"As the co-founder of a technology startup that once considered the news industry as a source of partnerships and revenue, I agree with Wilson that startups should look elsewhere. However, the reason they should do so is not because the media industry lacks problems that need to be solved. If anything, the media industry has problems that span every sector of the industry and every segment of the value chain. Rather, the reason why startups should look for other opportunities is many industry problems are so intractable, and the chance for making a successful business is so slim, that it simply doesn't make sense to target it." Read the full article
First we made NewsCloud easy to install, then we made it cheap, now we're making it free to get started building a social media community for your favorite topic, neighborhood, city or school:
The generous folks at Rackspace are offering six months of credited hosting (up to $250 monthly) for anyone hosting NewsCloud in the Rackspace Cloud through their startup program. Now, there's no reason not to try your hand at launching your own social media community.
While most content management systems are optimized around publishing, NewsCloud's features offer ways for your audience to participate and lead the site with user generated content. As activity increases, you can integrate advertising and paid content referral systems to capture new revenue streams. We also offer some innovative ways to populate your site with content from RSS and Twitter Lists.
Check out The Boston Globe's new lending library. The lending library allows the globe audience to share and give away stuff they don't regularly use such as books, DVDs or other household items. It's a great way to bring their community of readers together in the real world to increase collaborative consumption.
The Globe is offering the lending library through its Your Boston community site at http://your.boston.com. Readers log in to Your Boston through their Facebook accounts.
NewsCloud makes it easy for readers to list items by allowing keyword searching and lookups of the Amazon product catalog. You can list books and DVDs in seconds.
We were excited about demonstrating NewsCloud's open source capability to power personalized community news sites in the King5 Hacking Seattle News contest. But, yesterday, we saw that they require entrants to sign an 11 page contract.
The contest has been promoted as an open source pro-community contest: "the idea is to do it a in very open-source, for-the-community, by-the-community mode" but it actually disallows the use of copyleft GPL open source code (see permissive open source software license) and requires entrants to license derivative works of their entry back to King5 (see text below). Both of these points go against the very values of open source software and community development. If winning projects are open source, there is no need for King5 to require derivative works - as the code is already accessible to them. Requiring derivative works takes ownership of the entire entry e.g. specific website, creatives, conceptual ideas, data, etc.
So, with disappointment, we won't be participating in the contest.
6. e) The Participant’s Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission and all components of the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission, including all ideas, creative elements, and any other materials and information contained in the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission, must bewholly original with the Participant (whether an individual or as part of a Team), except that software available under a permissive open source software license (e.g., BSD license or MIT license) may be used if Participant complies with the terms of the license upon demonstration and submission to KING 5 and identifies such software and its attribution and licensing requirements to KING 5 in the Winning Submission.
10. a) By entering the Contest, each Participant grants to KING 5 and to KING 5’s affiliates, subsidiaries, partners, licensees, and successors and assigns (collectively, the “KING 5 Parties”) a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute copies of, perform, display, adapt, use, and otherwise exploit the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission and all of their components, including without limitation by posting the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission on the KING 5 website or on such other Internet-related sites chosen by KING 5 in its sole discretion, in any manner, and in all media and formats whether now known or later developed, throughout the universe, in perpetuity, without any notice, permission or compensation (except where prohibited by law). In connection therewith, each Participant hereby forever waives and relinquishes all so-called “moral rights (droit moral)” now or hereafter recognized in connection with the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission.
I think Facebook will be pressured to add controls for users to limit the length back in history that different groups of people will be able to browse your Facebook timeline. Currently, anyone can browse my timeline's entire history on Facebook pursuant to my privacy restrictions. But, do I really want my next girlfriend to be tempted to browse the last five years of my Facebook timeline?
I might personally want to browse all ten years of my Facebook Timeline, but I might want my friends only to be able to look back 3 months. Maybe I'd allow close friends and family to browse one year back. But, I only want to show one month of history on my public timeline, or none at all.
The creepy thing is that advertisers still can electronically datamine/browse your entire timeline and everything Facebook knows about you.
Essentially, Facebook has to constantly battle against its very nature -- its supposed reason for existing -- as a friendly place for "friends" by conning those friends (and you) into "sharing" more and more, and by increasingly pulling intel about Facebook-linked activities (e.g., listening to music via Spotify, or reading an article off-site via a Facebook-linked app) into the picture of users it presents to marketers. It puts all of us to work (at $0 per hour) to increase its "engagement" scores because getting more and more people to spend more and more of their lives directly on Facebook -- or tethered to Facebook through an off-site app -- is the only way it can keep growing its advertising business and justify its valuation.
Meanwhile, as time spent on Facebook increases, media companies and marketers have fewer (and shorter) opportunities to engage consumers off-Facebook ... because there are still only 24 hours in the day.
If you Connect to Facebook on Yahoo! News, stories that you read begin to appear on your timeline. I clicked on the story headline Cain nearly quit campaign before Florida straw poll, calls Obama a ‘liar’, but a few minutes later, the headline "Cain nearly quit campaign before Florida straw poll, says Obama's rhetoric is 'bullshit'" appeared on my Facebook Timeline.
This highlights just one of the kinds of things that can happen when news sites start indiscriminately spamming my timeline with a list of every story I read. Will readers avoid stories like "Player's nude calendar defection irks Racing chief" in this new world of hyperexposure?
While we think applications like the Washington Post's Social Reader are a bit better than Social WSJ, generally it's a mistake for news organizations to spam a user's timeline with everything they read. We recommend stepping back to the standard of requiring the user's interaction to post items to their Timeline. Some readers may want to track their history for themselves, but it's really not useful to them or to their friends to share everything they click on - before they've even had a chance to read the story.
Facebook's Timeline is opening a Pandora's box of issues ... and we think October is going to be an extremely interesting month in social media. That's when more users will start to turn on their Timeline and get a sense of the deeply ingrained sharing implicit in the Timeline.