Stephen Fry has published a second “blessay” (blog essay) on his blog. This one’s all about fame.
Lots of things I was planning on writing about, but won’t manage before I go away:
A model for the 21st century newsroom
We’ve only really seen incremental changes in the way we run newsrooms (and magazine offices). This is a good start for a new way of thinking.
Improving Traditional Media with Social Media
Once you get past the horror of words like “leverage” and “brand”, there’s the germ of some good ideas here.
Blogs and Real Journalism
Are journalists-turned-bloggers offering something distinctly different?
The fun of pun! (Boring bit: are the demands of search engines killing witting headlining, or do we have to think more about the context and utility of headlines?)
Where Did The Community Care Post Go?
Isabel Davies of Farmers Weekly has been diving through the archives of the mag, and has blogged about a startlingly bad piece of prediction in one report from the 1960s…
You know, I keep hearing about how difficult Movable Type is to install & maintain, but I’ve never had any real trouble doing it.
I’m less than happy. Guess I’ll get to find out if that WordPress community is all it’s cracked up to be, if I can’t fix it myself…
Update: Based on some advice I found on forums, I deleted the whole installation, and reinstalled it from scratch. That solved the problem, but destroyed the customised look’n’feel of the site, which is a pain… Not exactly a smooth process.
Here’s some of our happy hacks at work:
It was shot on a mobile phone, so please excuse the lousy quality…
The editor of Travolution regarding me with deep scepticism…
And here’s a selection of cheery journo-bloggers at work:
Here’s the third in my series of guidance documents for journalists, hoping to ease their transition into the blogosphere. As ever, it’s posted here for advice, criticism or mockery…
Many journalists assume that blogging is just a form of opinion writing. And it certainly can be.
If you have a depth of knowledge of your subject and can add genuinely interesting new content which gives the readers the benefit of your expertise, you can add something to the debate already underway around the blogging world.
These blogs can be slow builders in terms of traffic – expertise takes time to establish in the blogosphere. But as other bloggers find your work, enjoy it and link to it, readership can grow steadily.
However, if you aren’t yet an expert on a particular subject matter, this sort of blog is a short road to humiliation. Your readers will, collectively, know a lot more than you. If you’re lucky, they’ll just never return to your blog. If you’re unlucky, they’ll come back and point out your ignorance in great and exacting detail.
irony of railing against reader content as a trade journalist is that
many of our titles started as entirely reader content titles, with
editors selecting or commissioning articles from the most expert people
in various fields. Eventually staffing levels grew, and the bias
slipped towards journalistic content.
A blog that focuses around
linking to the best content elsewhere on the web returns us to those
days: the journalist blogger as guide to the best of the web. The idea
here is simple – there’s a heck of a lot of good, interesting writing
out there on the web. Many of our readers, as busy working folks, don’t
have time to hunt this out for themselves. By guiding them to both the
best content on our sites and elsewhere, you’re providing a valuable
service for them.
Is this time consuming? It shouldn’t be. If
you’re covering a beat, you should have a round of websites you check.
Just link to the best stuff you find as you go – think of it as an open
The Big Biofuels Blog
is much like an iceberg: large, cold and prone to sinking ships. Or,
perhaps more usefully, it’s like an iceberg in that the majority of the
effort is below the surface. The published article is only the very tip
of the research effort that’s gone into building the story. Some people
actually want more than we offer them, more than the limited space a
print publication offers.
Blogging can offer a solution to
this, giving the journalist an opportunity to share additional
research, personal impressions and details of the process behind the
story. And this type of insight can be very popular with readers, too.
People are usually more interested in other people, and giving readers
a glimpse behind the curtain of traditional journalism helps forge a
stronger connection between you and the people you’re writing for.
Why have I bought it? Why am I reading it? Isn’t Mr Keen‘s book an assault on everything to do with the mass publishing revolution we’re seeing on the internet? Isn’t it just a pean of praise to a declining “command and control” media environment that is being rapidly replaced by mass choice?
Well, here’s the thing. Many people on the leading edge of the Web 2.0 movement think we should ignore Mr Keen and his polemic about the horrific consequences for our culture of participatory web culture. “He’s just a troll,” they cry. “Don’t feed him.”
The problem is that he’s far from alone in his views. I’m part of a team (with ‘im and ‘im) who are trying to translate the workings of the modern internet into terms that working journalists grasp – and many of them come out with the same arguments that Keen does. It’s my job to counter these arguments, to understand the flaws in Keen’s logic and to spot the misleading evidence he produces. And, indeed, to understand where he’s right. Because this revolution is going to change media, and it is going to change the career structure of everyone involved in print journalism.
If you’re a working journalist today, it’s between you, your conscience and your bank manager as to whether you think it’s a bad thing or not.
I’ve spent the day sat between two laptops and an iMac leaping between Movable Type, Google Analytics and Technorati, making sure all our traffic and links monitoring are in place for an internal event we’re holding next week. In the course of all this, I’ve stumbled across what appears to have been our most popular post of the month:
It appears that 35,000 people really care about mobile phone batteries: