Agility at the Web Summit

web summit 2011

My first time attending the Web Summit, presenting for RTÉ, in 2011

I’m looking forward to joining other Agility Collaborators tomorrow for a panel discussion at the Web Summit in Dublin.

Here’s more about the panel from a recent Agility blog post I wrote:

FinianJim and I will be joined by Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together (our first Agility partner), to talk about how changes in technology mean that increasingly we no longer work in silos but instead work in environments that are fuelled by collaboration and collective strengths.

We’ll be looking at whether the superstar hire is becoming an increasingly outdated concept, at odds with environments that thrive on the many-is-better-than-one ethos and how educational models such as Educate Together are preparing the next generation for a more collaborative future.

If you’re going to the Summit drop by the panel (Wednesday, 11.30am, Library stage).

Five questions for … NRK’s John Inge Johansen

Photo credit: Kristoffer H. Kippernes/

John Inge Johansen NRK Nordland Lonely Rider – Video Journalist (Photo credit: Kristoffer H. Kippernes/

I met John Inge Johansen at a Circom Regional conference a few months ago. Based on the remote Lofoten Islands, John Inge works as a video journalist for NRK Nordland, one of the regional stations that makes up NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), Norway’s public broadcaster. I think NRK is probably one of the most progressive media organisations I’ve encountered … it is something I frequently say about NRK, but this recent post on a cycling website prompted me to finally sit down and write this particular blog post.

John Inge’s job title is Lonely Rider – Video Journalist, which is shorthand for doing it all. He is a multi-platform journalist who does everything – covering stories for TV, radio and web. Not only does John Inge cover all the platforms himself in the field but what makes him unique is he frequently does all of this from a bicycle.

I sent him some questions (via email) and here is what he had to say:

1. How did you become a ‘cycling journalist’?

I became a cycling journalist by accident – if it is possible to say that. My regional station NRK Nordland had for several years won an internal competition within our broadcaster. The competition was about gaining mileage by bike on the way TO your office. Then someone thought it would be nice to have a bike for small errands in the close range of the station and the bike was a fact. My area of work is in the outermost region of the region – the Lofoten Islands, and during a series of news stories for the national program we decided to make stories about biking in Lofoten. The branded bike was sent with the coastal steamer, and afterwards I just kept it. It suited a lot of the same needs that my colleagues in Bodø had. Fast response to close-by incidents and so forth. But I would emphasise that I am not a cycling journalist – I am a journalist with a bike as well …

2. Can you explain your set up?

It is just a regular city bike with a small trailer. In my backpacks I carry a Panasonic P2-camera, a Live-U unit, MacBook, batteries, a Canon EOS-650 and a tripod. together with my iPhone that’s pretty much what you need to be an operative in the field. The gear is approx. 20 kg quite light.

3. Do you think the bicycle brings advantages?

During the Arctic Race of Norway (similar to Tour de France) the whole city centre was closed for car traffic for two days. Needless to say – my bike was VERY convenient.

4. Are there times when you can’t use it?

I do not use it if I have to leave my hometown. In other words – i do use my car quite a lot…

5. Do you ever miss the comfort of a car?

Nope – I have the comfort of the car – nobody forces me to go by bike – but it is my private car and not a company-car.

Here are some photographs of John Inge’s set-up:

photo credit: John Inge Johansen

The bicycle (Photo credit: John Inge Johansen)


Live television set-up (photo credit: John Inge Johansen)


Live radio set-up (photo credit: John Inge Johansen)

You can follow John Inge on Twitter here. (Also, here’s a link to an interesting panel discussion about NRK Nordland’s integrated newsroom and some of the changes they are embracing.)

Thank you to John Inge for taking time to provide these insights. If you know of any other journalists with interesting set ups please share in the comments below. 

Something I’m working on currently … Agility

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 16.59.51I’ve recently joined together with a group of people to work on a new project called Agility.

What is Agility?

We’re a bunch of people working together to help turn projects and ideas into great projects and great ideas. We’re a diverse group of writers, project managers and planners to web designers, product designers and coders. We’ve worked with everyone: bootstrapped start-ups, well-funded established companies and loads of social ventures …. 

I’ve written a blog over on the Agility website about why I got involved, you can read it here

Three simple thoughts on … community

Recently, I’ve seen some fairly savvy organisations do some not so savvy things when it comes to community so I thought I would jot down a few very simple thoughts on the topic.

  1. Remember you are not building a community you are facilitating an existing one. If your goal is to “build/grow” community around your brand/organisation, make sure you take a person (better still more than one person) who you think is an existing member of your community and work through what they need or what facilities an online community could provide this person.  Make sure there is going to be something in it for them individually as members of the community.
  2. As a brand/organisation you are not the community. Think about it like a party,  you (the brand/organisation) are akin to the room where the event is being held and the person facilitating the event. Remember this at all times.
  3. Continuing with that analogy from point 2, as the facilitator you need to help to get conversation started (no one likes a party where the only person talking and contributing is the facilitator/host). Entertain your community (a party without some amusement would be pretty boring, why would anyone turn up?). Finally, if you think you’re going to have a fairly boisterous community, treat it like a boisterous party – lay down some rules, reward good behaviour and eject the trouble makers who are just ruining the party for everyone else.

If you have any other simple suggestions, please share in the comments below.

Embeddable posts – a significant shift in strategy for Facebook

It was announced today that Facebook is starting to roll out functionality for publishers to embed public posts onto websites (similar to how tweets can currently be embedded). It is not yet available to all Facebook users, but the company says there will be ‘broader availability’. CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People Magazine, and Mashable are the first media outlets to get access.

Embedded Posts will only work with public messages, no matter if it’s a status update, Instagram photo, video, etc. To see if it can be embedded, hover over the audience selector (it’s a globe icon). If it is marked as public, click on the “Embed Post” option in the dropdown menu. It will display HTML code that you can copy and insert onto your website — similar to what you would find with Instagram.

Once inserted onto a site, visitors can interact with it similar to how they would in their Facebook timeline. This surely will help aid in the discovery of new content, especially if your site is a heavily trafficked one. These posts will show not only text, but pictures, videos, hashtags, and any other content supported by the platform — it’s almost like having an iFrame of Facebook occupying a piece of real estate.

The Next Web

This feels like a big shift in strategy for Facebook. You will now have the capability to easily take content from the social network and place it outside their walled garden. This signals a move away from everything happening on the Facebook platform towards a realisation that there could be advantages to their content being spread more widely across the web. Of course, publishers have been screen-grabbing this content for a long time, but now Facebook is playing catch-up and as a bonus has the potential to benefit from increased engagement. It seems to fit in with a long-term trend of Facebook courting big media.