I wrote this article about Bundlr, a new curation tool ready to be launched created by two young Portuguese developers. In their words:
Bundlr is a new and free tool for online curation: clipping, aggregation and sharing web content easily.
We’re afoot with an information overload. New sources and mediums are emerging and each specialist is finding his way through all being published online. But we’re lacking the tools to quickly select the best we find on the web, organize and share it.
With Bundlr you can create bundles of any kind of content: articles, photos, videos, tweets and links. Cover real-time breaking news from your sources. Wrap up an event with a collection of online feedback. Build a page where you pick the most relevant content on your area of expertise.
Using Bundlr browser button, you can clip content while you browse the Internet. Just press the button to save the content you want, and the meta-data around it, to the bundle you pick. Each bundle will have its own public webpage you can share freely. In later features you’ll be able to filter clips, create visualizations and embed bundles on any website.
Reminds you of Storify? Check both videos and spot the differences. I prefer Bundlr in many ways (i had a sneak preview) and besides being more attractive visually, it brings more interesting features. It can be used by journalists or any one else who wants to aggregate online content in one single page (in their terms, bundle).
What do you think? Can Bundlr compete with Storify?
Read also this Poynter article about the best uses for Storify in media. Are these tools valuable to you as a journalist and a user?
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?
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.
One of the most discussed topics regarding news companies strategies is how to engage with communities. Communities are today have always been the source and destination of news content, but only now they can consistently interact with news websites or provide newsworthy content through their own platforms. The question is how to turn that into news companies and audiences favour.
Kate Day, community editor at The Telegraph, paid us a visit to our Online Journalism class last week, and she explained to us what is her job all about and how it works for them (more videos). Incidentally, JD Lasica published his slideshows about how journalists can use social media to build community. They’re both worth having a a look.
Um dos assuntos mais discutidos na estratégia das empresas de comunicação é sua relação com as comunidades. As comunidades são hoje foram sempre a fonte e o destino das notícias, mas só agora é que consgeguem interagir consistentemente com os sites informativos ou fornecer conteúdos noticiosos através das suas próprias plataformas. A questão é como virar isso a favor das empresas de comunicação e do público.
Kate Day, editora de comunidades do The Telegraph, fez-nos uma visita à nossa aula de Jornalismo Online a semana passada, e explicou-nos em que consiste o seu trabalho, e como funciona para eles (mais videos). Por acaso, JD Lasica publicou um slideshow sobre como os jornalistas podem usar os social media para construir uma comunidade. Vale a pena dar uma vista de olhos aos dois.