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Month: May 2008

I Am Not Blogging

I annoy am not* blogging, because I am on holiday on the south Devon coast.

And I’m only posting this because I’m playing with my iPhone, while Lorna gets me a Guinness.

See you all on Monday.

*Note to self – beware the iPhone’s autocorrect when posting from the pub.

Aksimet: Too Enthusiastic in Spamming Comments?

Akismet logo

Darren of Problogger finally articulates something that has been bothering me for a while: Aksimet, Automattic’s comment spam filtering system, seems to be throwing up a lot of false positives of late. 
I’ve been using Akismet on this blog for a couple of years and we’ve been using it on the RBI blogs for around a year – and generally it’s been good. But too often of late, I’ve been getting e-mails from people saying that they’d left comments, but they never appear on the blog(s). I hope that they get on top of this soon, because I’d rather have more false negatives than any false positives. When you’re having to scan the spam folder in case of false positives most days, your trust in a spam-fighting system is shot, because you’re not that far from just doing the despamming manually.

Forget £8000 Video Cameras – Use a Laptop

We’re doing lots of work on video at RBI in the moment, much of it shepherded by Andrew. One recurring theme we here is how we need to do really high quality stuff – and usually they mean technical quality rather than content quality.

Our highest trafficked blogger – Flight’s Flightblogger – proves how much of a nonsense that attitude can be, by providing his readers with something done using the built-in webcam on his laptop:

Update: Charlie Beckett expresses exactly what I’m trying to say here about video formats:

Stop doing that thing where you try to create a sumptiously produced theatrical experience called studio-based news. Give me something more like Rocketboom. Give me content not packaging.

links for 2008-05-27

Carnival of Journalism: The Reporting Instinct

MacBook at rest

An insanely busy weekend means I've probably missed the boat on this month's Carnival of Journalism, but I thought I'd get my post written anyway. Host Ryan Sholin asked us a question, based on an event he attended: 

What should news organizations stop doing, today, immediately, to make more time for innovation?

And I knew what my response was, as soon as I read the question:

Stop thinking of paper as a news delivery medium.
Some people might say I'm cheating, because I'm not actually suggesting an action people should stop. But then, I don't believe that creating "innovation time" will create any innovation at all. Innovation comes from mindset changes, not time-tabling. And news organisations which aren't adopting this mindset shift are on life support already, even if they're not aware of it.
If your business is predicated on breaking news on paper, give it up now. That's a doomed effort. It ain't going to work. If you don't have competitors now who are breaking news on the web, you will do soon. And that news spreads fast; e-mail, IM, Twitter and even good ol' word of mouth will have your whole target audience aware of the story before the presses roll. And that's a slippery slope you don't want to be on. The moment your reader - your customer - starts thinking "I know most of this already" when your newspaper or magazine lands on their desk, is the moment your fate is sealed. 

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