Media 2020 Conference – Twitter Stream Highlights

I wasn’t at the Media 2020 conference in Croke Park, Dublin, today.  But using the Twitter hashtag #Med2020 I could follow many of the main points, which were highlighted by tweeting conference attendees as they were made by the speakers.

Here is the summary of points I have picked out from the stream, which I think are relevant for journalists and content producers.

I’ve broken it down by speaker (not all speakers are included) and used one tweeter per speaker to avoid confusion (each point is an individual tweet from the stream). Thanks to all the tweeters for keeping everyone updated!

First off, some overview points that seem to be coming back a lot from the #Med2020 twitter stream:

1) Experiment, cheaply, quickly, if you fail do it fast and learn from it
2) Mobile is going to be massive
3) Revenue models are not clear yet

By speaker:

Maeve Donovan, Former Managing Director, The Irish Times
Tweeter: Niamh Smith (@niamhsmith)

-Can newspapers make the necessary changes? Maeve believes they can based on her 30 yrs experience in the industry

-Roles of newspapers to make the most of the immense opportunities offered by emerging technologies

-Digital revolution has much broader implications than its effect on newspapers or tv

-Hardest words to say are ‘I don’t know’ – and she doesn’t know for sure the future of newspapers

Jonathon Moore, Guardian News & Media
Tweeter: Hugh Linehan (@hlinehan)

-Guardian Eyewitness iPad app: very simple app publishing one photo a day. Video: Jobs sings its praises

-You live or die by user recommendations on the app store

-Big traffic spike on Guardian app at 10.30pm. Technology changing how and when people consume content

-Moore: We expected migration to our app would cause fall-off in use of web browser. Hasn’t been the case

Mark Little, Storyful
Tweeter: Gareth O’Connor (@garethoconnor)

-#Med202 hears from @marklittlenews that basic reporting skills still needed by curators and super-users in new age

-New business opportunities for storytelling @marklittlenews tells #med2020

-@marklittlenews tells #med2020 that 2010 marks turning point in journalism

Ronan Higgins, Local, mobile social software start-up
Tweeter: Niamh Smith (@niamhsmith)

-Apps store – a new walled garden. iTunes-simplicity, quality, speed-applied this ethos to iPhone

Matt Locke – C4 Commissioning Editor, New Media & Education
Tweeter: Hugh Linehan (@hlinehan)

-Facebook picks up tiny snippets of attention and rolls them up into something gargantuan

-Very intelligent stuff – but a bit depressing that the experimental groundbreaker cited is Embarrassing Bodies. Blecchh

-Bingeing on cult content – four or five episodes at a time (I think I recognise myself in this presentation)

-Cult content. The Wire first TV series passed around like a 1970s rock album from friend to friend. User content around Lost

-Events-driven initiatives like ITV’s election debate worm – broadcasters comfortable with that

-What broadcast does well is events. So we’re seeing the eventisation of TV, from talent shows to Lambing Live (!)

-Locke: broadcasters used to own the audience. But with new technology, old platforms have to learn what it is they really do well

Múirne Laffan – Executive Director, RTÉ Publishing
Tweeter: Eoin Purcell (@eoinpurcell)

-Laffan: 3.5 million uniques a month for and 1 million of those are overseas!

-Laffan: RTE has a hub and spoke model. Create content in hub and reuse as much as possible

-Laffan: Boundaries to entry are very low. Global opportunities. But getting to market quickly is important. Mobile is huge

-Laffan see every tv connected to the internet in Ireland in 10 yrs!

-Laffan: Consumer expectations are through the roof

Note: Compiling this post this evening has reinforced my feeling that Twitter streams are much easier to follow live and are hard work to use as an archive – looking forward to some journalists’ and bloggers’ analysis of the conference.

**Update – Two good pieces about yesterday’s conference: The Irish Times’ Hugh Linehan (including video of Minister Eamon Ryan) and Fin O’Reilly.**


Mark Little Sets out Stall for Storyful

A former journalist and presenter with Ireland’s public service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Mark Little is spearheading a new digital news initiative called Storyful.

Due to launch this summer, we have already been given a glimpse of the type of offering we can expect from Storyful through its link-up earlier this year with for the Portraits of the Global Irish series.

In a blog post today, Little outlines his vision for Storyful.

I wanted to find a way to fish the useful stories about our lives from that unholy torrent of internet debris.

He talks about ‘filter failure’ and how users have shifted away from personalised news towards searching to discover or find stories.

What lies behind the shift from search to discovery is the emotional charge that comes with an unexpected find. You know that feeling, that distinct jolt, when you come across an image or idea in all the clutter that speaks to you.

A word you hear bandied about a lot by news pioneers these days is serendipity. Expect to hear a lot more of it as we try and resolve ‘filter failure’.

Little says the companies who guide their users to unexpected places are the ones who will survive.

As I’ve mentioned here before there is a lot we can learn from existing platforms to help us with future ones like Google suggested with Fast Flip.

Digital media companies have something to learn from newspapers in how they organise and categorise discovery.

But the parallels with newspapers may end there as Little says we must also learn from the mistake made by ‘old’ media.

We should model our solutions on how real people talk about information that matters to them. They don’t spend alloted times of the day discussing politics and sport. They don’t schedule gossip for half an hour in between a chat about money and a debate on the arts.

Instead, they tell stories about many things, at the very same time. This is how they consume information relevant to their lives. This is how they will consume useful and relevant digital journalism.

This is the clearest indication of how Storyful is going to unfold:

The ultimate responsibility for discovering useful information now lies in the hands of real people not appointed gatekeepers.

Journalists will ultimately lose control over the flow, direction and timing of the news. Instead, they will guide their communities on a voyage of discovery and curate the stories that resonate along the way.

Some of that sounds similar to work being done out in Honolulu by former Rocky Mountain News’ editor/publisher John Temple (backed by Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar) with Civil Beat (see my post from the weekend), except that project is more locally focused than I think we can expect from Storyful.

It’s an interesting blog post from Little – sounds like it could be the Storyful manifesto? The one missing thing is revenue – where is it going to come from?


B, Mark Little team up for The Global Irish

If you have a few spare minutes, take a look at Portraits of The Global Irish – a collaboration between Mark Little and timed to co-incide with St Patrick’s Day.

The series of profiles looks at the lives of six Irish people living abroad. Through the medium of video, the men and women featured tell their individual stories.

Beijing: Aidan Duffy (Director: Dan Cheung)
Cape Town: Fr Dick O’Riordan (Director: Jamie Macken)
New York: Alexei Kondratiev (Director: Mary Catherine Brouder)
London: Celestine Cooney (Director: Michelle ‘Shelby’ Sadlier)
Toronto: Tara Lyons (Director: Lauren Crothers)
Buenos Aires: Mick Connery (Directors: Paul Byrne & Jeff Farrell)

Watch the videos and vote for your favourite here.

The series is the first piece of content from Mark Little’s new venture.