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Tim O'Reilly on Andrew Keen at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin

Journalists ignore the social web at their peril: here's how to fix it (Oslo, 25/10)

No, I'm not leading up to rant, rather I'm going to invite bloggers, journalists - and everyone interested - to share in whatever competitive advantage I get from tapping into the social web

Better still, I've put together a seminar on using the social web for Saturday, together with a few other partners.

The seminar is open to everyone (more background here, in Norwegian. This is a non-profit event, but we've had to take a small participation fee, 250 NOK, to cover our costs. The fee includes lunch, coffee and, of course, wi-fi).

Keynote speakers:

  • Colin Meek on how to  'Get the most out of web 2.0 and web 3.0 tools for in-depth and investigative research'
  • Heidi Nordby Lunde (aka Vampus): "Citizen journalism is dead! Long live Citizen journalism!" (an insight into mainstream media's weird and wonderful attempts - some successful, some not - to enlist readers to help them report on events). 




I'll kick off the seminar with a talk on how I benefit from using the social web as a journalist and blogger, giving an introduction to how the web's distributed conversations can be used for research purposes, to increase your audience and improve your reputation (yes, this is just to set the scene, an introduction to using the social web).

However, we've also been so lucky to get someone much more technically advanced than me to share his expertise, namely Colin Meek, who's worked on investigative and in-depth research projects for over 15 years as a journalist and policy analyst:

"Web 2.0 and web 3.0 resources shift internet research to another level. In many ways the future of the internet is through 'networking' and 'semantic' technology. Using web 2.0 and web 3.0 isn't just about getting better results more quickly. If you invest a little time you can harness these powerful new search tools to more accurately follow trends and key words, breaking news, and find new ways to monitor your beats through 'networks' of other users," Colin says.

Now, the Norwegians among you will probably know that Heidi, voted Norway's best political blogger for her personal blog, is the citizen journalism editor at ABC Nyheter, the first commercial news site in Norway to feature a mix of citizen- and traditional journalism. Her talk will look at how mainstream media's efforts to enlist readers and attract so-called user generated content really went.

We conclude the seminar with a debate on whether there are benefits to be had for mainstream media from engaging in conversations on platforms other than their own - such as on the sites of their competitors, on blogs or social networking sites - or if it's just a waste of journalists' precious time.

Helge Ögrim, editor-in-chief of, and blogger George Gooding kick off this debate with short intros, but we'll run this session more as an "un-conference" than a panel debate.

I say "Journalists ignore the social web at their peril" in the headline simply because, armed with a blog, someone who knows how to harness the social web can easily outcompete journalists at their own game. I've optimistically hired a big venue, so I don't really think room will be an issue, but it would be great to know if you're planning to show up so we can order enough coffee, food etc. Time and place: Saturday 25/10, 10am to 4pm, Håndverkeren, Oslo.

Follow the seminar on twitter: #socialweb , technorati tag: swOslo


Sounds like a great event, Kristine! Wished I could be there.

I recently attended a similar event in Greece where the organisers tried to bring togther both sides and failed disasterously.

Hope you have better luck.

Bente: would have been great to have you here, hope to do more of these events in the future.

Craig: that did sound like a disaster, yes. I'm positive that we'll do a lot better because this is in conjuction with a real-life online forum I started this spring, and the community is already there.

We started by inviting all the new media geeks we knew: media bloggers, citizen journalists, journos, online developers, editors, acadmics to a brainstorming meeting, asking them what issues they'd want us to focus on, ideas for lecturers to invite to monthly after-work meetings.

We've had three such meetings, all "in beta", the seminar is the first bigger thing we're putting on, where we've invited everyone interested, but we're still pretty much in beta. I don't expect a huge crowd today, but it's a quality crowd, as always, and I think that will make for some great discussions, although I'm afraid we haven't attracted any luddites. Some will be new to using the social web, which the seminar is about, but it's a great mix of people.

I have to trust the venue that the technical set-up work, but I know people have used the venue before with no probs and pray it will work according to plan now as well, also hope that coffee and food will be delivered on time and that I won't screw up my own talk - better go over the latter one last time now actually:-)

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