Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Request for project summary/promotion material!

Beyond the weekly status report, we would like you to put together a one-time only presentation/sum-up of your respective projects. This information will be used by the executive group to to present the course and the project groups on the soon-to-be-created public face of the course - the homepage futureofmedia.se. It can also be interesting for intra-course communication - what do other groups work on, whose work are you close to and should confer with?

Together with the executive group (esp. webmaster Johan L), we would thus like each group to provide:

  • The (new?) name of your group
  • An inspiring question/statement/proposal; "What if...", "In the future,...", "We will...", "Our dream is..."
  • A short summary/pitch (around 40-100 words) about your project. What will you do, what is your big idea, what will you look into, how will you do it? 
  • A picture (width 960 * height 480 pixels) of "something"; a logotype for your project, a photo that tries to capture a feeling etc. (see example below).

You might feel that it is slightly premature to state/pitch what you will do, but the goal is to get a wealth of materials so as to be able to mix and mash something up that can convey a theme and a feeling for promotion/ad/elevator pitch purposes - for example in an attempt to get sponsors to the final presentation!

Each group should "hand in" this material in the form of a blog post on the companion blog. Deadline in Tuesday October 30!

For inspiration, see this TED talk by Simon Sinek, "How great leaders inspire action" about the importance of answering the questions "why", "who" and "how".


Monday, October 22, 2012

Instructions for the weekly status report!

Each group should post a weekly status report on the course companion blog. Every course participant has previously gotten an invitation to contribute to the blog, but only around 25% have accepted the invitation and have the right to post stuff there - send me (Daniel) a mail if you want a new invitation and send it from the email address you want the invitation sent to.

Do note that except for the weekly status report, you will in a short while be asked to provide some extra information about your group. This info will be used to present the course and the project groups on the course's soon-to-be-created public face - the homepage futureofmedia.se. More info will follow in a separate blog post soon.

Here are the instructions for the weekly status report.

Deadline: Please submit your weekly status report every Friday starting this coming Friday (Oct 26), e.g. Nov 2, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30. You don't need to provide a status report on Nov 9 (mid-term critique) or on Dec 7 (final presentation).

Content of each weekly report:

  • Group name. You have the option to change your group name right now. If so, please choose a rather "boring" but descriptive name - you can rename your project for the final presentation if you want a more funny, flashy, cryptic or cool name. We have two "hybrid magazines" groups right now - at least one group has to change it's name. 
  • What we have done. What you (your group) have done during the previous week (since the previous weekly report)
  • What we will do. What you will do next (next step(s) in your project)
  • Problems encountered. Either within the group or in relation to you plans and "external" entities. 
  • Changes in the project. "Evolution"/change of direction of your project (optional). If you have altered or changed the direction of your project (compared to the project plan or to previous status report) - please tell us why. Please specify why.
  • Other. Whatever you feel is important or necessary to add to the status report. 
  • Tag each blog post with your group name (or an abbreviation). 
You are welcome to add pictures, drawing, links etc. to your blog posts!

Comment: As stated before, not just the final results, but also the process is important in the course. Please see the weekly status reports not only as us (teachers) examining you (students), but as your opportunity to tell us (and impress us with) what you have lately done in your project group, as well as a backchannel to point out obstacles and problems you have encountered. It is also a good way to improve intra-course communication (between groups) - perhaps some groups partly do the same thing and should get in touch with each other?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Coordination meeting #1

We had the first meeting with the coordination group today. Here are those parts of the notes that should be of interest to everyone who takes the course:

- The final presentation will be held at 13-16 on Dec 7 in lecture hall F1 (500 seats!)
- There will be a general rehearsal the day before, Thu Dec 6. I have booked F1 from 13-20
- After the final presentation, I would like you to stay behind for a final summary & wrap-up

- Last year's projects are documented here if you want to have a look at The Future of Radio / Radio of the Future.

- Mid-term critique is scheduled for Nov 9 between 10-17 in lecture hall B1
- If you have any collisions with other courses, I would be very interested in knowing about them (to hopefully persuade other teachers to move stuff away from Nov 9). This is only interesting if not just one, but rather a group of students has this problem. Leave a comment here, or tell your project leader so we can discuss this at the next meeting with the coordination group.

