As ever you can listen to the archive of the segment here. A very ecclectic mix this week, but some really nice ideas from people who listen to the segment. Special thanks to Aaron and Russell for contributing material. If you'd like to record something for us do get in touch with your idea, happy to help with technical advice and, if needed, equipment. Anyway here's what we featured this week:
We visited the anti war protests in Second Life (see pic) and spoke with Ruby Sinreich one of the organisers
And lastly Don Crowdis who last week wrote the 5th most cited blogpost in the blogosphere at the tender age of 93 told us briefly why he blogs
Well suggestions (however weird and wonderful) welcome for next week. I think I'll risk all remaining shreds of dignity and sign off with an entirely strange, fabulously amusing video from the Carnivore Project contest. Sausage vs Bacon? Why can't we all just get along?
YouTube has plans to share advertising revenue with people who post their own content. This comes as Bill Gates predicts an online video revolution We're told the YouTube ad revenue sharing programme, may see short commercials placed ahead of films, although the details are sketchy.
Naturally the announcement of this development was rapidly posted on YouTube. Here via Buzzmachine is the founder of YouTube Chad Hurley speaking at Davos
Plans are still in a very early stage and it's hard not to sympathize with YouTube bosses as they try to anticipate potential pitfalls. Consider this for example: we've a number of instances of controversial material being posted to internet video sites - presumably you'd want the system not to reward youngsters posting videos of insanely dangerous stunts, for example? And even with more respectable content idenifying the original source of a piece of User Generated Content (and thereby properly assigning revenues) can be very difficult. These are of course just idle speculations that may not turn out to be real problems after all Revver has been sharing ad revenue with video creators for a while without incident. But they do highlight the challenges ahead. It will be interesting to see what the final scheme looks like and how YouTube changes to accommodate it.
Los Angeles based bloggers Kim and Nathan have enjoyed some recent success in their campaign to save an iconic bit of West Coast street furniture: the Union 76 Ball. They've managed to preserve some of the historic orange spheres for posterity, and have convinced the company of the benefit of the ball shaped logo. They're still after some more concessions so the campaign isn't over yet, but this is major step forward.
It's a nice example of the blogosphere helping people preserve a bit of their local environment. Attention from the media helped of course, as did some big name celebrity endorsements, but most of it was down to the work of some motivated individuals. For the background to the story take a look here.
Blogger John Connell has written up my efforts to do some radio vox pops live in Second Life for the Mayo programme (see John's pic). As all this happened in a metaverse is this meta, meta citizen journalism? It is certainly 360 degree reporting in a very literal sense. Our experiment rapidly turned into an improvised reworking of speakers corner as curious Five Live listeners dropped by to look at 'Journo Lumpen' as I unimaginatively style myself (one deciding my third rate avatar looked a bit like Morph). It's surprisingly hard to talk on the radio, IM with second lifers and arrange interviews all at the same time, and I must have seemed very distracted. So thanks to all who made me feel so welcome. For the record I would say we had a 50/50 split between Second Lifers who dropped by to take part in the programme and text messages from the Getafirstlife.com camp. If Neilsen is right and daily usage is around 10,000 - 25,000 individuals then it was a very pleasing turn out.
We'd love to do more in Second Life on Pods and Blogs. If you've an idea of things we might do drop a note in comments. One thought, I wonder if we might "simulcast" with a SL radio station or podcast?
Wednesday I'll be joining a discussion about Second Life on the Simon Mayo programme. On the panel Babbage Linden (Dr Jim Purbrick) and writer Tim Guest . My role will be to go into Second Life and find out what people there think. If you are regular second life user you can of course get in touch before hand email email@example.com and let me know how we can reach you (phone/IM or Skype). But more importantly I want to know where to go in Second Life. Full disclosure I make only occasional forays into the place and then teleport around at pretty much random. So what I'd like you to do is:
Suggest a place where I can meet some interesting people
Suggest somewhere that might have an interesting soundscape
My pick from Digg (briefly top of the Offbeat News Section), The ten most annoying alarm clocks. Big thanks to Professor Russell Foster who told us that waking up suddenly was very bad for the health (take note employers)
Top of Diggs politics section a story debunking an anti-Barack Obama smear campaign. That and the Hilary webchat discussed with Amanda Terkel of Think Progress
The Ivory Coast music craze Drogbacite (inspired by a Drogba's football skills) explained by Modal Minority
And lastly we featured an interview with Mia Rose the young British artist who is currently the most subscribed singer on YouTube. UPDATE: I have altered this post as I've seen it referenced in ways I'm very uncomfortable with. For the record I think she's a really talented performer.
Following a suggestion from Mick Fealty of Slugger O'Toole fame We'll be simulcasting with Blogtalkradio (or rather we'll record it - but it will go out live on blog talk) at 11:30PM UK time (6:30PM Eastern time tonight) If you want to take part the US (yes I know that's a shame) phone number is +1(347)677-0649
We're following affects of the bad weather that have left at least eight people dead. Travel has been severely disrupted as gales and heavy downpours hit large parts of the country. If you're about to travel, you might try Trafficeye one of the projects mentioned in the BBC backstage blog. You could also take a look at this travel news map from the same blog
If you are caught in the bad weather drop a note in comments and let us know about your experiences.
If there is someone to blame, it is Channel 4 for creating this spectacle, for viewers to continue watching it, and for Carphone Warehouse to continue sponsoring it. And I blame Keith Vaz for tabling the EDM [early day motion] and making it into a bigger piece of farce.
Yet the issue was snowballing before British politicians piled in. A Blogpulse trend graph shows how the row took off earlier in the week
The potential for this row to escalate was a theme taken up by blogger Sunny Singh Online in a prescient post published on Tuesday.
And they better hope that no Indians with internet access – from home or other parts of the world - get in on the act. After all if Indians with net access could upstage all Hollywod stars to vote Amitabh Bachchan the “star of the millennium” on BBC’s online poll back in 2000, imagine what we could do with a few choice addresses from Ofcom and Channel 4.
It's an interesting observation. The media and other organisations in encourging interaction also have to anticipate mass campaigns facilitated by the web. Perhaps we all need to learn to adjust our expectations too. When you consider the ease of filing complaints, the 30 received by Ofcom over the execution of Saddam Hussein seems small while the number that Big Brother has solicited begins to look inline with expectations. Time will tell.
We really want your ideas suggestions and comments for the segment. A couple of you have been in touch about being part of an "editorial board" to help shape what we do, and we'd love to have a more of you email in if you are interested in taking part. But it's also the one off ideas to feature on the segment that we're after. At present for next week I've a few programme ideas that I'm thinking of taking further:
Social News: as an experiment taking the top 2-3 stories from one of the big social news sites on Monday and developing them for pods and blogs
The people behind Skype are launching a new internet based TV service which promises broadcast quality telly over the net. Well that's the headline, and I'm sure a lot of you will be scratching your heads thinking, "Can't I get that anyway?" and "Why bother?", and in that vein there's some pretty sharp analysis from someone who got their hands on a Joost (for so it is called) player early over at O'Reilly Radar:
Before having tested the player I feared that Niclas, Janus and Dirk might be going wrong this time in that the disruption comes in democratizing the content, not the platform. My argument was that it seemed that they were betting on their business acumen to close deals with the content providers rather than disrupting the actual distribution...I've pulled back on that conclusion as the genuine disruption lies not in the distribution, but on what comes on top of the TV viewing
And that for the author is the ability to build applications that will work with the video player. For example, Last.fm style applications that will deliver the content you want based on your preferences and the prefrences of people like you.
The arrival of yet another player is grist to the mill for bloggers like Jeff Jarvis who argue for the breaking of traditional broadcast models where content creators also own the means of distribution (i.e. the transmitters). Put the stuff out there, is the message, and let people consume it as they will. Underlining this point Jeff and others point to this story about a small town US TV station that's putting its news reports up on YouTube. They've a lot to gain and very little (ad revenue) to lose from this approach.
But returning to Joost, it has one other advantage over traditional server based solutions. It's peer-to-peer meaning it doesn't rely on big central servers to distribute content, and that makes it cheap to run - in essence it exploits the spare bandwidth of individual web users. Bandwidth isn't an insignificant issue when it comes to TV quality video. Whereas for non peer-to-peer systems each additional viewer brings added costs for peer-to-peer services they're much, much smaller. And that means fewer advertisements and a better experience for viewers. It's a model broadcasters who generate no marginal revenue from additional viewers might ponder.
UPDATE: The comments were becoming a discussion of US News anchor Keith Olbermann so I've deleted them and closed comments here. On the substantive issue of whether left or right wing views preclude fair court reporting of this trial - I think that was addressed in the original interview which you can hear here.
In his speech today Tony Blair referenced the transformative role of Citizen Media and web video in the coverage of the war on Iraq:
Twenty-five years ago, media reports came back from the Falklands irregularly, heavily controlled. During the first Gulf war, the media had restricted access and we were mesmerised by footage of cameras attached to the end of Cruise missiles. But now war is no longer something read in dispatches. It comes straight into the living room.
