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 #SoLoMoDEN Digital Editors Network Conference - Feb 2012

#SoLoMoDEN Digital Editors Network Conference - Feb 2012

Having just returned from the #Solomoden Digital Editors Network, I thought it would be worthwhile jotting down a few notes about this excellent event, which was held on 23 Feb 2012 at the Lowry Digital World Centre, MediaCityUK. It was a very hot February day in MediaCityUK and my journey began by walking past a crowd that had gathered around the new Blue Peter garden. I had apparently just missed Princess Anne, but I did see the Blue Peter guys at least.

The Digital Editors Network is co-ordinated by UCLAN's Francois Nel and regularly receives some excellent speakers in the areas of digital journalism and communications. Februarys event was no exception and featured some quality speakers and plenty of food for thought. As is customary at any event like this, the presenter encouraged people to Tweet on the hashtag #Solomoden which stands for Social, Local and Mobile Innovation. The presentations were all fascinating covering a range of topics and the audience duly Tweeted providing an excellent running commentary and an additional meta-narrative sub-plot. 
From over the water, Chicago based researcher Martha Stone kicked off proceedings presenting the results of The World Newsmedia Innovation study. Martha is the CEO of The World Newsmedia Network. More information about the study can be obtained from the website, but the survey of 244 participants from 61 Countries showed some interesting trends from media company strategies, with particular emphasis on the importance of social media across the globe.
Monetising news output from print, social media, apps and the mobile web was a theme that ran througout the event. UClans’ @francoisnel talked around this subject also with a great quote: "Companies don't make money, they make shoes. Money is the end result". It was interesting to note also @foodiesarah from Guardian Media Group talking about @n0tice, A local notice board geo-app initiative and also Simon Bucks from @skytyneandwear. Both are brand new services producing local news content.
In the case of content is generated by the public, whereas the Sky approach is generating quality video content for things of local interest such as lower league football matches. In both cases, as it was so early days, it was unclear how or if these services could be made to be financially stable, but it was interesting that Sky and The Guardian Group have invested in new experimental technologies and services without a clear financially driven goal. It could be argued that both are research and development projects that could potentially help to build the brand and 'give something back'. It will be interesting to see how these services pan out. 
The final speaker was the main draw for us. Paul Bradshaw talking about the @helpmeinvestig8 project which helps students and the general public investigate subjects they are passionate about. All in all, a very inspiring afternoon. 


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