One Man and His Blog: July 2010 Archives

July 2010 Archives

July 31, 2010

Blogging: History and Misconceptions

This is long, but well worth sitting through to catch up with the ideas and concepts that have driven the success of blogging as a medium over the last decade. Don't worry about the software stuff at the beginning - it rapidly moves beyond that.

July 30, 2010

How He Took It To The World

This is quite, quite lovely:

Good viewin' and good readin'. I spoil you with my links

Good News/Bad News from KPMG

The Bad:

KPMG has found that 81% of UK "would go elsewhere for content if a previously free site we use frequently began charging". Only 19% would be willing to pay in the UK, while globally (the same research looked at consumer behaviour in a range of countries) 43% of consumers are willing to pay for digital content.

Retrofitting a paywall? Probably not gonna work.

The Good:

They are also more willing to have data collected if it would result in lower content costs. "48 percent of UK consumers would be willing to accept profile tracking, up from 35 percent in the 2008 survey." Publishers and marketers need to take care though as 90% of consumers also expressed concern about their privacy and security online.

Interesting possibilities there, especially in niches, if explored with care...

The quotes above are both from Kevin Anderson's rather deeper analysis, which is well worth reading.

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The Curse of the Collator

When Print Goes Bad

July 29, 2010

A Few Slightly Geeky Journo Links

Time for some links:

  • One of the most consistent themes I hear when talking to journalists around the country is frustration with the web publishing CMS they have to deal with (especially if they've ever used any blog platform). In that light, this post about the BBC's new web CMS makes for fascinating reading, both through what they're doing and through the fact they blogged about it publically. I suspect that a culture that allows such blogging is laikely to produce a better piece of kit...
  • Another trend I see amongst some journalists is an almost obsessive pride in not understanding technology. Kevin makes an interesting case for a more data-centric view of journalism that should give pause to such folks.
  • Martin's look at how well (or more often, not) digital coverage of the World Cup has survived down the years is thought-provoking. There's a surprising amount of value in them there archives...
  • And Nature's using OpenSocial. I'm very interested in this, and you're probably not, but it's my blog so "nyah".

What's in a name?

Peter Demain of Dirty Garnet on the name of this blog:

I personally despise the name as it brings back memories of humdrum minutes in my youth spent watching some flat-capped florid faced farmer train a sheepdog to be a sheepdog in a boringly verdant setting. 
I chose it to create exactly that torment. 

A Different Future for Newspapers

So, yesterday we learned that newspaper editors are now so irrelevant that iconic editors are becoming mayors.


Newspaper Wallpaper
Newspapers are now best used as wallpaper.

Not sure if this is a better choice for the digital journalism evangelist, or the old school hack who doesn't want to let go of the print era...

About that iPad mag subscriptions panic

photo (1)I saw a lot of buzz overnight about Apple not allowing magazine subscriptions on the iPad, and OMG how is the iPad going to save us now? Steve, you have betrayed us!

Except, well, that's simply not true. You can buy subscriptions to publications on the iPad - I have ones to The Times, The Spectator and a photography magazine. There are various routes for selling those subscriptions, and one that's specifically disallowed. Here's John Gruber to explain:

Here's the difference, I think. With Amazon and the Wall Street Journal, users set up and create their accounts on the web, not within the iOS apps. The WSJ app requires a subscription that doesn't go through iTunes, but you create, pay for, and manage that subscription on the web. Judging from Kafka's description of the Sports Illustrated situation, it sounds like Time tried to add its own direct billing subscription system within the Sports Illustrated app itself.

Gruber makes the very valid point that all this OMG! PANIC! would go away if Apple would just clarify its rules, though...

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July 28, 2010

The Future of Newspapers (via Spider-Man)

When I was growing up, my understanding of who and what journalists actually were was largely defined by the staff of the Daily Bugle, employer of Peter Parker, better known as the Amazing Spider-Man. In particular, they were defined by this chap, the infamous J. Jonah Jameson

J Jonah Jameson
Now, despite then lure of the Marvel Comics app on the iPad, I'm not much of a comics reader these days. But this news from the creators of the current Spider-Man comics should be enough to send a chill down our collective spines: 

In the Spidey-verse, I think one of our best ideas was making Jonah mayor. The possibilities of that remain endless, and with newspapers dying, it was a terrific way to give him a powerful presence.
It's the off-hand way that a creator from another branch of the publishing business dismisses the future of our industry that stands out to me - they think that newspapers are now so unimportant that the character doesn't carry the same weight as an editor as he once did...

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July 27, 2010

Shooting Video on a DSLR

I spent a chunk of the weekend editing 30 minutes of holiday video footage down to a nice, tight 10 minutes that went down a storm with the family. And that reminded me of several experiments I've wanted to conduct with video for a while, and a few extra ones that crossed my mind while chatting with Documentally when he came to speak at RBI.

So, I pulled some experimental video I shot on my Canon EOS500D DSLR (an enthusiast level camera, available for around £500) out of Aperture, and edited it up. It was shot hand-held, with some image stabilization applied in iMovie during the editing process: 

And...I'm quietly impressed by it. The quality is pretty good (as you'd expect with a decent lens on the front), and it's actually easier to handhold than some of the Flip-style cameras, because it's easy to get two hands on it. One shot near the end betrays how difficult it is to handhold at the further end of a telephoto zoom. With a tripod, you could get some really nice footage off this thing. 

