One Man and His Blog: May 2008 Archives

May 2008 Archives

May 30, 2008

I Am Not Blogging

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.

May 28, 2008

links for 2008-05-28

Has Blogging Changed Your Journalism

Online Journalism Blog logo
Calling all blogging journalists - Paul from the Online Journalism Blog is doing some research into how blogging has changed the way journalists work for a book he's writing.

You can take the short survey online, and help contribute to the greater sum of human knowledge.

It'll give you a warm glow inside.

May 27, 2008

Aksimet: Too Enthusiastic in Spamming Comments?

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.

Forget £8000 Video Cameras - Use a Laptop

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.

Digital Journalism on FriendFeed

FriendFeed logo
I've been experimenting a little more with FriendFeed over the last few days. The fact I can follow my stream in Thwirl makes it much easier.

The idea of topic-focused rooms on the service intrigues me, so I've set up one for digital journalism. Feel free to join in, if you want to share and discuss material on the transition to online journalism. 

links for 2008-05-27

My Place in London's Social Network

It's important in life to know where you fit in. And now, thanks to Alan's post on Broadstuff, summarising the London Twittersphere, I know exactly where I am:
And I bet a good chunk of the people reading this are in that little area of overlap, too.

May 26, 2008

Carnival of Journalism: The Reporting Instinct

MacBook at rest
An insanely busy weekend means I've probably missed the boat on this month's Carnival of Journalism, but I thought I'd get my post written anyway. Host Ryan Sholin asked us a question, based on an event he attended: 

What should news organizations stop doing, today, immediately, to make more time for innovation?

And I knew what my response was, as soon as I read the question:

Stop thinking of paper as a news delivery medium.

Some people might say I'm cheating, because I'm not actually suggesting an action people should stop. But then, I don't believe that creating "innovation time" will create any innovation at all. Innovation comes from mindset changes, not time-tabling. And news organisations which aren't adopting this mindset shift are on life support already, even if they're not aware of it.

If your business is predicated on breaking news on paper, give it up now. That's a doomed effort. It ain't going to work. If you don't have competitors now who are breaking news on the web, you will do soon. And that news spreads fast; e-mail, IM, Twitter and even good ol' word of mouth will have your whole target audience aware of the story before the presses roll. And that's a slippery slope you don't want to be on. The moment your reader - your customer - starts thinking "I know most of this already" when your newspaper or magazine lands on their desk, is the moment your fate is sealed. 

Continue reading Carnival of Journalism: The Reporting Instinct.

May 23, 2008

Getting Computers Wet

Ever get the impression some journalists are having altogether too much fun?

Computer Weekly are having computer smashing fun, clearly

Disco Stu's Movable Type 4.1

I'll be honest with  you. I'm having a bad few days. Some pretty awful family news, and some lingering problems with the server upgrade are making my life less than fun.


...then one of our web developers remixes Stuart's Movable Type intro video from a few days ago. And it makes me laugh:

[As pointed out by Andrew of Engagement 101]

May 22, 2008

links for 2008-05-22

May 21, 2008

The Computer Weekly Blog Awards

Computer Weekly Blog Awards
In the category of things I really ought to have blogged about before now:

Computer Weekly is running its first ever IT blog awards. The team are looking for the best of the technology blogs, particularly those with a UK slant. There are seven categories, from Web 2.0 and business to IT project management, and nominations are open until the end of the month (31st May)

I'm part of the judging panel (for my blog knowledge rather than my technical knowledge, thankfully) and wrote an opinion piece for the magazine that appeared in print last week, with the dual aims of plugging the competition and plugging the idea of blogging. And that was fun. it'd been a year since I'd written something just for print. I even got to have one of those glowery, serious mugshots over the top of my column. Ah, another dream fulfilled...

Anyway, if you know some good tech blogs, please go and nominate them.


If anyone's having problems leaving comments here, would they mind dropping me an e-mail?


Screencasting Movable Type 4

This is rather fun. Stuart Clarke, the community editor of Flight Global, has created a screencast of Movable Type 4.1 for some of his US bloggers:

May 20, 2008

The Online Conversational Onion

Too Many Networks
[Gaping Void, of course]

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like I'm stranded in two disconnected worlds. On one side, I have people in my RSS and Twitter feeds discussing the dispersion of conversation into the likes of FriendFeed and Disqus. And on the other, I sit through meetings where we discuss how to drive more traffic to our forums. These two discussions have one thing in common: they're about discussion in the live web. But they're utterly disconnected, as if the two groups were utterly unaware of the other's existence. 

And perhaps they are. There's a tendency amongst the bleeding edge web people to dismiss older forms of social media, just as people on the other end of the bell curve tend to lump them together in one, undifferentiated mass.

I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that there are three distinct layers of social conversation on the web, and people tend to exist primarily in one of the three. And I need to develop a language for myself to dicuss these ideas, both with the neophiles who chase after the latest and greatest, and with the tentative newcomers who are just getting their heads around these new forms of media.

Here's how I would (tentatively)  articulate them:
Continue reading The Online Conversational Onion.

