Info

A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

Posts tagged links

news:rewired

I’ve just finished* running a workshop on analytics for journalists at news:rewired this afternoon.

Here’s a selection of links I promised the attendees to allow them to explore some of the issues contained in the presentation in more detail:

And let this fine five minute rant from The Guardian‘s Chris Moran be a lesson to you all:

The Presentation

*Actually, a lie – I wrote this at midnight the night before, and scheduled the post…

The link bird

Stephen Hackett of 512 Pixels linked to Marcelo Somer’s post about linkblogging:

So what’s going on? Slow news cycle in the summer? Maybe. But the link post is much more to blame. It was pioneered by John Gruber back in 04, and was one of the first forms of simple curation on the web – generally featuring a blockquote from an interesting part of a piece, and then linking directly back to the source.

Hackett comments:

The irony, of course, is that this is, itself, a “linked list” post.

No, the irony is that so many tech bloggers are so deeply unaware of the roots of their profession that they think linkblogging is new. It’s not. It’s where blogging began (or, at least, one of the places). For all Gruber’s talents, he did not pioneer this style of blogging. It existed long before Daring Fireball came to be. 

I was doing it in 2003, but I was a latecomer, aping an attractive style. Andrew Sullivan was an early proponent, and a big influence on me, but his early archives are now gone. (This is the earliest around) If you want to see linkblogging emerge, try starting with the archives of Kottke from March 1998. 1998

Gruber created the “linked list” style of making the headline URL of a linked list direct to the site he’s linking to, not the permalinked page for his post – but that’s a technical style change on top of a long-established medium. 

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Like
Here’s what I liveblogged yesterday:
And there’s a whole bunch of Like Minds photos on Flickr.
More liveblogging about to begin, and probably some more analytical posts a bit later on. 

2010 is staggering towards the finishing line, all but spent in the convulsions of iPad lust, paywall panic and Wikileak wailing. It’s been quite a year for journalism, but one that’s been more marked by wishful thinking and panic than actual progress, to my mind, anyway.

Let’s see if the facts bear that our shall we? Here are the top 10 posts published on this blog in 2010 by traffic:

  1. Internet Stat Porn 2010 – It’s just a video. This is testament to the power of the words “internet” and “porn” in a headline…
  2. On Those Times Paywall Numbers – Golly gosh. A post on The Times and paywalls topping the (non-porn) charts? Who’da thunk it? A link from Greenslade helped with that…
  3. A Reader’s Safari – a surprise to me, this one. A post about the new Reader feature in Safari, which strips all extraneous page clutters to present a clean reading view. Perhaps people are more interested in clean web design than I thought…
  4. Who Cares About The Front Page? – A small rant, this time about people who equate journalism with national newspapers. Frankly, the thoughtless abuse of the word “journalism” has been one of my bugbears this year.
  5. Science Online: Cultures Clash Over Infographics – data journalism poster boy David McCandless gets a roasting from scientists over his axes and other points of weakness. The highest viewed conference liveblog post – and it’s not from the “big” events like Like Minds or Le Web. Niches are the future…
  6. iPad Magazines – Not Beating The Web – Ah, the iPad. Probably the second biggest driver of traffic to my  blog this year other than paywall discussion (and stat porn). It’s depressing how little has changed in the six months since this was written. iPad magazine apps are still, in the main, rubbish.
  7. What Does Facebook Like Do For Blog Traffic? – Traffic was largely driven to this post by Facebook Likes. Of course.
  8. Factchecking, Wikipedia and Basic Journalistic Credibility – Yes, so journalists’ brains turn to mush when confronted with the internet, and they do stupid things like copying information from Wikipedia without fact-checking. Lots of tweets and comments for this post – something of a hot button issue, clearly.
  9. The Paywalled Times – An Online Private Members Club. Oh, look. The Times. And paywalls…
  10. news:rewired: Crowdsourcing – the second liveblog of the top 10, this time from the first and best of the news:rewired conferences. (Of which there were three this year – at least one too many, I think.) Good old verbal punch-up between the new media hacks and the old school types. Simmering resentment boiling over; that sort of thing. All good fun.

Disappointingly few surprises in there. The obvious targets are all hit: paywalls, iPads and the desperate hope that a magic bullet will turn up and allow us to save journalism with one shot. Somehow this list feels, well, predictable to me. It feels like it needs shaking up a little more; it needs an injection of ideas from outwith our bubble. And that pretty much confirms what I suspected was my mistake with OM&HB in 2010 – but that’s fodder for another post.