Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One Minute News

I get bombard with news so I thought I would pass on a digest of UK 'new media' news over the last few days. One thing that is notable is the amount of new media already in use across the UK.

An attempt by a UK cabinet minister to discuss proposed environment policy using a wiki has ended in embarrassment after pranksters made merry at the expense of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs' reports The Register .

Horsham Today reveals news of a podcast on West County Council's website, launching a new service designed to offer help and advice to listeners using the latest mp3 technology.The very first podcast offers parents with children moving up to secondary school the chance to hear a specially recorded interview with Peter Senior, former headteacher at Steyning Grammar School.

The Guardian has revealed that a Syrian blogger has been arrested by the country's security forces without explanation, raising fears that President Assad's government is seeking to curb freedom of speech on the Internet. Ali Sayed al-Shihabi, an English language teacher, has not been seen since he was summoned to a meeting with security agents in Damascus on 10 August. It is believed his detainment may be linked to articles he has written on a political website.

LEADING Liverpool council officials and others named on a controversial website about town hall dealings are preparing legal action against its author. City lawyer Mark Manley confirmed he is acting for several people who want to sue the (now silenced) author of the Liverpool-Evil-Cabal blog for defamation.

In Mobile Digest we discover that a next-generation iPod phone (dubbed the iPhone) would not be a huge success.

A digital music survey of 3000 British consumers suggests that most people would either keep phone and music player separate, or want a phone that plays music rather than a music player that makes phone calls:

  • 46% of those surveyed said they would prefer to use a phone that played media files.
  • 21% said they'd use a music player on its own.
  • Over one-third said they'd never use a combined phone and music player.

Meanwhile Pocket Lint revealed a survey commissioned by the government Home Office that shows people do more to protect their gadgets at home than they do their passports. Only 22% of the 1064 people polled by FDS online lock their passports away, compared to the 28% that said their iPods and jewelery were locked up, with another 44% saying they were “kept securely”.

Farmers Weekly report on a survey of nearly 6500 consumers for Sainsbury's the UK supermarket chain which revealed there is no such thing as the average shopper. Which is encouraging and give comfort to those of us who think social media is ideal platform for individual conversations. The theory of the long tail rules!

The BBC reports that
Children in Britain are among the most lazy in the world, the survey found UK children spend an average of 9.4 hours a week playing computer games or watching TV, but less than one hour a day being active. The report, commissioned by supermarket chain Tesco, surveyed 3,500 young people from 10 countries around the world, including Britain, the US, Australia and India. Ranking the 10 countries in order of their children's fitness, Britain came in as the seventh fittest nation.

Contractor magazine found out that Silicon Valley is the worst technology hub in the US from which to start-up a business in the USA. A survey of the region’s enterprise leaders says the region comes last on a long list of potential locations for tech start-ups because of its high house prices.

Here is good news for Rupert Murdoch. E-consultancy reports the 2006 Digital Music Survey, carried out by Entertainment Media Research, which shows the likes of Bebo and Myspace have a strong influence over the way listeners’ discover and purchase music online. Almost a quarter of visitors to social networking sites said they have a “massive” or “big” impact on their music purchases, while 31% said they had bought music they had discovered on these sites. Nearly half (49%) also said they regularly or occasionally recommended artists to other users of social networking sites.

It looks like Rosie O'Donnell's blogging days might be at an end , since Barbara Walters - Rosie's new boss on The View - doesn't really like it very much. It is still up and running .

eGov Monitor reported that almost one in four EU households is now connected to the internet via high-speed “broadband” links. Broadband’s popularity grows with household size – only 12% of single households have it, compared with 34% of those with four members or more. And, of those households that have only “narrowband” internet connections, 40% do not wish to upgrade, either because they are satisfied with the speed of their dial-up connection or because they do not use the internet enough to justify the higher cost of broadband.

Roy Greenslade on the Guardian tells us that Traditional media In Britain are seen as the most trustworthy source of information, according to a survey by Telecom Express. The report finds that newspapers and TV are far more trusted than websites or blogs, with TV topping the poll at 66%, papers receiving 63%, and radio getting 55%. However, websites get a 36% rating while news blogs are the least trusted sources with just 24% of the vote.

Wensleydale Dairy Products has launched its own blog to raise support for a campaign to protect the origins of Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese reveals Digital Bulletin. The blog, created by PR agency Green Communications , has been launched following the company's application for a Protected Designation of Origin mark, which protects EU foods produced in a given geographical area similar to the protection won by Parma Ham and Parmesan Cheese. The website will include members of Wensleydale's 190 staff giving regular updates on developments at the creamery.

The London Times has launched a daily comment blog called Comment Central , which is to be edited by Daniel Finkelstein.

Finkelstein, a long-time columnist at the paper, is a former adviser to Prime minister John Major. He will edit the site, selecting the newspaper's best writing, and give a guide to opinion on the web. "Blogging is an incredibly exciting form of journalism, especially in the field of comment. Just as the role of a newspaper is to filter and edit the best for the reader, the role of Comment Central will be to bring the online reader the most fascinating comment and analysis on the web," Finkelstein said. I bet he would love to lunch with Colin Farrington.

In Computer Business Sun Microsystems' CEO Jonathan Schwartz's latest blog is a great example of how to help to cross-sell your biggest partners/customers without it being immediately apparent to everybody that what you're doing is cross-selling your biggest partners/customers.

The Observer reported that a Syrian blogger has been arrested by the country's security forces without explanation, raising fears that President Assad's government is seeking to curb freedom of speech on the internet.

Yahoo! will launch a service today that allows users to ask other people's advice , when looking for anything from a good hotel or bar to an apple pie recipe, rather than rely solely upon electronically generated search results. The search and online portal operator will promote Yahoo! Answers with its largest advertising campaign in Britain since the dotcom boom.

Mark Lazarowicz has put his political thoughts online by setting up a weblog says the Scotsman . The Labour backbencher claims to be the first city MP to have joined the world of blogging.