Journalism and Big Media challenges for the future

Last night I happened to catch the CBC Radio program Ideas. They were playing the 2009 Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism delivered by ex CBC Journalist and current Wikimedia Executive Director Sue Gardner.

After a bit of an introduction, she gets to the real meat of the matter – how the business models are working (or not) and some challenges to be faced as we move further away from the old way of doing things in the media business.

And it’s an excellent listen (and a good opportunity for me to test embedding podcasts in my blog too).

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”2009 Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism”]

Not iBooks. eBooks!

eBooks are going to be bigger than ever in the coming months, especially since Apple’s recently announced its iBooks ebook store. It’s pure speculation on my part, but I’m thinking that in the coming months with the launch of the iPad, iBooks will also be available for the iPhone and iPod touch… …more

This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.

This is the week that was

Aside from the Boxing Day Madness, the period between Christmas and the first working day in the new year is pretty quiet, from a tech perspective. Yet this year, we did have a few ‘interesting’ things happen in the tech world. …more

This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.

This is the week that was

The Plethora of Presents edition: Yep, it’s boxing day, so I hope you’ve all received the gift’s you’ve wanted, ’cause you won’t find them here. Instead, I’ve got a gaggle of goodies found around the internet; things that happened this past week both interesting and fun. …more

This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.

My iPhone accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express…

Yes it’s true. Not too far in the future, my Garage Sale will take credit card payments. Courtesy of a neat invention that you knew someone had to invent; the Square iPhone dongle. The premise is pretty simple:

  • Plug it into your iPhone
  • Swipe a credit card to complete a transaction

Square announced the device earlier, but recently launched a bit more promotion around it. TechCrunch had this to say:

Think paypal, but anyone can now accept physical credit card payments, too. With no contracts or monthly fees. People are sent receipts by text and email.

And according to the LA Times:

Beginning sometime early next year, Dorsey wants everyone to use Square.
“I think we’re going to give the Squares away for free,” Dorsey said on the phone from San Francisco on Tuesday, “because they’re pretty cheap for us to make.”

I’m thinking this is a pretty nifty device. It’ll help boost sales for mobile data devices, be they Android or iPhone flavoured. And the business model seems well thought out; the barriers to entry are pretty minimal.

0 to $60 in under 10 seconds.
Start accepting payment cards immediately with Square. No contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs. Effortlessly manage all the money you take with an easy and intuitive interface.

Given the PayPal, eBay, Craigslist, Kijiji nature of the modern marketplace, I can see this device really taking off for folks who don’t really want to shell out for a full-blown bank merchant credit card account.

Square is a game-changer, and will be in your future too.

Organized: A great thing to be when guest editing at someone else’ blog

Last week I had the honour of curating One Degree’s Week in Review. My contribution: Meltdowns, Monitizaton and Monks. The week in review: Friday the 13th edition, February 2009

Quick background: is one of Canada’s leading online publications about digital marketing, online communications and social media — penned by some of Canada’s most insightful and innovative internet marketers.

Now, what was interesting in this exercise was the fact that I had to gather a week’s worth of ‘interesting things’, keep them organized and ready for review and inclusion into the final article.

What made this process easier is that I set aside time to apply a system to this. It kept me organized and focused…no multi-tasking allowed. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Scan lots of sources. In my case, I tracked trending topics on Twitter with TweetDeck (and it’s super-cool Twitscoop function), reviewed my regular Google Alerts on topics I’m interested in, Scanned my RSS feeds for interesting blog posts.
  2. Harvest the best items and add them to my bookmark stream, adding appropriate tags. In my case I used 1degree
  3. Repeat daily, or more often if needed

So, on Edit Day, I had a rather large list (60+ items) of bookmarks and other items to review and try and find a common theme or themes (for the title), build the submission and select appropriate categories.

At this point, it was easy to see common threads, themes and categories. Then it was a simple task, based on the number and frequency of similar items, to determine which made the submission.

All told, I likely spent 20-30 minutes each day collecting content. Then on Edit Day, it took me maybe 90 minutes to build the final article.  All in, maybe 200 minutes total; 3+ hours.

Since this is the first time I’d applied this system, I’m thinking with practice and experience I’ll be able to bring that time down in future.