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  • The people have written

    Now South Africa has its own citizen journalism website in Johnnic’s commendable reporter.co.za The relentless pace of technology is turning everyone into citizen reporters. Anyone with a cellphone camera is a potential citizen photographer. Anyone with a blog is a potential citizen reporter or columnist.   Citizen journalists both collaborate and compete with established media. The bigger blogs for example compete for stories, audience and sometimes even advertising revenue.   A handful of bloggers are raking in bigger readerships than many established news sites. Bloggers are scooping stories, attending press conferences and being accredited alongside journalists. In a widely-read speech last year media tycoon Rupert...

  • The future of online advertising

    Here’s a prediction: Expect online advertising to increasingly resemble television commercials. Soon there won’t be too much difference between an advert you see on your TV and an advert you see on a website you are visiting. They may even be one and the same thing. As technology and bandwidth on the web advances, so advertisers and their agencies are increasingly deploying rich media to funk up their online campaigns. Rich media means smoother, silkier online ads that make use of animation, video and audio to deliver The Message. It means online adverts should increasingly becoming whiz-bang multimedia experiences --...

  • Cool newsblog by Bush radio

    Thanks to Bush Radio for alerting me to their cool blog project by their trainees. It's not quite opinion and comment, which is what we are used to getting on blogs -- but they are using the blog format to publish their written news stories. A blog can be anything you want it to be -- but I wonder why their stories are being blogged rather than being published on their official radio website? Perhaps because it provides a great CMS with which to publish the stories that maybe the main site doesn't have? But also -- perhaps Bush Radio's blogs could be used for further comment...

  • Roll on broadband

    from my column in the media, called net savvy If a survey by search engine Google is to be believed, the British apparently now spend more time on the Internet than watching television. The report, carried by news agency AFP in March this year, showed that British Internet users spend an average of 164 minutes online daily -- the equivalent of 41 days a year -- compared to 148 minutes watching television. According to AFP, the study was conducted by the TNS institute last month involving 1 030 adults aged 16 to 64. The findings make sense. There are about 10 million...

  • Print vs Online: Interview with Marketing Mix

    What is your opinion on the general attitude of the newspaper industry towards the merging of online and print? I think there are sceptics and believers. There will be a measure of merging, but I believe that online and print will also continue to co-exist as distinct products, offering similar or the same content -- at least in the forseeable future. Even in developed countries, newspapers in their traditional form will continue far into the forseeable future as a niche, serving those who want their news in paper format. I think cries that online will "replace" newspapers have been overdone....

  • Technology shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite?

    Saw Mike Stoporth's article on Bizcom in which he had this quote from Rupert Murdoch, talking about the internet: "To find something comparable, you have to go back 500 years to the printing press, the birth of mass media – which, incidentally, is what really destroyed the old world of kings and aristocracies. Technology is shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it’s the people who are taking control." It's pretty amazing to think that the web could be a revolution on the scale of the revolution that ended the aristocracy. There is a...

  • SA's online media space

    At KUGM Online Marketing conference in Rosebank Russell Hanly, Chief Executive of the new 24.com, gave us a brief overview of the new 24.com structure ... and then talked about the South African online media landscape. He emphasised that marketers should focus on domestic/South African readership rather than the total overseas readership, as this is obviously where their target market is. Russell also lamented the fact that the online advertising pie in South Africa is less than 1% -- something he couldn't understand given the relative size of the online audience and the quality of the audience. Personally, I am not sure...

  • Newspapers will not die, ever

    Listen up. Newspapers are NOT going to die or be "replaced" -- not ever. Had an interesting pow wow with Ben Hammersely, "special prototypes guy" (his title) at the Guardian Unlimited. We shared the panel at the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Conference. The conference took place in the 40/50/60 storey, green tinted mirror skyscraper that is Goldman Sachs' headquarters in downtown Manhattan. Its the same building where the movie Devil's Advocate was shot, and where Al Pacino eventually burst into flames and revealed himself as the devil in front of Keanu and Charlize to take over the world. So,...

  • The People Formerly Known as the Audience

    Read this good summary by Jay Rosen on his Press Think blog about how the media is changing and how patterns of media consumption is changing. I think however the article is too quick to condemn big media. This is not about the death of "big" media or changing "big" media, its about the rise of a new kind of media that will exist alongside "big" media. why is it always a case of 'either/or'? TV was supposed to kill radio, remember? Except it occupied a very successful niche. That's where I think citizen media is going. Big media, with...

  • Changing media's battlefield

    Ok play is over. Need to do some business here. Conference is tomorrow where I'll be chatting about online journalism vs traditional journalism. This is often how today's changing media world is portrayed: 1. online journ VS print journ; online newspapers VS newspapers ; traditional media VS digital media then 2. online + print (Mainstream media or MSM) VS citizen journalism ; MSM VS bloggers ; Rupert Murdoch & Dan Rather VS the blogosphere These are all in tension, but there is no war or battle here. It...

  • Net advertising 'to overtake national newspapers'

    Saw this in the Guardian Unlimited. I quote: "The internet will overtake national newspapers in the battle for advertising spending in the UK by the end of the year, it was predicted yesterday. GroupM, which accounts for about 30% of global media buying, says in a report to be published next month that the internet will account for 13.3% of the £12.2bn UK advertising market this year, overtaking national newspapers with a share of 13.2%. The figure for web advertising could be even bigger, because the report excludes the estimated £1bn a year spent on "affiliate advertising", which largely...

  • The state of the blogosphere

    According to Dave Sifry on the Technorati blog (the blog search engine) the blogosphere is literally DOUBLING every 5,5 months. There are about 40,7 million blogs around today, so that means if this formula is to be followed that there will be 80-million blogs by the end of 2006. What's more is that a blog is being posted EVERY SECOND on the world wide web. There are about 50 000 blog posts every hour and 1,2-million legitimate posts per day. Now that is alot of content and alot of blogging.

  • Citizen journalism, let's keep our heads shall we?

    Did this interview with Herman Manson of Media Toolbox a popular media newsletter. Do you think participatory journalism will grow beyond community newspapers (for which it does seem perfect) to national news organisations locally? Internationally the BBC recently announced a move to integrate more citizen generated content into its services. I am a huge fan and supporter of citizen journalism, but it must be pointed out that we are in the hype phase of the citizen journalism phenomenon sweeping the globe. Although it is an amazing and revolutionary movement, let's keep our heads. It is an important...

  • Internet useage in Africa: Top countries

    It's time to wake up, Telkom. Here are the top ranking internet countries in Africa by internet hosts. I got this from Arthur Goldstuck's comprehensive report, which you can get on his website. Shows that, as a continent, we have a lot to catch up still. Thankfully the consensus is that South Africa is now set for more expansion, although expensive telecoms are still holding us back. A new challenger to the fixed line monopoly Telkom has been licensed but that is going to take a while to get up and ready and competitive. Broadband is beginning to make an...

  • Where are users looking on my webpage?

    Have a look at this Google "heat map" that I took from www.google.com/adsense/tips. It shows, according to Google, the locations on your website that users tend to focus on. Google uses this as a guide to show you where you should position Adsense on your site -- or any other kind of advert for that matter... or if you don't like adverts just put important content there. It is an interesting demonstration of where users tend to look on a site. Some of Google's "revelations" are obvious, but there were a few surprises for me: for...