Thursday, May 30, 2013

Khan Academy can, but contemporary academia is still the key to new knowledge

Students find a eureka moment at the Masters programme at the University of Westminster

In case you missed this on Newsnight last night. At 37.34 item on the Kahn Academy - one of the emails from senior academic group  at my university.  

Khan, the uber educator, has done much to revive the debate in traditional versus new lines of education. It's much needed and it was interesting to hear him state that online will not replace the irrational fear held by some educators.

This is what I emailed back to our group.

Hi All
I didn't miss it.  Great piece in Wired Magazine some issues back.

Kahn's kudos is that he took the time to do it and its low cost, high penetration, means it works particularly well in educational systems where there are large volumes of students and no where near enough the lecturers to provide cover.

It works well too around fixed epistemologies  e.g. calculus, anatomy, A-z of  literature. As Khan said himself it's a supportive system.

In areas of education which are dialogical or indulge cognitive dissonance, this linearity of presentation is flawed. 

In the lecture room, assisting students to build rhetorical arguments is crucial, at least in theoretical and pragmatic journalism. It requires a live agent.

There are some institutions dong something interesting along this with live streaming and the ability for students to tweet, blog in questions. Not perfect when you have 1500 around the globe asking.

Perhaps, the next step is for intelligent algorithms to group live questions into clusters so you might have five supporting lectures answer questions.


Technology is part of the solution
Presenting a lecture at Apple, my job was to challenge current knowledge based on grounded theory and not supposition.

Technology has always been an enabler, but the idea it is a determinant eschews any notion that someone had to think first, or that society or social cause was agnostic in this equation. 

If the guys behind twitter hadn't thought of THE  idea to connect friends, they wouldn't have built the software. The social cause becomes what Winston calls the supervening necessity.

The use of video offers a supporting mechanism to the production of knowledge. In my lectures, once I have set up an understanding of what CSS or Java is, I encourage students to go to You Tube etc, because the incisive value, where I am key to the development, is hermeneutics.

Where the educator grounded in theory and pragmatics excels is in challenging structuralism, rewarding each studentas heteronomous individuals.

Why Khan's methodology has also caught the zeitgeist is the perceived, rightly or wrongly of academia becoming super markets for education, and I believe there is some validity in this. 

The solution lay in traditional mass establishment's of the 70s, getting that reboot, that yes will involve video and the new tools, but bridging them with grounded theories and embracing new thoughts.

At every branch of knowledge production is a counter argument, the purpose of being an educator is to teach that in interpretation, rather than, identifications, there are no absolutes.

Learn the rules, break them, develop your own by standing on the shoulders of your fore bearers and then re-create theory. Linear education can't do that!

p.s BTW I count myself as a major super geek. Graduated in Applied Chemistry, Got first computer ZX81 later 80s, Worked my first mac in South Africa 1992. Built my first website in 1997, first emall 1996 using compuserve. Used the first model Hi-camera 1000 in 94.  I luuuurvveeee technology, but it's not the only answer.  David designs at

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lessons in the entrepreneurial spirit of journalism into a future of journalism

There's nothing like being on the fringes of journalism, having tasted what it's like and wanting more to focus the mind. In journalism they say the most difficult leap is your second job. 
I have had lots of foci.

1. To become entrepreneurial, you must take risks.
My first television role was BBC Newsnight in 1991, before working for the hip flagship programme Reportage. And it was with that in mind, while I freelanced at one publication or another that the "totality of journalism" became more than a concept. You have to remember in the 90s bi-media, working in radio or television was an innovatory practice by the BBC which was heavily resisted within the corporation.

In the BBC, radio and TV, I would attempt to master as many roles as I could, whilst outside work I created promos that were aired on CNN International, wrote articles for magazines's like the highly acclaimed BluePrint and Creation and doubled working with Channel 4 News one moment to working for Jon Staton Agency in Soho. Jon had been the head of Television at Saatchis and Saatchi winning countless awards.

This commercial I made was aired on CNN International. The client, with no brief and upfront funds, gave me 24 hours and paid handsomely
Communication is key, but working the various shows provided and understanding of the nuances and skills of communicating in different forms and styles.

As you read this now, if you've not worked in radio with the requisite experience or let's say you're a fine editor, you've every right to presuppose that unless someone walks in your shoes, that theory thing or even work placement will not make you the editor for the big calls.

Experiential learning is the reason why the experienced journalists are still in demand; their future prospects though is predicated on how they rationalise journalism's new event horizon.

2. Entrepreneurism is about creating. You must create, so knowing any number of software is not only ideal but necessary. 
In 2001 I was able to coalesce various different roles that either found me jobs or scared off potential suitors like the BBC. BBC executives would ask me what exactly I did? How things have changed. Now in my role of a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster knowing about After Effects, FCP, and the rest was positively welcomed.

Here's what I set out to do in radio/ TV/ online/ print in news and advertising.
  • Learn to present ( art of inflexion and clarity)
  • Produce - the producer does not take no as an asnwer
  • Reporter- how to interpret and deliver news, features, documentaries etc.
  • For Television series directing - you supply the vision working in a team
  • Online- negotiating through the space of web 1.0, the Dotcom space, Web 2.0  and then Social Media.
  • Design - encoding is one thing, the art of design and balance is another
  • Writing - the power of copywriting whether commercials, news, print articles is undestanding the medium and the audience.
    Presenting at Apple Store in London on the totality of media
3. Give. Be generous, but don't expect the rewards. If feedback happens it's the icing on the cake for you, but more importantly is the thrill of seeing others mature.  
I lecture and still do in online, helping International Masters students create innovative experiences to develop as businesses outside. My lectures do not treat students as students, they are professionals entrepreneurs of varying degrees when they enter the lecture theatre.

Many have gone off to become successful creating industry's for themselves, such as the gifted
Stefanie Sohnchein who writes below:

But here's something from the category "success stories thanks to David Dunkley":
I get to create 13 national blogs for a big German company. Also I am leading a team of 6 Journalists who fill the blog with content. And: I get to teach 200 ppl (omg!) to blog until the end of the year - 60 more blogs are supposed to start next year. Crazy, right? Amazing where you kicking me to blog got me :)

It's not just the CSS, Flash, information architecture, or project management, but importantly letting the person develop, find themselves,  and the hurdles they must overcome in the job-world.

The same applies for docs and videojourmalism. To be an entrepreneur you have to understand the meanings (symptomatic and explict) of what you do and its impact on different audiences, comprised of different social groups and cultures. Presentation is the first thing. In a fraction of a second you've made your mind up so your narrative expectations must be met and some.

A sizable understanding of what we do is about cognitive human behaviour. To be an entrepreneur, you most definitely need something to say, and know the variables of interaction when you say it.

4. To be an entrepreneur, love and redefine what the word "work means". Engage with...
At the same time as I started my PhD to critically examine narratives and expressions and working with various groups around the world e.g. China, Cairo and Chicago, that entrepreneurial spirit has found its way into new paths working with a number of high profile UK companies in knowledge transfer partnerships.

The task is simple, but not simplistic. How do we fix this, how do we create that?  Present the conditions, express the knowledge and then source the best talent and help them.  A city company specialising in big data is the next company, whilst one of the UK's leading comedy houses is another. A medical company specialising in Bariatrics has just been successfully completed.

But whilst entrepreneurial spirit requires experiential learning, it grows on the moss of new innovative ideas and entrepreneurs who express whilst you can integrate and add value. The object is to facilitate innovation, foster creativity, train your thoughts to be malleable but know how and which direction the consequences of your actions will take you.

You need to develop your argument to the pursuit of the goal and never stop questioning.  Read ! I'm just about to start Rushkoff's Present Shock

In my role I am a perpetual entrepreneur, not exclusively for my own stake, but in creating the conditions for others I have come to respect. I nudge them into what I call an artistic space, where they must break from the perceived cosiness that journalism fostered.

More words for the journalism entrepreneurs.
Avinash Kalla,  a former Masters student of mine, organises one of the most succesful journalism conferences in India and works for the governments transport minister advising in Social Media
  • Load yourself with work, whether unpaid or paid. Entrepreneurial is taking advantage of a situation that presents itself. But judge how much you can give to your tasks.
  • Play the number's game but respect the person you're working with. The five percent rule that has just resulted in one of the knowledge transfer employers finding a new job, comes from flooding the market with 100 emails that will have 5 good returns.
  • The Entrepreneur in you must seek new challenges and on the Net they are infinite. Today I have written five new intros to people I would like to do something with. 
  • Understand the power of reception when you're writing to someone you don't know. You need to understand the dynamic of how and why they'll listen to you.  For instance the chances of your potential link up reading an email with five paras, is slim and a dull headline
  • When you fail as you Will, treat that as one step closer to your goal. The task is to learn from your mistakes and begin to play to your strengths.

Finally, Entrepreneurism is affected by depth perception. That is the busier you are, the more you're likely to be in demand by others. For that reason alone, get busy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

An idea about an idea, a video journalism about video journalism.

My hotel in Montenegro. No words, but this picture may have an affect on you

Our ideas are disparate, our thoughts randomly flicker from concepts to perceptions, sometimes crystallising as understandings. To the cineast, French philosopher Jean-Louis Schefer would see this is as cinema being a giant in the back of our heads.

This morning, reading an article on my mentor Mark Cousins, I watched what he describes as one of his favourite films, "The House is Black" by acclaimed Iranian director Forough Farrokhzad. 

David cracking a joke with Mark Cousins at Sbank.

It is a disturbing, yet humanistic film which to the sensibilities of the Abercrombie & Fitch generation will be avoided. Leprosy after all is not an easy subject to stomach.

But Farrokhzad, shooting this film in 1963 for a leprosy organisation doesn't flinch. The camera  moves into the subject matter in ways news would prefix : "some of these scenes are disturbing".

But I can see the majesty in the film. Like a distant runner the film speeds up and slows down to near stillness in places. In some takes the shot holds mesmerisingly to the point of provoking further thought. 

This stasis is equivocated by the lack of music. The subjects supply a sound track of sorts from their own musings, coupled with ambient aural effects.

Also prevalent in the film for a "documentary short", which is how the film is described, is the classic trope of Hollywood - the shot-reverse-shot.

The shot-reverse-shot is where a scene often deemed the master shot is inter cut with a series of relational shots, but always returns to the master scene. It thus anchors the viewer into a point-of-view.

If you're a documentary maker with one camera this can be an extremely difficult shot to undertake, as in documentary mode a scene begins to decompose as you're turning to film what you might call a cut away. I have experimented at length with this technique to understand where I can start pulling away.

Film and ideas

Film or video is an idea translated into an image. The founders of television attached, and purposefully, a particular literal value to its form. But it's not just an idea, unless you're in citizen journalist mode. It is at its algebraic an idea about an idea.

John Birt, the former Director General of the BBC introduced a textual quality of thinking through the idea, by the maxim: Birt's mission to explain. A report needed context,  but Birtism today misses an altogether different big point.   

You can see this distinguishing line of an idea, and its symptomatic form, manifest itself at its best as a lecturer. The student goes through an epiphany when they begin to understand how to translate ideas from thought, to the first base of film making, its literal position. 

A student wanted to film a gymnast falling of her bike, which was integral to a point in her documentary.  But film and video transcends this "uger, uger" transmission. 

I call it "uger, uger" as film brilliantly relayed by Plato's Cave, not only describes aspects of its primitiveness, as prisoners might under the circumstance grunt  at what they believe they know, but in the final scene, the prisoner attempting to describe cinema is himself perceived to be "ugering".

When li Xiang, from many years back, apologised for not capturing the shot of a stricken Chinese gymnast falling 7 feet to the ground, she had not realised that the co joining of two shots, the girl on her bike, followed by a prolonged one of the injured girl on the floor, was cinema - that cinema in the back of your head.

Videojournalism, all of twenty years old, but with antecedents, proudly flexes its chest in capturing the literal. This is where citizen journalists wrestles with the professional for accolades, but there is a videojournalism of videojournalism, a language that conveys a deeper understanding of issues.

Like language, it is iterative, nurtured, refined, and explicated through ideas about ideas. It senses when to be referential and when to be symptomatic. It may seem curious that over the centuries that our own languages, living entities, has evolved both in volume as new words become available and we find new ways to express ourselves

Yet at the same time we are wedded to a fixed ideology of expression in this thing, which is unravelling, called journalism.

A mega-institution supporting a great many people, intellects, scholars largely resists any notion that dated concepts need to be looked at anew. And another venerable institution called academia is largely ill-at-ease at proposing fundamental new offerings to change the status quo in industry.

I know possibly of a number of techniques modern film makers would use to modify Farrokhzad's film, but it is an exemplar and classic for the reasons that it makes us think through our thoughts.

For any videojournalist they would do well to observe Farrokhzad's and train their  ideas to ideas, to enhance video journalism within video journalism.

David Dunkley Gyimah is an international award winning videojournalist and producer, and one of the UK's first official videojournalists. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster, completing his PhD into cognitivism and different journalism narratives, and a digital/ social network consultant for a range of companies. David has previously worked for a range of  Networks, including BBC Newsnight, Channel4 News and ABc News. He can be reached at David(at)viewmagazine(dot).tv

In forthcoming posts I'll be speaking about my PhD research as it draws to completion. The interviews I conducted which include many senior or former senior BBC figures such as Mary Hockaday, Peter Horrocks, Peter Barron, Richard Sambrook and senior figures within the industry.  The results strongly suggest a change in news story form.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to write the near-perfect application for a job

Masters students in journalism pitching their ideas to senior management at ITN. At the Uni we grill our students on how to pitch a brief, an idea, a documentary, and we're told it makes a differenece
I am a senior lecturer, a former broadcast professional who consults for a number of companies and am continually involved in helping companies to hire talent and have recommended journalists, and would-be journalists (highly selective) to employers over the years.

This 10 point guide is for the brilliant, hardworking students and job seekers, who can't get past the application form, despite the fact that you've got all the right elements for the job.

If you're a blagger, this'll help you too but you'll prob be found out at the interview stage.

1. Be generous, but do not overburden your replies. If they want 150 words. Stick to 150 words. Not a letter more, or a letter less, if you can. It's all part of the ritual of discipline.

2. There are list of attributes you need to meet. If you can't the jobs not for you. If you can be meticulous in answering them with examples. Do so, but don't labour the points.

3. Refrain from saying how the job will help you build your career. That's nice, but the employer is interested in what you will do for them.

4. Refrain from showing off with the many things you have done. It may appear unfocused. Be judicious in selecting those that help your application.

4. Don't skimp of info, assuming because everything you've shown so far means you're the right candidate, when asked "why are you the best" you answer, "See what I have said before|". DELETE

5. Don't say this job was made for me! And cut down on the personal praise. The more vain you are, the less attractive you are.

6. Front load the key words required of you. The person looking at your application, will firstly skim read. If she or he misses key words, they may not be enthused to comb through it in detail.

7. Note down your salary. However be aware. If the job is £20,000 and you currently earn £70,000 it will be a tall order convincing those sifting through applications that the salary will be attractive to you.

8. This should be no. 1  really, but if you've got this far, then it'll make sense. Everything firstly lies in your presentation. There may be 100 applications to go through, and the sifter may only have 20 minutes. They'll find all sorts of ways to discriminate. An unprofessional looking document, with badly formatted texts makes their job easier.

9. Don't be funny or humorous. It runs the risk of misinterpretation. Believe me. After I have been through my 200th applicant, I have no sense of humour.

