Archive for the Solutions Category

Twitter for Elections Coverage

Posted in Events, How To Series, Internet, Journalism, new media, News Production, Solutions, television on October 29, 2010 by James Rowe

United States Mid-Term Elections are next week and  social media takes on a greater role than two years ago in the Presidential election.  It can be said President Barack Obama is the first POTUS to have used social media in a political campaign.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs leverages social media for his news briefings.  Gibbs uses 140-character jargon to solicit questions; a version of crowdsourcing.  His management style answers just one tweeted query on YouTube.

Civics is sociology and sociology benefits from tools of social media.  What creative utility have you considered for online social networks?

Whitney Matthews, online editor for the Lawrence Journal-World, offers a plan to use Twitter for election coverage; she writes for Poynter Online.  Matthews’ post has four points:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Get a local hashtag
  3. Tweet poll checks
  4. Add tweets to your website

Politicians and media covering them make excellent use of Twitter and other social networks.  This is the year of social media according to researchers such as Gartner, Edison and Nielsen.  Now is also the occasion we are expected to learn or begin to make money with social media according to a number of studies.

ABC News plans to anchor election night coverage from network headquarters in New York City and Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, CA.   ABC teams up with Facebook for elections coverage.  Social media for American elections is reality.

Here we’ve offered examples of using the big two social networks; Twitter and Facebook.  However there are others and more ways to use online tools to cover voting.  Google gets social with its elections center.  The search engine provides four services for voters:

  1. Polling place locations
  2. Registration instructions
  3. Ballot information
  4. State and local election office contact information

The question remains – how are you using social networks, new media and traditional media to serve voters of the United States this election?

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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SBE – Interactive Radio

Posted in Engineering, Events, Internet, Management, Operations, Solutions on October 15, 2010 by James Rowe

It’s fall and it’s time for the national meeting of The Society of Broadcast Engineers.  The 2010 SBE National Meeting is in Madison, Wisconsin this year and in a location where you can really focus on interesting subjects on the SBE agenda.  They’re gathering at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton on October 26th.  The meeting is in an area with some good restaurants and easy access to the highway for adventurous souls who will need to experience the capitol city.  I am quite familiar with Madison and the Marriott West.

SBE is calling this year’s meeting the “Broadcasters Clinic.”  I’m particularly interested in the very first session October 26th, Tuesday, 9:15 AM CDT, on Push Radio.

“PUSH Radio is a term that we’ve coin[ed] to describe[s] the advances in technology that we have experienced over the past several years and how they push the boundaries of the traditional time based studio to transmitter radio content delivery concept and permit a more flexible, free form methodology for content delivery – it could be used to empower listener interactivity, link to web content, decentralize the studio and put more employees out in the street interacting with the listeners, among other things.”

They’re discussing administration and the audience, not to mention interactivity and getting out among listeners.  I think it’s a really good way to begin the national meeting.

Register for the meeting at the SBE website. Rooms at the Marriott may be taken by now but there are other hotels nearby and IMHO you will need a car to get about the area and the city.

While I’m expressing my delight with the SBE let me mention their Broadcaster’s Clinic page is social.  There are Facebook and Twitter buttons at the bottom of the page with the call to “Get Social with the WBA,” the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Spread the word. Get social. Get interactive.

Let me add if you’re planning to attend the first meeting of the SBE 2010 convention you will be interested in the new service launched by Rowe and Company.  This link will take you to the website with information on curaYtor Production.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


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New Technology Developer Seeks Partners

Posted in Internet, new media, News Production, Products, software, Solutions, television on October 8, 2010 by James Rowe

Developers of MyNewsVu seek partners among television stations, networks and vendors of television news automation products.  Roland Boucher and his co-founder Stevan Vigneaux have created a product they describe as “next generation on demand news-site software.”  Messieurs Boucher and Vigneaux say they are reinventing television for the connected age.

MyNewsVu offers a personalized rundown or playlist of news stories on a station or network’s website.  Recent research notes video is king of online content.  Other studies indicate user experience is the must have in presentation of media.  Boucher says MyNewsVu promises an “individually-personalized TV newscast to each and every viewer.”  Here are a couple of ways to check on his statement.  Engineers and techie types perhaps would prefer to watch the presentation of the technology and business case for MyNewsVu.  Editorial professionals bored with technical information, who just want to know how it works, likely would choose to test the service itself.  The links provide you both experiences.

