March 2008 Archives
March 28, 2008
March 27, 2008
First of all, as I comb my e-mails for details of Movable Type problems and bugs past, I really wish I'd been keeping an internal blog from the start. Then I could just click the "server issues" tag and have a handy list to print out and give to the testers.
Secondly, I've realised just how much of a mental re-engineering needs to go on for journalists to adapt to the Web 2.0 age. Traditional publishing fundamentally had one process: research, write, edit, publish. Online journalism provides us with a range of tools, so you still research, but then you pick whichever medium best suits the story: text (long or short form), image, audio, video (streamed or recorded and edited). So, instead of a linear production workflow, you actually have a branching one, with critical choices to be made. And then you start factoring in interactive media, and the complexity goes up another level. That's a huge, huge change in the job. No wonder it takes time to enthuse people about this.
March 25, 2008
Mr Arrington of that widely admir'd and provocative pamphlet Techcrunch has discoursed at length about the coming juggernaut of the blog publishers. There's big venture capital money heading in the direction of the most promising guys, and a whole new way of thinking to go with it. Quoth Arrington:
And writing good content is only half the battle. You have to figure out the complex, dynamic web of politics between bloggers and mainstream media before you post to know where to get support. And you'll need support in the form of links from other prominent bloggers. An early push can take a post and make it a headline on TechMeme, which leads to page views and notice by sponsors. But since blogging is almost by definition a conversation between bloggers, fights tend to break out over emotional issues. Cliques develop. Can you count on them to support you down the road?How are mainstream publishers reacting? They're trying to sponge free content off bloggers. Um, good luck with that guys.
So, what's happening here? We're in a transition phase.
A very positive take on moving journalists into the digital age - help, mentor and enthuse, don't impose.
Could text be embedded like YouTube videos?
March 24, 2008
March 19, 2008
Interesting breakdown of blogging types and their strengths and weaknesses. They're not mutually exclusive, of course.
March 18, 2008
Now, I reckon that that they're missing the point and Mr Rogers will have the last larf here. The video isn't mocking user generated content in general, just that slightly cheesy way TV and radio solicits user feedback to give them a thin patina of interaction, which is wholly fake. Compare the "reckons" on TV to the debates found in blog comments or forums, and you'll see how shallow these efforts really are.
I hereby coin the phrase "cargo-cult engagement" to describe this phenomenon. My licensing rates are very reasonable...
Ah, some points behind the snark.
I'll probably be pilloried for saying this, but I suspect as the amount of content on the net rises, the need for experts to sift it will. too.
March 17, 2008
He's actually using it as much as a springboard for discussions about company acquisitions and changes as about this actual divestment itself (as "not much to report yet" gets pretty old, pretty quickly..) but it an interesting wee read.
March 15, 2008
There was no english breakfast served on a spoon this year instead down-on-its-luck Bradford rolled out Linda Barker of crap furniture ad and TV makeover fame to promote the city. God knows who thought that was an effective use of however much money she cost.
I did make a bit of a tit of myself by only recognising her enough to think she must be a PR I'd met last year. "Oh I thought I recognised your face" is probably not the best line to use when introduced to a 'celebrity'.
Money well spent by Bradford's PRs, then.
Interesting round-up of the best UK efforts in the technology video show area.
March 14, 2008
Oh, don't you love it when you open up your RSS reader, and find something that encapsulates an aspect of your life? Ladies & gentlemen, Mr Howard Owens:
Most of the bad bloggers tend to gravitate toward current affairs blogging.
Unfortunately, political blogs are also the kind of blogs most journalists tend to read. So a lot of journalists have a very low opinion of blogging.
Those of us more immersed in blogging, or who have grown beyond merely the current affairs bloggers, know that there is more to blogging than rants and raves.[From Journalists who learn to blog help their online sites grow beyond repuporsed print news | Howard Owens]
This is exactly what I face when I go into a room full of our journalists to do a blogging workshop with them. I always start these sessions by allowing them to tell me what they think blogging is, and I've only once had anyone come anywhere near the broadest truth. Instead, they almost always focus down on what they see as uninformed political ranting. It's just another thing journalists have to unlearn to become any good as bloggers.
The new owners of LJ manage to upset the community for the first time.
