Ifra Newsplex, Wiki at IfraExpo India 2007

I happen to visit IfraExpo India 2007 as part of checking out how my client, Universal Print System(Showcasing SCREEN CTP) is doing out there. My main motivation for visiting Ifra expo is to check out how Newspaper as an industry is coping up with the onslaught of the New Media and Social Tools. As a card carrying member of Social Media fan club with active interest in Wiki and SecondLife I was looking forward to the Ifra Newsplex showcase at the Expo. Ifra Newsplex is grounded in the philosophy of convergence of multiple media platforms and strives to

  • Getting the theory of convergence into practice so that your newsroom is able to generate ready-to-go content for your audience
  • Keeping the audience close to the brand by supporting newspapers that generate content the audience seek
  • Enriching the art of journalism by using multimedia approaches
  • Building up a long-lasting relationship with the audience that is based on communication and interaction.

In short Newsplex is how a typical Newsroom will be in the future. Add an element of ‘Future is Now’ – you get the idea. But, I was kind of disappointed see a small stall with a few laptops( supposedly loaded with podcasting and vodcasting tools) showcased as Newsplex. Of course, the disappointment was more than made up by Dr. Dietmar Schantin, Director of Newsplex’s enlightening presentation and subsequent offline conversation.
ifra newsplex - different media for different time

He shared his experience in transforming the news team of The Telegraph into Convergnet Media team in one go! The magnitude of the task can be better appreciated if you note that seizable number of team were to be won over to see the online trend as opportunity rather than a threat. And brought up to the speed of podcasting and vlogging as part of their daily routine. It was insightful to learn that it is not Technology but it is all about People.

Throughout the history of Computing and Communication Technology, News organizations were early embracers. With that in mind, I was expecting edgy social media tools like SecondLife put to good use in futuristic Newsroom like Newsplex. From the conversation with Dr Dietmar Schantin it is clear that even Wikis are not widely used. With my recent Citizen Journalism submission experience in fresh in memory I was ranting about how The Hindu could have easily routed the ‘Longtail’ submissions( Read submissions not fitting constraints set for print/online publications) like mine to a Wiki.

A wiki approach will immensely benefit shaping up of a News story as multiple people are collaborating to evolve it, validate it and render it in multiple forms. I can swear by it given our wonderful Wiki2Booklet experience.
I am kind of very surprised that despite having the biggest asset( the Community) Newspaper et al are slow adopter of social tools either for its own reinvention or consumer engagement.

Bonus Links:
Web 2.0 – a threat or opportunity for newspapers
A social media tutorial at Ifra Summer University.


About labsji

I blog, Therefore I exist ! Funny things are funny to me. Cool things are cool to me. Innovations tick me. I attempt spirituality religiously :)
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