Tagged obama

Why Obama on Buzzfeed Gives a Glimp on the Future of Distributed Media

Over the last decade media has been on the disruptive frontier of digital innovation, music, video and text. In this time we all got the means in hardware and software to broadcast whatever we want when we want. Our reading behavior has shifted from publications to personalization. How does this influence the media landscape?

The White House and atomized media
In this article Steven Levy interviews Dan Pfeiffer about the White House media strategy. The article really emphazises what’s going on in the media industry and how it’s changing.

“The penetration of the traditional press was becoming significantly diminished. We were having trouble getting the message we wanted to get out, but at the same time, because of the power of social media, the messages that other people wanted to get out about us were breaking through to people.”

Dan refers to it as “the age of atomized media”. When attention is atomized. Traditional mass media is at risk of being reduced to special-interest media.

This week Buzzfeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti explained at SXSW how to operate as a mass medium in this atomized media landscape. It’s all about understanding and collecting data, learning from readers behavior and making money in the proces.

Is traditional media moving towards a tipping point? Something shifts slowly for a long time, and then it topples without realizing what just happended. Companies like Buzzfeed are operating on a completely different level.

Digital native media
Journalism isn’t less relevant. Traditionally centralized outlets that guarantee reach and thus impact are losing ground much more quickly to digital native companies like Snapchat, YouTube, Buzzfeed and Vice then we probably realize.

Design for Atomized media
Personally I love this transformation. We see companies that know how to use data, engage an audience and are working to sustainable digital business models.

Since I’m a designer, I’m also looking at this from a design perspective. Software driven companies like Buzzfeed are adding a layer of complexity and designers (if I speak for myself) love more complexity. The complexer the information, the more there is a need for great design and to gain from great design.

As a designer you will probably focus more on ‘tiny interactions’ that generate relevant user-data and dashboards that allow you to turn all this data into information. It’s a shift from editorial design to the design of tools and software.

Software is eating the world. Just like any other company, being a stellar media company today, is being a great software company.

Disclaimer: for those of you who don’t know, I used to work on digital & innovation at the Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant.

The data-driven campaign of Obama

Interesting article about how data helps to get a billion dollar in campaign funding and how to spend it the right way. This really makes you think about campaign strategy and future elections.

It was this database that helped steady campaign aides in October’s choppy waters, assuring them that most of the Ohioans in motion were not Obama backers but likely Romney supporters whom Romney had lost because of his September blunders. “We were much calmer than others,” said one of the officials. The polling and voter-contact data were processed and reprocessed nightly to account for every imaginable scenario. “We ran the election 66,000 times every night,” said a senior official, describing the computer simulations the campaign ran to figure out Obama’s odds of winning each swing state. “And every morning we got the spit-out — here are your chances of winning these states. And that is how we allocated resources.”

Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win.

The Value of Portable Social networks

CNN / Facebook
CNN videostream with Facebook integration (zoom)

The Obama inauguration was broadcasted everywhere. Every upcoming video sharing-, hosting- or distributionservice did something around the big Obama event.

I think the most exiting and successful combination was what CNN did together with Facebook. CNN had a high quality live videostream with Facebook updates from your friends talking about the video stream.

The power of distribution
Current TV
Current TV on the web (zoom)

Current TV was also broadcasting the event on television and used Twitter. Which is great for television, because television is a one-to-many medium and you can easily interact with the television by using a Twitter client on your phone or laptop.

Facebook was the best option for the web. Watching video on the web is more a personal and more interactive experience. This is what Facebooks adds. You’re watching the stream, not with the world (like Twitter+TV) but with your friends/contacts.

The computer is much more personal compared to a television and thus the interaction should be more personal as well. My social network is not your social network. It’s a distributed conversation.

Portable Social Networks
These kind of combinations or applications can only be created if social networks are (partly) open and allow services like CNN to use the network. For this event CNN didn’t create conversation tools, networks or any other infrastructure. They just connected the dots of Facebook to the dots of what they do best. Making live television.

This is what happens when services open up. You get the best of both worlds. Portable social networks are the future.

NY Times
NY Times
The New York Times homepage (zoom)

Ustream (zoom)

Joost (zoom)

I voted, storytelling with public databases

I’m a big fan of public databases, the live web and storytelling. I think they all give new opportunities for interactive and online storytelling. Twitter itself a very interesting database. Because it tells you what is going on and the API is very good.

About “I voted”
The next days American citizens will vote for either McCain or Obama. My guess is a lot of Twitter users will say on Twitter when, and on who they voted. This Flash application uses Twitter Search to see who voted on who. The animation automatically updates with the most recent tweet.

For this animation I use search.twitter.com (used to be summize.com)
The query: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%22i+voted%22+%2B+McCain+OR+Obama+-twitvote