March 13, 2008
Interesting dissection of The Guardian's statement on journalists participating in blog comments
March 12, 2008
Here's the thing about blogging from the iPhone: it's a completely different experience from what I'm used to. On the whole, I'm a link heavy blogger and being forced into creating unlinked content is uncomfortable. Sure, I could manually create the links in the iPhone MT interface, but the barrier to doing it is just too high for me to be bothered. Students of publishing might like to notice the similarity with many CMSes deployed in large companies...
So, I'm forced into a more creation-oriented style of blogging; producing original content rather than "link and react" style posts. Ironically, that's pretty much what journalists do when they first start blogging anyway. I couldn't use the iPhone as my primary blogging tool, because I enjoy "link and react" too much.
But I can also see it playing a major part in the workflow of a journalistic blogger who specialises in reporting. It's light, flexible and allows you to post words and pictures wherever you can get a mobile signal. You can publish, junk and reply to comments easily through the interface. And you can also retroactively add links and other details once you get to a more conventional computer.
And here I start a day's experimentation with blogging from my iPhone.
Breakfast for us here means a quick trip to the deli at 38 St Giles St
in Norwich, a fabulous little place adjacent to Adlard's Restaurant.
They do a mean Americano and their coissants are the best I've tasted
outside those from the boulangerie near my brother's place in France.
March 11, 2008
I'm having a frustrating evening. I've stacked up a series of blog posts for my various blogs, and I can't publish them. There isn't even a sniff of the cafe WiFi that we're meant to have access to in this apartment, so I'm left with the unpleasant choice of venturing out into a blustery Norwich night in search of some WiFi, or tapping out an entry of two on the Movable Type iPhone interface.
And you know what? The iPhone interface is pretty good. You can forget putting any links in, of course, but that's as much to do with the iPhone's lack of cut and paste than a failing of Six Apart's work with the interface.
It occurs to me that I should actually invest some time in experimenting seriously with the iPhone as a mobile blogging tool. Expect a few more experimental posts over the remainder of my stay here in Norfolk.
March 10, 2008
March 9, 2008
Sarah Lacey, the author of a Business Week cover article as well as a book on Mark Zuckerberg, appeared to spend more time discussing the personal moments that her and Mark shared before. At least ten times during the interview, Sarah Lacey failed to end on a question and instead preferred to end on statements.
The coverage just gets worse and worse and worse. There's even a comic recounting the Lacy/Zuckerberg encounter.
March 7, 2008
The other day, Nick Sergeant was messing around with Yahoo! Pipes. He discovered that by ingesting content from one of our newspaper sites, and comparing those stories to the content in a specific story, he could automatically create related links to other stories on that site.And that's a really neat little trick for getting those handy little "related articles" links on the bottom of your posts. Now, doing this sort of thing on a commercial sitre is not without its risks. Relying on free web services can come back to bite you if those free services suddenly close up or change massively. And, as a non-paying customer, you get exactly the customer service you paid for.
Note: There are vendors who provide this service for thousands of dollars. Thanks for one smart developer playing around with the latest, cool open-network tools, GateHouse Media can now make it available on our sites for free.Big publishing companies tend to seek big publishing solutions. The problem is that the web favours small, agile solutions. Squaring that circle is a huge challenge, and one that's as much a social one as a technical one.
Fascinating insight into what it takes to make an innovation-first company.
And if they don't do the same for Movable Type, there will be a number of us wanting a "wee chat" with them...
March 6, 2008
But at the end of the day the purpose is to serve the changing demands of our audience. I'm often asked the question: "But why are you bothering to doing that particular thing?"
The easy answer is because more and more people are reading, responding to, downloading, linking to or looking at "that thing" and therefore finding it of value.So not a hard decision really.
Does Automattic have its eyes set on making Wordpress into a sociall network platform?
Web video is hitting critical mass, but as we all start buying cameras an production suites, livestreaming rears its head…
Watch the Six Apart and Automattic guys take pot-shots at each other in the comments...
March 5, 2008
I'm a 30-ish writer and journalist. I have an eclectic set of hobbies and interests which may or may not become relevant to these pages. Really, I'm going to use this to vent opinion and thoughts on current events and general philosophies of life, possibly with a somewhat humorous bent, but we'll see. I already have a Livejournal for the more mundane, day-to-day stuff, you see, and fancied doing something a little different. Let's see if it works.
March 4, 2008
March 2, 2008
Could blogs CMSes become the default?
danah on the LJ advisory board - good news for the home of my first ever blog.
Interesting low cost alternative to Six Apart's own offering.
An interesting new blog directory. Can they succeed where so many have failed?