

Do you have the answer?

#HD09 – Hello Digital

Today will be busy, i’ll be attending Hello Digital, the West Midlands media festival, here in Birmingham. Innovation is the keyword, but also creativity and commercial success. Yesterday i heard the 4iP head manager say the West Midlands are “the hottest spot to be in the country”, when it comes to digital media. I believe he’s right.

I expect to write about this later, but you can follow the conference at Millenium Point via livestream. Check the official website or follow the #hd09 tag on Twitter.

Hoje vai ser um dia em cheio, vou assistir ao Hello Digital, o festival de media das West Midlands aqui em Birmingham. A palavra chave é inovação, mas também criatividade e sucesso comercial. Ontem ouvi o director do 4iP dizer que as West Midlands são “o local mais excitante do país” no que diz respeito aos media digitais. Eu acho que ele tem razão.

Espero escrever sobre isto mais tarde, mas podem seguir a conferência no Millenium Point via livestream. Vejam também o site oficial ou seguir a tag #hd09 no Twitter.

#SocialMedia: for the people | para o povo

Chris Pinchen shows Copons 2.0 | Chris Pincher mostra Copons 2.0
Chris Pinchen shows Copons 2.0 | Chris Pincher mostra Copons 2.0

Yesterday we had Chris Pinchen for a small conversation about how social media is perceived and used in different countries. Living in Catalunya for 16 years now he has a privileged viewpoint, since the social media habits are different there.

One example he gave was the Copons 2.0 project, which is, simply put, a small village engaged with the local administration via social media. The people of Copons use Facebook not only to connect beyond everyday life with each other, but also with people from other vilages around. They also follow the meetings of the village council live online, and participate in the debate.

According to Ricard Espelt, the project manager, “the idea is that the user or citizen participates in the management of the administration, and  the politicians, us in this case, are  obliged to be accountable for the decisions we take and, in this way, the citizen has very direct contact with us, and we have to give answers about the decisions we take.”

Is this really power to the people? Have your say in the comments.

Ontem estivemos com o Chris Pinchen para uma curta conversa sobre como os media sociais são vistos e usados em países diferentes. A viver na Catalunha há 16 anos, ele tem uma perspectiva privilegiada, já que os hábitos lá são diferentes.

Um exemplo que ele deu foi o projecto Copons 2.0, que, basicamente, é uma aldeia ligada à administração local através dos media sociais. O povo de Copons não só usam o Facebook para se ligarem uns aos outros para além do dia-a-dia, mas também com pessoas dos arredores. Eles também seguem as reuniões da junta de freguesia ao vivo online, e participam no debate.

Segundo Ricard Espelt, o criador do projecto, “a ideia é fazer com que o utilizador ou o cidadão participe na gestão da administração, e os políticos, nós neste caso, são obrigados a prestar contas pelas decisões que tomamos, e desta forma, o cidadão tem um contacto muito directo connosco, e temos que dar respostas pelas decisões que tomamos.”

Isto será realmente o poder para o povo? Dêem as vossas opiniões nos comentários.

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