April 2009 Archives
April 30, 2009
Jo shares her experiences from running the the G20 liveblog at The Times.
The barrier to (publishing) entry gets ever lower.
April 29, 2009
Facebook joins the OpenID march forwards...
April 28, 2009
Journalists vrs Social Workers: Mythology on Both Sides
Interesting example of specialist press attempting to correct the shallowness of reporting seen in the generalist press all too often.
[Disclosure: Community Care is published by my employer RBI]
Steve Jackson, more widely known as ourman, has written a great post rethinking the way that newspapers should be run.
And, as highlighted by Martin, and originally produced by a German site, this video of Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger talking about journalism is thought-provoking viewing. The really juicy stuff starts about 1:53 in:
Alan Rusbridger on the Future of Journalism from Carta on Vimeo.
Some revealing highlights from research into people's attitudes to UGC on news sites.
April 27, 2009
However, I can't let the day pass without saying a big thank you to my guest bloggers while I was away:
- James Clark of the Road Transport group who gave us his CMS wishlist
- Martin Couzins of Travel Weekly who talked about the blurring of journalists' career paths
- Paul Norman of EGi gave us an insight into a major title just starting to adapt to the social media age.
- Tim Relf of Farmers Weekly explained that journalists are becoming their own brand.
- Stuart Clarke of Flight Global suggested that community is king.
Good words of warning for those looking to build communities.
A worthwhile exercise to move the Digital Britain conversation forwards.
Repeat after me, social networking is a feature, not a destination: "When I visited Yahoo last week researching “friendship,” they sat me down with Kakul Srivastava, the general manager of Flickr. At first I wondered why." When she started talking, I realized how blind I’d been. Flickr, with 36 million members and a staggering 3.5 billion photos, is an immense social network. It’s full of friendship data.
Yes, it's another piece on journalists and Twitter. But it's a good 'un.
April 26, 2009
Jeff Jarvis at SXSW: Advice to UK regional journalists from Joanna Geary on Vimeo.
Jeff Jarvis - associate professor at City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, Guardian columnist and author of Buzzmachine.com - speaking at SXSWi 09.
Jeff suggests that journalists need to establish personal connections to an audience in order to survive the current industry turmoil.
April 25, 2009
Full details on one of the key technologies behind Movable Type
One of those posts where the most interesting content is to be found in the comments.
April 24, 2009
Okay, so maybe I am mixing up exciting with uncertain, but to me this is a fascinating period in journalism where, as Tim Relf suggests, the journalist can be free to bring in their personality to interact directly with their users, using the latest technologies to inform in new and exciting ways.
My job revolves around daily interaction with our audience and this relationship can be exciting and exasperating in equal measure, but it can never be characterised as dull. Working as a Community Editor is no different than speaking to people down the pub with similar interests so you have to be open to criticism, transparent in the debate and always promoting collaboration.
For too long there has been an assumption that we as news providers are the authority, that user generated content (a term that I think sounds like some kind of science experiment) is dismissed as inaccurate hullabaloo that exists outside or on the fringes of the news agenda.
The community though is that agenda; they are our audience that buys our products or are affected by the latest news. You don't write things in the hope that one person out there will like it, so what is the problem with listening to the hopes and concerns of the people you are providing for to form what you write about.
April 23, 2009
Guest blogger: Tim Relf, Farmers Weekly
Firstly, an apology.
Adam asked me, as a fellow RBI-er, to post on how technology is allowing new ways of working to emerge.
But I'd like to go off piste, because I figure he's away so won't be able to tell me off until he gets back.
What I'd like to talk about is personality - and how, in particular, blogging has allowed a lot of journalists to find theirs again.
When I began my career, personality was largely irrelevant. I - like my colleagues - was encouraged to be anonymous. It was the story that counted, not the person who happened to write it.
What mattered - and this was especially true in business journalism - was the name of the mag, not the journalist. That was what people believed in, engaged with, paid for.
With the exception of a few columnists employed to be the face of predictably polarised views, most journalists remained in the background. They got a byline if they were lucky.
Blogging has changed that. It's put the personality back into journalists who forgot they had it.
Journalists, many of whom had forgotten how to have an opinion, are now being actively encouraged to express themselves and they're relishing it. They've found a voice, and readers are loving it.
Blogs can be all sorts of things (no one seems to have nailed a conclusive definition yet), but the ones I most enjoy are those which one person writes because it's that person's preoccupations, personality and voice that comes through. Individuality counts.
April 22, 2009
Apologies for today's slightly belated guest blog for Adam - the damn Budget has somewhat got in the way of me jotting down my thoughts. I'm Paul Norman by the way, news editor of EGi, commercial property magazine Estates Gazette's web site.
It's fair to say that the day-to-day work of journalists writing for Estates Gazette and EGi has significantly changed in the past year because of the escalation of social media work.
That's not to say we haven't been committed to online news for over a decade. There's a definite pride at EGi that the news desk for both the magazine and the site have basically been one and the same thing for several years - way before the mainstream newspapers embraced this work culture.
But 2009 has seen a desire to embrace new media platforms materialise into a real push towards getting our hands dirty.
