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Blogs > Office Jotter

Catch up with the BBC's Social Media Summit
Roger Whitehead By: Roger Whitehead, Director, Office Futures
Published: 23rd May 2011
Copyright Office Futures © 2011

If you have an interest in journalism and how social media are affecting it, you might like to browse the debates from this event. The BBC College of Journalism organized the gathering, which took place in West London on 20 May 2011.

There were contributors from Al Jazeera, Reuters, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, as well as from bloggers and tweeters. If you visit the event’s pages, starting here, you can read, watch and listen to what they said.

I don’t know enough about the subject to comment on the quality of the discussions. Although I like reading good journalism, I know little about what goes into creating it. Martin Belam has posted some thoughts about the day on his blog. Paul Martin is more critical on his.

(Added a couple of hours later) The Journalism site has published this review of blogs about the event.

Incidental pleasures

Some of the links from the site lead to interesting reading. I especially like:

  • Ultra Knowledge’s Tweetwall for the event. There are some stats here. (UK is a search company I last looked at five years ago. They were new and very small then, so it’s good to see they’ve found a niche.)
  • Brett Border’s short history of social media*. It’s revealing to see Steve Jobs stealing phone time. Try helping yourself to some of Apple’s resources today and see how he reacts.
  • The BBC’s glossaries, writing guides and other teaching material. There’s much talk these days about ‘citizen journalists’. They could learn a great deal from this site.

*Until a couple of decades ago, paper was the basis for a type of social medium. You’d photocopy an article, fix a distribution list to the copy and send the result to your simpatico colleagues via the internal post. They would write their comments on it, possibly staple on other material and pass it on until the whole thing came back to you.

That would be days or weeks later, of course, but you then had in front of you the collected thoughts of trusted others. In essence, all that’s new today is greater speed and a couple more media types.

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