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This week’s recommended reads

What I’ve been reading/viewing/listening to this week, hope you find it useful. I’m going to try and do this on a more regular basis. Let’s see how we go.
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The Crowd Is Wise (When It’s Focused)
Steve Lohr, New York Times [free registration may be required]
An excellent article on how the right structures can really aid good crowdsourcing. Well worth reading.

Advertising will change forever
Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research writes in Advertising Age
Digital Spending Will Nearly Double in 5 Years, But Ad Budgets Won’t

Pew wireless internet study [PDF], HTML summary
More than half of Americans – 56% – have accessed the internet wirelessly on some device, such as a laptop, cell phone, MP3 player, or game console.

Wave 4: Power to the People
Universal McCann’s annual social media demographics and tracking report [PDF]

Managing beyond web 2.0
McKinsey Quarterly [free registration required]
Companies should prepare now for the day when Web 2.0 morphs into Web 3.0

Moving beyond personalisation

Back page of 8
Back page of 8
A few months ago I was commissioned by the BBC’s Knowledge Exchange Programme (KEP) – a collaboration between BBC R&D and the Arts & Humanities Research Council – to write an essay looking at the personalisation of media in response to the eight year-long academic studies that had been produced for the programme.

The research studies covered the the breadth of the BBC’s digital output from it’s newsrooms and communities around radio programmes through to online-only content such as Adventure Rock – a 3D online world for children. The titles of the research papers are as follows:

* UGC at the BBC
* Alone Together? Social Learning in BBC Blast
* A Public Voice – Access, Digital Story and Interactive Narrative
* Children in Virtual Worlds
* Virtual Worlds – An Overview and Study of BBC Children’s Adventure Rock
* Inhibited Exploration in Older Customers of Digital Services
* Listener Online Engagement with BBC Radio Programming
* Radio listeners online – A case study of The Archers
* The Miners’ Strike – A Case Study in Regional Content

NOTE: Background to the papers and a list of links to the papers can be read and downloaded here.

What struck me reading the papers and using the BBC’s digital services was that a lot of time was being spent in moderating services and encouraging viewers to have their say without necessarily taking things further. That whilst the BBC had successfully used many digital tools to engage audiences there were structures that could be put in place to enhance those relationships and also enable the organisation to focus it’s time and attention more efficiently.

Expectations and digital literacy of users have also dramatically increased as online experiences have become more sophisiticated. Interactivity is not just about personalising any more, it’s about participation, remixing, collaborating. ie. How can the BBC engage the new active audience in relationships that work for everyone?

In the essay I examine a number of strategies (including some based on the experiences we had with the Digital Britain Unconferences) and structures that are relevant not just to the BBC but to many other organisations who wish to engage with online audiences more deeply – large or small, small or large budgets.

The final essay can be read in PDF format here (page 17) together with seven other essays by the likes of Bill Thompson and Pat Kane. Paper copies (slightly easier to read) may be available if you ask the Knowledge Exchange Team nicely.

More background to the 8 collection of essays can be read here.
Beyond personal

Wither the Silver Surfer? Part II

Suw Charman-Anderson and I have been continuing our conversation over email on age related matters and the internet. The consequence being that I’ve typed enough words to consider putting them together into a blog post. Hope the following makes sense. It’s an adendum on this set of slides and reseach I did last year.

Suw is currently thinking about how things might be way in the future (circa 2025), and my part of the conversation has been about thinking around the current situation. The thoughts below are very much work in progress.

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It goes without saying, that the general gist of the aging population and looking forward is that there will be an increase in both actual numbers of the 50+ age group will be a higher percentage of the population than currently. Indeed by 2020 it is expected that 50 percent of the population will be aged 50 and over. To extrapolate from the current circumstances and time it is important to clearly identify which age group we are discussing, how they are currently defined, and may be defined in the future.

Continue reading → Wither the Silver Surfer? Part II