It has been my pleasure to attend a number of KOMU anchor Sarah Hill‘s interesting Google+ newsroom Hangouts since July 19, 2011. In this detailed article, I will try to share some of my general experiences, observations, and insights. To help this article flow better and less bogged down by highly technical ideas/solutions, I am gathering my technical-orientated observations and suggestions in a separate article.
Since Google+ (and its Hangouts) is a new tool that is only one month old, these notes only reflect my initial thoughts/impressions. I expect my views will be changed later when I learn more. I’ve tried to reference ideas I read elsewhere as best as I can by providing crediting them and provide links to them.
Location, what Location? – Think Global, Act Local
I first heard of KOMU and Sarah likely from “5 Ways Journalists Are Using Google+” (July 17th, 2011 Mashable article). On the internet, the location really doesn’t matter. I live in Calgary, Canada and I participated in KOMU-TV newsroom Hangouts in Columbia, MO. And through Sarah, I’ve got to know and Hangout with Angie Bailey, KOMU Anchor, Stephen Clark (Detroit, WXYZ TV), Amy Wood, (South Carolina, WSPA TV), and KOMU Interactive Director Jen Reeves. Where they are “physically located” have no impact on our interactions at all.
By attending these newsrooms Hangouts, I have now hungout with people from around the world. People who joined from different parts of US, Canada, and Europe. So far, no Asian countries because of time zone differences, I suppose.
Will evening news stay as “appointment television”?
I heard the use of “appointment television” from one of the television executives attending Banff World TV Festival a few years ago. Here is an useful definition,
“appointment television: the decision of tv viewers to schedule their time so that they watch a specific program at a specific time“
With the advent of around the clock news websites (often with videos) updates from major national and international news outlets (BBC, CNN, Guardian, etc), plus the local newspapers getting into the same game (with video), the evening news, especially for the younger people, are no longer “appointment television“.
The viewers won’t want to be locked into watching news at a fixed time, from one news source when they can and are getting news from many different reliable sources online, whenever they want.
I believe the “commodification of news” is close to done. Many news programs are working hard to differentiate their news programs by supplementing “regular” news that they must report (even most people have heard/read elsewhere) by adding special unique segments, panel discussions, etc. For example, in Canada, CBC National “At Issue” panel (a political panel of 2-3) or “Rex Murphy” segment (like 60 Minutes’ Andy Rooney).
I should emphasize, I write this section with an optimistic mindset as I don’t believe not “appointment television” is entirely bad. I believe there are new ways to make money in this new time. Stories may need to be packaged differently. Ads need to be sold differently. In the next section, I will talk about two ways to make money.
How to make money? – Revenue Generation
One thing I enjoy a lot from Sarah‘s Hangouts is the brain storming sessions. When the environment is open and the participants are engaging, the sessions can be very illuminating and productive.
Some people suggested the following ways to generate revenue (make money) online, Read the rest of this entry »