Social media blogger John Eckman has proposed a panel for 2009’s SXSW.
His reasoning behind the panel goes as follows:
The age of content being managed only by authorized professionals is over. Users expect to contribute to, rate, review, recommend, filter, tag, and moderate their experiences on the web. What does this mean for designers and content management professionals? How do you encourage appropriate behavior and discourage spam and vandalism, without completely reverting to non-participation?
Granted, this should be (really) old news to any decent content producer going to SXSW, but the panel discussion promises to provide some practical tips on how to get the best from those crazy ‘read/write’ contributors all us editors shake our heads and tut at now and then.
Media Week recently asked four key media players (as in key people, not software) whether they agreed with reports that many publishers are now upscaling men’s mags to attract a more affluent reader and advertiser.
Three said ‘No’, while one said ‘Yes’. I’m still undecided. ‘Yes’, because more lower end readers are getting their fix online (hence the popularity of Dennis’ Monkeymag and IPC’s Nuts.co.uk and NME.com). But then I also say ‘No’ because there’ll always be an audience for men’s mags in the lower end. They perhaps just need to make them less embarrassing to read in public. The Sun, which is still going strong, is a perfect example.
So, if by upscale, we mean put less pics of bikni clad women on the cover a la GQ and Esquire, then I say ‘Yes – kinda’. I blogged about men’s mags upscaling a while back (and probably contradict myself).
Still on the topic of lads mags, great article by the Mirror’s Brian Reade today which pointed out the irony in Michael Gove MP blaming lads mags like Nuts, Zoo and Loaded for objectifying women. Brian wondered why Gove missed The Sun off the list, given that Page 3 was also a big offender. Surely nothing to do with Gove being a columnist for the Times, The Sun’s sister paper?
This debate has rumbled on for years, but the Guardian’s Mark Sweney reported only last week that MPs are asking web companies to do more in vetting content on their sites. It’s not new – remember when the time when ISPs got sued failing to take down libellous websites quick enough?
The problem? Well, when you’re YouTube and you get millions of submissions and updates each day, who checks what, when and how? But things might get tricky if sites don’t get proactive and self-regulate or sign up to an informal code of practice.
Can technology help filter out user generated content? It depends from CMS to CMS and I bet that some post moderated sites search for abusive language via the front end search box. But even if it’s true that some of the big UGC sites have search technology that uses an algorithm to hunt down copyrighted music or TV content, how difficult would it be to get these sites to share this technology. Video search technology is big business and anything that can dynamically identify video patterns / human actions / faces is going to be worth zillions, not least to the authorities and security agencies. Imagine the potential of a video search tool that could recognise and flag up drunken fights or car thieves on a city’s 2,000+ CCTV cameras, effectively doing away with the labourious effort of a human trying to watch them all at once. An extreme example but you get my point.
NME.com doing well in the fiercely competitive music sector
No real surprise for IPC Media given that the lads mags demographic is made up of heavy internet users. But the growth stats are impressive – Nuts.co.uk gained 121 per cent more users year on year, while Loaded grew by 51 per cent. NME.com continues to gain strength on the web with 107 per cent year on year user growth. The growth has been attributed to the integration of video and social networking features.