Ford Five Hundred interior focused on the automatic transmission.Image via Wikipedia

New Media Bytes has a sweet tutorial on how to auto-update Twitter. If only there was a way that LoMediaCo’s could use this functionality to their benefit….hmmmm. Maybe sending out headlines and quips automatically to all the neato early-adopters on Twitter? Gaining some street cred? Did I mention it’s automatic, so no need to have someone sit all day re-typing headlines?

The functionality grabbed me, but I must admit I haven’t tried it yet. Give me some time and I will update this post with my thoughts on setting up Auto Twitter here on Wedia Up.

UPDATE: Auto-update Twitter IS for real. It takes a whole 5 minutes over at Twitter Feed to get rolling. No need to watch a 10 minute tutorial to get the gist on this one. It looks like this thing will work for any RSS feed, grab the headline, and add in some stock text at the beginning (like “Headlines from WediaUp”). Choose how often it should search the rss (from 30 min to 24 hours), and how many posts it should capture. Now I just have to see if it’s consistent. Anyone use this for a real news site?

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Fire on the MountainImage by matrix2003 via Flickr

A house on fire brings LoMediaCo’s running. I think the rationale is that it’s what people want to see. If that’s true, wouldn’t there be an amazing place on the web that serves up endless Feeds and Vids of houses on fire?

To find out, I turned to a bastion of Wedia: Technorati. They keep a handy list of the top 100 Blogs. I didn’t see one that even remotely touched on burning houses or any other kind of local disaster. Most blogs are about politics, gadgets, blogs, celebrities, and the web.

Here’s the problem, LoMediaCo’s are caught in a cycle of providing content that is visceral for 30 seconds, but does not illicit opinion, thought, or action. The only thing someone could say about a house on fire is, “wow, that’s horrible. I hope it doesn’t happen to me.” LoMediaCo’s don’t have to give up the house on fire stories, but they do need to realize that that kind of story does not fly online. Houses on fire don’t build community. Houses on fire aren’t sticky.

Tapes 'n Tapes performing at the Siren Music Festival.Image via Wikipedia

I love how two disparate things can converge so nicely. Thing #1: Great post over at MediaShift calling out Newsrooms to “Walk the Talk of Change”. Check out some great examples of Talk and Action over there.

Thing #2: My favorite band, Tapes ‘n Tapes, released their 2nd Album today entitled “Walk It Off”. Take a listen over at MTVU. It’s piping hot if you’re into the independent rock.

I hope you agree that these are disparate things. Now comes the convergence.

Instead of Walk the Talk, I like the concept of Walk It Off for LoMediaCo’s. Walk the Talk connotes some blustery guy saying all the right words and pretending to know precisely where he’s going. Walk It Off is saying, “I think that ‘it’ is over there, and instead of measuring exactly where it is, I’m just gonna approximately walk towards it. If I’m close, great. If not, I’ll have a better viewpoint to walk it off again.”

Wedia Up is an exercise in Walking It Off. Tom and I thought it’d be great to do something in the Wedia community, so we got on WordPress in an hour. We’re walking towards where we think Wedia should be.  It may be an imprecise innovation method, but we think it will get us where we want to be more quickly.

Walking It Off is great for the innovation muscles.

Project 1two5

April 1, 2008

InnovationImage from Wikipedia

Despite all of the ad share losses, stock drops, and incessant competition, Local Media Companies (LoMediaCo’s) still matter. There are dozens of articles/blogs/videos posted everyday that outline the trouble with LoMediaCo’s. It’s good to understand the troubling reports if, at the very least, it lights a fire that propels you toward action.

Project 1two5 is meant to propel action towards a future state of LoMediaCo’s, not so much dwell on the current and past states. It’s meant to create a community of Media Insiders and Media Outsiders who care about the next level of innovation at LoMediaCos. There are two sides to this. One = The Process of Innovating. Two = The Actual Innovation. And surely, with more conversation, we’ll uncover a third and fourth side, subsets of sides, and alternative sides.

