By Steve Outing
My local newspaper didn’t tell me that my friend Yann crashed on his mountain bike and ended up in the hospital this week. Twitter did, since he posted a note to his Twitter followers about the accident.
I think this points out a problem and an opportunity for newspapers. Problem: they don’t offer people the micro-local and personal news and information that makes a difference in people’s lives. Opportunity: they need to offer the micro-local and personal news and information that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Do I really mean to get THAT local? Yeah, I do think there’s great value in a digital monitoring system that brings me news about people I know, my neighbors, my neighborhood, schools my kids attend, organizations I belong to, interest groups (e.g., sports, hobbies) that I belong to or follow, etc. I mean individuated, personalized news feed.
That exists to a degree already on Facebook, since personal news from my Facebook friends gets fed through my Newsfeed there. Local news organizations might use that as a model, developing individuated-news services that monitor news from a wide variety of sources — even Twitter, the micro-blogging service/social network.
For a while now I’ve been advocating that local news organizations, especially newspapers, start doing a better job of tapping all the great sources of information about their communities: local bloggers, institution websites and newsletters, government agencies’ websites and databases, etc. Yann’s misfortune, and how I found out about it, reminded me that Twitter and other similar services also are a source of “news” that can be monitored and leveraged by a reinvented local news organization when it makes a commitment to individuated news for its community members.
- A dilemma: Where to host a social-media discussion group - September 10, 2014
- Writing About the Future: A new community you should join! - September 7, 2014
- Future scenarios at work as a tool for climate advocacy - September 4, 2014
- Future of news scenarios show what’s (likely) to happen with newspapers - August 6, 2014
- Predict future news events with web data - July 15, 2014
- Start at the end: How ‘backcasting’ might save investigative journalism - July 9, 2014
- How to measure the value of news content: How about based on reader action? - June 26, 2014
- What if? … The NY Times ended its daily print edition - June 3, 2014
- NY Times: Another myopic dinosaur that needs to go digital first? - May 19, 2014
- Is ‘Journalism’ losing its clout in U.S. higher education? - March 24, 2014