- Next two meetings in the coordination group is Friday Oct 26 and Tuesday November 6 - both times in the seminar room 4523 (house D, 5th floor).

- Each group will write weekly status reports and post them to the companion blog. Deadlines will be on Fridays at 18.00. Since next week is exam week, the first deadlines will be Fri Oct 26, Fri Nov 2, Fri Nov 16 and so on. Remember that it is possible to include links, pictures, photos, movies on the blog! You will get more specific instructions next week (perhaps a template where you can see the categories you should fill out).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Project groups contact info

If you are unsure about which project group you are in, or who is in your project group (a few persons were missing on Monday), there is now a list in Bilda that you can check it out (/Contents/Project groups). Those who did not attend the seminar (Monday) have hopefully already been contacted by the other group members.

I will update that list with info about who the project leaders are as soon as I get your project plans. That way you can get hold of each other if the need arises later.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meetings with project groups Thu-Fri Oct 11-12

All groups booked meetings (30 minutes) with Daniel and Leif on Thursday or Friday this week. We will primarily discuss your 2-3 pages long Project plans (please use the template in Bilda).

Do note that each groups must appoint a project leader (and a back-up). We have scheduled our first lunch meeting with the coordination group (Daniel, Leif, executive group + 12 project leaders) this coming Friday (Oct 12). Bring your own lunch and please show up in seminar room 1537 (house E floor 5) between 12-13 on Friday!

In fact, I wrote a blog post about what should happen in your projects this week already last week. Do read it now as a reminder!

Here is the schedule:

Thu Oct 11 - seminar room 1625 (house E top floor)
08.30 Hybrid magazines
09.00 Future of journalism
09.30 Future of collecting
10.00 Future of magazine distribution
10.30 Spotify
11.00 Upping the revenue

Fri Oct 12 - seminar room 1635 (house E top floor)
09.00 Usability issues
09.30 Audience of one
10.00 Senses
11.00 Hybrid magazines
15.00 Social recommendations
15.30 Dynamic ads

Guest lecture 18 - Oct 10 (10-12) - Skagermark & Gylje

Time and place: Wednesday October 10 at 10-12 in lecture hall K2.

Title: "Swimming against the tide? Glossy magazines in a digital world"
Guest lecturer: Pia Skagermark, Foreign Editor at Dagens Nyheter

Talk: Media consumption habits have changed - but have people changes? Or do they still want well-written stories, in-depth and investigative journalism? When publishers all over the world are mourning the decline in print publishing, we launch a glossy magazine with content that reflects one of Dagens Nyheters' core strengths: foreign journalism

About: Pia Skagermark is Foreign Editor at Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest morning newspaper with a daily circulation of some 380 000 copies. Pia is a journalist since 25 years and she was awarded "Stora Journalistpriset" [The Great Journalist Award] for investigative journalism in 1997. She is former Managing Editor at DN, is married to journalist Peter, 56 and has children Karl, 21, Alice, 15 and Viggo, 9.


Title: "Visual journalism in a digital age"
Guest lecturer: Magnus Gylje, Editor K magazine, Svenska Dagbladet

Talk: Digital platforms create unique opportunities for visual storytelling and in-depth journalism. I will talk about the creation and production of Svenska Dagbladet's Ipad magazine SvD Insikt, awarded best tablet experience by the Society for News Design alongside The Guardian and National Geographic. I will also tell you why we decided to quit publishing Insikt in September this year, after having published 12 issues as well as the key learnings from working with tablets and what I think the future holds for visual journalism.

About: Magnus Gylje is the editor of K magazine, the weekend culture magazine of Swedish morning newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. He was also the editor of the Ipad magazine SvD Insikt. Magnus has worked in journalism for 15 years, focusing on culture, but also covering foreign and domestic affairs. He holds a masters degree in Psychology from Uppsala University and Edinburgh University. He lives in Stockholm with his family.