10. If you make it through practice your pitch. We drill our students at the University of Westminster in the art of the pitch. It is a cognitive practice, understanding what the employer is looking for. Get it right and the job is one step closer.

NB. If you're at a university ask your SU or lecturers to brief you on pitches and applying for jobs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How Apple closed down and my greatest party trick

Ajaz Ahmed AKQA founder in velocity mode

Ajaz Ahmed is the embodiment of cool, mid 40s, founder of one of the world's most successful Ad companies, and a multimillionaire. Last year 80 percent his company AKQA was sold to WPP Martin's Sorrell.

From the 90s when he first conceived of his ideas and found a loyal audience in Nike, Ahmed's company, and approach appeared to mirror the ethos of the one and only Apple.

Cool, innovative, and daring to turn the Ad industry on its head,  Apple's endorsement came in the way of a high profile piece on its site.

Being cool just got cooler.

Not now though, Ahmed still generates column inches, indeed writing his own book, "Velocity" on an emergent philosophy of advertising which is a good read. But his Apple profile has vamoozed. Not that this should worry him.

To be exact, Ahmed and several other pros, to which Apple provided some of its star dust have been stripped from Apple. Only to be found in the Internet barren land of

An Apple friend tells me the site,,  has been decommissioned and with it my own 'not-so-worthy' endorsement.

How Apple made me cool, really!
Let me explain, back in 2006, via an acquaintance of an acquaintance at a UK tech conference, I approached an Apple executive to tell him how the Mac is embedded in my genes.

And given I'm one of the first people in the UK to be genetically fingerprinted. Really! And no I'm not a crim, that perhaps was a big claim.  Incidently years later when I graduated in Applied Chemistry I made my first radio docmuentary aired on the BBC about the Dr Jeffrey's the man behind the gene science.

So the Mac then let me do so many things e.g. videojournalism, I couldn't do when I was either with the BBC, or Channel 4 News. For instance this promo here which includes an interview with former head of the CIA and travelling on her majesty's the Queen's private jet.

In fact I bought my first power book by taking a flight to New York, walking into a store, paying $3000 and getting back on a flight again. Oh I did have a walk about and lunch before flying back. But the cost of the ticket and Mac was still much cheaper than UK prices.

My Mac had become my Johnny Mnemonic helping me bag a couple of awards. Apple, supposedly liked what they saw and dispatched a reporter to interview me.

It didn't go well.  From loquacious, I became lugubrious and so  I was thoroughly amazed to read  the article that emerged.

In fact the article became a party piece at conferences. Not the vain quest to big up myself. I'm just a guy with a mac who gets tired of rules, or what Foucault calls discursive formations.

No, the party trick was if I was ever asked for my email, or a delegate found it difficult to spell my name I would say, google "David Apple". Two common words that generated nearly a billion searches and more often than not, I'd come first in the rankings.

Unhinged in cyberspace
The Chinese, particularly in China loved it. Somehow I owned the web, or knew jobs himself.  A month ago someone pinged me from own website, "you've a broken link to your Apple page".  An old Chinese friend; the chinese as I have come to learn get provenance in a big way.

And truly enough I was no more. My friend within Apple says, Apple are now a different company. In the mid 90s they were pushing on the Macs. That technology is now so outdated, as is Apple's strategy which has grown into a polysemic one of  hardware e.g. iPhones,  Apps, and Softwares.

David Dunkley Gyimah presenting at Apple Stores.

I'll  miss the Apple Pro site featuring Ahmed and others, and not least performing my own party trick. From twice presenting at Apple a site, my first talk languishes on page 3, or 4 or... depending on the SEO of the day, under:


So that's how Apple decomissioned and my greatest party trick. In fairness, Apple is still profiling those who use its products in innovative ways. Here's Apple Pro the next generation, using Aperture, FCP et al. 

All of which has given me an idea. Apple's still a big part of what I do. but there's no point in flying to the US to buy the latest, however, if Apple is listening, I'm just about completing my PhD into the future of storytelling, a labour that has taken six years, several countries and countless interviews  -and truthfully I couldn't have done it without my Mac.

