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New Media News Break: Moving to Vegas, Klout on the Go, TED-Ed, and more


Every week, we post a New Media News Break to help catch you up with what’s going on in the world of new media and get you through the work week. Here are this week’s top stories:

BlogWorld Heads Back to Las Vegas!

I might be a little biased, but I think one of the most exciting new media news stories of the week is that BlogWorld is heading back to Las Vegas, where it first got started. Our east coast event took place in Los Angeles last year, and while this location was fun, our community – you guys – asked to go back to Vegas, and we listened. We’re really excited to be at the beautiful RIO, and our conference will also overlap with CES, which means you can get double the bang for your travel buck, hitting both conferences in a single trip rather than having to plan and pay for several different flights. Our initial post about the move has a great discussion about heading to Las Vegas and more information about this event, which will be held in January 2013.

Klout Goes Mobile

Four months ago, Klout announced app plans, and this week, they finally released a version for iPhone, with plans for an Android version in the future. What’s cool about this app is that you don’t have to open it to see your Klout score; instead, you can just choose to have your score displayed on the icon. You can’t give out +Ks with this app (yet), but there are a lot of other functions available with the Klout app, which you can read about on Mashable’s story about this new way to use Klout while on the go. While getting too wrapped up in Klout isn’t necessarily a good thing, I do think there are definite benefits to tracking your score, as it allows you to see how you can improve with using social media.

The Sioux City Journal Creates a Blog-Like Issue

Newspapers are losing money and going bankrupt across the country as more and more people move to getting their news online, but that doesn’t mean there are no papers out there doing interesting things. This past weekend, The Sioux City Journal took a very unconventional approach to their Sunday paper, devoting the entire front cover to a message about stopping bully after a local teen died from self-inflicted injuries due to bullying about being gay. I think the paper looks almost blog-like, which is a pretty interesting concept. Could more content like this be the answer to newspapers’ problems? (Not that print news publications should capitalize on tragedies, but I think the idea of rethinking content to be more blog-like is an interesting one.)

TED-Ed Allows you to Create Comprehensive Lessons with YouTube

The new TED-Ed site is now making it easier for educators, especially online educators, to “flip” YouTube videos into lessons for their students. It’s actually a really cool concept that allows you to add supplemental content to videos by asking questions or adding additional resources. While the concept was initially designed for teachers, I think it would also be interesting to see how online content creators use this new ability as well to create some online courses. It’s definitely a tool worth checking out, especially if you are a video creator, vlogger, video podcasters, or blogger thinking about adding videos to your text content.

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

Newspapers Continue to Suffer in the Face of Online News Coverage


Newspapers Continue to Suffer in the Face of Online News Coverage According to a report released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the state of the American news media improved in 2010 after two years of downward movement. Among the major sectors, only newspapers continued to suffer – due to the advent of online news sources.

News organizations — old and new — still produce most of the content audiences consume. But each technological advance has added a new layer of complexity—and a new set of players—in connecting that content to consumers and advertisers.

News companies now find themselves having to tackle:

  • A continuing loss of advertising dollars as new platforms and programs take a share of the revenue split.
  • A constant shift of applications and platforms that require technology expertise, rather than journalism knowledge.
  • A huge increase of users looking to find news on a mobile device. Nearly half of all Americans (47%) search out local news on their mobile device.
  • People obtaining more news from the Internet than newspapers.

In some ways, new media and old, slowly and sometimes grudgingly, are coming to resemble each other.

While this may be a time of change, growth, and experimentation – there is also a shift in trends and many stories and news topics are being left behind. “Some vitally important stories are less likely to be covered,” said the leader of a local civic group in Seattle. “It’s very frightening to think of those gaps and all the more insidious because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Image Source: SXC

What is a Milblog, and Why Should You Care?


Aside from being asked what a blog is, the next question that comes up in talking with people — even other bloggers — is “What is a milblog?”  That’s a good question.

Milblogs are blogs about the military, or topics of interest to the military, by those associated with the military.  There are several “types” of milblog, most of which will be represented in the milblog track on Thursday at BWE.

Your classic milblog is one of two types.  The first is a blog by a serving member of the military who is deployed overseas.  Many of these were (or are) started by deployed troops to keep family and others updated on what they are doing, health, and other general information.  The second is a blog by former serving members, sharing news, information, and even discussion on events, policies, procedures, and more.  There is some interchangeability here, as deployed bloggers often morph into the second type of blog when they return home, and some who started as the latter morph into a deployed blog if they end up either going back onto active duty or otherwise find themselves overseas.

You also have Spouse Blogs, that is blogs written by the wives or husbands of those deployed.  As above, these can cover anything from what is happening on the homefront, so as to keep the deployed spouse up-to-date, or get into more discussion of policies, procedures, events and how they effect the family.  Some are not limited to that, but get into discussions of foreign policy, COIN, and other topics that are of interest to the people doing the milblog.

Finally, you have what can be described as support blogs.  These can be by individuals who support a particular unit; an individual who is doing something on a larger basis, such as teddy bears for the troops (real effort, BTW); non-profits who work to get mail or other support to the troops; or, efforts by companies and others to do things for the troops and their families.

Now comes the fun question:  Why should you care about milblogs?

If you truly want to know what is going on, both in a very localized sense or in broader terms in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere, your best source of information is the milblogs.  The number of reporters dedicated to covering operations overseas has dropped dramatically in the last few years, and was not high to start with.  Some of the coverage provided by stringers is, frankly, poor to fraudulent.  Some of the coverage provided by general assignment reporters, often the case as newspapers and other traditional outlets eliminate specialty reporters (science, medical, and others, not just military), suffers from a lack of knowledge about the subject area.  Imagine someone knowing nothing of sports having to cover local football…  Some milblogs not only compile stories/links from other milblogs, they also get reports from troops in the field and even send their own reporters to embed with operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and elsewhere.

Secondly, the military is not a monolith.  It is composed of individuals who have differing ideas, thoughts, and even personal goals.  The milblogs host a variety of discussions on topics ranging from who makes the best guitar to matters of military policy, such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  These discussions are often freewheeling and almost always fun.

Third, when it comes to foreign policy and the conduct of the war, you will not find a better place for knowledgeable discussion of Counter-Insurgency (COIN), military operations, Rules of Engagement (ROE), and other topics crucial to both war and peace.

Fourth, if you want to know the real concerns of military families, of veterans, and others, then you need to check the milblogs.  Again, you will find a diversity of opinions, and ideas for fixing various problems, then you need to read the milblogs.  These are not academic discussions; rather, they are discussions by people living the issues and dealing with them 24/7.

Finally, if you truly do support the troops and want to help them out, the miblogs provide links to things that really do directly help the troops, their families, and our veterans.  From PTSD (and excellent discussions on same) to VA benefits, the milblogs provide a wealth of information, as well as opinion commentary on same.

This year, the milblog track will run all day Thursday 15 October.  We hope you will join us, and we may even have a surprise or two.  Keep in mind that the milbloggers are not all bloodthirsty savages what couldn’t get a real job for being so dumb (well, there is that Wolf character, but he’s the exception).  You might be surprised at what you find, from degrees to hobbies.  Be sure to check out the Army Milblog Lounge in the exhibit hall as well, where you can safely interact with milbloggers in a relaxed public setting if scared to talk with us in sessions.  🙂

Come meet us, and join in.  We even invite you to send in suggestions on what panels you might like to see at next year’s milblog track.

We look forward to meeting you.

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