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I've Moved!

Same MiniMediaGuy, different location. Please follow the link!


I've Moved

Same MiniMediaGuy, different location. Please follow the link!


Aggregation: It's the Zeitgeist

Just a quick question before I start a long weekend early — how do people learn in a networked world? George Siemens, a Canadian educator, has advanced a notion called connectivism that provides a conceptual framework for what changes when institutions are supplanted by ad-hoc teams. Let me thank unmediated.org for bringing the theory of connectivism to my attention. I noodled around and found a biography for George Siemens and an interview with him that will give you the flavor of his ideas. The piece referenced on unmediated had to do with Siemens’ observations on the breakdown of the old media gatekeeper system: “I no longer read newspapers or watch the evening news. I used to go to one source of information to get a thousand points of information. Now, I go to a thousand sources of information to get one point of information. I have become the filter and mediator.” This observation is reminiscent of the newsmaster concept that was floating around the web some months ago (if you haven’t seen the Googlezon (EPIC) video, take a five minutes to amuse yourself with a sci-fi "documentary" on how the Net swallows newspapers). And just this morning unmediated pointed to a related discussion about how top bloggers are becoming what are called newshubs -- tour guides of a sort in a world awash with information. Interesting times. I’ll post again Tuesday. Tom Abate MiniMediaGuy ‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media


The Dept. of Homeland Software?

Yesterday I speculated that local news was the best content market (include niche or affinity groups as well) and suggested that localized news could be the bread and butter of citizen journalism. I ended on this note -- we need to invent a way to make local sites pay at least a partial income. Here are some thoughts as to how. For arguments’ sake, let’s imagine that the citizen journalism site of the not-too-distant future is anchored around a column, or blog. It would presumably be the audience magnet. Around this blog would be arranged other feeds and inputs – a cartoon, photo or artwork for a quick laugh; the lead paragraph from other blogs on the same theme with links to more; news feeds, culled from mainstream media and delivered via RSS or through an affiliation with Topix; useful links to info resources relevant to the site’s theme (Peoria-at-a-Glance, or Guide-to-Food-Preservation). Think of this as a personal portal, a lens on the world that the “editor” shares with others. In recent blogs I noted how Dave Winer’s OPML would enable web publishers to grab other pages and, assuming templates or other software modules appear out of thin air, pour parts of that content into one of these imaginary personal portals. The end result could be an interesting destination. It could even draw enough traffic to create a supplementary income for the portal editor. At least that's my hope and expectation. But if the agglomeration of content helps to draw an audience, shouldn’t front page revenues be shared with the various contributors? I say yes, and offer this simple starting point as a framework for computing the shares – for each input record the area of the screen set over to it; record the time of each unique front-page visit and any click-thru activity that occurs while each constituent element is in place; divide total revenues or page-views achieved during each publishing period (which would change any time a constituent element changes); divide any revenues received during that publishing period by the area devoted to each element; apportion the pro rata share to an account for each contributor; tabulate these shares by week or month, and issue payments upon certain thresholds. In short, make a business out of sharing content instead of assuming that we are all tenured academics who post stuff for the greater good and our personal glory (think about it: Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web and its predecessor, the NSFNet, were both academic constructs supported by academic money and labor; Web 2.0 has no such sugar daddy.) But where do I put this request? I can’t even paste a traffic counter into my Blogger profile (officially, my traffic is zero, which means not even I read my blog!). Perhaps some person with technological smarts (who is also not reading this) can point me to where such an accounting software already exists. Or if it is a novel request, then put the idea where it is likely to get constructive feedback or a prototype effort that could be tweaked and improved. It's way past time to put the new publishing modes on a path toward economic sustainability. Tom Abate MiniMediaGuy ‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media