One Man and His Blog: November 2008 Archives

November 2008 Archives

November 28, 2008

The Independent partners with Livejournal

LiveJournal logo

Image via Wikipedia

The Independent, of all our national newspapers, had a reputation for terrible, half-hearted blogging, and has done for years. It was quite a surprise, then, to see that it's entered into partnership with blog-as-social-network site Livejournal to relaunch its blogs. Now, I've been an LJ user since 2001 - it's where my very first blog lives - and I've always thought of it more as a communication tool than a publishing platform, but it clearly has aspirations elsewhere, as the news post describes the partnership as their "first attempt to engage on the ground in the UK" - which I'll try not to be offended by...

Jimmy Leach, the paper's editorial director for digital, has posted about the launch, in a way that suggests they see the site as something akin to The Telegraph's My Telegraph:

But this is mere tinkering to the major new aspect of the Independent Minds - and that's that you too can become bloggers on this site. Just register (with LiveJournal who are providing the back-end to all this) and you can add your voice to the others on this site and share your thoughts with the huge and growing audience the site has. You do have to register, I'm afraid - some may find it a pain, but its mean't to be a community, not a free-for-all.
The design of the Independent Minds section, as the co-branded area has been christened, is actually pretty nice, and they advertise a pretty wide range of contributors. It's only when you click through that you get a feel of how patchy the posting is right now. Sex columnist Catherine Townsend posted yesterday, which is good, but foreign editor Raymond Whitaker hasn't posted for two weeks. Only the most prolific posters seems to be garnering any comments at all.

An interesting idea, certainly. But does it have any more legs than The Independent's last effort in blogging?
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November 27, 2008

On Twitter, Journalism and Mumbai

Today's unfortunate events in mumbai have raised some interesting questions about the relationship between Twitter and journalism.

A few places worth visiting:


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Breaking Bloggers Block

Laptop and LightThe one time I really struggle with blogging is when I've stopped doing it for a bit. A few weeks ago, I took a week off. And I ended up almost completely disconnecting from social media for that week. I used my computer to play games, but that was about it. I switched off from the web, from feeds, from Twitter, from the works.

Obviously, I walked back into the office to face a vast, vast pile of work - the curse of being a one man team, with no-one to delegate to. And so it took me a few days to get on top of that, and start thinking about blogging again. And then I started struggling. I have this urge that, if I haven't posted for a while, I need to restart with something significant. That, of course, is nonsense. If you think about the idea of blog as conversation, if you haven't talked to somebody for a while, you don't put off meeting them for a drink, or giving them a call, just because you have nothing of huge significance to impart. No, just just give them a ring, say hello, and start discussing the first things that come into your minds.

And that's exactly what this is. The first thing in my mind. And hopefully it'll break my bloggers' blog...

November 21, 2008

What This Week Has Felt Like



And with that, I wish you all a very good weekend. I'm off to get drunk in Brighton.

November 19, 2008

Blogging Your Way Out of the Hackopalypse?

In a meeting earlier, I made a throw-away remark about the publishing news being so bad between now and next spring that all our journalists will be scared stiff. I was joking. But judging by the news coming in (hat tip to Heidi from Computer Weekly for these), magazine after magazine is going away.

In the context of this, the offer Six Apart (which is going through its own rough patch) made to out-on-their-ear journos looks like a smarter move than people gave them credit for. If you're sitting on a redundancy payment, in a market where no-one's hiring, a free blog with a little bit of income might just be the right way to reskill..
What I hadn't fully expected was how gripping the stories from individual journalists have been. The mood of the emails we've gotten has ranged from hopeful to heartbreaking, from cynical to sincere. Overall, there's an optimism which indicates that having a starting point to do something proactive and positive will be a great first step for many journalists to take control of their careers in an industry that is going through enormous upheaval.
Sometimes, the most horrible change can be a step in the right direction.
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Two New Blogs from Former Student Hacks

Declan's Blog
Bit frantic at the moment - been off for a week, and returned to a pile of work. But today I've discovered to my delight that two old friends from my days on Felix, Imperial College's student rag, are blogging.

Declan Curry, best known as the BBC's cheerful face of business on breakfast and daytime TV is now blogging on the Working Lunch site.

And Andy Butcher, who's moved from computer games journalism, to community management, through to game development, has just started a blog called Lucky Number 2D6.

There you go. Something to read while I scythe through my workload...

November 16, 2008

What can the news media learn from the Obama campaign?

WATERFORD, MI - JUNE 02:  Democratic president...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Welcome to this month's Carnival of Journalism, a monthly celebration of the best in blogging about journalism 

This month's topic, suggested by Bryan Murley from the Center for Innovation in College Media  by:

What can newspapers (or the news media) learn from the Obama campaign?

I'll be posting responses to this one as they come in, between now and Tuesday. 

  1. Jack Lail gives us Five Ws from the Barack Obama campaign: the five best web 2.0 or technology uses in the campaign.
  2. John Hassell tells us what we can learn from the mobile aspects of the Obama campaign.
  3. Charlie Beckett builds on Jack's post to suggest that you don't just have to go onlone, you have to participate in online culture.
  4. Bryan Murley answers his own question with five "E"s. No, not that sort.
  5. Alfred Hermida suggest that we need to stop peering at the social media world, but need to dive right in. That's what gave Obama an edge. 
  6. Adrian Monck follows the money - and discovers where Obama was a big spender.
  7. Doug Fisher looks at things from the other angle - and suggests that the media has let government overtake them technologically, and that may have serious consequences.
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November 7, 2008

Adam Smith (The Drunk Journalist) Responds


(Incidentally, I'm disappointed to note that neither Press Gazette nor The Guardian linked or credited MarkMedia who found the story first)

Some Coffee Reading

Desk Revamp
A few links noted in passing:

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November 5, 2008

Hard News Journalism

I know the guy had been drinking, but this is really quite shocking:



And we wonder why journalism is in trouble?

[via MarkMedia]

Update: the drunk journalist in question is Adam Smith of the Birmingham Mail. As Ian reported in the comments, his story on Obama's victory appears to have been pulled down.

US Election Night at The Frontline Club

Graham was kind enough to invite me to the Frontline Club's election night bash last night. Here's some video I grabbed during the event:

November 4, 2008

Posters at the Frontline Club

image1822740742.jpgThese two posters are Marvels, they really are... :-)

Me, on a Podcast #2

Cheese icon
Talking of World of Warcraft, as the last post was, some people known that I live a secret blogging life as a Warcraft blogger (fewer pageviews, but more feed subscribers than this blog, oddly). I was part of a round table of Warcraft bloggers that got together for a podcast a few weeks ago - and which involved me getting up at 5am.

Anyway, deeply tired and geeky ramblings over on the Twisted Nether Blogcast, or you can snag it in iTunes (it's episode 20).
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Election Day (How Will the World of Warcraft Vote?)

I haven't written anything about the election here because (a) I'm British and (b) I'm not politics expert. But I couldn't resist sharing this little video:

Distracting Web Editors With a Flip Mino

image1327724171.jpg

November 3, 2008

Niche Social Networks

The author of the other talk I was really sad to miss at Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin, Lee Bryant of Headshift, has now published his slides over on the firm's blog.

Here they are:
Niche Social Networks FTW!
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: purpose meaning)
Although the presentation gives some good examples of niche social networks in use, I like Lee's analysis of the value of Facebook against niches, which makes a nice riposte to last week's BBC story:

I remain convinced that intimacy and common purpose are more in line with the culture of the internet than mega-malls like Facebook, where funders are more interested in achieving a ridiculous $15bn valuation for the company than in changing peoples' lives for the better.
And the rights tools can improve people's working lives, just as much as they can their personal lives...

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

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