Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Simon Waldman interviewed

[Keyword: ]. Journalism.co.uk have finally pinned down the much-in-demand Guardian's Director of Digital Publishing Simon Waldman for a lengthy interview. Here's the key quotes:
"I still think we're way ahead of the pack among newspapers and the BBC only ever nudges ahead because it has such a vast resource to play with.

"I think the WashingtonPost has done some interesting things recently with mash-ups and Technorati, and at the other end of the scale I think the way that the Newbury Weekly News has adopted video is really quite spectacular given the scale of its operation."

"... Everyone is on podcast alert at the moment and that's not a bad thing, although there is a danger of oversupply into the market.

"Within 12 months we'll have a much clearer picture of the real value of this, both in terms of audience and advertising. I have no doubt video will be next and we'll see an increasingly wide range of offerings from different organisations.

"The point about homogeneity is an important one and we need things to kick against it.

"The first is truly distinctive content - in particular for newspaper sites that means original news reporting and informed analysis.

"The second is the community of users - and the way that publishers let them interact with the site and with each other."

Monday, February 27, 2006

Why journalists should use Firefox

[Keyword: ]. If you've not already been converted to the merits of Firefox, or if you just want to know how to use it better, there's an extensive and very helpful posting at PR Blogger on how to use the browser for researching, covering extensions, bookmarklets and browser engines.

Sadly, I've been having increasing problems with Firefox - at work it won't work with any membership-based sites (e.g. Amazon and Google's Personalised Homepage), while at home it no longer connects to the internet at all. I'm assuming this is a firewall issue, so if anyone has any suggestions...

Friday, February 24, 2006

State of the Blogosphere, Part 2

[Keyword: ]. Now these days I read so much about blogs that I barely post about the medium if I can help it. We know how important they are, we know how they work, and we know which ones are influential, and which ones make money. But I'm making an exception for David Sifry's excellent post about "some of the emerging trends that deal with handling information overload" - warning: it mentions Long Tail (credit to Simon Waldman for his link). Here's his summary:
  • "Blogging and Mainstream Media continue to share attention in blogger's and reader's minds, but bloggers are climbing higher on the "big head" of the attention curve, with some bloggers getting more attention than sites including Forbes, PBS, MTV, and the CBC.
  • "Continuing down the attention curve, blogs take a more and more significant position as the economics of the mainstream publishing models make it cost prohibitive to build many nice sites and media
  • "Bloggers are changing the economics of the trade magazine space, with strong entries covering WiFi, Gadgets, Internet, Photography, Music, and other nice topic areas, making it easier to thrive, even on less aggregate traffic.
  • "There is a network effect in the Technorati Top 100 blogs, with a tendency to remain highly linked if the blogger continues to post regularly and with quality content.
  • "Looking at the historical data shows that the inertia in the Top 100 is very low - in other words, the number of new blogs jumping to the top of the Top 100 as well as he blogs that have fallen out of the top 100 show that the network effect is relatively weak.
  • "The Magic Middle is the 155,000 or so weblogs that have garnered between 20 and 1,000 inbound links. It is a realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere.
  • "Technorati Explore is a new feature that uses the authoritative topical bloggers as a distributed editorial team, highlighting the most interesting blog posts and links in over 2,500 categories.
  • "The new Filter By Authority slider makes it easy to refine a search and look for either a wider array of thoughts and opinions, or to narrow the search to only bloggers that have lots of other people linking to them. This gives you the power to decide how much filtering you want. "
It's worth reading in full - as well as his previous report, which covers the overall growth of the blogosphere.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The future of the newspaper (again)

[Keyword: ]. Ben Compaine isn't mincing his words over at Rebuilding Media, as he reports on the final day of a symposium in Washington to brainstorm the future of the newspaper.
"The symposium is part of the “Newspaper Next: The Transformation Project” of the American Press Institute ... a $2 million year-long project that seeks to “conceive and test new business models to help newspapers thrive in the next decade” It has hired some high priced Harvard Business School professors as consultants to collaborate with the “25 industry innovators and thought-leaders” who will produce the report later this year.

"...Among the pushing-the-envelop goals of “Newspaper Next" are
  • Assess the threat to newspapers in the next decade, including emerging competition
  • Determine opportunities for newspapers, including implementation of available new technology
  • Suggest executable new business initiatives – products, services and strategies – with detailed rationales

"This is what $2 million antied up in 2006 gets? Seems to this observer that any newspaper-owning company that has not had its own task force and consultants analyze the external environment by now is incompetent and should sell out and get into the slide rule business. Any publisher who has not taken advantage of dozens of studies, scores of blogs from some very savvy current and former newspaper people among others, and the accumulated insights from 10 years (mid-1980s-mid-1990s) of being warned that big change was coming and 10 years of living with these changes should be stripped of his or her titles and forced to use a typewriter forever. And any publishing enterprise that does not have a thick book of possible initiatives now in progress or worth considering should be prohibited from ever buying another ton of newsprint. Where have these folks been for 20 years?"

Too true, Ben. Too true.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blog updates by email? If it works

[Keyword: ]. For a long time now I've wished for a service that emailed me the latest headlines from my RSS feeds, instead of having to check Bloglines every day (which I never have time to do), so I was particularly pleased to discover Bot A Blog, which not only promises to do just that, but will also provide your blog with a button so people can subscribe to an email (especially welcome given my problems with Yahoo! Groups).

Only problem is, I'm not sure whether it actually works. So far, nothing has come through from my subscription to this blog, and when I've tried it on my other blogs (Interactive PR and Web and New Media) it says I'm already subscribed. I've tried a group subscription to some other blogs, so we'll see what happens.

Digital Edge award winners

[Keyword: ]. Pop over to Cyberjournalist for a rundown on the winners of Digital Edge awards, and associated comments. But what a shame they don't provide hyperlinks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Guardian Unlimited goes mobile

[Keyword: ]. Forgive me for playing catch-up here, but followers of news technology will be keeping an eye on the Guardian's move into mobile content: you can sign up for a free trial to get a real feel for it.

The Next Big Things for Newspapers: Podcasting, Vodcasting

[Keyword: ]. Editor & Publisher wakes up to the podcasting hype with an overview of the trend and who's been using podcasts in their news offerings. Summing up quote:
"The danger in getting "too professional" in newspaper podcasting is that it becomes just a clone of traditional TV newscasting -- something most newspaper podcast pioneers say they're trying to avoid. "I think there's room for something that's different, and perhaps quirkier, than broadcast news," says Asakawa. "Podcasting is still at a stage where that DIY ethic informs the sound more than the need for strict structure and a bunch of rules.""

Monday, February 20, 2006

Students explore online journalism forms

[Keyword: ]. My current class of Online Journalism students are all maintaining blogs about a particular type of, well, online journalism. If you want to take a look, here are the links:

All comments gratefully received - or post to the blog in question.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Student Experiment in the New News

[Keyword: ]. One to watch: Poynter reports on what should be an interesting experiment, "News for the 21st Century" where "[40] student journalists will work together to develop multiple stories revolving around a single topic. They also are being challenged to use the unique capabilities offered by Web publishing to tell these stories in novel, engaging ways."

Tools for online journalists

Another citizen journalism venture?

[Keyword: ]. More good stuff at the OJR (can you tell I'm catching up on my email?), including a refreshingly cynical piece on citizen journalism ("despite all the recent hum and chuff about Web 2.0, there has been surprisingly little progress in "journalism 2.0.""). Here's a quote to whet your appetite:
"Of all the startups entering the news marketplace in the last year, I've only seen one that could be a viable platform for online journalism.

Newsvine is a Seattle-based company started by former Disney and ESPN staffers. Their site newsvine.com launched an invitation-only preview beta in January. The site publishes news feeds from the Associated Press and ESPN, and then gives users the ability to comment on those stories, publish their own stories, write their own blog, and vote which articles should receive the most attention. (You can find a detailed overview of the site's features on solutionwatch.com.)"

Teaching the future of journalism

[Keyword: ]. On the subject of teaching journalism (see post below), the OJR has a lengthy report on a Poynter seminar on 'convergence journalism':
"Questions and concerns expressed at the seminar covered a lot of ground, but they fell into identifiable categories that raised issues with specific implications for how we teach journalism. Here are the main concerns, many of them new revelations about convergence, with discussion points that were raised, and at least guidance, if not answers, suggested as paths that educators could pursue:"
His list is worth reading in detail but here's the headlines:
1. Online video is not TV news.
2. New tools, new possibilities
3. Trust the audience
4. Audio directions
5. The basics still matter
6. The 24-hour news cycle requires greater creativity and depth

Online journalism educators survey

[Keyword: ]. I'm currently undertaking a survey of online journalism educators, so if you teach online journalism in the UK - whether as a whole module or a single class - please take a minute to visit http://www.paulbradshaw.co.uk/survey/.

If you're interested in finding out more, email me at paul.bradshaw@uce.ac.uk

Friday, February 03, 2006

NUJ's witness code slated by industry pundits

[Keyword: ]. Excellent roundup of the criticism by journalism.co.uk:

"The National Union of Journalists' code of practice for citizen journalists is being dutifully and systematically dissected by high profile web journalists, variously labelling it 'braindead', 'impractical' and a 'bloody awful mess'.