Assumption Round-up – Why LoMediaCo’s Still Matter

  1. LoMediaCo’s create a lot of relevant content that no one else does
  2. LoMediaCo’s are a trusted info source
  3. LoMediaCo’s have a vested interest in their communities
  4. LoMediaCo’s have recognizable brands
  5. LoMediaCo’s still make money (just not as much)
  6. LoMediaCo’s have full-time employees
  7. …and a bunch of other stuff that will come out in conversation

Why Innovation is Vital

  1. There are more ways to gather and present information than people know what to do with
  2. Playing catch-up all the time is annoying
  3. Doing something innovative is hard, but doing something hard makes people and companies grow
  4. Not innovating will continue to erode LoMediaCo’s market position
  5. Consumers and non-consumers demand a lot more of their news/info sources, and LoMediaCo’s need to meet those demands
  6. …and a bunch of other stuff that will come out in conversation

Who are we to create a Community

  1. We’re starting a company to help LoMediaCo’s ideate, innovate, and use the best tools to make content infinitely functional. It’s called e-Me Ventures, but that doesn’t really matter. The point is that we spend a lot of time working on these issues because we know there’s value in it.
  2. We care, so we share. LoMediaCo’s have a very important bundle of problems to tackle, and they need real conversation in an open forum to solve.
  3. We’ve got a team of Media Insiders and Media Outsiders, so hopefully we’ll reflect a decently wide range of thought in our chosen area of focus.
  4. We crawl the web constantly for innovative thoughts and interesting reports on Media. Having a community will give us a great place to store these findings and strike up conversations about them.
  5. We know there are many people who share the same interests and need a place to find and share info, too.
  6. All this is called “Project 1two5” because LoMediaCo’s are very 1.0, they need to get to 1.5, but we can work on 1.25 today.
  7. …and a bunch of other stuff that will come out in conversation.

What to do?

  1. We’re gonna continue to outline problems/issues/innovations, blog about them, add content and research, and start conversations
  2. You can join in at any point for whatever reason.

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Tackling the Deer

March 28, 2008

Source: ShutterstockI tackled a deer yesterday. Imagine my motorcycle and me as a linebacker, and the yearling deer as a wide-receiver, foolishly jumping into the air over the middle. Slamming on the breaks, the motorcycle crouched low, the deer went high, and blam-o….I stuck my headlights right between the numbers. The deer took about a 5 mph punch to the ribs, skidded across the road, leaped to it’s feet and jumped the nearest fence. Happy to notice that I managed to stay on two wheels, I signaled to an on-looker that all was in the realm of okay.

That was my experience, and now here’s my philosophical leap. Wedia is like a deer, running open and free, jumping fences, and Media tries to avoid it until they literally cross-paths. Wedia is wild, organic, unpredictable, and lives mostly for itself. Media is a static machine, purpose-built to follow the money. Wedia hardly acknowledges that Media exists, but Media agonizes about how Wedia could interrupt it’s path towards the benjamins.

Bringing it back from the brink of over-metaphoring this, think about a local Media company. When something more in the mold of Wedia (like Craigslist) comes into their market, they watch in awe as they jump fences and steal customers. But to follow the model of these new Wedia competitors, Media Co. would have to get off their money-making machine and run off into the wilderness towards an unknown. Most often, Media Co. has a guy watch Wedia from a distance with some binocs. After all, Media Co. knows their money-machine would quickly get mired and stuck if they chased it. So, in the end, Wedia looks at Media with disdain for failing to jump fences and go to new places. And Media is wary of Wedia for failing to follow the path towards ROI.

Us guys over here at e-Me think this is a problem that is worth solving. We’re gonna spend time understanding Wedia and Media. We’re gonna experiment. We’re gonna find Media Co.’s and Wedia Pioneers to become a part of the innovation. We’re gonna fall on our faces a few times. We’re gonna bootstrap and scrape along. We’re gonna share because we care.