Tweets, Pokes And Uploads: Watching Social Media’s Growth In Real-Time

Twenty hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, nearly a million blog posts each day, 600,000 new members of Facebook and around four million tweets via Twitter every 24 hours – some social media numbers are quite hard to fathom. 

Not sure if Gary Hayes’s real-time counter makes things easier but it does offer another way to watch the dials whizzing round.

 – Is Social Media A Fad? Apparently Not


The Week’s Most Read Posts (19 – 25 Oct 2009)

  1. Lots of column (and blogosphere) inches are being written in response to the suggestion that the Jan Moir backlash was an orchestrated campaign. []
  2. While the blogosphere and Twitterverse is censorious about others, here’s a rare instance of internet self-flagellation. []
  3. ‘If Arsenal offers fans direct, undiluted access to highlights, interviews, news and maybe one day live action, why would fans pay for access to Time Online’s football zone?’ []
  4. The BBC reported 10,000 comments were left on the Have Your Say section of the corporation’s website (normal activity: a few hundred). []
  5. ‘We don’t redistribute your web pages to anyone. We operate within the law.’

How ‘Nutter’ Griffin Matched Nobel Obama

daily-star-nick-griffin-bnpWhile much of the Nick Griffin / Question Time chat was happening on Twitter, some people went straight to the source to express their views.

The BBC reported 10,000 comments were left on the Have Your Say section of the corporation’s website (normal activity: a few hundred) while, by mid-morning today, 2,000 posts were viewable on a specially created message board.

The figures come via the Online Journalism Blog’s Paul Bradshaw who put a few questions to Matthew Eltringham from the BBC’s UGC Hub.

Eltringham notes that the Have Your Say numbers were recently matched in volume by responses to President Obama’s Nobel Prize win.

But in that instance the traffic was global in nature whereas last night it was a more parochial affair.

BNP on Question Time: The BBC should be applauded
Daily Mail Ends Moderation. Will Anybody Notice?

Publishers, This Is The Ultimate Membership Club

arsenal-football-clubIt employs 11 full-time staff to run its website, boasts a video on demand service charging £45 a year, a mobile video service at £1.50 a week, a cable TV channel and, coming soon, a £2.99 Apple i-Phone app.

Oh, and it has Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese-language versions of its website, plus a US-facing site.

But this is no traditional global publisher getting its digital act together. This is a football club. Arsenal Football Club in this example but others, including the obscenely rich Manchester City, are doing something similar.

In a fascinating piece on paidContentUK – part-titled, Sports Media Beware – Patrick Smith notes how this is a great example of targeting a specific community, and charging for the privilege.

And he poses a tricky question for more established media to answer:

If Arsenal offers fans direct, undiluted access to highlights, interviews, news and maybe one day live action, why would fans pay for access to Time Online’s football zone?

iPhone Apps Emerge As Possible Paid Solution
‘No Branding Or Devotion – Only Utility.’

NewsNow: ‘End These Indiscriminate Attacks’

news-nowNewsNow is something of a British success story. Launched in 1998, during that first phase of internet entrepreneurship, it is the country’s leading news aggregator and the UK’s answer to Google News.

It currently accounts for 20 per cent of the market

Set up by two technology journalists, Nick Gilbert and Struan Bartlett (declaration of interest: both former colleagues), it is proof that not all of us watch from the sidelines. Some get stuck in.

But now the NewsNow business model is under fire. The company has been threatened with legal action if it does not change the way it does business or cease from linking altogether.

In an open letter to national and regional newspapers – a number of whom have NewsNow in their sights – Bartlett called on them to end these “indiscriminate attacks”. 

In the letter, widely circulated on Twitter yesterday, he wrote:

We don’t redistribute your web pages to anyone. We operate within the law, and we don’t do you any harm.

