Mobile news, digital snooping, and winter art

December 23, 2008

Megan Taylor’s been cleaning up her hard drive, and she found a swell essay she wrote months ago on getting your news via mobile:

What kind of content might one want to see on a phone?

Weather and traffic alerts, events, and big, huge, breaking news. Seriously, the feature article can wait till I get home. But if a criminal is running around my neighborhood with a gun, I’d like to know, ASAP.

What about multimedia? I don’t see myself using my phone to go through a complex multimedia package. A video or slideshow, maybe, if I’m really interested. But phones are about “right now” communication. That should be reflected in how news companies approach them.

She goes on to ask several journalists how they get their news when they’re on the go. It’s an interesting read.

Jason Preston expresses irritation at journalists who use social media for research, but don’t publicly participate in it themselves. The practice is, in his words, “creepy”.

Participation is the number one ingredient for getting value from new social media tools. And if people find out that you’re logged in and poking around (in other words, the digital equivalent of wandering around in people’s back yards and looking through the windows), they’re not going to be too quick to invite you into their home.

Meanwhile, Teresa Valdez Klein got a couple of glasses of wine in her and decided to turn a frozen apartment swimming pool into some winter magic. Lovely!