Consolidation or separation?

Jeff Jarvis reports that he has changed his mind about separation of editorial teams.

I was on the side of separation at the beginning of the web and for good reasons. At Advance, where I used to work, we set up separate online operations to make sure that what was made for the web was appropriate to the web (not just a PDF of a newspaper) and to assure that the web gained its own value (and wasn’t just given away to advertisers as value-added). That worked.

However, pointing to the work that the BBC has done consolidating its newsroom to produce radio, TV and web content, he says now he’s converted. “It’s inevitable”.

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Site vs. Network

There’s a debate brewing on Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog about the merits or otherwise of networks rather and websites.

But Glam isn’t really the largest women’s site on the Internet – not by a long stretch. Rather, it’s a collection of a few sites that they own that generate some page views, plus a big ad sales team that sells ads for 600 or so other blogs and websites. In August the company claimed 19 million monthly visitors, but just 3.4% of them (654,000) actually visited The company will lose about $3.7 million this year on $21 million in revenue….says Arrington.

Jeff Jarvis takes issue.

But I’ve been arguing to big media companies that they need to become networks themselves. Google is a network. Who cares how large its site is? What matters is its reach on sites all over the internet.

Google grew by building a network. So did Glam. I say that is a model for survival and growth among media companies. Local newspapers, for example, should be building hyperlocal networks of local blogs; with them, they can expand coverage and reach in ways that were never possible when they depended only on staff.

Food for thought.

Update: Jeff has posted a lot more detail on this argument here.

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User Generated Content vs journalism

A few weeks ago Darren Rowse of ProBlogger was asked to contribute a column to an Australian magazine about
the threat to journalism posed by User Generated Content. He was asked to argue for the threat while Phil Mclean, group executive editor at the publishier Fairfax took the opposing view. This question, as always, is not black and white, but Darren does a good job of laying out the arguments.

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Beatblogging – the future of journalism?

BuzzMachine has an interesting post about beatblogging. It’s well worth a read. Could this be the future of journalism?

I think beatblogging can get journalism back to its essential mission, discarding the distractions brought on by the means of production and distribution to which the journalists once had exclusive access. The role of the journalist becomes clearer, even purer: They organize information for communities and communities of information. And that is an active verb. Curating is part of the role and that’s almost passive: finding and gathering and presenting the best of what people are already doing.

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Second chance with Second Life?

eWeek reports on experiments in a Japanese university where paralyzed people learn to control avatars in Second Life. Electrodes attached to the scalp can pick up electrical charges associated with brain activity and this can be interpreted by a computer to manipulate an online persona. eWeek suggests paralyzed people could one day be able to shop or do business or socialise just by thinking about it – in cyberspace.

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Google to store data?

CIO Insight reports that Google plans to launch a service to store users’ data quoting a report in the Wall Street Journal – the so-called Gdrive.

According to the story users would be able to house files they would normally store on personal computers—such as word-processing documents, digital music, video clips and images—on Google’s computers. Files could then been accessed through the Internet from different computers and mobile devices when users sign on using a password.

The report says Google plans to provide some free storage, with additional storage allotments available for a fee.

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