A new journalism tool? Twitter?

So, check out that last post. I did all those mini reviews in less than five minutes.

Using my Nokia N95 cell phone, and TwitterGram. I have a phone number to call, hear a beep, and can record. Then I take a photo and upload that automatically to Flickr. Finally I get back to my computer, write a blog post, copy and paste some HTML, and we have a nice set of reviews.

Imagine if we were at a news event, like, say, a fire. I could quickly gather people’s impressions. Give my own. Take some pictures. And then stitch together a blog page with all of the important info.

If you have a video ready phone you can even upload video (my Nokia N95 does that, sorry, iPhones don’t yet do video).

Thanks to Ev Williams and Jack Dorsey for Twitter. To Stewart Butterfield and Catrina Fake for Flickr. And Dave Winer for TwitterGram.

Comments

  1. Usefulness of those Twittergram posts? Approaching —-> 0.

    The problem with Twitter all along has been that the communications that take place over the medium are fundamentally meaningless. Some countered that the very power of the medium lie its ability to be a messaging platform, or “coral reef” or what-have-you. But again, the short-snippit medium even in the case of applications built on top of Twitter (such as Twittergrams) is its Achilles’ heel. Nothing important can be exchanged in such disjoint bursts of dialogue, which fail to pass as real thought.

    As enthusiastic as Dave Winer is about his new tech (and I admire him for the speed with which he put it together) I don’t the use-case is very compelling -yet.

  2. Usefulness of those Twittergram posts? Approaching —-> 0.

    The problem with Twitter all along has been that the communications that take place over the medium are fundamentally meaningless. Some countered that the very power of the medium lie its ability to be a messaging platform, or “coral reef” or what-have-you. But again, the short-snippit medium even in the case of applications built on top of Twitter (such as Twittergrams) is its Achilles’ heel. Nothing important can be exchanged in such disjoint bursts of dialogue, which fail to pass as real thought.

    As enthusiastic as Dave Winer is about his new tech (and I admire him for the speed with which he put it together) I don’t the use-case is very compelling -yet.

  3. this reminds me of a conversation i had with a nokia business manager from finland few weeks ago at Von 07. “our next few phones will have platforms for personal podcasting”. citizen journalism couldnt have had a better time!

  4. this reminds me of a conversation i had with a nokia business manager from finland few weeks ago at Von 07. “our next few phones will have platforms for personal podcasting”. citizen journalism couldnt have had a better time!

  5. I am not sure what the issue is, but none of those Twittergrams were playing in my browser with any volume. I had every thing maxed out and still couldn’t hear a thing.

  6. I am not sure what the issue is, but none of those Twittergrams were playing in my browser with any volume. I had every thing maxed out and still couldn’t hear a thing.

  7. MattD: not sure either. I’ve played them on several different computers here and they play just fine. They are standard old MP3 files, though.

  8. MattD: not sure either. I’ve played them on several different computers here and they play just fine. They are standard old MP3 files, though.

  9. As a (ex) journalist, I always find it amusing that people think we were somehow magically first on the scene of a news event. Anyhow, as you know, we’re all reporters now! So maybe your post should have been titled ‘A new reporting tool?’? (Not sure if the term ‘citizen reporting’ is still de rigeur these days!)

    As matbalez says above, I found Twitter to be ultimately meaningless and, consequently, not worth my time. I will check out Twittergrams though, sounds like it might be a genuinely useful application.

  10. As a (ex) journalist, I always find it amusing that people think we were somehow magically first on the scene of a news event. Anyhow, as you know, we’re all reporters now! So maybe your post should have been titled ‘A new reporting tool?’? (Not sure if the term ‘citizen reporting’ is still de rigeur these days!)

    As matbalez says above, I found Twitter to be ultimately meaningless and, consequently, not worth my time. I will check out Twittergrams though, sounds like it might be a genuinely useful application.

  11. you’re using the term “journalism” when you mean to use the term “publishing” — or at best “amateur reporting.”

    hooking a thermometer to your USB port and uploading two digits to wunderground doesn’t make you a meteorologist any more than xeni jardin’s vacation photos make her a photojournalist.

    and yes, the MP3s are funky. if you want better compatibility tweak the encoder per known best practices. flash has restrictions on VBR and bitrate support, quicktime doesn’t like certain parameters, etc. depends on the configured player. google it.

  12. you’re using the term “journalism” when you mean to use the term “publishing” — or at best “amateur reporting.”

    hooking a thermometer to your USB port and uploading two digits to wunderground doesn’t make you a meteorologist any more than xeni jardin’s vacation photos make her a photojournalist.

    and yes, the MP3s are funky. if you want better compatibility tweak the encoder per known best practices. flash has restrictions on VBR and bitrate support, quicktime doesn’t like certain parameters, etc. depends on the configured player. google it.

  13. meanguy: I disagree. Journalism is the act of collecting people’s views on things. This is a journalism tool. Now, whether I’m a “good” or “bad” journalist is a discussion for another day.

