With thanks to my old friend Dave for pointing this out to me.

If you go forward to around 2 hours 50 mins there is a piece about the author David Eagleman.

(This is a link to a BBC radio programme, so will disappear after a week unfortunately,  see my earlier comments on broadcasters approach to having their back catalogue online).

This author has published an iPad book which has lots of graphs / images and can be read from any chapter (he speaks of a Random Access Chapter device, which I assume is named to remind us of how RAM works). The book sounds like the kind of future I have been talking about for publishing, and in fact probably goes further than I have thought – the chapters can and will be updated as time goes on to ensure they remain relevant.

He also talks about the importance of sources for his work and highlights the use of hyperlinks to confirm what he is saying (which is exactly what bloggers do all the time, so I am not too surprised by this).

The interview is not a great one – would a BBC interviewer have asked any other author a question about how readers can trust what is being said in this new format – just the sort of material which will be replayed in half a century and people will laugh at how stupid the questions were as all books are made that way in 2060.

This blog is about the influence on publishing of what David Eagleman has done – you may also want to have a look at his website and get the book (Why The Net Matters: How the Internet Will Save Civilization) as the topic itself is quite interesting to (may blog about it once I have had a good look at what he says)

which do you read first?

December 7, 2010

News is about people. Traditional news covers people such as Prime Ministers, Presidents, leaders of business and so on.

Once upon a time these were all packaged up in newspapers published each day, then broadcast in news bulletins on the wireless every hour and later on TV.

All of this information has moved online – you can read, watch or listen to news as it happens from anywhere in the world. I am quite interested in Aussie politics and read about it at The Age (Melbourne) or The Sydney Morning Herald.

So for free (well, the ongoing cost of my web connection), I can know what is happening to politicians and business leaders on the other side of the planet.

But the web has done something else. I can also read news from hundreds (or thousands if I want) of ordinary people. On Facebook via my PC or mobile I can see a stream of updates from people I see everyday and people I see from time to time (I get updates from my friend in Cambridgeshire and know what is happening to her most days, whereas Before Facebook (BF) we maybe spoke once a month / two months, which involved lots of catching up) and from people I haven’t seen for years.

These events I read about are happening to people, and to those folks and to me, these are news stories. Just not in the traditional sense where news values tell you what the Deputy PM does is news, while what my friend CH does in Cambs is unlikely to make the front page of the Sunday Times (as that DPM story did – havent connected to the original story due to the Rupert Murdoch paywall, which I have mentioned before).

I like news in the traditional sense and I like news in this new sense of status updates / feeds / streams which people I know are uploading. This blog I am writing will appear in feeds, sometimes it is commented upon, sometimes re-tweeted or pinged back. Certainly it is read by a few people and to some, on some level it is news that I have written it. Mostly I write commentary on other events (whether readers agree or not is of course up to them) rather than breaking news here.

Altho my Facebook updates will from time to time break news about my life – the biggest one (so far!) being when my son was born. I got messages and comments from all over the world within only a few hours and in some cases from people I havent seen in years.

A friend of mine was on a plane at the time and he landed to discover a voicemail from his mother demanding to know why he hadn’t told her that my boy had arrived – she had seen the Facebook pictures as well – he hadn’t even heard yet as he’d been on a flight. While my brother-in-law who hadn’t been around for the 24+ hours labour as I had, could have uploaded his photos first, while I slept, but told me later he thought it right he wait so I could upload the first photos. I was grateful for this and am glad he had a concept of Facebook etiquette.

I find it interesting that when I click the arrow on Firefox to look for most visited sites, the top two are always the same. One is a news site, the other is Facebook.

One of the life observations I have is whether I look at Facebook or traditional news first more often?

I know when I am expecting an update from a friend I will always look there first. But when I am just browsing while I wait for a train or for someone to arrive, is it the friend stream or the traditional news stream which I go to first? I am going to pay more attention to this.

Please feel free to let me know which one you go for first.

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