Public notebook

People’s News: social media and newsgathering in 2008

From Mumbai to Steve Jobs - 2008's news
From Mumbai to Steve Jobs - social media played a role in the way news was reported in 2008

The staff of NowPublic, the “particpatory news network” as it describes itself, has picked a list of the top 10 stories from 2008 in which social media played a role.

2008’s Top 10 Moments in User-Generated News

1.    Mumbai attacks
2.    Natural disasters: Emergency info
3.    SF Olympic torch relay protests
4.    Obama and “Bittergate”
5.    Protests at Republican Convention
6.    Ushahidi: Crowdsourcing crisis info
7.    CNN’s news wire plans
8.    Mob rule: Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW
9.    Twitter gets student out of Egypt jail
10.  Fake report on Steve Jobs heart attack

As NowPublic’s Rachel Nixon puts it on their blog:

The relationship between producers and consumers of news is changing. What used to be known as “the story” is evolving into something different: fragments of information that don’t come pre-assembled or filtered. With such a rich array of information from so many different sources, it can be confusing without the mechanisms to make sense of it all. We’re in it together to make sense of the story.

Alfred Hermida at says of the list:

Top […] are the Mumbai attacks, a tragic event that demonstrated the value of raw and unfiltered information. It ends with the false report on Steve Jobs heart attack, a salutary tale of the perils of not checking this raw information.

Journalists and the public alike are learning fast about how to get information in raw and filtered forms. Looking forward to seeing how the relationships and processes around gathering and making sense of news evolve in 2009.

Public notebook

2009 “a good year to change the world”

Continuing in the theme of reasons to be cheerful in 2009, I’d agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment of School of Everything‘s Paul Miller, interviewed on the Guardian’s PDA blog:

The UK is a good place to be if you’re doing this kind of thing. There are plenty of socially motivated investors in the UK from UnLtd to Nesta, 4iP to the Young Foundation, backing early stage entrepreneurs and projects based on how much social benefit they could create rather than on whether they can sell them to a big tech firm in two years’ time.

“So the outlook for 2009 if you’re trying to change the world is pretty good. If you’re trying to get people to throw virtual sheep at each other, it’s going to be a lot tougher than 2008.”