Fascinating to see how Arabic and English news service Al Jazeera is approaching the innovation imperative with its Al Jazeera Labs project.
In the first couple of months of this year the company has rolled out many deals and pilots in interesting areas, according to a great report on Journalism.co.uk. I’m especially intrigued by things like its experiments with Creative Commons licensing of content and use of data visualisation in news stories like the recent war in Gaza.
The map is using both mainstream media reports and what people are saying in social media, via Usahidi, a “platform for crowdsourcing crisis information”. It is designed to help build up a picture of what is happening in a crisis situation – be it a natural disaster or a military conflict – based on what people are saying (by text, blog, Twitter etc.) on the ground.
It’s a very interesting concept, and interesting to see serious attempts to make sense of and filter the rich information – with all the sensible caveats about reliability – that personal content from people involved or near to a crisis situation create.
I wanted to write a round up of all the Obama ’08 campaign and social media analyses, so I did a search for his name in my Google Reader. The search results, a bit like me and a lot of people today around the world, seems unable to get past the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States.
Fair enough. I’ll come back to that. For now, here’s a round up of some of the incredible ways that people have been experiencing and talking about this wonderful day on the web…
An Open Source government?
First up the White House website was replaced with a social media-influenced design, including a blog, a commitment to transparency and the whole thing’s under a Creative Commons licence… Wow.
And what’s more, the whole website is licensed under Creative Commons (the “most permissive” version, according the the Creative Commons blog).
CNN’s gone to town with social media for the inauguration. You could watch it live after logging in with Facebook Connect and see a scrolling list of other viewers’ status updates as they reacted to it. One friend of mind said she really enjoyed this…
These won’t be the last, but Mashable‘s published some Facebook stats from this afternoon. Goggle ye at the following:
1. 600,000 status updates posted through the CNN.com Live Facebook feed
2. Facebook averaged 4,000 status updates per minute during the broadcast
3. 8,500 status updates were posted during the first minute of Obama’s speech
4. “Millions” of people logged into Facebook during the broadcast
This is a worldwide media event playing out as much on the web as on TV…
But even more amazing was the Photosynth CNN set up for the inauguration itself. This you have to see – it’s a great use of the technology. What’s amazing is that already – four or so hours later, the Photosynth panoramas are rich enough to enjoy browsing through. I imagine it will be worth taking a look again in a few days when more of those lucky people who can say they were there upload their pics…
I watched the Inauguration ceremony in a Big Daddy’s Diner a block or so from iCrossing’s New York office. It was a random choice at the last minute, but it felt like a great place to be for “the moment”. After he was sworn in the whole place applauded and whooped a little before settling in to listen to the speech.