“I blogged the news today, oh boy…”

In the week when eyewitness photos posted on social media helped to break the story of an Indonesian aeroplane that landed in the sea off Bali, we cannot ignore the potency of Netizen journalism  to create the news (even if we have concerns about accuracy and quality). And in the same week when “The Voice” returns to our TV screens for a 3-month season, we cannot ignore the potency of audience voting via SMS and social media to create new pop stars (even if we have concerns about accuracy and quality….).

As The Beatles might have sung, “I blogged the news today, oh boy…”

News and music are now confirmed as the key social network content for attracting audiences, if recent market activity is any indication of where the competition for eyeballs and eardrums is being played out.

  • Google’s decision to close down its popular Reader service simply drove customers into the arms of the competition. Unless Google rethinks the service closure, or has another product in development for Google+, Readers will be switching to alternative solutions. The community backlash has been significant, which suggests the audience for news aggregation is large, passionate and willing to be loyal to services that meet their needs. (For reviews on a range of Reader substitutes, see the links below.)*
  • Just a few days ago, LinkedIn announced it has acquired Pulse, a news-aggregation app, as part of a strategy to enhance its news content and build on LinkedIn Today’s curated news feed. Pulse is promoting itself heavily as a Reader replacement, so I am curious as to when LinkedIn settled the purchase price for Pulse – was it before or after Google’s March 13 announcement about the closure of Reader?
  • At the same time, Twitter has followed up its recent announcement to introduce better contextualization for trending news stories with the curious (but not surprising) decision to acquire We Are Hunted, a service that helps users discover new music, based on internet-sourced analysis of what other people are listening to. Expect to see millions of Justin Bieber fans tweeting his #music as a way to influence what Twitter pushes to its audience… and then wait for the feedback
  • Meanwhile, the other Justin has been working on the relaunch of Myspace as a “free” streaming music library (because no-one actually buys this stuff anymore, do they….?) Based on personal attempts to explore the new Myspace and upload my own music to this platform, it would be fair to say this relaunch is an “extended beta” version
  • Oh, and in case you missed the story, Yahoo! bought Summly, another news aggregation app, developed by someone younger than Justin Bieber…

* Here is a non-exhaustive and random selection of blogs offering reviews of Reader substitutes:

Life Hacker: Five Best Google Reader Alternatives

Extreme Tech: Google Reader Replacements

Edudemic: Google Reader Alternatives

Digital Trends: Best Google Reader Alternatives

CNET TV: Alternatives to Google Reader


4 thoughts on ““I blogged the news today, oh boy…”

  1. Not just Indonesia.
    I woke up very, very early yesterday (Sydney time) to hear the news from Boston. All the early information came from social media, individuals with mobile devices are now the news gather and distributors. The traditional role of newspapers radio and TV has been made redundant, as they are too slow. They do however retain a real role in the analysis and commentary. I am an avid reader of the “Atlantic” not a news media, but a means of commenting on the news.

    • The Boston tragedy unfolded just as my weekly blog went to “press” – but your point is well made. I would question whether individual social media users are actually news distributors – they are certainly news gatherers, but they rely on 3rd party platforms and aggregators to get their content to market. Meanwhile the traditional news media are leveraging their brands by investing in updated syndication models – witness the tie-up between the Australian Financial Review and Channel 9 for a new Sunday morning business programme, and Domain.com.au and the Eureka Report partnering with the Bank of Melbourne’s “Investore” financial advice shop.

      • You are right of course, although the aggregators and platform providers are absolutely passive in the process, they add no value beyond provision of the channel. I am truly fascinated by the democratisation of media that has happened, the crowdsourcing of news, information, financial support, and I have no doubt, leads for the police to follow in Boston via the mobile phone footage of the thousands there, as well as CCTV installations.

      • The business models are definitely changing, but at least some of the aggregation channels are waking up to the fact that they can add value through contextualisation.

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