Preparations: Ipad owners can buy a digital issue of SvD Insikt. Number 7 is recommended. Non-Ipad owners: pick up a copy of K magazine - published together with Svenska Dagbladet every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Guest Lecture 17 - Oct 10 (8-10) - Milad Hossainzadeh

Time and place: Wednesday October 10 at 8-10 in lecture hall K2.

Title: "Thinking inside the box from outside!"
Guest lecturer: Milad Hossainzadeh, Ba(h) Dip.M.Arch

Talk: What happens to an idea when approached from different angles and different cultural views? Is there a limit on how radical an idea can be? What then are the social, cultural, behavioral, economical, political, technical and ecological consequences?

This lecture will explore how lateral thinking can highlight the exception in an idea, and expand our perception of bringing playfulness into a concept. In order to push forward, we will expose the consequences and create temporary realities where we allow for a critical discussion to take place.

About: Milad Hossainzadeh is a young architect and entrepreneur who was born in Iran. He grew up in Sweden and has lived in London where he graduated from UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture. He is currently based in Stockholm, working at the leading Scandinavian architectural firm White. He shares his time as a member of Urban Land Institute and the recent startup of BLINK - a transnational think tank for responsive ideas of changes in lifestyles, cities, cultures and economies.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cancelled/changed lecture Monday Oct 8

Our Monday guest lecturer (13-15) unfortunately cancelled with short notice.

As an effect of this, we will switch the time slot for the Monday seminar. It was supposed to be at 8-10, but we now move it to the 13-15 time slot.

So, to summarize:
- No lecture on Monday
- The Monday morning seminar is switched from early morning (8-10) to right after lunch (13-15).

I have booked the seminar room Q34 for the Monday 13-15 seminar.

It is at this seminar that you will find out which project group you are in and who you will work together with for the rest of the term.

We will also use the seminar to work on a project-related task (also a good way to get to know the other people in your project group). Do note that we start the seminar off with some instructions about the task, so please be there in time!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dates for mid-crit and final presentation

I and Leif met the executive group Friday last week. As I said (at the seminar this past Monday Oct 1), we decided upon the dates for:

- Mid-term critique (whole-day event): Fri Nov 9
- General rehearsal: Fri Dec 6
- Final presentation: Fri Dec 7

Note: the course will end earlier than I expected, and you will thus have only have nine weeks to complete your projects (starting next week). You might thus have to work a little harder during these two months, but will also be finished with the whole course a little earlier (right before the exam period starts).

Note: I would like to be notified about Nov 9 collisions with other courses. If many students take that other course, I could have a chat with the teacher in question and ask him/her to move those other activities to another date. You can for example notify me about collisions by commenting on this blog post (much preferred to sending e-mail...).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

After you have been allocated a project group

This information is a little "premature" since you haven't been divided into project groups yet. If we on the other hand wait until you have been divided into project groups, you might feel that a lot of information and tasks arrive very suddenly at the beginning of next week.

So, beyond our three final guest lecturers, this is what will happen next week (Mon Oct 8 - Fri Oct 12):

- Monday Oct 8: You will get to know which group you are part of at the Monday morning seminar (at the latest, it might be earlier, but as of this very moment only 25% have specified their preferences). NOTE: at the end of this week I will have to divide you into groups (at the latest). It's very much in your interest to have specified you interests at that point - I don't know exactly how to treat late-comers/absent-choice students, but however I choose to do it, it probably won't be to your liking...

- Monday Oct 8: Download the project plan template from Bilda (it is already available there now). The project plan can be compared to a project specification or a bachelor's/master's thesis specification. Use the headers and the instructions that are provided in the document as a starting point for discussions within your project group. NOTE: The Wed Oct 10 morning (8-10) guest lecture might be helpful in the brainstorming process, in thinking "outside the box" and in terms of scenarios and disruptive changes.

- Thursday-Friday Oct 11-12: Each project group will meet Daniel and Leif at a 30 minutes long review meeting where we will discuss and give feedback on your projects - based on your project plans. At the review meeting, you will in turn try to impress us with your project plans (see excerpt from the course PM below).

- Monday Oct 8: Your group will be able to sign up for a review meeting slot (at the afternoon lecture, 13-15).

- You can choose either to send you project plan to Daniel and Leif by mail before the review meeting, or you can bring two copies on paper to the meeting. We would naturally prefer to have the chance to glance at your project plan before the meeting - but it totally ok to instead bring it directly to the meeting.

- Monday October 15: If necessary, you can hand in a revised project plan, i.e. you do have the option of handing in an updated project plan based on feedback you got at the review meeting.

- Friday Oct 12: First work/lunch meeting with the "coordination group", i.e. Daniel, Leif, the executive group (6 persons) and the project leader from each group (≈12 persons). I have booked the 1537 seminar room (house E, 5th floor) between 12-13. Bring your own lunch.

The reason for this relatively hurried schedule is that the following week is exam week and we really want all project groups to get a boost and to start to work on the projects before the exam week instead of letting it slide and picking it up later.

----- excerpt from the course PM -----

Therefore, not only the result, but also the process will be examined – much like with a bachelor’s or a master’s thesis. Many of the items listed below are thus a way to make the work of the individual and the project group visible for the teachers.


Each group shall (as part of the examination):
• Write a project plan for what that group will do; what topic or problem is to be examined/explored, how the group plans to go about doing that, suggestions/plans for where to look, what to read, who to talk to, when to do it, and what the group wants to or expects to achieve

Guest lecture 16 - Oct 5 (10-12) - Tobias Lindberg

Time and place: Friday October 5 at 10-12 in lecture hall H1.

Title: "Why We Read Magazines - A Mystery?"
Guest lecturer: Tobias Lindberg, Business Intelligence Analyst as Sveriges Tidskrifter (The Swedish Magazine Publishers' Association)

Talk: Tobias will cover the questions of why we read magazines, how we read, how we use magazines, and what the history can tell us about the future. The main focus will be on women and Scandinavian women's magazines:

- How and why do women read women's magazines?
- How do regular readers of women's magazines experience (and understand) their publications?
- How are their experiences with women's magazines related to their everyday lives and to their sense of identity?

About: Tobias has a Ph.D. in Comparative Journalism and is working with business intelligence at the trade organization Sveriges Tidskrifter. Before that he worked as a teacher at Lund University.

Literature: The two articles below have in fact not been recommended by Tobias, but by previous guest lecturers Ulrika Facht - but after she gave her lecture. They do however neatly fit Tobias' lecture too as well as Hans Althin's Oct 2 talk:

Ytre-Arne, Brita. (2011a) Women’s magazines and their readers: The relationship between textual features and practices of reading. European Journal of Cultural Studies 14(2): 213-228, April 2011.
Note: The article is available in Bilda
Ytre-Arne, Brita. (2011b) ‘I want to hold it in my hands’: Readers’ experiences of the phenomenological differences between women’s magazines online and in print. Media, Culture & Society 33(3): 467-477, April 2011. 
Note: The article is available in Bilda

Both articles are included in Brita Ytre-Arne's Ph.D. thesis, "Women's magazines and their readers. Experiences, identity and everyday life". The University of Bergen, Norway (2012).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Guest lecture 15 - Oct 4 (10-12) - Johanna Ögren

Time and place: Thursday October 4 at 10-12 in lecture hall B1.

Title: "Who is a publisher in the digital future?"
Guest lecturer: Johanna Ögren, blogger and entrepreneur

Talk: Can anyone publish a magazine and what is a magazine these days? What do you need in order to create a magazine and how can you get publishers on board - if you need them at all? Can a blog be a magazine and vice versa?

About: Johanna is a well-known Swedish blogger and entrepreneur, founder of several websites that one way or another have turned into magazines. The most well-known is Bokhora (on literature) and Gadgette (on tech from a female perspective). She has experience working with well-known publishing houses and on how to mix traditional magazine births with more untraditional ways to start them up

Shortlist for project topics!

These are the topics you can choose to form project groups around. There are 20 topics in the list below and 54 students taking the course (excluding the executive group). I expect 12 groups to come out of this process (with 4 or 5 members in each group). Go here to specify what your 1st, 2nd and 3rd hand choice for project topics is!

DO NOTE: It is possible to form two project groups around the same topic if there is overwhelming interest in a specific topic. These two groups would initially have to work together to carve out two different and separate directions in which to take your respective projects.

Do also note that the topics below are only to be seen as starting points - the project groups can develop, change and bend the descriptions below in the direction you think is interesting as well as pick up aspects of topics that were left behind during the two brainstorming seminars.


1. The future of journalism (and journalists)
With so much free content available on the Internet, how is it possible to "protect good journalism", quality articles (content), and uphold journalistic standards? Will current developments make many journalists redundant? Will journaists be outcompeted (outbid) by unpaid amateurs (blogs) and technological innovations (Pocket, Instapaper, Flipboard etc.) that “de-commoditize” texts and great (and not-so-great) content? Will journalists go from stable jobs and freelancing to having to be jack-of-all-trades with multiple income streams.

2. The future of interactive dynamic advertising
Digital magazines can encompass interactive, dynamic content; hyperlinks and clickable ads, audio or video clips. Anders Malmsten mentioned several ways that advertising could be developed on digital platforms. Perhaps advertisements in your magazines from last year could be changed retroactively, or a company could by time slots for ads in magazines (whole-page ads being displayed only between 7-9 in the morning, or only before the concert but not after)?

·      3. The future of magazines is Spotify! 
What would a Spotified solution for magazines look like?

·      4. The future of radically new revenue sources
Perhaps the magazine publisher will have to find totally new sources of revenue; create events (meet the journalists), pop-up stores in shopping malls (Teen Vogue), apps (“The closet”, Teen Vogue), appology (an anthology-in-an-app with carefully selected texts from an archive spanning decades of great writing in The New Yorker). These examples all come from Olle Lidboms’s lecture.

5. Children's and youths' reading habits/relationship to magazines
What is the relationship to physical (and digital) magazines of those that are, say, a decade younger than you are? What is the state of comics and childrens' magazines (Donald Duck, Kamratposten) today? How do they engage and interact with their readers? What can be discerned about the future by talking to the people who produce today's youth-oriented magazines and those who will be your age a decade from now?

6. The future of paper magazines
Many students prefer paper to digital magazines (for aesthetic, sensory, health, overview etc. reasons; strained eyes, the smell of a new magazine, “sometimes it is very relaxing to take a break from the world of buttons, screens and displays”). So what is the future of paper magazines? Niche luxury product for the rich? Given away for free in the subway? Independently produced local hobby projects (think Composite K and beyond – anyone can do a magazine today!)? Other?

·      7. The future of magazine distribution. 
Distributions of paper magazines is a bottleneck and a large part of the edition comes back in the form of returns.  Can the distributions chain be digital, the magazine available in a newsstand (but digital) and the content be loaded (temporarily?) onto a reader?

·      8. The future of reading is discussions! 
The relative importance of learning about a topic through reading “defining texts” decreases and the activity of discussing and debating topics increases. The text (a result of a journalist’s craftwork) itself is not the end point but just the beginning; consuming facts is replaced by discussions and debate with knowledgeable people. Magazines are replaced by a multitude of peoples’ voices (democracy) and expert rule (meritocracy).

9. Business models for monetizing leechers
The big challenge; how can magazines “squeeze” money out of all the (digital) “leechers” who want to read for free without paying? What constitutes "value" to people? How much are people willing to pay for content/magazines on paper or for digital content/channels? Who is willing to pay (how much) and who isn't? What do we know already today and what are the trends and implications for the future of magazines? Are there clear difference between genres (womens' vs mens' magazines, gardening vs home improvement vs cooking vs ...)? If so, why and what does this mean (for the future)?
·      10. The future of reading 
Deep reading of longer, in-depth articles on particular subjects is replaced by browsing a zillion headlines to keep track of breaking news in your areas of interests and following up the browsing with reading a selected few texts. While these behaviors to some extent are an effect of previous changes in technology and business models, what are the implications of such new behaviors on technology, revenue and business models? (This question can be repeated for all topics relating to behavior below!)