"A barrage of criticism came from Emily Bell, Simon Waldman and Jeff Jarvis at Guardian Unlimited and assistant editor Neil McIntosh gave the code a particularly brutal fisking on his blog, here and here."

Print journos want to be TV stars

[Keyword: ]. That's what I really think the motivation is behind the increasing move in regional news towards web broadcasting - as reported recently on Journalism.co.uk:
"Regional newspaper publisher Archant is the latest organisation to trial video bulletins, adding four-minute news reports to its Eastern Daily Press (EDP)
"...People expect more and more from information websites and want deeper,
richer media - video and audio content," he told journalism.co.uk."We think that
short-form bulletins of four or five minutes will appeal to a number of people
who look at the site every day."
"Video bulletins have been running internally for three weeks and were
introduced to the EDP site last week. They have been cheap and simple to do,
said Mr Davies, produced by existing staff with broadcast skills and using the
£300 desktop editing programme Visual
"The current bulletins are studio-based reports but footage could be
gathered by Archant's local news reporters in the field. Mr Davies said it is
too early to predict how video content or advertising might be developed
throughout the network but response to the four-month trial will be monitored.
"Archant will also be watching the outcome of the ITV Local pilot, which provides
local video news reports, video classifieds and users' footage for Brighton and
Hastings, and the BBC
Local TV
project. The BBC's project is based in six regions in the West
covers part of an area in Suffolk served by two Archant titles; the Eastern Daily Press and tabloid Evening Star.In a
population of 25,000, Felixstowe TV claims to have built an impressive audience
of around 32,000 unique users each month. As much as 15 per cent of traffic is
generated by ex-pats and visitors spend as much as two hours on the site."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Web now "core" to NYT

[Keyword: ]. A brief posting at Poynter points towards a report on comments by Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. at the World Economic Forum. "The Web is no longer "ancillary" to the future of the New York Times," reports Poynter; "it's now "core" and has more readers than the print edition, according to Sulzberger [who] said the print edition still generates substantially more revenue than online."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why you should still check out Interactive Narratives

[Keyword: ]. I've spoken about Interactive Narratives website before - but here's their latest mailing in case you need convincing to sign up...

"9 sites have been added to the Interactive Narratives site entries. You can find the list on Interactive Narratives. The new entries include:

Return to Space
[Edge, The (Sun-Sentinel)]
The launch of Discovery marks NASA’s first shuttle flight since the loss of Columbia in February 2003. NASA’s engineers have made numerous changes suggested by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board in a final year report released in August 2003.

Destripamos Un iPod
[El Pais]
A look at how the iPod works and includes an inside look.

Descripcion de la tecnologia
[El Pais]
La Cadena Ser incorpora esta nueva tecnologia que permite a los oyentes de la cadena descargar de forma automatica sus programas favoritos de radio en el ordenador y escucharlos en su reproductor MP3.

Last Mysteries of the Titanic
[Discovery Online]
Take a virtual dive for a behind-the-scenes look at the technology involved. Explorers have studied and picked over the wreck of the Titanic for the past two decades. Now, the smallest-ever remotely operated vehicles bring lights and cameras to reveal entire rooms of the ship that haven’t been seen in almost a century. What those cameras find will be seen instantly – here on the Web and on televisions across the United States – in a live broadcast.

Del Comic Al Cine
[El Pais]
A look at the top 11 super hero comic book characters.

Goya in San Antonio de la Florida
[El Mundo]
Tras 16 anos de restauracion en tres fases diferentes, los frescos que pinto Goya en 1798 has sido presentados al publico. Madrid recupera uno de sus tesoros mas importantes de su patrimonio historico-aristico.

Selected letters by Eric Rudolph
[USA Today]
Patricia Rudolph believed her son Eric, one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, was incapable of the four bombings he was accused of committing between 1996 and 1998. But on April 13, he pleaded guilty to bombings at the Atlanta Summer Olympics, two abortion clinics and a gay nightclub.

Girando Con Ojos De Brujo
[El Pais]
La branda mas mestiza presenta un DVD en directo

[El Pais]
La energia eolica se ha convertido en una de las energies renovables mas utilizadas. Las empresas espenolas ocupan los primeros puestos en produccion de estas tecnologias."

Why local newspapers must change - and how

[Keyword: ]. Great analysis and suggestions for changing local newspapers in the new media lanscape (ignore the American-specific references) from Jeff Jarvis

Handbook on the use of Internet for journalistic purposes

[Keyword: ]. Indian Online Journalism reports that "UNESCO has published a handbook for journalists of developing countries on the use of Internet for journalistic purposes. The handbook has been published in collaboration with the Thomson Foundation and Commonwealth Broadcasting Association ...
http://www.newswatch.in/index.php?itemid=3135 "