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

Archive for

I annoy am not* blogging, because I am on holiday on the south Devon coast.

And I’m only posting this because I’m playing with my iPhone, while Lorna gets me a Guinness.

See you all on Monday.

*Note to self – beware the iPhone’s autocorrect when posting from the pub.

Akismet logo

Darren of Problogger finally articulates something that has been bothering me for a while: Aksimet, Automattic’s comment spam filtering system, seems to be throwing up a lot of false positives of late. 
I’ve been using Akismet on this blog for a couple of years and we’ve been using it on the RBI blogs for around a year – and generally it’s been good. But too often of late, I’ve been getting e-mails from people saying that they’d left comments, but they never appear on the blog(s). I hope that they get on top of this soon, because I’d rather have more false negatives than any false positives. When you’re having to scan the spam folder in case of false positives most days, your trust in a spam-fighting system is shot, because you’re not that far from just doing the despamming manually.

We’re doing lots of work on video at RBI in the moment, much of it shepherded by Andrew. One recurring theme we here is how we need to do really high quality stuff – and usually they mean technical quality rather than content quality.

Our highest trafficked blogger – Flight’s Flightblogger – proves how much of a nonsense that attitude can be, by providing his readers with something done using the built-in webcam on his laptop:

Update: Charlie Beckett expresses exactly what I’m trying to say here about video formats:

Stop doing that thing where you try to create a sumptiously produced theatrical experience called studio-based news. Give me something more like Rocketboom. Give me content not packaging.

You are going to deliver news to your readers via the internet. You break it on the web, you break it as soon as you have it, and you develop it online. And then, and only then, do you analyse, contextualise and develop it on paper. And you hope and pray that you’ve done a good enough job developing it on the web that your readers will trust you enough, and value your judgement enough, to shell out for a paper product to enjoy at their leisure. Paper is a vehicle for analysis, for depth, for a sit-back-and-think experience. The internet is for news.
Your recalcitrant reporters are going to have to ask themselves this question: what’s more important to you: breaking stories or making a paper widget? If their instinct is serving readers, then they’ll find the time to go web first. If their instinct is generating a print product, you might want to point them in the direction of a career change advisor. 
Journalism is a process, not a result. We find stuff out, and we get it to people in as timely a fashion as possible. And the internet is the most efficient news delivery device we have. If you’re not interested in delivering news to your readers quickly, you’re not a journalist, you’re just pretending to be one so you can feel good about yourself.
Say it with me again: paper doesn’t deliver news; the internet does