Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

Social Media for Business Innovation at The Guardian

April 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Very nice presentation from Mike Bracken of The Guardian at the Gartner 2010 Symposium on leveraging social media for business and organizational innovation.

Bracken starts speaking at approx 5:15 in the video, and a brief cheesy musical clip follows, but the rest of the presentation is excellent. Presentation slides can be viewed here. I’ll have more to say on this video shortly.


Open Data Strategies and News Media – update

July 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Last year, I had several posts around Open Data strategies – focusing specifically on News Media organizations. I’d like to provide an update. Actually, this post is a compilation of a collection of e-mails, so hopefully it come together in some coherent manner.

Data-driven Journalism

The collection of posts began with a questions as to whether data-driven journalism should be considered a future strategic capability of news media organizations?

The question was prompted by a post from from zero hedge: Another Massively Interactive European Chart, which referenced an interactive chart published by the Economist. It reminded me again of the power of Info-graphics to “enlighten and explain”.

For additional articles on data-driven journalism, see the following:

The Bigger Picture – Open Data

I then briefly explored the importance of Open Data, a capability that would offer strong material for data-driven journalism. I provided the following links:

Also of interest is The Guardian’s strong advocacy for opening up public data sources, in part to put to the service of journalism.

Linked Data – Technological foundation for Open Data on the Web

The following e-mail provided some context for the W3C’s Linked Data initiative. In particular, it provided links to thoughts from Martin Belam, the Chief Information Architect at The Guardian, on how Linked Data will affect the future of News organizations. These links are provided below:

There’s also a very interesting presentation from the News Linked Data Summit in February 2010, where a presentation was given titled News Media Metadata – The Current Landscape. It would be nice to have the video to go with this presentation, but there some great content in the slide deck.

On the topics of semantics, here’s ReadWriteWeb’s archived articles from SemTech 2010 if anyone is interested. Facebook and Google both had a strong presence at this year’s Semtech conference.

Government and Community Open Data Initiatives

A third e-mail followed discussed some of the current movements by various level of government – from countries to municipalities – to freely open up their data to the public.

Here’s an interesting link announcing the pending formal UK government launch of their Open Data initiative, prompted by Tim Berners-Lee. And here’s The Guardian’s announcement of the launch the following day, with a video clip of Sir Tim himself. As The Guardian’s Martin Belam comments in a post days after the announcement, “We now know that, whatever the outcome of the next election, we are only going to see more Government and state gathered data published, not less. So how, as the news industry, are we going to respond to this, and what does the digital news media look like in a world with a high level of semantic state data available?”

The UK Government is a pioneer here for sure, but it’s a trend that many are already promoting in Canada. This represents a real opportunity, IMO, for journalism – as Belam strongly advocates for – for helping people make sense out of government data, to illuminate the broader patterns and relevance to peoples’ lives, and to host discussion around important “topics that matter”. Note the list of Canadian municipalities in this wiki page that are moving ahead full steam with Open Data initiatives. See the following articles for Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. And here’s a recent Forrester blog post on the topic.

And that’s about that. 🙂


HyperLocal Trends 2010 – from The Guardian

January 1, 2010 3 comments

As HyperLocal emerges as a key trend for Media in 2010, The Guardian’s Mercedes Bunz has a nice piece discussing the momentum of HyperLocal going into 2010, and highlights some concerns as well around local news reporting.

Large Media Companies acquire HyperLocal startups in 2009

Bunz first highlights key acquisitions of HyperLocal startups by larger media companies in 2009. Specifically:

  • AOL bought two local startups with Patch, which brings local news to communities, and Going, a local event listing platform
  • AOL’s big rival, MSNBC, acquired the hyperlocal aggregator EveryBlock
  • CNN is investing $7m in the aggregator
  • The Clarity Media Group of billionaire Philip Anschutz, who owns the local news network acquired the citizen journalism site NowPublic

Google and HyperLocal

Of course, Bunz also mentions recent moves by Google in HyperLocal, which I’ve discussed extensively on this blog. Here’s what Bunz has to say about Google and HyperLocal:

If you’re still not convinced, look at Google. Today an increasing number of consumers use their PCs or mobile phones to find local products and services, and quite a few recent developments at the search engine giant took that into account. Apart from Twitter’s integration into Google with the option to get to know what is happening around you at any one point, Google offers Goggles, a mobile video and image search aimed at local information. In addition, it is testing Favorite Places. It has identified 100,000 businesses in the U.S. who receive a window decal with a unique QR code to be scanned with a phone handing out customer reviews.

