We Media 2006: Newsy Bits

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Things you won’t hear by watching online but we heard while mingling …

NBC is struggling with how to integrate iVillage into its master-plan. The “play” is all the health and lifestyle content with the Today show and the heavily women’s demographic iVillage offers. How and what Hearst, part-owner of iVillage — and now advertiser on fashion site Glaom.com — will do remains to be seen.

PaidContent.org will make some interesting announcements within a month or so.

The BBC is (still) arguing about whether to accept ads online, and the consensus of BBC’ers here seems to be it’ll be a “yes.” Meanwhile, other British digital properties (newspapers like the Guardian or Telegraph, etc.) are worried what happens if BBC sucks lots of ad dollars over to its site. And BBC’ers are worried what for the first time accepting paid ads for news will do to their culture.

Overheard suggestion to conference staffer Andrew Nachison suggesting the bloggers with headset mics who are commenting are going on too long in their comments.

David Sifry, founder and chief of blog search giant Technorati, saying that you can’t please all the people, and that’s a good thing. Because you don’t necessarily want completely satisfied customers. You want passionate ones. People who are passionate users will ultimately give feedback that’s quite useful. He quoted Dave Winer, whom he said once said something like it’s important to, when doing software, not be perfect but rather suck less than the next guy.

A really cool new software application from USC that’s like Google Maps on steroids, being presented and directed by Adam Clayton Powell III (above), whom New Yorkers will remember as the son of the former congressman from Harlem of the same name.


The software lets you zoom in with great specificity, even through freely accessible security cameras see who’s sitting in a room, see graphical mockups. Powell says MacNeil Lehrer Productions, which feeds the Newshour, is contracting for a package of the software that will, starting in 2009 and finishing by 2012, let a journalist do a multi-level graphic from an average laptop computer. Says the program’s also had interest from CBS — which wanted to do the Vatican going back 2,000 years graphically — and NBC, as well as a supersecret spy agency in the U.S. he didn’t want to name, but is apparently quite impressed that the open source software USC is developing appears more advanced than what the U.S. government currently has.

Just got interviewed for a BBC radio show called “World Have Your Say” on my media consumption habits. Wanted to help the guy out since he was standing right next to me with a microphone and seemed desperate in a room full of media folks, none of whom wanted to talk. I think the people calling from Iran, German, Iraq, Uganda and elsewhere were much more interesting. (P.S. Yes, I did mention “mediabistro.com” on air. 😉 )

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