Archivi categoria: English

Second Pulitzer Prize for Propublica

Paul Steiger, chief editor of Propublica.org, writes on his site:

“ProPublica reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their stories on how some Wall Street bankers, seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of their clients and sometimes even their own firms, at first delayed but then worsened the financial crisis. We at ProPublica are delighted by this award, and deeply honored.

This is ProPublica’s second Pulitzer Prize in as many years. Last year, ProPublica reporter Sheri Fink won a Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting for her article “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” on euthanasia at a New Orleans hospital in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, published in partnership with The New York Times Magazine. This was the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to an online news organization. This year’s Prize is the first for a group of stories not published in print.”

Indeed a good job.

In 2010 Paul Steiger was in Italy to attend the International Journalism Festival of Perugia, and that’s where I had the chance to meet and interview him for a few minutes. During our short conversation I asked Mr Steiger about Propublica and its business model as well as about his view on journalism and its future.

Watch his answers – still very up-to-date – in the following video.

Next ‘11 – Let’s share the “Data Love” in Berlin

next_conference_2011_data_loveIn May I’m going to Berlin where Martin Recke and his staff have kindly invited me to attend the Next  Conference 2011.

I met Martin in Paris, where I’ve asked him a pair of questions about the event and the very topic of this year, which is “Data Love”. The result is a 2:40 audio-interview whick you can listen to further in this post.

Here’s an abstract:

The main topic of the coming event in Berlin is “Data Love”: as we see everyday, there’s a lot of data created this days and the real challenge is to develop out of them services and products for consumer. In Germany there’s been a lot of discussion over data protection and privacy, and we sense a lot of fear in the market over these topics. What we want to do is to put everything in a positive view and to focus more on the opportunities.

We’re living surrounded by huge amounts of data, and still a lot more will come as Governments and Institutions will eventually release tons of public data sets.

Are you ready to take you chance and build over them the next worldwide successful business?

Let’s talk about this and more in Berlin on May the 17th and 18th.

More info here and here

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Employee 2.0, video-interview with Josh Bernoff

At the beginning of February the Social Media Week took place in Rome. As partner at Info, I had the chance to organize and moderate a panel entitled “Employee 2.0 – Dalle relazioni istituzionali alle relazioni distribuite” and dealing mainly with two topics: the new relationship between empowered employees and empowered users; the opportunities and challenges this relationship rises for external and internal relations management. It’s interesting to note that – notwithstanding the not-so-popular subject – the conference rapidly sold out and that the room (which was quite big) was full.

To open the panel, we showed a short interview I pre-recorded via Skype with Josh Bernoff – senior vice president, idea development at Forrester Research, co-author of “Groundswell” and “Empowered” – who helped us to define the context of our discussion.

Here’s an excerpt of what he said:

With the power that consumers and customers have now using social media, the pressure on corporations is greater than ever before and the only way to move at the speed of your customers is to actually empower your own staff to reach out to them. […] These people are what we call HEROs. HERO is an acronym meaning Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operative: it just simply refers to an individual within a company who has an idea about how to serve customers using technology, an idea that the company want to support

And here’s the video:

The panelists where three well-known academics and two experienced managers:

  • Giovanni Boccia Artieri – Coordinatore del corso di Laurea in Scienze della Comunicazione, Università Carlo Bo
  • Stefano Epifani – Docente di Tecnologie per la Comunicazione d’Impresa, Università La Sapienza
  • Matteo Menin – Director @ Between S.p.A, responsabile delle Attività di Consulenza Strategica legate all’area Consumer e Web
  • Luca Sartoni – Team Leader, Social Media and Internet Marketing, @ 123People.com
  • Marco Stancati – Consulente aziendale e docente di Media Planning, Università La Sapienza

Together, we tried analyze and comment the state of the art of corporate communication in Italy, spending a great part of the conversation in defining the true difficulties italian managers and employees are facing while dealing with the online revolution. Then we tried as well to envision what’s next.

Interview with Matt Barrie, Ceo Freelancer.com

Freelancer_logo_color_on_white_mediumI’m quite sure you all know what outsourcing is. What you probably don’t know is that there’s an online revolution going on out there, which is deeply changing the way outsourcing works: thanks to the Internet, to the way it helps people interacting with each other regardless of where they are in the world and – of course – thanks to the so-called social media collaboration tools, millions of professionals around the globe are working on projects, are solving problems, are earning money even if they will never leave their houses and meet or have a coffe with their co-workers and employers.

There’s a new way of doing business together in progress and Freelancer.com is definitely a huge part of it. The web site founded by Matt Barrie today sports more than two millions of members, and claims to be “the world’s largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace for small business”.

I met him in person sometimes ago in Paris during Leweb ’10 and asked him some questions on the impact of outsourcing and crowdsourcing on local job markets and economy, about the community he built, the way it works and – above all – about the way Freelancer.com let people checking every member’s reputation, trustworthiness and reliability as well as managing their own.

You can listen his answers in the following podcast.