Room for more experimentation, I think. 

There's a YouTube version after the jump, for those of you on iPads and their ilk...
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Continue reading Shooting Video on a DSLR.

July 22, 2010

Awesome Event Coverage from FlightGlobal

image Michael Targett and his team (pictured right) are doing some awesome work from the Farnborough Air Show this week - their rolling coverage is all aggregated on the main site.

Well worth a look, even if you don't give a hoot about aviation, to see what a skilled and enthusiastic team can do with a major event.

As a taster, here's Flightblogger and Runway Girl summing up the first day of the show:

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Who are the journalism innovators of 2010?

imageThe good people at have published a short list of who they think (with some input from their Twitter followers) are the journalism and media innovators of 2010. This list, which I suspect is a response the very boardroom-heavy Media Guardian 100 list from a couple of weeks back. 

There's some absolutely great people on the list, including several I count as friends, and, helpfully, they've included a Twitter list of the people involved, so you can follow them.

Oh, and I'm deeply flattered to be included in the list, in what I can only imagine was some sort of clerical error. ;-)

Handy YouTube Addition



Handy little addition to Youtube I spotted the other day: you can now specify exactly the width (or height) of an embed code for a YouTube video. This has been niggling me since the service upped the default width to wider than the column size of this blog. I had to manually work out the height and width and modify the embed code, which was a complete pain.

Simple addition, but it'll make life so much easier.


Flipboard: Changing The Way We Find Content

I've been playing with this on my iPad this morning (like the rest of the social web, it seems):

I've been waiting for a game changing content app to emerge on the device since I laid hands on the iPad - far too many apps are still rooted in the print model of consumption. It's the logical meeting point of social sharing and the interface of the metaphor of the iPad, allowing you to read and view what your friends are sharing in a beautiful layout. 

I'll write more about this app, without any doubt: 
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July 19, 2010

The Only iPhone 4 Post I Need Make

In the future, all news will be reported with unlikely CGI animation...

The Origins of Facebook...

I'm really looking forward to this:

Yes, it's a dramatisation of the founding of Facebook, based on the hugely entertaining book The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook, which I read and enjoyed last year. Highly Recommended.

July 15, 2010

The Social Media Grafting Process

I’ve been very busy with community-related stuff since I got back from my hols.

For one thing, I’ve also been taking a long, hard look at the attempts of gaming company Blizzard to retrofit social networking concepts to its massive online game World of Warcraft. You can see my analysis of that over on my WoW blog, but be aware that it’s written in a very gamer-centric way. I think it’s an interesting model of the dangers of getting community wrong as a corporate entity, in a way that many publishers do when they try to add “community pixie dust” to their existing content sites.

Talking of retro-fitting, I’m finding the efforts to recreate blogging in a social network’s image fascinating. Six Apart have been banging on about this for a while, and the new Typepad is very much a blog-centric social network. But it’s been displaced in traffic terms by one of the new social-centric blogging platforms, Tumblr. Posterous is going though huge growth, too. (Rather ironically, in many ways these services resemble evolved version of Livejournal, the very first blog platform I ever used, back in 2001).

I’ve got a gut feeling that the wheel of innovation is turning away from the self-install blog platforms (of which WordPress is the predominant example) towards the hosted services. Posts like this are becoming more and more common:

Personal yak-shaving over the weekend was mostly tidying up a bunch of non-SVNed WordPress installs that were woefully out-of-date (for various values of woeful) that were busy guilt-tripping me. Next time, it’s hosted software all the way (Tumblr, I’m looking at you).

And has been interesting seeing Posterous rather cheekily marketing itself against most existing blog platforms with posts and e-mails like this:

We’d be crazy to declare war on WordPress. It’s the most popular blog platform in the world — gazillions of bloggers have custom WP installations with plugin functionality that Posterous won’t touch anytime soon.

But WordPress isn’t for everyone, a fact supported by the thousands of WordPress users who have switched to Posterous in the last two weeks. So we thought we’d let some of them tell you why they switched.

I’m seeing more and more interesting new launches on hosted platforms, and I have some thoughts I want to explore about how publishers can work alongside the networked communities on these services (hello, New Yorker on Tumblr. And to test and explore that, I’ve been busy signing up for, and reactivating accounts:

One Man’s Social Blogging

You can find me on:

Feel free to follow me on any of those networks if you play there, too…

July 14, 2010

Social Media Style

So... which bloggers "get" social media best, according to Google?

Google thinks fashion bloggers understand social media better than those covering other industries. So one of the world's most powerful companies is tapping the brains of some of the world's most powerful bloggers in order to get a better sense of how they consume and use media. Google is calling the program GStyle.

Interesting, because the reflexive assumption would be that it's the tech industry. But then, personal experience has show that there are vast swathes of the tech industry that don't "get" social media at all.

July 12, 2010

It's Not What You've Got, It's How You Use It...

A fashion shoot done on an iPhone 3GS:

(He's published some of the final images.)

And here's a movie entirely shot and edited on an iPhone 4:

I realise I might have just undermined your business justification for the £700 digital video camera you had your eye on - but it's about the reporting, not the tools.

(Yes, I'm back. Hi. Miss me?)


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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