Take a website like Live Leak which has become popular with soldiers from both sides of the divide in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Operational documentary material, from their mobile phones or laptops, is posted on the site. These sometimes gruesome images are the unmediated reality of war. They provide a new source of evidence for journalists and commentators, by-passing the official accounts and records.
LiveLeak.com is a British video sharing site which launched in October. The founder Hayden Hewitt has previously worked with controversial site Ogrish Infact if you visit Ogrish.com you are directed to Liveleak with this message:
"Dear Ogrish Viewer, Welcome to LiveLeak.com. Ogrish.com has been incorporated into Liveleak to ensure you get all the uncensored media you are used to along with so much more. "
Liveleak, tagline "Redifining the Media", is still in beta and there's adult and graphic content on the site so be warned before you take a look, though all posts are fully moderated. Tony Blair's reference isn't the first high profile mention: the site was referenced by White House spokesperson Tony Snow in a similar context. Interestingly as we reported earlier some commenators had seen the Saddam execution video, which was one of the videos bringing LiveLeak some early buzz, as a "tipping point" in the way the social media is transforming news coverage. Tony Blair has been critical of the conduct of that execution but clearly he too is recognising the significance of the change to the way that war is reported that sites like LiveLeak represent
Starting with the segment that airs on Jan 23rd we're undertaking a major push to make Pods and Blogs more collaborative. So if you are a blog reader or writer, or a podcaster or vidcaster this is a direct appeal to you for some help:
If you've read or written a post you think would make a great item drop a note in comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link
If you've produced or heard a podcast you'd like us to feature on the segment drop a note in comments too
If you know of a blog/pod or vlog you'd like us to include in the segment drop us a line
I'll also be asking bloggers to help select stories from the suggestions we get, a sort of editorial board if you like. If that's something you'd be interested in helping with email me.
Of course this is something we want to do every week, not just on the 23rd but the New Year seems like a good place to start. I'll put up a post every week called Show Plans where you can leave ideas for the next segment. I do honestly want to make this segment more open, and more participative. If you have an idea about how we can encourage more interaction do drop me a note - all ideas are very welcome. For example I've been wondering about sites like Meebo and Twitter - is there a way to use them on the radio? Let me know.
With all the announcements about Iraq it's worth mentioning three bloggers who are or have recently been embedded with US forces in Iraq: INDCJournal, Michelle Malkin, and Bill Roggio. Like most bloggers they don't hide their political opinions, but that certainly doesn't prevent them writing illuminating posts, like this one from INDCJournal Here's a quote from his interview with a civil servant in Fallujah about how, he believes, the insurgency recruits:
They have some ideology from some of the American prisons, the one in Buca and south, in those two prisons there were extremist religious insurgents. The Americans took those people and put them in the prison too and they (the radicals) worked on the other prisoners, teaching them and feeding them that ideology of fighting and to think that everyone else is a sinner and that they should be killed.
Of course, Iraqi bloggers are permanently embedded so to speak, though increasingly I'm finding bloggers that used to live in Iraq have now moved to Jordan or the US. There's a comprehensive list of Iraqi bloggers at Iraq blog count Also worth mentioning while I'm writing about Iraq is Eason Jordan's new site Iraq Slogger
Jaws on the Floor at MacWorld "From what Jobs showed Tuesday, the iPhone really does look to be five years ahead of what anyone else has got. Maybe longer. It's taken rivals five years to catch up with the iPod, which now looks hopelessly outdated and crippled compared to the iPhone.", Hmmm Need someone more techy to explain to me why this is more than just a Mac XDA with a clever touch screen.
Chocs Away: Barrow choc-shop manager keeps his job. The MySpacer who incurred the wrath of "furious Barrovians" (isn't that a rugby team? Ed.) by posting less than complimentary things about the town in which he managed a chocolate shop is to keep his job with the company, but he won't be returning to the Barrow branch. So that's Furious Barrovians 22, Freedom of Speech 7
Not-your-dad's-space. Pew takes a look at the online habits of the young. Most restrict access to their profiles in some way: a wise precaution, chocolate shop managers take note.
The Sun newspaper has a powerful story about desperate Brits offering their organs for sale online (story here). But it doesn't take much to track down people wanting to sell organs as the BBC's Katie Law found out, they'll beat a path to your blog. Katie is one of three writers for science blog, Inky Circus. This post that merely discussed organ sales was rapidly innundated with comments like the one below from people purporting to be selling organs:
MY FATHER IS 65 YEARS OLD,LOCATED IN INDIA, BANGALORE. MY FATHER IS GOING TO SELL OF ONE OF HIS KIDNEY FOR MY HIGHER STUDIES. WE ARE IN URGENT NEED OF MONEY NOW. ANY ONE WHO IS IN NEED OF KIDNEY PLEASE CONTACT ME. MY MOBILE NO.IS [deleted]
Now there's not an easy way to tell if the people leaving messages are genuine or scammers. You'd need to contact them individually and begin a long and difficult process of verifying their stories. But two things are clear: if they are scammers then there's clearly enough desperate people out there in need of organs for these people to think this kind of activity is worthwhile, if they are genuine it shows how desperate the sellers are.