David Dunkley Gyimah's
Because I have filmed the making of my PhD and the films I'm submitting on my Macbook.  Hi Apple, did you hear that :)

David Dunkley Gyimah, is a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster, an artist-in-residence at the Southbank Centre and a videojournalist/ film maker.  He's formerly worked in many areas of traditional broadcasting at the BBC, Channel 4 and ABC News as either a reporter, producer or series maker. His currently completing his PhD which examines a wide range of story forms and what makes them innovative and engaging with audiences. Apple, once gave him a free powerbook.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Journalism's continuous flux of change should be expected and will favour the fittest

David Dunkley Gyimah teaching at the Chcago SunTimes, in Chcago 

When you’re own nothing something is everything.  

The assumption, perhaps some of us make, is journalism owes us something or society. That somehow we elect our journalists in an attempt to see democracy work, in the way we elect politicians.

That the right to practise somehow is beyond reproach, once you have deep pockets or a benefactor to build that institution. But history tells us journalism has a continuous streak of turmoil.  

Today's 140 characters would have been as painful to newspapers as the threat of Television in the 1950s. Our pain is just being expressed here and now. Picture Post, a highly respectable photo mag lost the bulk of its journos to this new medium.

Burgeoning communication theory from the 1920s with the heat of industrialisation gave journalism recognition and some stability. There was the them (citizens) and us (journos), the few who could afford the license against the many who couldn't. The theories and practices that underpinned it. The business of journalism took hold.

Yet share a thought for those who also wanted their voices heard, but couldn't. There were just so many outlets where you could practise the craft, while others clamoured against the walls.

Struggling to find work in the UK in the 90s (all sorts of reasons), though I have had a fairly successful career with the BBC, Channel 4 News and a stint with ABC News in S.A, I tempered my frustration with the following:  "the media doesn't owe me a job, though I’d really like one".

Today, many more of us are realising that.  But history also tells us of the ingenuity of those scribes and image makers continually attempting to safeguard their livelihood, as well as push boundaries. Daniel Defoe's attempt to practise a new sort of journalism 300 years ago was derided by many at the time. Defoe, to make a living and extend his creativity also became an author, a tradition not uncommon today.

In effect, journalism is experiencing its own market correction. Did it have it so good that making money became the motive for some proprietors? That's another debate. But the soul searching we're undertaking, necessitated by the Net and digital may well be welcomed in years to come.

Because if the science or art of info gathering and dissemination is about holding the powerful (how did they get there?) to account; or making society work better because we're better informed, though, yes, knowing is not the same as doing. Then there's a strong case to be made that we're not doing so well.

Politicians have learned to run rings around journalists. We need more training in the zen of the new media. PR has become JR (journalism release) and soft news can't often tell the difference between primary requisite news, e.g. there's going to be bad weather ahead and it's down to global warming patterns, versus there's going to be bad weather ahead so wear your grey scarf it'll match the sky.

So if somewhere in this chaos a new journalism emerges, different to its antecedents, because now the pros, prosumer and citizen-journos have to try harder, well that can't be a bad thing, and by the way I don't believe in utopia either.

David Dunkley Gyimah is a former Knight Batten Winner for Innovation in Journalism for He is an educator, videojournalist and is completing his PhD examining a unique aspect of news and videojournalism.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

How sharing became the new anti capitalism/ softer capitalism : innovation web and videojournalism

Mark Little CEO Storyful hosting at NewsXchange - Pic David Dunkley Gyimah

"People say to me, what's your business model, and you know first of all  if I knew I wouldn't tell you"... Mark Little's remark eighteen minutes into this video: Innovating in tough times raised a chuckle from his fellow panelist.

Out of camera view, there were no audible gasps or sighs of despairs. After all you could argue the reason why delegates attend any number of media gatherings is to learn methodologies of success from the innovators.

And they're entitled to their pound of flesh, except perhaps where the theme is explicit e.g. How to be an innovator in tough times, is about innovation and not revelations of a company's business model.

