How Twitter Left Google News Trailing Over Iran

So this is what we think we know – after the Sichuan earthquake and the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, the aftermath of the Iranian elections marks the latest coming of age for Twitter.

As a vechicle breaking news and real-time updates the microblogging site has once again shown it can leave the 24-hour news networks in its wake. 

Sure the rolling news channels (notably the late-to-the-story CNN) and the papers do an invaluable job curating and repackaging much of it but the raw material and the original narrative belongs to Twitter.

But what’s really interesting is not the battle between Twitter and the established media but between Twitter and its online rivals. 

Some fascinating number-crunching by Heather Dougherty of Hitwise reveals that one in four people searching for “Iran election” headed to the microblogging service.

The figures are for the week ending 20 June and the data is US-only but the results are significant: this is the first time I can recall Twitter beating Google News in a straight race.


Continue reading How Twitter Left Google News Trailing Over Iran

Million Up For Apple 3G iPhone And Dell’s $3m Twitter Windfall

This is my kind of blog. Digital Stats does exactly what it says on the tin – it is a collection of “interesting and surprising statistics about digital media and devices”. 

It doesn’t try and do anything else. Just that. Which is probably why it is one of 5% of blogs that survives beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm (*see below).

Continue reading Million Up For Apple 3G iPhone And Dell’s $3m Twitter Windfall

Is The Investigations Fund A Solution To The Crisis in Journalism?

Following in the footsteps of ProPublica and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, Europe has its first foundation dedicated to “support independent journalism”.

The Investigtions Fund boasts an impressive cast list including investigative journalist Nick Davies, freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke and intriguingly Peter Barron– formerly deputy editor of Channel 4 News and editor of Newsnight, now Google’s comms director.

Continue reading Is The Investigations Fund A Solution To The Crisis in Journalism?

The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and BBC: Lessons in Crowdsourcing

I began the week reflecting on the BBC’s initiative asking radio listeners to come up with pain-free ways the NHS could save money.

The week ends with an army of Guardian readers sorting and classifying 700,000+ MPs’ expenses documents.

Two examples of old media embracing crowdsourcing and it will be interesting to see how both fair.

From the outside, the Guardian feels inherently more switched on to the potential of outsourcing some of its journalism to the crowd. Continue reading The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and BBC: Lessons in Crowdsourcing

Goodness Gracious, Not So Great Firewall Of China

I mentioned in passing yesterday Clay Shirky’s views on Twitter and events in Iran. Well, you can never have enough of the man and this is worth 17 minutes of your life.

Recorded last month and posted in the last couple of days by, this compelling restatement of the web as media revolution was delivered to an audience in the US State department.

Continue reading Goodness Gracious, Not So Great Firewall Of China

Iran’s Internet Revolution: The Backstory

Twenty-three million interent users, with a growth rate of 48% year-on-year and 60,000 active bloggers. Yep, we’re talking Iran. A third of the nation is online and, seemingly, another third is on the streets.

These figures, sourced from the Open Net Initiative, are no surprise to anyone who’s had any dealings with the Iranian blogosphere.

Back in early 2006 Channel 4 News presented a week of programmes from inside the country. News from Iran was fronted by Jon Snow and both international editor Lindsey Hilsum and science correspondent Julian Rush were on the ground for the week, along with a team of producers, cameramen, editors, and the programme director.

Alongside the broadcasts we were busily blogging and podding. In fact it was the first time we’d blogged in earnest – if a $149 Typepad licence counts.

What really made the site come alive were the contributions from Iranians, not just the diaspora but those inside Iran itself. The blogroll ran and ran. Continue reading Iran’s Internet Revolution: The Backstory

Digital Britain: Has Carter Really Saved DAB?

It may be obvious but it’s worth stating in light of Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report published yesterday – digital radio and DAB are not the same thing.

Read the headlines and you would assume Digial Britain is nothing but good news for those who have bet the farm on digital audio broadcasting.

This is what we know:

  • all national radio stations will stop broadcasting in analogue by 2015
  • all new car radios sold in the UK should be digital by 2013
  • all radio stations broadcasting on MW (except the ultra local) will upgrade to DAB

Incidentally none of this will happen until 50% of listening is digital (it’s currently around 20%) and until DAB reaches 90% of the population and all major roads. Continue reading Digital Britain: Has Carter Really Saved DAB?