11. A magazine for all senses
Three senses can be stimulated by paper, but not by digital media (computer, tablet or smartphone screens); taste, smell and touch. It is also possible to distribute (small) physical objects in a paper magazine. How could extravagant magazines capitalize on this with samples of materials and fabrics (fashion magazines), smell or taste (cooking magazines), small in deodorant ads, seeds (garden magazines) or a joint (High times)?

12. The future of paid digital content
Some newspapers (Financial Times, New York Times) and news services (Bloomberg) successfully sells their digital content to readers. What can be learned from these "market leaders"? Who pays today and what are they prepared to pay for? What are the implications for tomorrow? Is it/will it be possible to charge (more) per article, per issue or for a digital subscription?

13. Upping the revenue from digital channels
We have heard that going from print to digital is like changing dollars (print advertising revenue) to cents (digital advertising revenue). How publishers change digital cents into dimes (10¢) or quarters (25¢)? What are people willing to pay for? How much advertising compared to editorial content are people willing to put up with if advertising has to take up the slack from absent revenue from consumers? Are there other incomes to be made in digital channels? Can magazines have sponsors (like old American TV shows)? Is it possible to charge people (a little) for forwarding or showing their friends what to read?

·      14. An audience of one. 
Nifty apps like Pocket, Instapaper, Flipboard in combination with services like Reddit, Buzzfeed, discussion forums and social media platforms make it possible to earmark and later integrate and present texts that come from a variety of different sources into a nicely formatted, advertisement-free experience on your smartphone. Is the future of the magazine an infinitely personalized and customized magazine that is different for each (brands and magazine titles are replaced by My Magazine)? What are the implications for…XXX. Or could a publisher potentially have all the information about user/reader behavior and be able to customize and sell a magazine to you and the masses? 

15. Social recommendations
Would it be possible to create a magazine that dynamically polls different people so that you get to read what your friends seem to be reading at the moment, what famous people read right now (starlets or members of the Swedish academy), the most popular articles right now, the fastest rising articles etc.? Think of different recommendation systems (Amazon: "people who like this book has also bought the following books:").

16. Usability issues
An in-depth examination of usability issues in print and different digital channels (tablets, e-readers, web). Portability, reliability, batteries, sunlight, image/font quality, searchability, "commentability" etc.

17. Magazines and identity
We subscribe to and read magazines not just for the content, but also as identity markers. I'm the kind of person who reads X, I'm the kind of person who have magazines X, Y and Z on my coffee table (to impress, so that people can appreciate my exquisite taste, to indicate topics I like to discuss etc.). And it's not just the covers, it's also the contents; I'm the kind of person who is updated on futuristic implications of technology (because I read Wired magazine) or about this autumn's fashion (because I read Elle magazine) or about the next version of iPad (because I read Macworld). Magazines say something about who you are - or about who you want to be. How can this function be incorporated into tablet and digital channels?

18. Hybrid magazines
Is there a space for paper magazines with digital features/multimedia/augmented reality content that works together with a smartphone (QR codes, RFID chips etc.)? 

19. Non-text magazines
Do magazines of the future have to mean static paper or text-based reading on a computer screen? How about "video magazines" (see crane.tv) with short 3-minute videos introducing people, shops, trends etc. Would it be possible to develop video magazines in fields such as economy or politics? Perhaps the videos link to further (text) material? Could it be possible to create "podcast/audio magazines"?

20. The future of collecting
What is the future of collecting and collections? Authentic student quote: "I used to collect my past PC gamer magazines, I have over ten years' worth of magazines and sometimes it was fun to go back and read some old articles again". What need does collecting (must have all magazines!) satisfy and what is the future of collecting? A must-do for a group formed around this topic is to interview collectors. And what about scrapbooking, and tearing out an article from a magazine to save it? Why do we do those things and how can we continue to fulfill the same needs when magazines go digital?

Project group issues

It is soon time to state what project topics you want to work on for the rest of the term. Instructions will appear here, on the blog, later today.

I have written a longish text about issues that should be of interest to you regarding levels of ambition, time spent on projects and about grades. It is published on my personal academic blog - read more about it at "Student project groups - ambitions and grades".