How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Top new media developments of 2010

Another year over and another smattering of predictions of new media developments in 2010; some made tentatively – knowing the pitfalls of trying to guess future trends; others made largely on what we can see happening already.

Media moguls wait patiently for the days when they can begin cataloguing 2010 moments, and predict the next big thing of 2011. It’s their right to do so – they’ve seen the industry change rapidly over the last few years and no doubt some hope to be on the money with their foresight.

But before we go on to take a stab and how the media landscape will look at the end of 2011, many of us have been dozily wallowing through the months that were 2010 – analysing the top media moments and smugly reminiscing on new media breakthroughs.

In 2008 I wrote on my addiction to end of year top ten lists. Here’s my top ten of the top ten 2010 reviews:

  1. The Media Show podcast – Steve Hewlett is joined by Times columnist David Aaronovitch, Economist columnist Anne McElvoy, and Peter Bazalgette who founded big brother. The panel debate how the media changed this year – looking at Rupert Murdoch’s paywall, the political debates on TV and the wikileaks revelations toward the end of the year. Well worth a listen.
  2. In a similar vein the Media Blog looks at the top ten news stories this year – sourced through Google trends
  3. The Guardian’s Viral Video chart by Josh Halliday – glad to see he put in my tweeted suggestion Newport State of Mind – which I watched ride the web wave in south Wales throughout the summer – in at number one.
  4. Mulitmedia journalist Adam Westbrook rounds up his top ten vloggers or video bloggers of 2010 on his blog.
  5. The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones sums up some thoughts hovering in his mind for technology in 2011.
  6. Paul Linford writes on Hold the Front Page his review of 2010 for the regional press – with various takeovers and swip-swapping of bosses glossing over the bleaker outlook for local newspaper as 2010 draws to a close. For more somber reading see Hold the Front Page’s reporter’s we have lost in 2010 article.
  7. Jemima Kiss is joined by paidContent’s UK editor Robert Andrews to talk about the year in tech for the Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast – if you need to catch up with where we’re at with the latest devices, browsers, code and games look no further.
  8. We all love to follow Documentally – here’s his review of his year as well as some insightful new year’s resolutions.
  9. Matt Burns writes for TechCrunch on the winners and losers for 2010.
  10. Finally journalisted has some inerested stats from 2010 (‘learning curve’ was the most-used phrase in article) – including the top ten most prolific journalists ;).

Future forecasting is not something I make a habit of. 2011 would be entirely boring if the big changes in the media were the things we could predict in 2010. I only hope that 2011 is full of innovation, play, and new ways of thinking which will push the media industry forward into unknown waters.

But looking back on 2010, here are my top five new media developments which changed the landscape of new production and consumption on and offline – and may stick with us or morph into something new in 2011.

Twitter TV/Sofalising

Already a habit of the innovators au fait with juggling tech and conversation, the masses caught on quickly to TV commentary using social networks Twitter and Facebook early on this year – climaxing with national interest in TV programmes #xfactor #strictly and the #apprentice – where the hashtag came into its own.

Most notably for those of us interested in how social media can improve civic engagement, while TV companies appeared to triumph by hosting a series of political debates prior to the general election – the internet was the real winner for generations accustomed to formulating quick opinions and attuning critical minds while watching – Twitter TV, otherwise known as ‘sofalising’ will no doubt continue into 2011 and soon remould into something new with the launch of Google TV which I listened to Peter Barron talk about at the Tomorrow’s Journalists conference in October this year.


The BBC launched a new look live page for the Chilean miners story – which allowed you to read comments and tweets alongside footage from their correspondents of the main news story. Live blogs on the Guardian throughout the student protests also did well with reporters feeding information into the thread. Online was born for live – as we continue to learn how to break news stories online and cover live events, new apps and tools to help this will appear.


The Guardian launched Guardian Local at the beginning of 2010 (disclaimer – I’m currently the Guardian’s beatblogger in Cardiff) and more developments in hyperlocal journalism have appeared on the ever burgeoning new media scene. The Leeds Talk About Local unconference was a successful and practical session for hyperlocal publishers. Help Me Investigate has opened a forum for the hyperlocal community to share ideas, notably encouraging an investigation into local election expenses receipts – forcing councils to take note and making breakthroughs in council tweeting and now court tweeting.

User content

Always a part of reporting, yes, but some new apps from this year have shown simpler and easier ways which user generated content can be drawn into reporting techniques. Storify for example seems to work for one-off events such as protests and snow. Ushahidi/crowdmapping was also put to use for mapping arts cuts in Wales and mapping council-related issues in Monmouthshire.


Wikileaks opened the floodgates for how data journalism will influence reporting and reports in the future. As more data becomes available, and media organisations work out how to visualise and crowd source the digestion of the data, developments in data journalism will become ever more prevalent. David Higgerson has written a good blogpost on why responsibly data reporting is an important lesson for 2011 here.


An ongoing debate has ensued this year about privacy and a number of events took place to propell discussions. Read my previous post about this here – this is a subject social media networks will grapple with as media companies follow their lead.

As for me, who knows what 2011 will hold. I’ve been busy running Guardian Local blog in Cardiff this year, so apologies for the sporadic blogging in the early part of the year while we launched the blog – I hope to return to more frequent postings in 2011. I’ve learnt an awful lot in 2010 and have too many people to thank in one post. But I remain incredibly excited and optimistic about the prospects for online media and will endeavour to keep abreast of developments. Let’s hope the debates keep fresh to inspire innovation and new thinking. Happy New Year everyone!


Written by hrwaldram

December 31, 2010 at 5:29 pm

%d bloggers like this: