With the Bank Holiday at one end and the royal wedding at the other, most of the UK saw a short working week last week (which probably meant a week off for just 3 days holiday for some, and a full week's worth of work in just 3 days for the rest.
The royal wedding was doubtlessly the big event in the UK (with the online traffic at one point crashing the BBC's website), the media story of the week was the death of Osama bin Laden. But as with any major headline, it revealed a few interesting insights into how journalism and news reporting is changing in an increasingly digital, connected world.
The White House is obviously a powerful enough voice to be able to control its own message, but it is still interesting to note that it has a number of online channels of its own, allowing the Oval Office to communicate directly with the people. This includes a Flickr photostream- so you can take a look at a shot of Obama and the security team receiving updates (presumably while watching real-time updates.)
On the mainstream media side, in the rush to report what was obviously going to be a massive story a few mix ups were made along the way.
But the social media side is where things are chaning rapidly. One Twitter user, in Afghanistan on a break from the rat race, inadvertantly live blogged the attack. There is an interesting account of how the trail of Twitterers led from a relatively modest Twitter existence to the attention of the world's press.
Once the location of the strike had been identified, a number of people started posting "reviews" of the location on Google Maps. More user data from related tweets have been gathered and analysed, producing some interesting visualisations of Twitter data. There are also some <a href="http://kottke.org/11/05/the-limits-of-crowds>interesting insights into the way people react to big news, big events, and big crowds (noting that Twitter is, in effect, a big crowd.)
But my personal favourite tweet on the subject;
Twitter changing the way modern news is reported.I never expected Phil Neville to be the first person to tell me Bin Laden's been killed.
Expect to see lots more industry news over the next week or two as we start seeing the effect this major news story has had on news websites' traffic and newspaper sales.
Techcrunch reports that Twitter is to buy TweetDeck - the London-based company responsible for the Twitter client application of the same name.
While there are a number of Twitter clients, Tweetdeck is notable in providing a dashboard-like interface, allowing users to keep track of multiple accounts, Twitter searches, messages, and a number of other services (including Facebook) in seperate columns. For power users, this makes Tweetdeck a very popular choice of client - and it is the Twitter power users who are of particular interest to marketers interested in word of mouth and potential brand advocates.
A recent post from Techcrunch explains the importance of the deal, and how losing control of Tweedeck users could have significantly damaged Twitter's potential advertising market.
Vodafone has announced a scheme to allow Londoners to pay for black cabs using a text message; the amount charged can then be charged to the customers' mobile phone account. The company will also be installing branded cabs with chargers for a range of handsets, including iPhones and BlackBerrys. The scheme is part of a £10m campaign focussed on London, where mobile networks have been pressured by the growth of smartphones.
Second Sony security breachFollowing an attack on the PlayStation Network last week in which an estimated 77 million users' account details (including passwords, security questions and credit card details) were accessed in an attack on the network, a second attack on the Sony Online Entertainment Network has been discovered. Although the second attack happened on the 16th and 17th April (before the PlayStation Network attack), it was only discovered on Monday May 1st.
Despite some slowdown in customer and product sales growth (as the relatively new digital TV market approaches saturation), strong sales in broadband services indicate the BSkyB may be approaching a position of dominance in a digital future. With strong investments in content and services in the pay-TV market, Sky have a very dominant position.
A few years ago, this wouldn't have troubled the likes of BT, or traditional broadcasters, but with the growth of VOD and the increasing likelihood of online content becoming tied to the online delivery (eg. access to VOD for Sky subscribers, or access to The Times online for Sky News subscribers), as well as the connections between TV, broadband and mobile subscriptions, the impact that Sky will have as paid-for online video services start to grow (as video moves from the PC to the TV screen) will be making some service providers nervous, as it funnels its earnings from the increasingly lucrative pay TV business.