I wonder if Katie's experience is unusual. Have any others had similar experiences with these kind of comments? Let us know.
predation by foreign species such as house cats; and booming populations of its natural predators, including the bald eagle and sasquatch
Hmmm...in spite of "clues" like this researchers found that::
All 25 students fell for the Internet hoax;
All but one of the 25 rated the site as “very credible;”
Most struggled when asked to produce proof – or even clues – that the web site was false, even after the UConn researchers told them it was; and
Some of the students still insisted vehemently that the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus really exists.
The researchers recommend better training students on how to use the net. Now if anything I think people are more inclined to skeptical about what they find on the internet than what they see on TV or in print. So I'm not sure why you'd limit training in critical reading to online sources only. And as for people still believing things they shouldn't - well you still hear plenty of grown-ups claiming that a soft drink company invented Santa's outfit and, a personal favourite, that Walt Disney has been cryogenically frozen. I've believed both of those in my time.
Google have published a rather googletastic list of Google Research's top online videos for 2006. What I like best about this list is, firstly, that this isn't a popularity contest, secondly, their top pick is the video of an event that is way up on my list of favourite reporting experiences, the DARPA challenge. The DARPA challenge was a race for robot cars around a Mojave desert track. Still up online is a podcast I recorded of that event including interviews with competitors who didn't win, but whose machines were just as incredible. Often overlooked in reports is what a great showcase for homebrew tech DARPA was; many of the competing teams were independents, punching at the same weight as the big-boys. Other items on Google's list included speeches by Jane Goodall, and this interview about How to Survive a Robot Uprising:
In spite of all the hype around online video the navigation of content on sites like YouTube is primitive compared to what's available for audio. It was great to see Podzinger bring out a search for YouTube. You can now select clips by what is actually _said_ in the video, a real advance over what was previously available. It's tools like this that enable us to bring the kind of folksonomic and taxonomic searches that have powered sites like Last FM and Pandora that will really help online video grow into the primary way in which people watch TV. At the moment we rely upon hard working souls like Terry Teachout to select videos along more narrowly defined interests than "Comedy" and sort the wheat from the mountains of chaff thrown up by simple searches.
Bacon said " A man that hath wife and children hath hostages to fortune" (or something like it) well a pundit who committeth his predictions to text hath hostages to his credibility. On the other hand not having any credibility in the first place makes predictions rather fun. So with the caveat that all these are plucked from thin air and absolutely not to be relied upon here are my predictions for 2007:
Someone will be fired via Twitter
An Ohio based teen will be seriously injured playing WWE on the Wii....while driving
A motorist will be fined for speeding after police follow their geo-cached mobile phone along a stretch of the M4
At least one broadsheet journalist will announce that just as TV replaced the wireless so online video is replacing podcasting..without spotting the flaw in the argument
Cute Overload will be turned into a major motion picture
Mydadspace will launch for disco-dads
Viral marketeers will be stopped at Heathrow after trying to take an incredible machine on as hand luggage
Everyone will have Moo cards and no-one will be able to organize their rolodex (wait was Megacorps CEO the fluffy kitten or the artistic photo of a leaf?)
Lifehacker will be unavailable because they forgot to renew their domain name
Boing Boing will break up over "artistic-differences"
At least one newspaper columnist will describe blogging as "so yesterday"
You can listen to an archive of the segment here. (incidentally if you want to create a permanent archive there are a few programmes that will help.On the Mac I've been using a piece of freeware which drops the finished recording straight into itunes though it does so in real time. Not sure if there's a good free PC equivalent, suggestions welcome)
On this week's segment we had blogs that you and other bloggers had chosen as their unsung picks of 2006. Most were pretty light hearted in nature, but it was fun to do and I'd like to keep the suggestions coming in for blogs we should feature. It's interesting that the big blogger picks and your picks were so similar (little red boat, johnny B, Smaller that life) were suggested by both:
As I said keep your unsung blog suggestions coming in. We'll try and feature more throughout the year. It's been particularly nice that so many of the recommendations have been for British bloggers. Sitting within an international news sequence we sometimes overlook homegrown talent - so keep your ideas rolling in.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.