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#euco: Tweetwall Pro and Berlusconi don’t get along too Well

UPDATE: Pascal from Twitter Wall Pro points out with a comment on this blog that the software offers both automatic or live moderation. Let me add that I sure think there is no problem with the software, but with the people using it in the wrong way.

Lesson learned: Never put together Silvio Berlusconi and Tweet Wall Pro in the same room during a public event.

Twitter is undeniably a great way to catch the vibe on what’s going on pretty much anywhere in the world, and trending topics and search / hashtags facilitate this tremendously. Kudos to the EU for experimenting with live Twitter stream projections at official summits in that regard … but they still need to learn that moderation is important, too.

Using Tweetwall Pro, a way for event organizers to feed live tweets onto screens, an experiment in the atrium of the EU summit building in Brussels held yesterday didn’t quite proceed as planned. The live tweet stream, which was displayed on multiple plasma TVs throughout the building, was abruptly shut down after Italian Twitter users hijacked the #euco stream with anti-Berlusconi messages, calling the politician a mafioso and a pedophile.

Read more from Robin Wauters on TechCrunch

Another Kickstarter Success: Almost 1$ Million Raised for the iPod Nano Wristwatch

LunaTik_SideCloseupSome time ago Scott Wilson, founder of the Chicago-based product and design studio MINIMAL, had an idea: to create two watch enclosures for Apple’s latest iPod nano and transform the Apple mp3 player into geekiest wristwatch ever. All he did was to put his project on Kickstarter with the goal of raising $15,000. And when he did so, he probably wasn’t expecting his project to become the most successfully funded in the crowdfunding site history.

Six hours ago the funding closed with really astonishing numbers: in total, 13,510 people have contributed with $941,558.

It’s a huge record, and we’ll probably keep writing about it for a while. But what amazes me the most are not the huge number of people participating or the total amount of money wilson’s project gathered. What’s new and enlightening is that we’re not talking about software, code, internet tools and other digital stuff like this.

We’re talking about hardware.

Wilson will use (and is already using) the money gathered online to build something you will buy, touch, use and appreciate in the real world. He is just back from a trip to China where he met his suppliers, tested the first prototypes, made new arrangements, posted a video to give his supporters a glimpse into the process of  manufacturing the product and show “how much craft, hand work and care goes into the metal and even the silicone strap”.

The products (the TikTok ($35) and the LunaTik ($70) model) look beautiful and more than 13,000 people have already told Wilson they do like it (isn’t it a hell of a focus group?).

All this feels so real and makes me think about the possibilities: we are used to say that the Internet is changing the way we get and share informations or ideas or the way we interact with each other. But what Wilson and his project are proving right now is IMHO that – if properly used – the web can help us transforming a beatiful piece of design, a simple and smart idea into a real mass-market product.

Via MG Siegler

WordPress and Democracy: interview with Matt Mullenweg

A few days ago in Paris I had a nice chat with Matt Mullenweg – founding developer of WordPress – about the popular open-source blogging software and its future developments, as well as the way in which WP helps democracy along with anything else that enabes open communications, transparency and publishing.

There was also time to point out that Rambo is blogging on WordPress and that the partneship with Microsoft won’t eventually lead to any acquisition.

And when at end I asked him “if you had to start developing today, on what would you like to work?”, Matt answered “On e-mail, which I think is still really painful”, adding that what Facebook is doing goes in the right direction.

So let’s just hope that he really will, one day or another.

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Interview with MG Siegler (Techcrunch) on journalism, professional blogging and Wikileaks disruptive effects

While in Paris for LeWeb, I had the chance to interview MG Siegler, who is a writer for the technology blog Techcrunch where he covers the web, mobile, social, big companies, small companies and much more.

The audio interview is divided into two parts: in the first one, he talks about his job as a hitech blogger at Techcrunch and how challenging is to create meaningful contents in the real-time web era.

In the second part I ask him what he thinks about Wikileaks and the way big players like Amazon or PayPal got rid of Julian Assange’s web site, rising a simple but vital question:

Who does really own (and so control) the Internet?

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Gary Vaynerchuk about social media engagement: “Italy’s a big question mark”

gary_vaynerchuckGary Vaynerchuck is pure Energy. When you hear him speaking and rocking on the stage of LeWeb, you really start believing that everything is possible, that a real and deep change in the relationship among people and companies through social media is taking place right now.

That there is light, so to say, at the end of the “corporate communication tunnel”.

I had the chance to ask him some questions while he was giving his talk:

and then again at end of it during a short audio interview.

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He told me that:

– not every company should engage with social media;
– There is light at the end of the tunnel but it’s going to take time to reach it;
– Virtual currency is going to be the next big trend;
– The most important site in the Internet right now is search.twitter.com, because when you use it you can see the communications, so its ok for you to reach out and engage with the people out there;
– The ROI of your mother can’t be measurable (couldn’t help to ask it him again ;-))

and last but not least that:

Italy is a shocking country. More surprising even than China. A big question mark under lack of acceptance of this technology and this movement. Italy is a tough one, where something in culture is really pushing back an where the only way to break through is not being apologetic and push, push push.