trinetizen

on media, tech, design and other stuff

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Name: Julian Matthews
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hi. I'm a former journalist and Malaysian correspondent to CNet, ZDnet, Newsbytes (Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive wire agency), Nikkei Electronics Asia and AsiaBizTech.com. I also previously contributed to The Star, The Edge, The New Straits Times, The New Zealand Herald and various magazines. Currently, I train and advise managers and executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach customers. My company, Trinetizen Media, runs media training workshops on social media, media relations, investor relations, corporate blogging, podcasting, multimedia marketing, online advertising, multimedia journalism and crisis communications. You can connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Jeff Hess' digital chapbook

Stumbled on Jeff Hess' digital chapbook with some great quotes from the books he likes:

From The Poetry of Lu Chi…

Sometimes the words come freely;
sometimes we sit in silence,
gnawing on a brush.

(From Choosing Words p. 12)

Not-knowing is like grabbing
the tail to direct the head
of a dragon.

(From On Harmony p. 17)

From Bradbury Speaks, by Ray Bradbury

Those who do not live in the future will be trapped and die in the past. (p. 107)

“Because.” Which is the best reason for writers to go a-journeying. (p. 120)

From The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian

“We’re finished,” she told the professional writer when she visited his room one night, half drunk. “This generation knows nothing about suffering, or isolation. Their hearts are numb.”

“And what good does isolation bring?” the writer asked.

“They just don’t take life seriously.”

“Neither did I at their age.”

“Writing demands complete sacrifice. You must pour your soul into the work. Every word has to be paid for in sweat and blood.”

“But if you cut yourself off from today’s world, how can you hope to write about it?” the writer said.

“Writers are the products of their times. A shallow world produces shallow writers. I can’t help missing those years we spent in the re-education camps.”

“The world has moved on,” the writer said. “You’ve been left behind. Those young women understand today’s society better than you. Perhaps a purer form of literature will emerge from their numb minds. They have no prejudice, no interest in politics. Their problems are pretty personal. But your time is already over.” (p. 88-)

From The Courage To Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes

“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark place where it leads.” –Erica Jong. (p. 64)

“You go to the dark places so that you can get there, steal the trophy and get out,” said [Frederick] Busch. “That is more important that to be psychologically safe.” (p. 67)

Lawrence Block spent a long apprenticeship producing hack fiction. Too long. After he wrote a mainstream novel in the early 1960s, a Random House editor suggested some changes. This made Block angry. He withdrew the manuscript and went back to writing pot boilers. It took Block years to realize the real reason he hadn’t responded to this editor’s suggestions was fear that he couldn’t pull the project off. As he finally concluded, his anger at her “was simply a smokescreen I had thrown up to conceal my fear from myself.” I would be another fourteen years before Lawrence Block started writing the Matt Scudder mysteries that won him critical acclaim and devoted readers. “Fear is the mind killer,” he concluded, “an unacknowledged fear is the worst kind.” (p. 93)

MORE.

Monday, March 26, 2007

How to save newspapers

Doc Searls' formula for saving the news industry, in my reduced form:

1.Open up the archives -- and feature them.
2.Link externally to bloggers, rivals.
3.Hire more stringers, citizen journalists and bloggers.
4.Stop calling online editorial "content". It's not container cargo.
5.Simplify your websites, stop building crappy ones.
6.Get with the live nature of the web.
7.Publish mobile-ready versions.
8.Don't "deliver information" - instead in-form and enlarge us.
MORE.

Friday, March 23, 2007

YouTube-ing the Elections

[via MediaPost]

The guy who posted the anti-Hillary, Big Brother/Apple 1984 edit, says ominously:



"There are thousands of other people who could have made this ad, and I guarantee that more ads like it--by people of all political persuasions--will follow," says Phil de Vellis, the creator of the ad, on the HuffingtonPost.com blog after he was named in a previous post.

Vellis, from Blue State Digital, the company that works for the Barack Obama campaign, resigned from his position after the confession. Apparently, he did it on his own, and had no hand in the Obama account.

Undoubtedly, YouTube will be the platform of choice for smear campaigns and dirty tactics in the next elections.

News sites have banner year

[From followthemedia.com]

News Sites Score in 2006, Print Down But Still Makes More Money
Philip M. Stone March 20, 2007

US newspaper advertising figures for 2006 tell the tale better than words. Print advertising was down by some US$800,000 which is 1.7% less than the year before, and Online continues fantastic growth with 31.5%, about US$637,000 more than the year before.



(Print advertising at U.S. newspapers in 2006 was US$46.6 billion, compared to US$2.7 billion for online)

But the end of the day the Internet's gains failed to surpass print's losses.

Numbers released by the Newspaper Association of America indicate that the financial revenue health at newspapers is getting markedly worse.

"When will the gains online offset the declines in print? In fairness, we do not believe there is an answer to that question yet," said Merrill Lynch media analyst Lauren Rich Fine.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Time magazine fakes Reagan's tear

How far can you take Photoshop without offending the masses, and denting the credibility of your newsmagazine? Time magazine found out this week, with a fake tear running down the face of a much-admired, two-term, dead president Ronald Reagan.



The photo and story entitled "How the right went wrong" was obviously meant to be provocative. I am quite sure the editor of the day knew what he was doing. Feigning surprise at the backlash of defacing the Teflon President, and the Great Communicator, just seems so fake in itself. Own up, apologize and move on.

[via Press Gazette.co.uk]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A story in Flash that doesn't suck

[via Lucas Grindley]



I have always been irked by stories in Flash that take so long to download. And when it finally does, it adds additional Flash layer after layer that also needs more time downloading. Worse still are designs where the Flash text is too tiny to read, and un-magnify-able or placed on backgrounds that make it difficult to make out.

Every now you and then you come across a story that reads well in Flash.

Like HeraldTribune.com's Broken Trust. A lot of thought went into the design and it's simple and clean and very easy to navigate.

Kudos to the designer and the multimedia producer! My one gripe is the inability to Print except via Flashpaper.

MORE.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Telling hard news via cartoons

Telling the digital news story in cartoons? For a sensitive topic where names and faces cannot be shown, the CBBC, I think successfully pulled off this package about child poverty.



Tim Levell explains it in his blogpost.

Warning: Those with crappy broadband, click on the pause button to let it download before kicking off the flash cartoons of Dillon, Danielle, Chris and friends.


MORE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wonderful world of Wikis

Rachael King in Businessweek's "No rest for wikis" on how companies like Intel, IBM, Sony, Disney and Microsoft have taken to wikis.

Some choice quotes:

"It's a disruptive capability — it shakes things up," Jeff Moriarty, of Intel, on Intelpedia, which has amassed 5,000 pages of content and garnered 13.5 million page views.

"The marketing people can get a sense of what's coming their way, as well as the finance and legal people — anyone who needs to know the one-page overview of what's going on," says Ned Lerner,on Sony PlayStation's wiki.

"We're able to make decisions quicker," says Ernest Kayinamura, on Enel's wiki. "The response from business-development managers has been very positive, as this has reduced the amount of time needed for due diligence to close a deal." Enel North America is one of the largest utilities in Europe, uses its wiki to track developments in the U.S. energy market to effectively communicate news with the parent company in Italy and its 56,000 people worldwide.

"It's allowing us to enter new markets where the market isn't large enough to localize documentation," says Molly Bostic on Microsoft's Visual Studio wiki which has documentation in Portuguese and helped Microsoft expand into Brazil.

Over time, as wikis begin to get a critical mass of information, they tend to sprawl and become unwieldy. "You need some kind of person who sees the long-term consequences of not organizing," says the Marshall School's Majchrzak. Most often, individual contributors are not the people who will restructure existing content. Instead, that task is left to someone Majchrzak dubs the shaper—an employee who is willing to take time synthesizing information so it's easy to read. Executives need to encourage shapers as much as individual contributors.


MORE.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

WSJ to post video online for bloggers

WSJ will post video online, according to a report at Editor and Publisher.

BeetTV has an interview with Bill Grueskin, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal Online, where he explains the decision to make the Journal's videos free as opposed a subscription model.

Anyone can view the videos, even non-subscribers. The code is embedded making it easy for bloggers or other interested parties to grab clips.

Brightcove is providing the videos, and apparently, has taken extra care "not to tick off advertisers" who might want to buy ads on the clips specifically featured on WSJ.com.

Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Brightcove, told Beet.TV's Andy Plesser the embedded code can be controlled to limit or remove advertising.

Meanwhile, the BBC has agreed to post clips of car show Top Gear and David Attenborough nature on YouTube.