January 2008 Archives
January 31, 2008
If you look at the sidebar on the far right, you should see both a list of my most recent actions on other sites, and a list of my profiles on other sites, too.
Trolls are a menace to many online communities, blogs or web forums. This especially true with political communities. Politics seems to bring out the worst in trolls and political forums often face a never ending stream of them...
Interesting legal action against a blogger. And it would be in the property sector...
Technology trends from DEMO
January 30, 2008
- Automattic announced the Prologue theme for Wordpress.com, which seems to be an attempt to create Twitter-like functionality to their platform for workgroups
- Genial Chris Alden announced some major changes coming to Typepad, and not before time, too. (Sorry, Chris)
- Movable Type gets an Action Streams plugin which allows you to aggregate you activity around the web on your blog. Expect to see it in action here within the next few days.
The service has been revamped somewhat since I last had a play, and the new view which compiles replies in the timeline makes it much easier to pick up interesting new conversations than it was before. It gets ever more interesting, for a service in Alpha.
Useful overview of the Expression Engine CMS
January 29, 2008
January 28, 2008
Some good guidance on how NOT to think about web video
Interesting look at the very different way the current young generation look at online and physical interaction
Been sat in a tab in Safari for ages for me to write about. Maybe later...
And another one I've been meaning to write about for weeks
You know that version of Movable Type I've sent the weekend installing? It has some cool new features...
I've been arguing for ages that print titles need to become beautiful objects to survive. Nice to have some support.
The Telegraph will be providing, and using, OpenID. Brilliant. Hope we will follow suit...
January 27, 2008
January 26, 2008
Update - 11pm: Still a few issues to resolve. More work needed tomorrow, I think.
January 23, 2008
January 22, 2008
January 16, 2008
Inspired: "If you're a fedora-wearing film noir spy trying to keep an eye on somebody in some smoky 1950s hotel coffee bar, they're great for hiding behind. For the rest of us, broadsheets suck. "
January 15, 2008
January 14, 2008
I've been working on this a little. I've boiled it down to four factors that define journalism for me, and I'll explore each of the four in later posts. These four are my ideas about the core concepts behind journalism, when you step away from the format-specific monikers of "news", "features" or "opinion". Those headings have less and less meaning in the online world, because they're often defined by the amount of physical page space they occupy and their position in a publication. These aren't issues on a blog, so we have to think about the underlying principles in a different way.
And here, in summary, are my answers for your delectation and delight:
- Inform - find out things that people don't want your readers to know - or that they don't know they want to know. This is good, fundamental investigative and agenda-setting journalism. Find out original stuff, and tell your readers about it. Don't just recycle press releases - or other people's blog posts.
- Explain - Give context and wider information about a story. Got a product story? Give context as to competing products or the need (or lack of it) for this one. Got a political story? Give the historic context and the likely motivations at a deeper level for it.
- Connect - This is the new one. Or the one that is changed out of all recognition. After all, journalists have always been connectors. We've talked to Group A, distilled the best and then published it for the edification of Group B. Now, we can cut some of that process out. Group A is already publishing to the web, on their own blogs. Know your readers, know what they're interested in. Point them to the best writing on the topic.
- Entertain - C'mon. You write for a living. You should be able to write well, not prosaically.
January 11, 2008
The only way I've been able to get internet access for much of the past week:
The apartment where Mum & I have been staying in Norwich while she undergoes chemotherapy has WiFi, via the coffee shop nearby. Sadly, the only place I could get a reliable, regular signal was the cupboard in her room.
Ah, well. Another five hours here at the hospital, and then back to her blissfully broadband and WiFi-enabled house…
January 10, 2008
Here's a thought. This way of describing one key element of blogging to journalists just popped into my head:
"Read the blog post. If you know the writer in person, can you hear them saying it? If not, they're not blogging yet."
Good? Bad? Indifferent?
One of the hardest things to do when teaching journalists to blog is to persuade them to write in their own voice, rather than the more neutral tone that's drummed into us. This seems to me to be a good thumbnail way of approaching it.
January 9, 2008
Let's start with how many. Well, in my main subscription group, I have just shy of 400 feeds. I have two other subscription groups, but I'll come back to them in another post. Those feeds generate up to 1,000 post per day.
Yes. yes, I know. I have a problem. I'm an addict. So we'll gloss over that and move on to Dan's second question: How do I manage them?
(The rest is behind a cut to spare those whose eyes are glazing over already.)
I've had only the briefest of access to WiFi today, so here's a quota photo from a walk this afternoon.
January 8, 2008
Shane Richmond has posted a description of the problems inherent in using an external hosting provider, providing something of a counter to my earlier post about the failings of self-hosting publishers.
In short, the company that the Telegraph worked with to build My Telegraph went under last year, and they've frantically been running around trying to bring it all in house. They have my sympathies…
However, the good news buried in Shane's post is that James Higgis and others from the team that worked on the initial launch have launched a new company, called Resident Digital, and their blog is already proving interesting reading. I've subscribed and am reading with interest…
January 7, 2008
January 5, 2008
So here’s an insane, heretical idea for change. The goal is to make everyone in your community start talking about your newspaper and your Web site. You want people asking all their friends and co-workers, “Did you read x this morning?” and “Did you see y on the Web site this afternoon?” You want a woman coming home from work to say to her stay-at-home dad/husband, “I have to show you this thing on the Beacon’s Web site!” You want her to say that even before she asks, “What’s for dinner, honey?”
That’s your goal. How do you get there?
And she has plenty of suggestions on how to remake journalism quickly.
January 4, 2008
And James Garner, the web editor of Computer Weekly, has posted a list of the top 10 most popular posts on the IT mag's stable of blogs. It's no surprise to me that cheap technology and IT security issues top the list...
Interesting new tool. Not sure I want to pull comments out of Movable Type though.
January 3, 2008
Good insights into why people repost videos, discovered almost as an aside in a report of the legality of it all.
Interesting, if playing to the stereotypes.
Does what it says on the tin
January 2, 2008
Talking of technology woes, I'm rather irritated that this fellow has "fave"d me on Technorati:
A spammer? Oh, I think so. I sent the Technorati folks a message about it a few days ago, but nothing has been done yet…
When I got into work this morning, there were a number of e-mails in my in-box about our Movable Type server being down. Luckily, it had been that way for just a few hours, only the posting interface was affected (ie pages were still readable) and the Web Services guys had already solved the problem. However, it brings me some comfort to know that we're not the only ones who hit these sorts of issues. I've been getting the above message from all of The Telegraph's blogs for the last hours or so…
… I work at the intersection of social media and mainstream media (MSM) – actually, I believe this is where all journalists work these days, whether they're conscious, or approve of it or not …
Sing it, sister!
So, last year I promised you my agenda for 2008, to appear yesterday. But then I shamelessly and blatantly abandoned you, reneged on my promise and spent the day with my lovely wife instead. Life trumps blogging, as people used to say all the time a few years ago and now never do.
Today, I've been in a blog-reading orgy. While others who have been doing the same have admitted failure (Stabe), I'm pushing to the very end, at which time I'll collapse back onto the bed and start smoking a virtual cigarette.
And you know what? There's been some great, great stuff written over the last few weeks. Maybe some time off gets everyone's blog juices really flowing…