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Notes from the changing media landscape

On Metro, Foursquare, the future of freesheets, Facebook-journalism and creative disruption.

Okay, so the headline of this post is pretty much the subtitle of this blog, but I often come across posts on interesting developments that I have limited time to blog about and know I easily will forget if I just tweet about them or save them to Delicious (I'm on Publish2 too, but Delicious is where most of my peers are, and old habits die hard). Also, I don't want to turn this blog into just a collection of links, but it's much easier to refind and return to stuff I mention here than on Delicious. In fact, one aspect I find very useful about blogging is, as I've previously described, that it works almost as a backup of my brain. So here's a few of the many interesting blog posts I've been thinking about recently.

Metro + Foursquare: following Monday's announcement of the new partnership between Metro Canada and the location-based social network Foursquare, the two most interesting posts that flashed past me was ReadWriteWeb's The Era of Location-as-Platform Has Arrived and Mark Briggs' A Foursquare First: teaming with a news org. In the latter post, both the suggestion on how open APIs eventually will take over and the one on how mobile news services will become location specific make sense to me. See also: Foursquare for local business marketing (latter link added 12:18 CET)

Free dailies 2010: the age of the happy monopolist: "Free newspapers were one of the big stories of the noughties, and came to symbolise the primacy of ‘free’ and the imminent demise of paid-for papers." Interesting analysis from Piet Bakker, who charts the rise and fall of freesheets and outlines what conditions they thrive in.

Creative Disruption: What could Kodak have done differently? (via Adam's blog): there are, as Adam mentions, many lessons for newspaper publishers here - even in 2010.

Dan Blank: How I used Facebook to unearth a town's history (via Adam on Twitter): For short, I referred to this as Facebook-journalism in the intro, but that is probably not quite accurate. Still, what kept playing in my mind when I read this amazing story was how we could use similar techniques to create better crowd-sourced hyperlocal journalism.

When I mention hyperlocal journalism though, I also think of how I recently saw hyperlocal journalism defined as "what we did when we actually had time to go out and talk to people in our communities (or something similar, I can't remember where I read it just now).

Just looking at my own family history, the local stories I've learned about through talking to random people I've met - especially when just after I graduated I spent a few months working in a pub - I know there are so many amazing stories that go unreported and that many people are very curious, passionate and interested in local history, which Dan Blank's experiences really show. In this own words:

"I want to share a story about how Facebook is allowing me to experience my past in new and incredible ways. Here is the premise:

  • I drove through my hometown (Howell, New Jersey) snapping pictures of every store, house, and landmark I could on the main road.
  • I uploaded 165 photos to Facebook, and shared it for anyone to see. 
  • So far, these photos have received more than 700 comments, adding stories, context, history and reactions. A variety of generations responded, some who remembered it in the 1950s and 1960s.

"What makes this remarkable is that I grew up in a faceless American suburb - full of cheap strip malls and tract housing. Almost everyone was a transplant from somewhere else, with waves of people settling there from New York, including my parents who moved from Queens... (do check out full post here)"


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