All of this has been driven of course by a general understanding in the industry among journalists and more importantly their paymasters that there is a real danger of missing the boat if titles do not sign up to new media. Equally though it is clearly being driven by reader demand.
April 21, 2009
Feels a bit weird to be in the back office of Adam's blog. I'm Martin Couzins, managing editor at Travel Weekly (but not for long), and have been asked - along with some other Reed Business Information colleagues - to guest post while Adam is away.
Yesterday was my read the paper day because I commute from Bath to Sutton in Surrey. I read the Guardian and Metro.
Jon Slattery's piece on the diminishing numbers of opportunities for journalist graduates made for depressing but none too surprising reading. What was depressing is that more and more students want to study journalism at a time when there are decreasing job opportunities.
I then turned to Jeff Jarvis' column which made the point that newspaper proprietors have had plenty of time (20 years) to get their heads around the web and its impact on news. As either nothing or too little has been done too late, Jarvis says, we are now seeing the shift from print to digital unravel - this means job losses as old economy business models fail, a search for new business models etc.
The exciting thing here, Jarvis concludes, is that there will be new models for news and that the sooner these models are established the better for journalism.
But this will be of little comfort to journalists who are currently losing their jobs.
And then I came across the news that journalist Roy Greenslade is going to be writing a news blog about his local area (where he lives).
I'm James Clark, a colleague of Adam's, and despite what my job title ('assistant web editor') may lead you to believe, I work on both print and web.
You may have seen me commenting here on One Man and His Blog under the name 'JD', which is also the name I use on my own blog, The Engine Room.
Being a production bod with a background in subbing I'm involved with all the stages that a news story or a feature (for example) goes through between it being written and it being published. And in the case of the web, often after it is published too.
To do that I use a heap of systems: authoring tools, layout tools, a content management system, an 'editorial administration system', and our new web platform (which has its own CMS functionality). Not all of them communicate perfectly with each other, and not all of them were designed with the web in mind.
I'm not a techie, but I've been thinking for a while about what I'd really like from an integrated CMS (or CMS system, but that would be a good example of RAS syndrome).
Here's my wish list. Some of these things we have already; some we really should have; others will probably remain a pipe dream. And not a lot of them apply to those forms of journalism that lack a real workflow, such as blogging and tweeting...
Anyway, I'd like a CMS that:
April 20, 2009
Suw: "[Newspapers… think that dedicated reading is the one true way to absorb news, and look down upon anything else. This prejudice is damaging the news industry badly, because if your whole revenue generating mechanism, not to mention your metrics for success, is built upon the idea of people spending lots of time on your site, reading lots of articles, then your business is built on sand."
Debunking the notion that blogs get all their content from newspapers
April 19, 2009
April 16, 2009
April 15, 2009
Is it weird that I aspire to this?
April 14, 2009
One of the key advantages that many journalists cite to me that they have over bloggers is access - access to events, to key figures, and so on. Yet, when bloggers are getting accreditation for major events like the London G20 Summit, you know the media landscape has shifted. Bloggers have access, too. What else do you bring to the table, journalists?
April 13, 2009
April 10, 2009
Dollar Academy Civvies Day 1989 from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.
I shudder to think how much the video camera must have cost, and how poor the quality is compared to a cheapo Flip today...
April 8, 2009
Papers have always been a disposable medium - that's part of the appeal. But the commuter freesheets are taking that concept to an extreme, creating a product that's grabbed thoughtlessly and chucked away just as easily. That's devaluing the work of journalists far more than any free-to-air website...
Personally, I don't give a toss, and won't mourn it. The loss of three people's jobs? That I care about. The loss of Press Gazette? Not so much.
Its time had gone, it missed its chance, and we don't actually need a Press Gazette any more. As
So, what is there to miss? Martin Cloake suggests the following:
But while there is variety and diversity, there isn't the impact and authority a central platform for genuine debate and discussion about our trade needs. Perhaps this is the challenge before us now - to develop, probably online, that living resource about the way we do our job, and the ways we could do it.And I couldn't disagree more, really.
April 7, 2009
A reader calls for the end of publishing online...
Comparison videos between the Mino HD and the original Ultra
Surfing the net at work for pleasure actually increases our concentration levels and helps make a more productive workforce, according to a new University of Melbourne study. Dr Brent Coker, from the Department of Management and Marketing, says that workers who engage in ‘Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB) are more productive than those who don’t.
April 3, 2009
Expect some more comprehensive tests over the weekend, once I've got access to my Mac and iMovie....
April 1, 2009
My work schedule means that I'm sat in Sutton today, while all the reporting action is up in central London, as the police clash with G20 protesters in the City. So, I'm stuck in suburbia, desperately trying to fathom out what's happening through the internet. Two things have caught my attention though:
- I'm getting my news faster through Twitter. I'm better able to follow what's happening through my normal Twitter stream and through The Guardian's rather nice combination of Twitter and ScribbleLive
- There's lots of innovation going on in ways of reporting it. The BBC map-based interface is particularly nice. The Times is using CoverItLive.
Second, posting is Pavlovian. The more frequently you post, the more readers will come to read your material. Eventually, they will come as a loyal reader and will return even if you don't ring the dinner bell. Keep blogging!I just love the way he phrased that...