Futures Lab Update #114: Television For Social/Mobile, and Tools For Managing Contacts

    by Reuben Stern
    July 16, 2015
    With real time content and short videos, 120 Sports tailors itself to the changing habits of audiences on the go. Screenshot courtesy of RJI.

    This week we see how 120 Sports is reshaping TV coverage for the audience of tomorrow; and we check out some tools that help you manage your list of contacts.

    "What Brewster does is that it makes your contacts just work. It brings together everyone you know, in any way you know them, from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo and more." -- Steve Greenwood, CEO, Brewster

    PART 1: 120 Sports

    With coverage provided in real time and via two-minute videos, 120 Sports is trying to tailor itself to the changing habits of audiences on the go. We learn about the digital network’s strategy from Executive Vice President Matt Carstens, who says the key is being always on while also providing on-demand highlights, commentary and analysis.
    Reporting by Daniel Shapiro.


    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Additional information:

    “ESPN meets Twitter, infused with the soul and pace of digital, with great journalism and talent” is how 120 Sports President Jason Coyle described the network to Engadget.


    Among its noteworthy initiatives, 120 Sports partnered with the NFL Players’ Association to offer media-related internships for five NFL players, who work on content creation, on-air analysis or overall production.

    Related coverage:

    Sports media giant ESPN is taking some similar approaches, as chronicled in detail in this in-depth text piece from The Atlantic. In particular, the article explores the role of push notifications as part of ESPN’s overall broadcast strategy and offers details on another key point: “Rather than force a unified ESPN style onto every social-media platform, the team takes care to learn the local language of every territory of the Internet—experimenting with live feeds on its homepage, studying which stories fly furthest on Facebook, and practicing the goofball patois of Snapchat.”

    PART 2: Contact managers

    Several tools have emerged that can help journalists organize and stay up-to-date with their contacts more conveniently. We check out some key features of two of the options: Brewster and CircleBack.
    Reporting by Berkeley Lovelace.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Some contact management options:

    • Brewster: Accessible on iOS and Android, this app helps users manage and stay up-to-date with their contacts from Facebook, Gmail and other social media platforms all in a single location to access from any device. Users can also pull their contacts within any app from Brewster’s cloud. The app has a limited free version but requires a monthly subscription of $5.99 or a yearly subscription $59 to access features such as device sync, Google autofill, and automatic deleting and merging contacts.
    • CircleBack: This tool automatically updates and merges contacts into a single location. It also has an advanced scanning feature that allows users to scan business cards without having to manually type the information. This app free on both iOS and Android.
    • Contacts+: This free Android and iOS app gives users, “a beautiful, simple, smart address book, where all people related information and services are brought together in one place,” according to the Contacts+ website. This app has features like calling and SMS, syncing photos across social media platforms, intelligent contact merging and organization, and more.
    • Full Contact: The free version allows users to pull contacts from social media platforms into a cloud. It includes a live social feed, so users can see a contact’s recent post and the last time you were in touch. With a premium account ($9.99 per month) users can sync multiple Google accounts, receive daily contact updates, store more contacts and have 20-minute sync updates. It is available for iPhone, iPad and via the Web. The company is working on an Android version.
    • Sync.ME: In addition to spam protection, syncing contacts and photos, photo sharing and full photo caller ID, the app alerts the user to upcoming birthdays and allows users to send personalized birthday cards. This app is free and available on iOS and Android.

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad appto watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: 120 sports Brewster CircleBack Full Contact journalist toolbox mobile organizing tools Sync.ME video With coverage provided in real time and via two-minute videos

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