Real-Time News Curation – The Complete Guide Part 5: The Curator Attributes And Skills

What skills do I need to have if I want to be an effective real-time news curator? Can I just pick the best headlines and links on my topic of interest or do I need to do know / do more? What makes a great news curator stand out from those who do automatic aggregation or from bloggers who create simple news stories lists?

Photo credit: thesuperph

In the previous parts of this Guide to Real-Time News Curation I have looked at what are the key problems giving way to the emergence of real-time news curation, at the differences between automatic aggregation and filtering and human-powered manual curation. I have also spent some time illustrating some real-world examples of both automated aggregation and human curated news content. Seguir leyendo “Real-Time News Curation – The Complete Guide Part 5: The Curator Attributes And Skills”

From Open Business Models To An Economy Of The Commons

What does it take for open business models to become an economy of the Commons? What are the pros and cons of a system based on peer production? How do open business models compare with the traditional economic system based on intellectual property and copyright?

I have recently shot a small number of very interesting videos with  Michel Bauwens, the peer-to-peer movement evangelist and founder / publisher of the P2PFoundation and in one of these I asked Michel to share his vision of such economic system.

How does he picture a system based on cooperation and collaborative approaches where individuals create and distribute value to their peers?

As he suggests, the key strategy which allows open business models to gradually migrate to a successful economy of the Commons (which are immaterial goods that are everyone’s property like knowledge, code and design) is the emergence of companies that make use of the Commons and then sell the extra value they add to Commons in the marketplace.

Such business approach does not work by leveraging the same approaches of our present system such as classical job employment, wages and copyright. Instead, the new economy of the Commons grounds itself on three new components:

  1. Distributed communities of passionate individuals working together spontaneously on
  2. collaborative platform and Internet technologies and by
  3. the foundations, for-benefit institutions that make their know-how available for free.
Open Business Models: The Importance of Peer Production – Michel Bauwens Seguir leyendo “From Open Business Models To An Economy Of The Commons”

The Video Encoding Guide: Codecs, Formats, Containers And Settings Explained

Video encoding is the science of codifying the bits of data that make up a digital video recording into a unified whole according to a set of specific standards and parameters. If it sounds techy, it should. In simpler words, video encoding is the process of taking your original movie, as recorded by your camcorder, mobile phone or webcam, and preparing it for delivery in a digital format according to specific technical standards. This MasterNewMedia guide brings you everything you need to know about the key differences between major video file formats / containers and codecs.
Photo credit: Canon

From .WMV to .MOV and from .AVI to .FLV, this guide presents the best information available online on what you need to know about the use and characteristics of the major video file formats, containers and relative codecs.

When you video encode a clip, you are saving your video into a specific “format” much like you can do with a Word document or a digital image. A Word document can be encoded in .RTF or in .TXT, just like an image can be encoded in .JPG or .BMP formats.

Obviously, different types of encodings are good for different applications and devices.

Broadcasting, live streaming, burning to DVD and archiving all require different video encoding parameters while your computer browser, an iPhone and your gaming console have all different expectations when it comes to playing back video files. And this is why knowing a bit about video encoding, video file formats and containers is quite important if you intend to publish and distribute digital video.
In the video universe it is easy to get lost, as the formats, codecs and file containers generate a universe of possibilities and variables that are initially not easy to understand.

If you want to upload and publish a video on YouTube, for instance, you would have to choose specific encoding settings and file formats, whereas your choice would be different if your video clips are to burned on a DVD.

As an online publisher you may already be familiar with some of these issues, but as new technologies like  HTML5 and  WebM are starting to make inroads, you are going to need to better understand the key differences and the pros and cons that such different formats entail for you.

To help you achieve this goal, the MasterNewMedia research team has prepared a comprehensive guide to bring together all of the “fundamentals” you need to master to fully understand the basics of video encoding, specifically:

  • What is video encoding
  • Video file formats and containers
  • Comparison of video codecs
  • Encoding settings for Internet video publishing
  • Video publishing settings for YouTube

Here is the MasterNewMedia Video Encoding Guide in detail: Seguir leyendo “The Video Encoding Guide: Codecs, Formats, Containers And Settings Explained”

How To Mobilize My Website: Best Tools To Convert Your Blog Into A Mobile Site

How do I mobilize my website? is probably a question you have already started asking. But after the initial curiosity, you have not found yet the time to think seriously about when and how you are going to convert your web site or blog into a mobile version that can be properly viewed on any iPhone, iPad or on any other modern smartphone. In this MasterNewMedia guide we have identified and reviewed all of the best tools and services out there, that can help you build or convert your blog into a full mobile site. Seguir leyendo “How To Mobilize My Website: Best Tools To Convert Your Blog Into A Mobile Site”

Website Navigation Design: How To Provide Clear Instructions And Directions To Your Readers

How can you help your readers find what they are looking for on your website? How can you facilitate their need to know what to click next or where to look when in search for something? Navigation instructions, or as someone calls them, interface design instructions for the user, are text-based and visual elements that can help your web visitors understand more easily what they need to click or where they can look to find what they are looking for. As such, these navigation signposts and visual directions can make a hell of a difference in converting temporary visitors into long term clients and fans. In this report you will learn what are the key basic elements you need to pay attention to, to design effective user-facing navigation instructions.

Photo credit: António Nunes

People have things they want to accomplish, whether it’s making a purchase, finding a recipe, or learning how to do something new. Inherent in many web page designs, therefore, is information to help a user perform an action.

…In addition to these types of visual cues, we often write instructions to assist users in knowing what to do next.

These instructions guide the eyes and minds of the individual to look at the appropriate place and to take the appropriate action.

In this report, Connie Malamed identifies and explains which are the most critical aspects to pay attention to when working to add or refine user navigation messages and instructions to help your online readers find what they are looking for or take a specific action.

Specifically, some of the key aspects highlighted in this report, showcase the importance of several unique factors in designing effective user navigation instructions:

What Is Viral Marketing: Key Principles And Strategies | Very nice & interesting tips !!!

What is viral marketing? What are the characteristics of an effective viral marketing campaign? What does it take to produce content that flies on the wings of spontaneous word-of-mouth promotion? In this MasterNewMedia guide on viral marketing you can learn and understand the basic principles, foundations and strategies at the heart of effective online viral marketing.

Viral marketing is a form of promotion based on the free circulation of ideas via a word of mouth process. When you like something, it feels second nature to share your discovery with someone you like. Be it friends, relatives or colleagues, you get a kick out of sharing with someone else something cool that you have discovered. And in turn, those people you share something with, will do the same with their network of friends. That is what “going viral” is all about.

From a marketing standpoint, “going viral” is fascinating for a number of reasons:

  • Distribution: Viral content spreads like virus, in an ever expanding loop which may never end. For an online marketer, spreading content endlessly from person to person represents a superior strategy to promote content at a fraction of the effort and costs required by traditional marketing techniques.
  • Reach: A successful viral marketing campaign may exponentially increase the reach of your communications by placing you in touch with thousands of prospects which, with your traditional communication approach, you might not have ever intercepted.
  • Awareness: The more people will see your content, the more people will know who you are, what you do, what can you offer customers. Not only: by sharing content on a specific topic you will make yourself an authority in that field and people will start naturally coming to you asking for advice and recommendations.
  • Cost: Viral marketing is relatively inexpensive as you do not have to plan a huge budget to promote your products or start campaigns that meet the needs of all your potential customers. Once your content starts to go viral, your fans become your best marketing agents.

To help you make sense of what are the key traits and components that create the conditions for a successful viral marketing campaign, this MasterNewMedia guide shares a highly curated selection of the best analysis, reports and published research on the web on the topic of viral marketing.

This guide is organized in three sections:

Using Social Media: Colleges And Universities Vs. Businesses

Colleges and universities in North America continue to increase their adoption and large scale use of social media technologies, outpacing both Fortune and Inc 500 on the blogging front. Besides using these to augment and extend their overall communication, learning and student support services, educational institutions have found a key use of social media inside their marketing and student recruiting strategies.

Photo credit: Clipart

This is the interesting result emerging out of the last research report authored by Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson and entitled: “Social Media and College Admissions: Higher-Ed Beats Business in Adoption of New Tools for Third Year“.

As a matter of fact, the use of social media technologies inside academic institutions has increased significantly, especially if you look at the time period between 2007 to 2009. In fact, if you compare the results of this new report with the 2007 research paper on social media usage in academia, authored by the same authors and using the same metrics, you will see by yourself how significant the adoption of social media inside educational institutions has been.

In the last few years, academic institutions have indeed become more familiar with social media technologies like blogging, video blogging, social networks or podcasting, while effectively leveraging them to carry out highly-targeted marketing and student recruiting campaigns.

In particular, two findings inside this report highlight clearly this growing trend: Seguir leyendo “Using Social Media: Colleges And Universities Vs. Businesses”

Wireframing And Website Prototyping: Best Professional Tools To Design Your Website

Professional wireframing and web design prototyping tools take a step forward compared with free wireframing tools and commercial website prototyping tools, by allowing you to draw highly-realistic mockups of websites. In this MasterNewMedia guide you will find the best professional wireframing and website prototyping tools that you can use to create compelling visual web design projects.

Wireframing_website_prototyping_wireframe_professional_tools_design_guide_size485.jpg Seguir leyendo “Wireframing And Website Prototyping: Best Professional Tools To Design Your Website”

Content Navigation And Search: How To Facilitate Online Content Exploration

A nice, gorgeous-looking web site which has no design or navigation intelligence is a like handsome man with no brains. It may be nice to look at him but anyone would rapidly get bored with such a partner. Same thing happens on the web. While many strive to build super-good-looking web sites, only few really understand the strategic value of building highly navigable and easy to understand web sites. Why? Because we have not yet learned to think with the eyes and heart of our future readers and fans, and we unconsciously keep pushing things, as if such readers could be molded to appreciate, like and read what we want.

Photo credit: Stockphoto4u

Happily for us, as me and you are also readers and users of other people’s sites, this is a good thing. A web site is not like a television channel and you, the web publisher, cannot shove down your readers’ throat whatever you think is great. I, the reader, am now the one in control. One stupid move from you, the web publisher, and in a fraction of a second I can be out of your site.

In this user-centered light, how can you build a website that really meets your readers where they are and allows them to easily and rapidly discover all of the value you have to offer?

It goes without saying that the number one key strategy to make your web site communicate effectively its focus and key offerings, is to make its home and internal pages strategically designed to offer such unobstructed access with the minimum effort.

Achieving this goal involves two basic steps:

  1. Navigation: Designing content navigation in a way that allows readers to navigate and discover your high-value content in the easiest way possible, by always having relevant key content suggestions options available in front of their eyes.
  2. Search: Making the ability to search and FIND specific content a key requirement on your site. This involves a correct use of tags and categories, a savvy placement, a bit of SEO and an intelligent use of search engines.

In the in-depth analysis that follows, Stijn Debrouwere explores in great detail how to leverage the content search and navigation potential to best serve the needs of your audience. Though this report was originally conceived with news sites in mind, the points it makes and the strategies it suggest are applicable to most any web site wanting to provide high value to its readers. Seguir leyendo “Content Navigation And Search: How To Facilitate Online Content Exploration”

The Online Video Encoding Formats War: Apple Vs Flash Vs H264

If you haven’t heard the news lately, a new technology war has seen the light, and this time the two main fighters are Apple and Adobe, owner of the almost ubiquitous Flash playback video technology used across the web to play video clips. The key argument is that Apple does not want to support Flash to play video on its devices. Neither now nor ever in the future. Given that smartphones and iPhones make up a growing number of the devices playing back video clips from the Internet and that 50% of mobile traffic in the U.S. comes from iPhones, this refusal to support Flash as the default video-playback technology is definitely no good news for Adobe. In this MasterNewMedia report Enrique Serrano focuses on explaining the technological issues and its implications as well as how this new technology war going to impact your personal online video landscape.

Photo credit: Warezgen Seguir leyendo “The Online Video Encoding Formats War: Apple Vs Flash Vs H264”

Website Monitoring And Testing: How To Monitor And Test Your Web Site Performance

Has your web server enough bandwidth to meet your readers requests? Would you know if your hosting provider is a bit sloppy and if it lets your site become inaccessible to the public, even if only for a few minutes? How do you find out if your web pages load fast enough now that Google places ranking value also on page load times? Monitoring and testing your website is a serious matter for any professional web publisher, big or small.
Photo credit: alexsl

Just like you keep under tabs your car oil and fuel levels to avoid frustrating problems, in the same way you need to keep under check your own web site and of all the specific performance, load and speed indicators which can indicate whether your site is performing and serving your content in the best and most efficient way or not.

In this guide, MasterNewMedia tech director Drazen Dobrovodski, explores most underrated aspects of website monitoring and testing.

Find out how to troubleshoot potential web site performance threats such as bandwidth loss, potential server downtimes, or sudden web traffic drops.

These below, the specific website monitoring and testing topics covered in this MasterNewMedia guide:

  • Web server availability
  • Web site performance testing
  • Web site speed monitoring
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • JavaScript-based web site monitoring tools
  • Log file analyzers
  • Image hotlinking
  • How to use the robots.txt file
  • RSS feeds serving
  • Geographic web site testing
  • Real-time web site traffic monitoring

This guide can be read and understood by non-technical people, and it is in fact prepared for those who need to coordinate website supervision tasks as well as for those who will actually perform them.

If you want to find out how to best test and monitor your web site performance, speed and reliability, this MasterNewMedia guide has all of what you need to know. Seguir leyendo “Website Monitoring And Testing: How To Monitor And Test Your Web Site Performance”

Top Online Content Distribution Strategies: Standards, Aggregation, Syndication, Versioning

Which are the top content distribution strategies for an online publisher? In this in-depth report authored by new media and future treneds analyst Ross Dawson, you can find a thorough analysis of the present online content distribution paradigm as well as a set of useful guidelines and examples to make greater sense of content distribution. If you are interested in content distribution standards, aggregation, syndication and versioning trends, this is a must-read document. Seguir leyendo “Top Online Content Distribution Strategies: Standards, Aggregation, Syndication, Versioning”

Large-Audience Webinars And Webcasting Tools: Best WebConferencing Services For Online Events With Hundreds Of Participants

To create, host and manage large-audience webinars and online events, there are a number of web conferencing tools that can help you deal efficiently with hundreds of participants. But how do you choose among all these services which one is best for you? In this MasterNewMedia guide you will find out which are the best webinar and webcasting tools out there that can handle large audiences and what characterizes them through a set of comparative tables and mini-reviews.

As I have already told you in my 2010 New Media Predictions, webinars and live online events will become increasingly interesting in the near future.

Why? Seguir leyendo “Large-Audience Webinars And Webcasting Tools: Best WebConferencing Services For Online Events With Hundreds Of Participants”

Ning Alternatives: Guide To The Best Social Networking Platforms And Online Group Services

On May, 4th 2010, Ning, one of the most popular social networking platforms on the web, is phasing out its free service. All free online communities will either be converted into premium online groups or discontinued altogether. As a consequence of the subsequent growing demand for Ning alternatives, this MasterNewMedia guide wants to provide a comprehensive list of other social networking platforms and online group services that can be used as replacements to the Ning community service.

ning_alternatives_create_online_group_social_network_guide_id6935051_size485.jpg Seguir leyendo “Ning Alternatives: Guide To The Best Social Networking Platforms And Online Group Services”

Content Licensing: Why Al Jazeera Chose To Release Some Of Its News Video Content Under A Creative Commons License Link

During my stay at the International Journalism Festival, which took place in Perugia, Italy, last week, I ran into Donatella Della Ratta of Creative Commons who I had not seen in ages. She was very kind and shared with me a story, which I found immediately interesting and worth some extra coverage. Creative Commons had made a partnership with Al Jazeera and since then it has been releasing some of its own news video material for free (broadcast video quality) to anyone interested, under a full CC license.

content_licensing_moeed_ahmad_size485_by_joi.jpg Seguir leyendo “Content Licensing: Why Al Jazeera Chose To Release Some Of Its News Video Content Under A Creative Commons License Link”