Overall a schema, if not an overall methodology, is to attend a conferences where the jewel crowns are of any small, to successful company, is likely to be on display. Between 2001 and 2008 by my own estimates this was rife as web 2.0 and the conversational tone engineered into the web took hold.

The most prominent in the news rooms became the heart model for the news workflow. Gone was the cinema stall arrangement to a theory of funnelling the news into the centre of the news space and metaphorically the heart of operations.

BBC's heart model in construction - taken in 2012 before their launch

Now, largely the strategy for writing a blog, creating a social universe or showing how to crack your head open for a You tube laugh is common practice.

But look hard enough and the same subjects recycle various conferences, unless that is it involves pedagogy in research, and even then. In the latter case you'll likely to pay a prettyish penny.  Take knowledge that is a unique commodity e.g. Financial Times data news, or how the Concord Monitor made good on its paywall. Both good examples of info that is rarely, if ever free.

How to learn how to shoot  as a videojournalist is another.  Otherwise, you're never short of digital know-how boxed as your cure-all coming your way at the next conference.

The Sharing Theory 
The sharing theory, which has engulfed the internet is a combination of cognitive practices as  ecclesiastically old as Adam offering Eve an apple and more contemporary and postmodernism partnerships, which involve BOGOF, buy one, get one free, or GOFTU Get one free then upgrade.

The latter surfaced in the mid 90s following Marc Andressen's Netscape breakthrough. Whilst Andressen subscribed to the true spirit of disruptive anti-capitalist economics in his ground breaking work, by the time Microsoft frankensteined Moasic to Internet Explorer, the idea that nothing is really free was crystallising fast.

The push for sharing as a theory can be attributed to one of the most remarkable doctrines of its time, which was so alarming when it emerged, it was as much ridiculed as it was adopted by the new evangelists.  Doc Searls, Christopher Locke, Rick Levine and David Weinberger published their opus de The Clue Train Manifesto.

Its 95 thesis read as a social, cultural and economics panacea to the status quo. Anti-capitalism was the new hip with decrees such as:
  • Don't worry, you can still make money. That is, as long as it's not the only thing on your mind.
  • Have you noticed that, in itself, money is kind of one-dimensional and boring? What else can we talk about? 
  • Markets are conversations.
It's good to give became the new mantra, because sharing ultimately is altruistic, though that is a myth.  While that has currency for those who are clearly selfless in their aims e.g. Gates' charity, many of us share because it buys us credibility. It's a social badge of sorts. On the other hand businesses threatened by Net's anarchy re-engineered their own business model.

By providing you a platform to speak, share and talk to one another, you become one of their matrix and if many of us sign up, to advertisers that's eyeballs. And eyeballs mean (all together now ) MONEY!

Ten years ago, I can still hear the howling laughter of BBC types as I,  a zerozen tried to get a commission for a programme. There are citizens and netizens, but in the early days any netizen without any successful scars from the maddening dotcom boom was a waster, a zero.

Why does this matter at this moment and time. I have been musing over what I do with the pragmatic sections of my PhD practice which takes a deep look at developing a theory that would underpin videojournalism on the web.

That research over six years, involving four continents, hundreds of interviews needs to be shared, but its intellectual property is, I'm told by my supervisors, worthy of a book.

It's a no brainer really, but more importantly, it underpins a new tide that is grabbing hold of the web, a softer form of capitalism, a new Clue Train Manifesto that says we love to share, but truly not all things are sharable, which makes Mark Little's opening remark refreshingly candid.

End ++

David Dunkley Gyimah is an Knight Batten award winner in Innovation in Journalism and International videojournalism winner. He is completing his PhD which examines and posits ideas for an evolving story form. The grand theory encapsulates various media and storyform theories. David has previously worked for BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 News and ABC News in South Africa in 1994.
He is an artist-in-residence at the Southbank Centre and a senior lecturer and academic supervisor for a number of companies. His work can be found on his site