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Augmented Reality coming to iPad 2

Mar 15, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

By Chris Hogg

Fans of augmented reality (AR) won’t want to miss developments coming from German company Metaio who has put together a very cool demo using the iPad 2.

“We were really surprised to see how powerful the 3D hardware is,”  the company’s CTO Peter Meier told TNW. “It allows us to create really sophisticated virtual content and interaction concepts.”

The company believes tablets introduce new and great opportunities for AR, including businesses who could use it for professional uses such as sales, training and maintenance. For those who missed a recent example of AR being used in this fashion, check out this video.

“AR will become a part of our daily lives, when AR experiences meet people, where they spend most their time: inside their homes or inside their workspaces,” Meier told TNW. “The iPad is perfectly built for AR shopping and AR casual games.”

The Junaio AR browser is expected to launch for iPad 2 soon, but here is a demo video showing what it’s capable of:

Report: More people get news from Web than newspapers

Mar 14, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

A comprehensive report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found more Americans learned about the news from online surfing than from newspapers in 2010. The State of the News Media annual report added, “The internet now trails only television among American adults as a destination for news, and the trend line shows the gap closing.”

In December 2010 the report found 46 percent of people surveyed said they get news online at least three times a week, eclipsing newspapers (40 percent) for the first time. Cable and local news, magazines and newspapers saw a sharp decline in their audience numbers, while radio’s stats remained stable.

Countering this troubling trend is some sunny economic news. Ad spending bounced back for every sector but newspapers. The report said “online advertising overall grew 13.9% to $25.8 billion in 2010, according to data from eMarketer.” It went on to say, “When the final tally is in, online ad revenue in 2010 is projected to surpass print newspaper ad revenue for the first time. The problem for news is that by far the largest share of that online ad revenue goes to non-news sources, particularly to aggregators.”

Other key findings include figures on news investments. The report estimates job losses in the U.S. newspaper industry of about 1,100 to 1,500 people, or 3 to 4 percent of the workforce. “By recent standards, that is an improvement, although it leaves the largest newsrooms in the most American cities bruised and necessarily less ambitious than they were a decade ago,” the report writes.

The report applauded how, in 2010, some important new media institutions began to develop original newsgathering in a trailblazing way. Yahoo added several dozen reporters across news, sports and finance and AOL hired 900 journalists, 500 of them at its local Patch news operation, although it had to let go 200 people from the content team after the merger with the Huffington Post.

The State of the Media report also touched on paying for news. Around three dozen newspapers erected some kind of pay wall and only 1 percent of those outlets’ readers opted to pay for articles. A Pew survey suggests that “under certain circumstances the prospects for charging for content could improve. If their local newspaper would otherwise perish, 23% of Americans said they would pay $5 a month for an online version.” Also, the report believes certain niche news site featuring financial news – such as Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal – are successful at charging for news but the model wouldn’t be replicable for general news sites.

Debate: The gap between what reporters write and what readers consume

Mar 11, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Labs By Chris Hogg

For those interested in the gap between what reporters cover and what readers consume, this video from MIT/NiemanLabs may be of interest.

Pablo Boczkowski is a Northwestern professor who studies news production and how it is changing in a digital environment. In the video embedded below, Boczkowski makes a presentation on the kind of journalism news organizations produce and how it compares to what people actually consume. Boczkowski gathers data from a wide variety of sources that span different geographies and time periods.

After his presentation, Joshua Benton from Nieman Journalism Lab weighs in with a few interesting points to encourage discussion and debate on the subject.

You can read a transcript here, and for those who want to skip ahead: Boczkowski’s talk starts at 7:50; Benton’s response starts at 37:10; and a Q&A session starts at 57:45.

Pablo Boczkowski and Joshua Benton at MIT Communications Forum from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

Citizen journalists, media capture earthquake aftermath in Japan

Mar 11, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

The aftermath of an earthquake in Japan, March 2011

By Chris Hogg

Japan has been hit by the most powerful earthquake since it started keeping records, and a massive tsunami warning has been issued across the Pacific. Videos show widespread flooding, including ships, cars and buildings being washed away.

Japan was hit by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake Friday, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a widespread warning watch for tsunamis.

According to a report in the LA Times, seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena said the quake “is going to be among the top 10 earthquakes recorded since we have had seismographs. It’s bigger than any known historic earthquake in Japan, and bigger than expectations for that area.”

The BBC reports a state of emergency has been declared in a nuclear power plant in Japan, but no radiation leaks have been reported. According to reports, hundreds of people are dead after the 8.9-magnitude quake hit about 400 km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo at 2:46 p.m. local time.

Video captured by local media and citizen journalists is now making its way online, showing massive damage. While places like Hawaii brace for impact, the damage within Japan is widespread.

Here are some videos showing the devastation in Japan:

Map of areas affected in and around Japan (courtesy Storyful):

View Japan Earthquake – March 11 in a larger map

[via Digital Journal] adds Recommendations feature for members, limited for non-members

Mar 10, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

New York Times Co. has experimented with a Recommendations widget but now the feature has gone live on According to a press release, Recommendations “creates a customized list of recommended reading, pointing users to additional Times content of interest based on what the user has recently read on”

Registered members can access a Recommendations dashboard providing a summary of their reading history, including the number of articles read in the past month, and lists of most-read sections and topics. The releases states, “The user must be logged in to view his Recommendations dashboard, and it is visible only to that user.”

But non-members can still see Recommendations within articles, but the offerings are limited. When I accessed an article today, the Recommendations box suggested articles on the iPad 2, text messages and Libya. The back end of the Times’ system supposedly culls suggestions based on recent article viewing.

“With a Web site as broad and deep as, we are always looking for new ways to help our readers find news of interest beyond the sections they read most,” said Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group and general manager, “NYTimes Recommendations offers a personalized view of The Times, and it gives our readers another reason to spend more time with our world-class journalism.”

Bringing Recommendations to articles signals a shift in how New York Times Co. is curating the news. Editors may have control over what goes above the fold, but digital initiatives like Recommendations suggest the Times wants to give more user control to its readers.

Do you think this strategy will work to bring the Times more traffic?