And what of HyperLocal reporting?

Interestingly, observes Bunz,

If you take a closer look, you quickly figure out that the actual hyperlocal investment is mainly business-related. … But while the business side is taken up, the reporting side isn’t.

As the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, said earlier this year, we face a “collapse of the structure of political reporting”. While businesses get their favourite place on Google, there won’t be any reporting on councils, council committees and the courts. This may mean corruption and inefficiency go unreported.

Despite all the investments above, local news still needs to be supported.

Top Hyperlocal News Sites – A list

As I was writing this post, I also stumbled on a nice listing of top HyperLocal news sites (not from the Guardian).

In Summary …

Look for a lot of innovation to happen around HyperLocal in 2010.


More on News Media Open API Strategies – New York Times

September 19, 2009 Leave a comment

I previously blogged about The Guardian’s Open API strategy. Today, let’s have a look at the New York Times.

New York Times Open API Strategy

Early in 2009, the New York Times launched its Article Search API.

While this is a somewhat innovative strategy for a News organization, it’s a classic Web 2.0 strategy, pioneered by the likes of Amazon and Google. This is an inevitable outgrowth of the emergence of the Web as a Platform, and the Open Business Models and Value Chains that it enables. It’s going to force traditional News Media companies to make some tough discussions, as The Guardian’s Martin Belam points out in his post MPs expenses, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and the ‘open’ and ‘closed’ models of 21st century journalism.

So in a nutshell, the New York Times and The Guardian are making their data open to the public to build Mashup applications. In the case of the New York Times Article Search API, here’s one example, where someone took the raw article data, and created a visualization of the most popular topics for NY Times articles from 1985 to 2001. This may seem like a rather cheesy example, but the possibilities are profound, as suggested by the post above by The Guardian’s Martin Belam.

In Summary

Nothing too profound here. Just wanted to point out that the New York Times is also incorporating Open Data into its business strategy. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.


The Guardian’s Open API strategy

September 18, 2009 1 comment

The Guardian, IMO, has a very forward-looking strategy around Open Data. Please see my previous related post on this topic.

This post is going to explore some of the core underpinnings of the Guardian’s Open Data strategy.

The Guardian’s Open Platform Strategy

In March of this year The Guardian officially launched its Open Platform strategy. It’s a very forward-looking strategy IMO, and has been generally applauded.

Here’s a link explaining what the Guardian’s Open Platform is all about. Effectively, it opens up the Guardian’s content “to the world”, and to developers, as a platform upon which to develop appliactions and services … in an application style this is called a “mashup” application.

The Content API and the Data Store

There are two key components to The Guardian’s Open Platform: (i) the Content API, and (ii) the Data Store.

The Content API is a mechanism for progamatically accessing Guardian content. You can query the Guardian’s content database for articles and get them back in formats that are geared toward integration with other internet applications.

The Data Store is a VERY cool product. It is a collection of important and high quality data sets curated by Guardian journalists. You can find useful data here, download it, and integrate it with other internet applications.

The Data Store and Database-driven Journalism

The Guardian’s Data Store is a brilliant enabler of database-driven journalism. Adrian Holovaty of Everyblock is probably the leading proponent of this movement, and I’m sure he’d be a big fan of The Guardian’s Data Store.

For a wonderful example of the power of The Guardian’s Data Store, and the mashup-friendly services that the product enables, check out this wonderful blog post by The Guardian’s Martin Belam describing the Data Store’s role in a scandal that arose in Great Britain this summer around MP expenses, and his discussion of the contrasting “open” and “closed” models of 21st-century journalism. It’s a great read.

All for now.


Web Search at The Guardian’s website

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Ho hum. Just more great material from The Guardian’s Martin Belam. With the rise of Google, Search has become a cornerstone of the Web. Here’s Belam’s archive of all things Search at The Guardian.

There’s a whack of good content here.


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Navigating Newspapers – How 9 UK Newspapers label their navigation

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Holy moly! What an embarrassment of richness … The Guardian’s Martin Belam’s blog posts that is. Here’s a set of links to a series of posts by Belam on the Navigation labeling strategy at 9 National UK newspapers: