The Future Of The Future Of What We Used To Call News


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Last night I spoke to a room full of journalism school students at Columbia University. I am not a journalist, but I have journalistic tendencies and a set of experiences in storytelling and pseudo-reporting that the program directors uptown thought relevant to a group of people studying Journalism (with a capital J). 

The video from the event is available at this strange website here

Meanwhile, I wanted to dump some notes here and link out to a few examples and resources those in the room or in other rooms across this great planet might find useful. 

Here are my slides

I recommended several services and products including

  •  Attentive.ly - converts your mailing list into a social media listening post by gathering social data about your subscribers. At a time when many people are struggling with what to say on social media, this tool empowers you to listen
  • Knodes - helps spread your story or campaign via word of mouth on steroids. Knodes is a human recommendation engine that crawls through your existing social network and identifies people most likely to be interested in a particular piece of content. Don't spam everyone. Tell the right people. 
  • Unmetric - a social media benchmarking service. Gives you insight on how you and others are operating on a variety of social networks. On average, how long does it take Target to respond to negative posts on its Facebook page? Answers to this and more are available in this product. DISCLAIMER: I'm a formal advisor to this company and could theoretically get paid if things go well for them
  • Little Bird - identifies subject matter experts based on social media influence. Want to find the top 100 people who know about comedy in Portugal? This service can find them. 

I pointed to others changing the news game in innovative ways such as

  • Syria Deeply - has pioneered a new model of storytelling around global crises. It's like a new user interface for news. I was on the bus when founder Lara Setrakian sketched out the concept in January 2012, and now it's the go-to resource for insights on the situation in Syria.
  • Circa - a new way to read news on your mobile phone. Circa breaks stories down into screen-sized bites. Most valuable to me is the app lets you "stay updated" on an existing story or event. As followup developments are revealed, Circa updates the current story and notifies you. It was an amazing endorsement of the company when news pioneer Anthony De Rosa left Reuters to join Circa .
  • Tim Poole - pioneering live streaming and live event coverage. Tim (aka @timcast) was the on-the-ground source for much of Occupy Wall Street. This profile of him over at the Future Of Storytelling explains why what he's doing with mobile devices and wireless drones is exciting.  
  • Upwell during #sharkweek - this organization has done one of the best jobs I've seen of riding an existing hashtag and using it for its own ends. Upwell seeks to change the conversation about oceans and their preservation. The organization has made this sharkweek toolkit available for free

Finally, I shared several case studies of thing with which I've been involved: