Principally, because its never me doing it. And I know, therefore, diddly squat as to how long X, Y or Z might actually take. I’m just the monkey in that and many other regards, not the organ grinder.
So I think the safest thing for me to do is to suggest that what follows is scheduled for ‘this autumn…’That can then cover a multitude of development sins. And me making a specific commitment that we can’t deliver on.
But on the back of a meeting in the City yesterday with a translation team and various bits and bobs of development work successfully concluded over the last couple of weeks – particularly now that we have a bright, new, shiny API to work off and rip linguistic strings from – there is a real prospect of Addiply being available in Welsh this autumn.
We’re not far away, in short.
Addiply’s history with the good people of Wales goes back a few years; not least to the whole IFNC process – the Independently Financed News Consortium that were the Labour ‘model’ for Local TV before a change in Government heralded a change in policy and the launch of Jeremy Hunt’s own vision for ‘Local TV’.
One of the three winners of that process was WalesLive; and buried deep within that winning bid was a hyper-local ad platform called… Addiply.
Because we could build a network – one that spanned a nation. And, equally, because we don’t have a huge, great algorithm churning away at the back of our platform, we can – *relatively* simply – re-face Addiply into any language of our choosing.
And Welsh always made sense; particularly given that emergent nation’s commitment to furthering its own language.
As it happens, wiring Addiply into the AboutMyArea content platform earlier this summer has already demo’d how we can deliver a localised advertising opportunity, if not yet an audience, into the four corners of that kingdom… Along with every postcode district in the UK.
Particularly once you start to geo-locate and map said opportunities.
And, therefore, would allow both Co-Op Local and the Welsh Assembly to place ‘messages’ into any postcode district of their choosing; in Welsh, to boot.
We were, of course, on Guardian Cardiff and, hopefully, continue to enjoy a rich and enjoyable relationship with Cardiff’s J-School, now of course, the home to a major, hyper-local research project via the ‘Connected Communities Programme’.
Maybe, just maybe, Addiply can help connect said communities. That if nothing works, then this just might… etc etc
And it will need said communtities to collaborate together to help make it work; alone, we are not the magic bullet. For example, can we teach a new generation of Welsh college kids how to sell – and not just how to write stories?
But what is clear is that there is a crisis afoot in terms of the sustainable provision of local news in Wales; even from a distance, you can sense the hand-wringing and the consternation as to whatever next…
It has already prompted one, major report delivered to The Welsh Assembly earlier this year.
Page 66 makes for an interesting read re ‘Co-operation and a Single Media Hub for Wales’… perhaps if you have an organising principle delivered, in part, by a simple and unified ad platform that now is yours to play with, we can start to rebuild the Welsh media landscape in a truly networked manner that wholly befits this new, digital age…
That would be my hope, anyway.
And for me, that’s what Addiply is always about; it is a simple and transparent tool for people to go build upon.
The fervent hope is that we will – in time – take that on to another level and make our API public; for people to build again on top of our existing work; programmable interfaces that allows all of us to ‘experiment, experiment, experiment…’ in the words of Mr Shirky.
If there was one paragraph therein that summed up the state of the Welsh Media Nation it is probably this:
‘For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers.
‘Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results.
‘Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the journalism we need…’
Hopefully, a Welsh-language Addiply can be a part of that process; can be a small part of the kind of experiments that NESTA’s DestinationLocal programme is designed to foster; can be part of the new experiments that might give the people of Wales the kind of journalism they need… and, indeed, deserve.