Far from it. We deliver you traffic and drive you revenues you otherwise wouldn’t have received. The idea that we are undermining your businesses is incorrect. It is fanciful to imagine that, if it weren’t for link aggregators, you would have more traffic or revenues. We provide a service that you do not: a means for readers to find your content more readily, via continuously updating links to a diversity of websites.

The truth is, if anything, it is the growth of the Internet itself — not link aggregation — that has undermined your businesses by destroying the virtual monopoly that you once held over the mass distribution of written news.

Which seems about the sum of it.

I’ve yet to hear a really effective case made against aggregators. From publishers, at least.

I can understand why those who make their money from syndication – step forward the Associated Press – are unhappy. Aggregation, formally through the likes of Google News and News Now or informally via social media, is the new syndication.

That’s why AP has led the fight.

But publishers? Their approach is, frankly, schizophrenic. Take News Corp. If it is not shouting “kleptomaniac“, it’s showing a bit of leg to Google while dabbling with aggregation models of its own.

Here’s what we know – aggregators drive traffic.

We can argue, as many publishers are doing, about the value of these passing eye-balls, but asking whether we need NewsNow and co. to deliver this transient traffic is not the same as declaring them harmful. And it is a very long way from proving that without these apparent parasites, revenue would be up, up, up.

Good luck, NewsNow.

Top 10 News Aggregators In The UK
What Would Google Do? Fail Quietly.

Stephen Fry Attacks ‘Rubbishy, Cheap And Offensive’ Remarks… His Own

stephen-fry-channel-4-newsStephen Fry has had a busy few weeks.

Apart from appearing on our TV screens every Sunday night (and various points in between) he’s campaigned against the Conservative Party’s association with a right-wing European parliament grouping and was a prominent disseminater of the disgust felt towards Jan Moir’s infamous Stephen Gately article.

In a blog post published yesterday, entitled Poles, Politeness and Politics in the Age of Twitter, he conflated the two issues to offer some reflections on his own actions and on the nature of online debate.

Intriguingly, he used the post to retract some of the “rubbishy, cheap and offensive” remarks he felt he made during a Channel 4 News appearance when he debated the Tories and the Polish Law and Justice Party.

While the blogosphere and Twitterverse is censorious about others, here’s a rare instance of internet self-flagellation.

Sure, it’s a couple of weeks after the event and complaints had been pouring in but, given the shrill nature of much of the online debate (yes, including over the Moir affair), it is refreshing for someone to come to the point where they admit very publicly they badly misjudged their remarks. 

Here’s a taste of the Fry mea culpa:

I mean, what was I thinking? Well, as I say, I wasn’t. The words just formed themselves in a line in my head, as words will, and marched out of the mouth.

I offer no excuse. I seemed to imply that the Polish people had been responsible for the most infamous of all the death factories of the Third Reich. I didn’t even really at the time notice the import of what I had said, so gave myself no opportunity instantly to retract the statement. It was a rubbishy, cheap and offensive remark that I have been regretting ever since.

And his view of Jan Moir? Well, he still thinks the article was an “epically ill-judged piece of gutter journalism” but has some sympathy for her because:

I know just what it is like to make a monumental ass of oneself and how hard it is to find the road back. I know all too well what it is like to be inebriated, as Disraeli put it, by the exuberance of my own verbosity.

 – Is the Daily Mail in denial over Moir outrage?
Jan Moir, meet ‘the big gay who runs the internet’

The Week’s Most Read Posts (12 – 18 Oct 2009)

  1. ‘Incorrectly listed as being fined for prostitution…’ []
  2. Some good, some bad, mostly indifferent. As media land descends on Twitter how do you work out who are the ones worth following? []
  3. “Sell The Vatican, Feed The World,” comedian Sarah Silverman urges in a three minute Papal pounding routine currently doing good business on YouTube. []
  4. Further evidence that the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail are print media’s most aggressive online operators. []
  5. If newspapers are struggling to redefine their role in the face of a 24/7 assault from the internet, what of the weekly and monthly magazine? []