Farmers Weekly Liveblogging

Inspired by the good folks at the Liverpool Daily Post, the earthy folks at Farmers Weekly are liveblogging their afternoon over on the Food for Thought blog.

May 16, 2008

The History of Online Communities

This is pretty essential viewing, giving people some context on how online communities have developed. And no, it's not just a Web 2.0 thing:

[Via Kristine]

I was trying to work out the other day how long I'd been participating in virtual communities of various sorts, I think the answer is "13 years", starting with a mailing list for a game back in 1995. This is a topic I ought to revisit. I might even explain how I became the Ashtray on the Edge of Oblivion.

But then again, maybe not.

May 14, 2008

Rambly Thoughts on MT Upgrade Day

Far too knackered to type, so here are my rambling thoughts on the day via Seesmic:

Zombie Divestment Watch

An e-mail arrives from one Private Fraser of the Home Blogging Guard:

TheOpsMgr's DivestmentWatch blog has been taken down, seemingly at the behest of RBI management.
I've written about it and posted the cached copy

And so he has.

Movable Type 4: Live, but a bit poorly

Upgrade Desk MessMy, what an interesting few hours it's been. We went live with MT4 circa 11am this morning. While, on the whole, its been plain sailing, a couple of issues have cropped up. We've been getting internal server errors in the user interface, which Nicholas has tracked down to issues with FastCGI and the mt.cgi script. Thus we've disabled FastCGi on the servers handling the posting interface, and are hoping that the problem will go away.

We're also having to set up some URL rewriting to handle elements of the change from Windows to Linux that mean case-sensitivity in URLs is an issue.

Oh, and one of our bloggers has used the problems to make a point. Transparency's good, right?

Fire Alarm

Fire Alarm, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

And just as we were about to go live...

links for 2008-05-14

May 13, 2008

Liveblogging 24 Hours of Regional Journalism

Liverpool Daily Post logo
The journalists at the Liverpool Daily Post are extra-busy today - because they're liveblogging the production of the paper.

The insights into the pressured environment of a daily publication are suprisingly gripping, so far. (I've never worked on anything more frequent than a weekly.) However, the thing I'm finding most entertaining is comparing and contrasting deputy editor Alison Gow's official post and her personal one. 

Building on the success of our local elections coverage, when our exclusive live blog gave online readers the opportunity to interact in real time with our journalists at counts across Merseyside and receive instant information, the Daily Post is running a live blog from 7am today until the presses roll during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Staff will update the live blog throughout the day and everyone who logs on will be invited to comment on the work as it unfolds, ask questions or share information with the editorial team.

Continue reading Liveblogging 24 Hours of Regional Journalism.

May 12, 2008

Commenter Pictures and Profiles

Commenter IconsI've been doing a little playing around with the back-end of this blog. 

Comments are now displayed with little profile pictures to go with them. You can choose your pic by selecting the "Edit Profile" option, when you're logged in. And yes, that does mean that there are now commenter profile pages on here, into which you can enter as much, or as little, information as you want. (Here's mine, by way of example) 

If you're not using any of the registration forms available on OM&HB, then the system will fall back on the Gravatar user pic service. If you register with them, your pic should automatically appear here. 

Performance-related Pay For Journalists and Unofficial Blogging

Thumbnail image for Reed Elsevier LogoAh, the good people (and by good people, I mean Laura) at seem to be intent on making our lives here...interesting. Today, Laura's posted on the blog pointing out that Divestment Watch, the blog run by a member of the TotalJobs team charting the progress of Reed Elsevier's divestment of RBI, has vanished. I'm not clear at this point on why that should be, as RBI here in Sutton was happy to tolerate its existence, to the best of my knowledge

And last week, Laura's account of publishing director Jim Muttram's speech at the PPA's conference focused on Jim's suggestion that journalists could, in future, be paid partially based on reaching (or exceeding) defined traffic targets. Jim has posted his own response to the story on his blog, Inflection Point

Personally, I think some move in that direction is inevitable, over time. 
Continue reading Performance-related Pay For Journalists and Unofficial Blogging.

Month(s) of Hell Update

MT4 logo
Well, it looks like the long wait is finally over. The training is complete, the load testing done, and the templates upgraded. If all things go according to plan, we'll be running our blogs on Movable Type 4 from tomorrow afternoon.

Wish us luck...

May 11, 2008

links for 2008-05-11

May 8, 2008

links for 2008-05-08

May 6, 2008

Back at work, back in meetings

May 3, 2008

Rural Idyll and All That

Rural Idyll and All That, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Spending a few days in the country with friends. See you all on Tuesday.

May 2, 2008

Stupid Builder Tricks

For your Friday lunchtime viewing pleasure, may I present some stupid construction site tricks?

links for 2008-05-02

May 1, 2008

Boris: The Hairdressers' Choice?

My obligatory London elections post. 

Boris beats Ken - in the style stakes.

Because, clearly, style is everything

We publish an entertainingly broad range of stuff, sometimes...


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

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