In this age when Jon Stewart is probably the most trusted news source in the United States of America his Daily Show website is user friendly.  Stewart’s site offers an easy online presentation of his comedy channel program.  MyNewsVu proposes an interesting solution for broadcasters searching for new and friendlier methods to communicate with audiences, who demand content when and where they desire.

So for those interested, here’s an opportunity to get in on the development stage of technology to deliver personalized viewing experiences for television news and shape the user experience.  Boucher calls for partners to help polish MyNewsVu.  He says they are “currently seeking development partners from a major Network News Organization or a Newsroom Automation and/or News Production Systems Company wishing to extend their News Production Workflow to include Internet delivered TV newscasts.”  Help fashion the future and reach out to MyNewsVu.  Contact information is on their website and to give you a better user experience here’s Roland’s email address

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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New Media News Presentation

Posted in Internet, Journalism, new media, News Production, Products, Solutions on October 1, 2010 by James Rowe

Burt Herman writes an opinion piece for the New York Times.  His words in the Times come immediately after announcing a new venture at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco.  WTF is Burt Herman and what is his new venture?

Herman calls himself entrepreneurial journalist and his new venture is Storify.  I think he has the coolest personal website I have seen.  Let’s begin with his NYT article “New Media Trust Sources.”

The entrepreneur discusses the megaphone everyone has with an Internet connection.  The people who are the new competition or ally to traditional (sometimes referred to as “old”) media.  In this decade the power to inexpensively reach global audiences burst into being.  Herman provides a new tool with Storify.

He points out in the Times piece:

“This democratization of media means anyone can reach out and find others who share their vision, regardless of geographic boundaries. Causes can spread at the speed of light, and “go viral” as they are shared on social networks.”

The “democratization” has exponentially created the same noise as cable television’s numerous channels.  So the audience is frustrated trying to find information that meets their needs among new and old media types competing for their valuable and short attention.

So far technology has failed to discover a way to filter noise and help people get to information they want.  Over the next two weeks Broadcast Newsroom Computing will present a couple new technologies answering the need.  The first is Storify which is perhaps best described as a noise filtering tool.

Herman defines new noise filters as curators; humans who package information in a consumable form and present it like paintings in a modern art museum. Let me lift another entire paragraph from Herman’s opinion.

“…a new class of gatekeepers has arisen, people whose reputations are built on their ability to highlight relevant information to their audiences. We are still looking for the right word to call these new gatekeepers, but so far “curator” is what appears most appropriate.”

He writes at the heart of the new approach is social media where people congregate based on shared interests.  Storify is a utility to gather information of common interest and present in a playlist fashion.  So I created a Storify story on social media business cases as example of both new medium and the new tool.  Here’s the link to the story.

There you have it; Herman’s new venture Storify and new approach to presenting information in the new decade.  Can I write “new” again?  Maybe next time when BNC reports on another such tool for gathering news and presenting it based on audience preference.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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Law and Order for Social Media

Posted in Internet, new media, Operations, Solutions on August 30, 2010 by James Rowe

Social media audiences are growing and aging reports the Pew Research Center’s Pew Internet project. The law and order crowd is growing at double the rate of older users involved with online social networks last year. The attention given social media in traditional media in the past year grew as much from my observation. So, do you know who the audience is? It’s a significant question given the latest research and fresh changes.

A previous post on Broadcast Newsroom Computing announced free one day online meetings for social media planning to explore methods to control images, brands and digital lives. The slide presentation from the webinars evolves into an eBook – “Secrets of Social Media Planning.” The new eBook is posted online. The eBook “Secrets of Social Media Planning” is the companion to the whitepaper “Social Media Simplified” and the video short “Social Media Thinking.” All are posted online.

Here’s the video:

The eBook, whitepaper and brief video are recommended to media organizations searching for simple rules to planning and governing use of social networks and new media technologies. Often myriad new technologies frustrate planners. The free eBook and companion paper bring some order to the development process.

The eBook is an easy, informative and entertaining read. The whitepaper is straight forward with some different sources. The video short is simply a nice respite.

Be social and share the eBook, whitepaper and video with family, friends and associates. Get everyone thinking about professional and beneficial uses of social media. Let’s use the new tools to improve everyone’s life.

