Info

A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

Over the weekend, I headed down to Wiltshire for the kick-off meeting of a new project, and it was a wonderful experience. Over the last few years I’ve been doing a lot of training, and a fair bit of consulting, but I’ve had less and less opportunity to actually do the things I’ve been talking about.

Well, I got to spend Sunday with a bunch of very smart, very experienced and very knowledgeable people, who are about to do something really challenging. And I’m looking forwards to helping tell their story over the next 18 months or so.

It’s not about you

Making an (engineering) proposal
It reminded me of why I’ve come to love journalism so much: the process of finding people doing interesting things, in fields you have to learn about rapidly, while bringing their story to a wider audience is something I love – and find profoundly satisfying.

There’s a fundemental truth to journalism (in the majority of cases, at least) – it’s not about you, the journalist. It’s about the people you’re reporting on and the people you’re reporting for. This is something I see many students struggle with, caught up (as they often are) with notions of columnists and “star” reporters. Being a good journalist requires some degree of self-suppression, as you see yourself as a conduit between people with something interesting to say – and the people who would benefit from hearing that.

Telling Tools

A room full of engineers
That’s not to say that things like gonzo journalism aren’t great and useful techniques. But inserting yourself into the story isn’t quite the same thing as making yourself the story. The characters aren’t the plot.

Tell the story, using the best tools for the job. That’s as true online as it is in print – we just have a winder range of tools.

Oh, and more about the project that triggered these thoughts later in the week, as its online presence starts to go live…

Yahoo is stopping investing in Flickr

Sad time for those of us that still use and enjoy Flickr:

While products such as Yahoo Games will soon be shut down, Yahoo says that it will be reducing its investment in non-essential properties such as Flickr. Flickr will stay alive, but Yahoo will be reducing Flickr’s resources and attempt to run the photo service in a way that requires minimal overhead.)

Essentially, the best we can hope for is that Yahoo sells Flickr to someone who will care about it – or that Yahoo itself is sold and that the new owners give a damn. Time to pay more attention to 500px again, I think.

Is Twitter use in freefall?

One developer has used the API to find Tweet volumes:

Tweets per day reached a peak in August 2014 of 661 million, our source says. That 30-day sampling period included the World Cup final. In January 2016, there were only 303 million tweets per day, on average, during the 30-day period.

Twitter (perhaps not surprisingly) says the figures aren’t accurate, but has not clarified any further.

A blog is a bet on the long-term value of your content

Luca Sartoni on why he still blogs:

Social Networking Sites come and go. In ten years from now, Facebook will be different from what we are used now, it’s inevitable. Most likely, all the content we are publishing there it will be accessible in ways we cannot imagine now, but there is a chance it won’t be that easy to extract the whole value we are creating within the walled garden.

Now, admittedly Luca works for Automattic, which is the dominant player in the WordPress world. But his point remains valid: use social platforms for short-term gain, but always have an eye to the future and that means your own platform.

When I started in the social media game, the editors I worked with wanted to do things in MySpace and Second Life…

This is an astonishing failure of editorial oversight:

An investigation into Thompson’s reporting turned up three instances in which quotes were attributed to people who said they had not been interviewed. In other instances, quotes were attributed to individuals we could not reach, who could not remember speaking with him, or whose identities could not be confirmed. In his reporting Thompson also used quotes that we cannot verify from unnamed people whom he claimed to have encountered at public events. Thompson went to great lengths to deceive his editors, creating an email account to impersonate a source and lying about his reporting methods.

Journalistic fraud happens. As does plagiarism.

But the worrying thing about this story is the failure of oversight and fact-checking. Some of the quotes really should have roused editorial suspicion: