One Man and His Blog: March 2009 Archives

March 2009 Archives

March 31, 2009

EG's Charity Cake Sale

Charity Cake Sale

March 30, 2009

links for 2009-03-30

March 28, 2009

Day at the Seaside

image2096991188.jpgWe're spending the day exploring possible places to live....

March 27, 2009

Mapping My Twitter Network

I first saw this over on Kris's blog, but my colleague Martin was kind enough to actually put my details into the mailana service. And what does it do? Well, it maps your Twitter network based, I think, on the degree of inter-messaging between the people on it. 

It's tempting to read to much into this, but some trends do emerge. Just up and to the right of me is a tight core of online journalists and online journalism educators, who talk amongst themselves a lot. Mr & Mrs Charman-Anderson appear to talk to each other quite a lot. RBI folks all appear to be scattered around the periphery, with relatively weak inter-communication. Graham appears to a small hub in his own right. 

I saw these graphs used a lot back in my active Livejournal days, and I do think that they illustrate clearly just how much these services are, in fact, social networks, even if they don't fit the Facebook-style model we associate with the term. 

March 26, 2009

links for 2009-03-26

March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day: Lisa Jardine

Lisa JardineThis post is my contribution to Ada Lovelace Day in which over a thousand bloggers are celebrating the women they admire in technology.

I first met Lisa Jardine in a small interview room on the Queen Mary campus in Mile End. She expressed absolute delight that I wanted to switch from a degree in physics to one in English literature - not because I was abandoning physics, but because I didn't see an interest in both in incompatible. A little over three years later, I met her for the last time, on stage, as I was awarded my degree.

"I didn't expect to do this well," I said, as my 2:1 was awarded.
"I didn't expect you to, either," she said with a huge smile.

I doubt she recalls either event - after all, dozens of students pass through her doors every year - but the two, and the time I spent studying under her in the time between, have been a huge inspiration to me. Here was a woman who had little time for the traditional boundaries between art and science, who seemed to see them all as part of the human endeavour.
Continue reading Ada Lovelace Day: Lisa Jardine.

links for 2009-03-24

March 23, 2009

Understanding Participation in Online Communities

I've stumbled across three really, really good posts on understanding the growth curves and problem points in online communities. I think these are required reading for anyone trying to build a community around their publishing brand:

Community by the Numbers:
  1. Group Thresholds
  2. Personal Circles
  3. Power Laws
They're heavy, but very insightful reading. Grab a coffee and enjoy them.

March 19, 2009

Tony Collins Talks Investigative Journalism

Tony Collins @ Elevenses
I'm at our second Elevenses event at RBI. Tony Collins is talking about investigative journalism. Some key points to follow:

  • You have to build trust with contacts - and that can mean not running stories instially to build the relationship
  • It's not a 9 to 5 job - contacts will often need to talk to you out of hours - and beware phone records that can expose your relationship
  • Keep close to the subs working on your story - don't let them rewrite in a way that removes vital nuances.
  • Don't overstate the case - and beware of coming over as the journalist stereotypes, as that can undermine your credibility in readers' eyes
  • His blog is invaluable - the number of tip-offs he gets as a result exceeds his ability to cope with them
  • Forums can be an invaluable source of stories or information from them - and you can ask for information
  • Don't be a repositary for secrets - we're paid to write not to know things. Persuade them  - work with them - to get their permission to publish
Only a taster of course. I'm not giving away everything Tony had to say. :)

March 18, 2009

Press Standards at The Frontline Club

For your pleasure, a discussion on press standards, live [now using the recorded version] from the Frontline Club:

Movable Type Upgraded to 4.25

If all has gone well, this blog is now running on Movable Type 4.25, which was released yesterday.

The key new feature is Motion, and here's a video which explains it:

An Experiment in Corporate IT

The Toshiba Laptop at Procter Street
I'm trying an experiment at work. For the last three or four years, I've always had my personal MacBook (or iBook before it) with me in the office, and have been able to turn to it when things got too difficult on my quasi-locked down work PC. But there's a problem with that. It means I'm not using the same kit, with the same restrictions, as the people I need to train and evangalise to. So, for the next few weeks, I shall be using only the work laptop during the working week, unless I hit something I really, really need the Mac for.

With a bit of luck, this will allow me to find alternative solutions to recommend to our journlaists or point the way to changes we need to make in the IT kit we provide or allow. For example, I participate in a chatroom that recently moved from AIM to Jabber. And we don't currently seem to have an approved Jabber chat client at work. So, for the time being I'm using the Meebo web-based IM service to work around that. Will it be a good long-term solution? I don't know. But it's interesting finding out.

Get Orf My Laaaaaand...

I'm being baited.

By a farmer.


March 17, 2009

links for 2009-03-17

March 16, 2009

Death of News Media Announced (Please Send Flowers)

One of those days. A misbehaving backup script has turned a pleasant Monday into a wee bit of a nightmare, and to follow it up, my feed reader is full of nightmares that would have been better placed on Friday 13th.

Take the Pew Research State of the News Media 2009:

This is the sixth edition of our annual report on the State of the News Media in the United States.

It is also the bleakest.

Uh, bleak you say? How so?

There are growing doubts within the business, indeed, about whether the generation in charge has the vision and the boldness to reinvent the industry. It is unclear, say some, who the innovative leaders are, and a good many well-known figures have left the business. Reinvention does not usually come from managers prudently charting course. It tends to come from risk takers trying the unreasonable, seeing what others cannot, imagining what is not there and creating it. We did not see much of it when times were better. Times are harder now.

Oh. Right. That sort of bleak. OK.

Now, to be fair, it doesn't actually state that the US news media is dead in the water. It just implies it, with a couple of knowing winks, and possibly a dig in the ribs.

Thanks to Kevin for bringing that little ray of sunshine into my life.

But that wasn't an end to it. Oh, no.
Continue reading Death of News Media Announced (Please Send Flowers).

March 14, 2009

links for 2009-03-14

March 13, 2009

The Best Way to Open Content Paywalls?

I just stumbled across this, and have planted it firmly in my "things I didn't know, but find really interesting" pile - the WSJ's old free content model:

But what used to do was to offer a backdoor to free content for another class of consumer: the social media maven. Paying subscribers could make content free to others by clicking on an icon that created a URL for a free version of the story that they could use for blogging or to submit to sites such as Digg or Yahoo Buzz. The deal was essentially this: these often influential word-of-mouth generators could trade reputational and attention credits for free content. The content would be part of the online conversation, not walled off behind a paywall, and presumably some fraction of those who followed the links to free content would recognize the value in the premium content around it and subscribe. A very nice Freemium model, in other words.
And that strikes me as a really bright way of charging for some very high-value content without completely isolating it from the conversation on the web. Most of the models I've seen involve the journalists choosing which elements of content to free up. The idea of allowing the paying subscribers to do it, so they can link it/discuss it on their own blogs is compelling - provided, of course, that you have a base of social media active people in your readership.

Podcasting in Progress

EG Podcasters at Work

Teaching Journalists About Twitter

Elevenses - Twitter
It takes quite a lot to pack 50-odd journalists into a small room, especially when there isn't a free bar in the offing. But it happened today. We launched a new internal initiative we're calling, rather quaintly, Elevenses - a weekly, informal training / sharing / networking get-together, open to all. After much faffing around over dates, and subject matter and what-not, we finally kicked off with a session on Twitter, and over 50 people packed into a room only designed for half that.

It's a mark of the sudden mainstreaming of Twitter - and its accessibility as a medium - that drove so many people there, I think, but it was also good to have some RBI folks like Heidi, Rob, Andrew and Nathan present to give real, vivid insight as to how they're using Twitter as part of their day to day work. 

No PowerPoints. No lectures. Just people chatting with people. What better way to communicate about a conversational medium?

There's only so much value in people being talked at again and again by swivel-eyed neophiles like myself. Sometimes is much more powerful when people actually using this stuff on the ground get up and do it. 

March 11, 2009

BBC Video Now Embeddable

Finally - BBC Video is becoming embeddable. It's been a while in coming because of rights issues, apparently, and it's still only running on a limited scale - the technology section only - but it's a nice step in the right direction, and should see BBC content more directly used as a trigger point for conversation - and isn't that what all journalists want?

Behind the Scenes at Today

Behind closed doors at Radio 4's flagship news show...

March 6, 2009

Estates Gazette: Podcasting and Blogging

My feet don't seem to have touched the ground since I started back at EG on Wednesday. Things are moving pretty quickly.

First of all, we have a blog for MIPIM 2009 up and going, albeit in basic form. MIPIM is the huge property trade show that happens in Cannes in France annually. Popular property industry rumour suggests that it brings more money to the town than the film festival does. It'll prove a fertile ground for the EG folks to experiment with, I'm sure, but for now it's given over to two members of the industry who are riding to Cannes.

Also just launched is the first episode of the Estates Gazette podcast, produced by EGi's multimedia reporter, Helen Roxburgh, with a little help from Mr Big Biofuel Blog. It's not in iTunes yet (give us a week or so), but you can snag it from the Estates Gazette podcast site.

Oh, and one of my colleagues bought me a belated blog birthday cake:

Blog Birthday CakeWin.

links for 2009-03-06

March 5, 2009

Now We Are Six...

It's my blogday today - it's been six years since I started One Man & His Blog. And it's interesting how going back through each "anniversary" post gives me a picture of how much I've learnt along the way:

2004: I marked my surprise at making a year, with some evidence that I was still learning
2005: The anniversary went unmarked this year - but there was a rather nice snowy picture
2006: I was going through a bad patch - I didn't post on the 5th, and when I did post it was an apology
2007: An anniversary post brought an old friend to my blog
2008: I posted three times that day, and two of those were videos

I rather hope I'll make it to a decade now...

March 4, 2009

A Change of Scenery

My New DeskI have a new view.

And that's because my job has changed a little. While I'm still overseeing the whole of RBI's blogging, I'm now spending a significant chunk of my time with one of its titles in particular - Estates Gazette.

Yes, in one of those twists of irony, I've been seconded back to the title I was seconded from in the first place. So, today has been a busy one, catching up with old friends, meeting new colleagues and frantically lining up the virtual ducks for a couple of launches due tomorrow.

But no doubt you'll hear all about that both here and on EGi: Behind the Screen, where I'll be blogging about what we're doing as we do it.

Change. I love it.

March 3, 2009

Twitter as a Backchannel

Twiiter on stage at Social Media Influence 09

I'm at the Social Media influence 09 conference in London this morning. Lots of interesting stuff cropping up, but I did like Robin's use of Twitter as a back-channel during the Enterprise 2.0 panel. The technology failed in the end, but the idea is sound.

Even if my first appearance on the screen was discussing a panelist's tie...

March 2, 2009

Blogging Etiquette & The NUJ

Effing Blogs in The Guardian
Looks like the "effing blogs" spat of a week or so back has made it into the print edition of The Guardian this morning.

There's a piece by Kevin Anderson up on the website, and I'm reliably informed that the article itself can be found on page 6 of the Media Guardian section.

Blog Update: Facebook Connect is here!

All, being well, this blog should now be running on Movable Type 4.24, the latest version of the software, released last week.

While doing that, I made a few other changes:

  • Userpics on comments are bigger! They also have little icons on them to show if the commenter is using an outside service like OpenID, Livejournal or Vox to sign in. If you don't want to use any of the sign-in services, but want a pretty comment icon, get a Gravatar
  • People using outside authentication service now get the "subscribe to comments via e-mail" option. Should have done that ages ago, sorry.
connect_white_large_long.gifAnd talking of outside services, Facebook Connect is here! You can use your Facebook account to sign into this blog to comment by clicking "sign in to comment" and choosing the Facebook Connect option. It should both grab your userpic and push your comment into your profile on Facebook - but it's still a beta plugin, so we'll see...


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2009 is the previous archive.

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