In a fun style the eBook promotes simple rules for law and order among vast online social networks and overwhelming number of new media technologies. Mobile telephones and entertainment devices connect users to the Internet and family, friends and associates more immediately and persistently than ever. The always connected nature is changing all forms of media. Click here to answer our Polldaddy question – do you know who your audience?  You can always comment here, too.

Online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn alter ways friends and family interact. So perhaps a few simple laws are in order to keep everything civil and to make best use of new technologies and new ways people communicate.


James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

Verify Even If You Trust

Posted in Solutions, television on May 9, 2010 by James Rowe

A news executive looking for a throat to throttle about a calamitous technology failure asked me how anyone could permit such a threat to their news programming.  I had been responsible for cleaning up one the worst sales processes I personally experienced in all my years consulting enterprise solutions. The television group had become victim of their own bargain shopping, untrustworthy sales representatives and unskilled support.

Group executives negotiating the sale had abused the account representatives and the reps were ignorant of their own products. The failure of trust extended beyond the frontline though. It began internally with the vendor and carried through the sales presentation to implementation.  A number of self-proclaimed experts within the station group and on the vendor’s side had weighed in on problems frustrating implementation.  All had fallen short of resolving complications and providing the vice-president of news confidence in the new production process.

The only resolution to the predicament was solid advice and ability to demonstrate or verify information provided.  We cleaned up the mess but failed to restore credence.

FUD as it known to sales people, or to the rest of us fear, uncertainty and doubt, is accepted as part of business competition.  In my opinion the only way around such a dysfunction is good information.  Broadcast Newsroom Computing strives to be a trustworthy source and we believe we’ve discovered another credible reference.  Devoncroft Partners Big Broadcast Survey is a useful tool in monitoring technology winning attention of television competitors.  The BBS is an annual international study of broadcast technology buying.  A quick study on the survey is offered by TVNewsCheck’s interview with Joe Zaller, a Devoncroft principal.

I learned from several engineering chiefs, I’ve worked with in my career, knowing how adversaries use technology is one of the best ways to verify or debunk marketing propaganda offered by so many dealers.  The Devoncroft blog is a useful source in that effort.

Broadcast Newsroom Computing next attempts to fathom the broadband brouhaha.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

New Media Technology Mantra

Posted in Economy, Events, NAB, News Production, Products, Solutions on April 5, 2010 by James Rowe

Big conferences begin in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. The meetings are where broadcasters from around the globe consider new tools to make content for television, radio and the Internet. As recession concerns loom there is a new incantation you’ll hear for some time to come in my opinion.

Broadcasting and Cable in a special report “NAB 2010 Shopping Lists” underscores attitudes of those who will watch exhibits in Las Vegas. B&C reports “top engineers from station groups are looking for technology that matches the new economic realities of the broadcast business.” No doubt from the convention floor exhibitors will shout the mantra “better and cheaper” and point to their products. However buyers are savvier these days and require fulfillment of such promises.

A fresh B&C report is clear indication of how broadcasters are thinking. BitCentral won a huge deal with Gannett Company and kicked Avid Technology to the curb, so to speak. According to Broadcasting and Cable 23 Gannett owned television stations in 19 markets will move from the expensive Avid video production solution as they overhaul news production. The newsroom computer system, non-linear editors and video storage system will be replaced at Gannett stations with BitCentral’s Precis and Oasis servers and the Associated Press’s Electronic News Production System.

Gannett’s vice president of technology, Jeff Johnson was quoted by B&C.

"First of all, one of the things we had to have was commodity-based hardware. Then it was just the tie-in with AP [ENPS] and the overall flexibility."

The times have changed and so has the mantra for purchasing media technology. Vendors will have to live up to claims of openness to win deals with major broadcasters like Gannett. It appears this year at least competition is wide open.

One of the best places to learn about new thinking in media technology will be at the Techcon10 Technology Conference held by the Public Broadcasting System for the United States. Techcon10 starts April 7, 2010 and you will get a good idea of the conference from last year’s presentations. For years, I handled the Avid exhibit at Techcon and learned the benefit of the PBS conference to comprehending media technology.

Broadcast Newsroom Computing next looks at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s local news center initiative.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC