This week I want to talk about citizen journalism through two case studies Stomp and OhmyNews.

First, let’s have a look at Stomp (Straits Times Online Mobile Print). This is a Singaporean citizen-journalism website with user-generated material. Mobile phones are used in producing news. Photos that are taken by mobile phone camera are sent to Stomp. Some are published on its website and those are newsworthy are sent to the SPH’s newspapers.

Through ‘Talk Back’, readers can contribute on news production via email, SMS and MMS by entering the short code 75557 into mobile phones. This is similar to 63000 service of the UK’s Sun newspaper.

However, there are many ethical issues relate to online content, especially these information are collected through email or SMS. Stomp checks the stories’ accuracy through interviewing the senders and informed them if the story is put online.

Secondly, let’s look at another citizen-journalism website, OhmyNews.

OhmyNews is a place where ordinary people can get a chance to say and share something. This aspect explains why all stories written in OhmyNews are subjective and based on personal thoughts.

With the rise of distinctive media tools such as mobile phones, camera phones and wireless broadband, OhmyNews will continue to growth.

The success of Stomp and OhmyNews leads to a question whether it is possible to create a audience generated content website on news in Australia. I think in the recent new media communication context, this is possible to be done. Along with the booming of new media technologies, Australian media is rapidly growing in diversity platforms such as radio, TV, printed media, and online. There are few news websites that provide opportunities for readers to provide their own viewpoints on Opinion section on Theage.  However, we haven’t seen any news materials that created by citizens. This is what we should carefully consider for the future of media in Australia.

I want to start this week’s entry by telling you three interesting stories about the mobile phones that I have been using. The first story, i could name it, the ‘brick’ story. I still remember the first time I used cell phone. My dad gave it to me as a birthday present. It was a Nokia; very simple, all black, with small screen. All what I can do with this ‘machine’ is make phone calls and text messages. But as any other high-tech hungers, I stored the ‘brick’ Nokia in my little box, stopped using it, and grabbed a new sexy Motorola. It was great phone; extremely slim, heaps of applications like taking photos, shooting videos, and music. The cell phone stories went different since I said goodbye to my lovely Motorola and having a new smartphone Blackberry.

I was amazed by this new tool. Especially, a multi-tasking person like me, I found it very applicable. With the Blackberry, I can go online at any time to check email from my five accounts, read latest news, go to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and Youtube.

I will stop my mobile phone story here to think about how new technologies have been changing journalists‘ practices and news production. Clearly, in recent years, the booming of new technologies and web 2.0 tools has been shaping how journalists act and how news is produced. Journalists now have many choices in gathering sources and telling story. Let’s think about journalist practices in related to this week’s interesting coverage about a new attempt of Skype. This online tool which will extend videoconferencing up to ten users. Clearly, journalists from different places can hold a conference at the same time though this new Skype version. This is a precise evidence of how new media impacts on news production.

If you are hunger for Digital and Tech news and urge to know what is going on around some big networks companies, you should definitely open up Wired.com today. I bet you will thank me for a range of striking news about Google.

The first striking news is about Google’s Youtube announcement about the availability of five new native-language versions. These languages are Croation, Filipino, Serbian, Slovak, and Herbrew, which is still on the waiting list. The main objective of this action is to encourage more users to upload and download in a global scale. Also, users can participate with instructions and navigational elements in their own language.

Another impressive news is about Google’s announcement on its innovative application, Google Voice. Can you guess what this tool is? Don’t mix up with Google Talk. Remember these two are definitely different! A hint for some of you who are friends of Skype. With Google Voice, users can now make phone calls directly from their Gmail Inbox. Nothing is for free, but cheap. Calls to the U.S and Canada are free and PC-to-phone calls to dozens of countries around the world cost 2 cent per minute.

As a Gmail users and an international student, I am so exiting about this new tool. This is simply because with Google Voice, I can make calls to my parents in Vietnam, my brother in the U.S, my cousin in London at any time with no stress about high cost. But rethink about it from a media student’s angle, I found there’s a lots of questions spinning my minds. Why Google Voice? Do we really need it? Is it just another options for our daily communicative basis?

The answer is ‘It’s all about Facebook‘. Thanks to Ryan Singel\’s article about the underlying meaning of Google Voice that help me get out of the pool of questions. Singel stresses that by this new mobile application, Google will benefit from the integration as large number of Gmail users will likely sign up for Google Voice in order to receive phone calls.

Have you been tired of reading long features or articles online? I have. So the question of how to make those pieces of writing look more interesting on the web page have been spinning my mind not only as a digital media student but also as a online reader.

There are some websites that do a good job of turning long boring texts into more amusing and eye-catchy piece. The article on Salon prompts me to read more by its trick in putting the long article in a justify form. Also, as the body text cover half of the screen, my eye doesn’t feel tired while reading it.

Does long news article have the same trick? Slate’s article on Australian PM is a clear example. Though the first part of the article is mixing up with photo and the links box, the editor did a good job of putting a number of links throughout the article.

I found this week’s reading relevant to what we are doing as an editor or a writer for digital media.

Nielsen reading interests me as he points out a number of key devices in writing for a web page. It is true that not many people nowadays can read websites word-by-word for some reasons. I used to read through a web page but then I found it impossible, especially when I did the research for my assignments. Also, what makes me impressed the article lies in its emphasis on the element of ‘credibility’ of the web content.

Kissane reading usefully explains the importance of the web’s incredibility in nowadays communication context. I agree with the writer’s argument on the fact that not many web pages provide information precisely and effectively due to the lack of ‘conveyable meaning’. Kissance makes the argument more convincing by providing actual evidence on Academia Solutions and presenting four strategic questions in writing for a product web page. The four elements are all important but for me the question of why the product is better than the others is the most significant one. This is because this query can show the quality of the web page and the writer’ strive to do deep research. I found the slide on web content is relevant to Kissance’s idea as it highlights the duty of web publishers in developing a content strategy.

Compared to the two other articles, Lynch and Horton’s reading is more practical. The writers usefully provide different elements of web writing by explaining why it is important and how to apply it. The most interesting part of the article is the discussion of the three major elements of rhetorical persuasion that is related to web design, including ‘ethos’, ‘pathos’, and ‘logos’. Understanding the meaning of these three elements can help us evaluate a web site.

Power of the web

Posted: August 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

My reading log continues with an insight of the development of the web.

The first reading clearly present the generation of the Web. A comparison of the Internet in the past and the present. In the 1980s, the Internet was funded for research, not commerce. The reading also mentions the new role of online audiences in creating media contents. The writer gives an interesting example of two ways communication on BitTorrent, where web users can both download and upload files. Another interesting point in the article lies in the writer’s consideration of online culture as ‘’the culture’. Amish web site is another precise example of how the Internet is applied as a powerful tool for the farmers to run their family business. However, the question here is that there’s some parts of the world people do not have access to the Internet.

An experience on online reading in ‘The Evolution from Linear Thought to Networked Thought’ is impressed to me. Although, there has been a striking increase in the numbers of online books, articles, etc., people prefer to read in printed version. Here, Scott not just only talks about the Internet but also new media devices such as Kindle. It is interesting when the writer talks about his experience in doing research through Google. I found it sounds like me cause sometimes when I follow all the links appear on the web I almost get lost and have no idea what I have started so I have to do it all again. Obviously, the Internet changes the way we read and the way we observe the information.

Reading Scott Karp contends that journalists need to make use of the Internet as a strategic tool to publish information. In other words, they should understand the Web as a pool of online devices that can make their work more interesting and powerful.

A new wave of media tools

Posted: July 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Wordle: Week 1 reading

This week readings look at the impact of media tools on the distribution of media content.

The first reading impressed me by the explanation of how Google takes control over content distribution. Karp explains how Google works. We all know the importance of Google in researching. And now we all comprehend that Google has become a powerful tool in distributing media content through ‘links’. Here, Google is regarded as a transacting tool to deliver the web links to the web users through its search engine.

Vogelstein in the second reading discusses the distinction between Google’s version and Facebook’s version. The writer highlights that Facebook has been a huge source of personal identity. Clearly, the kinds of material that we tend to find through Google and that we find from Facebook somehow are different. Through Facebook, we tend to find something more personal and specific but through Google, we tend to search for something general.

In the third reading, Roth tells an interesting story about the success of Demand Media. Through this story, the writer aims to deliver an implication about how Demand Media works effectively. The company uses three sources: search terms, the ad market, and the competition as a key formula. The point here is that Demand Media understand what web users and advertisers need.

Through these three readings, I found there are a number of web tools play a vital role in the distribution of media content.

Hello world!

Posted: July 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

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