  14. luca: I can’t keep up with any more social networks, sorry. But I’ll try to take a look. UPDATE: I just took a quick look. Not even in the same quality level as Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, or Facebook. Sorry. I think I’ll stay with what I’m already on. Demonstrates that this area is already very crowded and newcomers will struggle to get traction.

  15. meanguy: I disagree. Journalism is the act of collecting people’s views on things. This is a journalism tool. Now, whether I’m a “good” or “bad” journalist is a discussion for another day.

  16. luca: I can’t keep up with any more social networks, sorry. But I’ll try to take a look. UPDATE: I just took a quick look. Not even in the same quality level as Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, or Facebook. Sorry. I think I’ll stay with what I’m already on. Demonstrates that this area is already very crowded and newcomers will struggle to get traction.

  17. Robert, thanks for taking a look. We just launched this new version and releasing a weekly update in terms of features. I ‘d like to know what you mean with “quality level”. Sometimes I think that for this kind of “web 2.0 social networks”, quality means sometimes “look&feel”. Hictu has a unique feature that you should appreciate, that is posting realtime videos together with messages, rss and so on. So, what you mean with quality here? Of course, Hictu doesn’t have as many users as twitter, but has its unique strong points and it got over 1000 new registered users in 5 days. So, stay tuned at least :-)

  18. Robert, thanks for taking a look. We just launched this new version and releasing a weekly update in terms of features. I ‘d like to know what you mean with “quality level”. Sometimes I think that for this kind of “web 2.0 social networks”, quality means sometimes “look&feel”. Hictu has a unique feature that you should appreciate, that is posting realtime videos together with messages, rss and so on. So, what you mean with quality here? Of course, Hictu doesn’t have as many users as twitter, but has its unique strong points and it got over 1000 new registered users in 5 days. So, stay tuned at least :-)

  19. @9 “Journalism is the act of collecting people’s views on things.”

    Is this what they taught you at journalism school? You again embarrass the SJSU School of Journalism. Are you sure you went there and didn’t instead take classes from the back of a matchbook cover? “collecting people’s views on things?” Yea, maybe that’s how US Weekly, People Magazine and the National Inquierer define it. But, I have to think that any reporter that wants to have any credibility is not interested in “collect[ing] people’s view on things” when working a story. That reporter is interested in getting at the FACTS. (Something clearly anathema to the majority of bloggers.) I’m pretty confident in guessing that the Columbia School of Journalism would define it as: “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation “

  20. @9 “Journalism is the act of collecting people’s views on things.”

    Is this what they taught you at journalism school? You again embarrass the SJSU School of Journalism. Are you sure you went there and didn’t instead take classes from the back of a matchbook cover? “collecting people’s views on things?” Yea, maybe that’s how US Weekly, People Magazine and the National Inquierer define it. But, I have to think that any reporter that wants to have any credibility is not interested in “collect[ing] people’s view on things” when working a story. That reporter is interested in getting at the FACTS. (Something clearly anathema to the majority of bloggers.) I’m pretty confident in guessing that the Columbia School of Journalism would define it as: “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation “

  21. Dictionary.com defines it at: 1. the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.

    Where are facts mentioned? In your mind, maybe.

    What is news? Well, let’s see. Let’s say a building burnt down. What do journalists do?

    Take pictures of the scene. And go up to the fire chief.

    What does he give them? The facts? Yeah, right. Maybe as HE sees them.

    But journalists collect other people’s opinions on things all the time. Sometimes those opinions contain facts, sometimes not.

    I’m not talking about the journalist’s opinions here, either. They can keep their opinions out of journalism just by aiming the microphone at someone else.

  22. Dictionary.com defines it at: 1. the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.

    Where are facts mentioned? In your mind, maybe.

    What is news? Well, let’s see. Let’s say a building burnt down. What do journalists do?

    Take pictures of the scene. And go up to the fire chief.

    What does he give them? The facts? Yeah, right. Maybe as HE sees them.

    But journalists collect other people’s opinions on things all the time. Sometimes those opinions contain facts, sometimes not.

    I’m not talking about the journalist’s opinions here, either. They can keep their opinions out of journalism just by aiming the microphone at someone else.

  23. @13 “Where are facts mentioned? In your mind, maybe.”

    Where did I say the “journalist” was inserting their opinions? I rather doubt an editor tells a reporter: “There’s a major scandal happening down at city hall. Go get people’s view on that and type it up”

    as far as the definition you quoted, you did some pretty heavy editing.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    1 a : the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media b : the public press c : an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium
    2 a : writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation c : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest.

    I know reading comprehension can often be a challenge for you, but look at definition 2b.

  24. @13 “Where are facts mentioned? In your mind, maybe.”

    Where did I say the “journalist” was inserting their opinions? I rather doubt an editor tells a reporter: “There’s a major scandal happening down at city hall. Go get people’s view on that and type it up”

    as far as the definition you quoted, you did some pretty heavy editing.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    1 a : the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media b : the public press c : an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium
    2 a : writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation c : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest.

    I know reading comprehension can often be a challenge for you, but look at definition 2b.