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October 14 2010

15:20

Financial Times launches iPad app for Chinese edition

The Financial Times has launched its FTChinese.com app for iPad.

The  app is compatible with both the wi-fi and 3G iPad models and allows readers to download content to browse offline. It is sponsored by watchmaker Rolex.

The launch follows the FT’s highly successful iPad app, launched in May, which has attracted around 400,000 downloads and generated more than £1 million in advertising revenue. According to global commercial director Ben Hughes, the iPad now accounts for 10 per cent of the paper’s new digital subscriptions.

Oliver Zhang, senior product manager at FTChinese.com said: “The iPad is another exciting platform providing readers with FTChinese.com’s high quality content. Our objective is to allow users to read award-winning content on the move as well as  interact further with the website’s dynamic features such as slide shows, videos and interactive quizzes.”Similar Posts:



October 05 2010

14:19

OJR: What Whrrl and sitckybits can do for journalism

Robert Hernandez takes an interesting look at two new web tools over on the Online Journalism Review website, offering his thoughts on how new social media technologies could be used by the news industry for ‘real-world’ user engagement.

The first tool, Whrrl, collects images and notes and groups them geographically, enabling an individual to share and view their activities on a map. Hernandez discusses its basic use, to share for example the experience of a birthday with those who could not be there in person. Now swap the word ‘birthday’ to ‘election’, he says.

Reporters and citizens are posting their experiences — comments, photos, videos, etc. — at polling sites, leaving a virtual marker filled with content for others to add or re-live. This would also work for a sporting event, a protest/rally or any news event where people gather in one location. Collectively, we can capture the moment in real-time with rich multimedia. This doesn’t replace the article or video piece, but can really enhance them.

The second tool is stickybits, which is a way of attaching digital content to everyday objects using a sticker barcode which when scanned with a smartphone reveals the experiences of those who have already used the technology there.

Imagine going to a polling place where people can scan a sticker to read or leave messages. The only way to get that unique experience from that polling place is to be at that location.

From news to reviews, we could possibly embed our stories on anything and anywhere. And, more importantly, we can get user engagement. We’re not talking about from behind a computer, we’re talking about out in real life.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



September 27 2010

09:53

NYTimes: Apple dominate technology news, suggests Pew study

The Times’ Media Decoder Blog: Analysis from the US-based Pew Research Center suggests Apple and its products dominate US technology news reports with 15.1 per cent of tech articles surveyed by the centre over the past year focusing primarily on the company.

It’s not as if Microsoft lacks for public relations people. But Apple is especially effective at seizing journalists’ attention, said Amy S. Mitchell, the deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, citing the anticipation for new devices and Apple’s “very public way of releasing products.”

Full story on NYTimes.com at this link…Similar Posts:



September 21 2010

09:31

Inc.com: TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington on breaking news and building trust

Great interview with TechCrunch founder and serial entrepreneur Michael Arrington on his approach to publishing, journalism and work.

On breaking news:

We break more big stories than everyone else combined in tech – and that’s not prebriefed news or something that was handed to us. I judge my own performance based on that. When we break a story, that’s a point. When someone else breaks a story, we’re minus a point. And I want to be positive points.

On dealing with sensitive information:

Negotiating with companies over how news breaks is a big part of what we do. I don’t think traditional journalists would do this or admit to it, but a source might say, “Yeah, we just got bought, but can you please not write about it for a week, because it might kill the deal?” Unless I know lots of other journalists are sniffing around, I generally defer to the entrepreneur. We probably lose half of those stories, but it’s the right thing to do. It builds trust. People aren’t going to tell you things if they don’t trust you.

Full post on Inc.com at this link…Similar Posts:



September 20 2010

09:58

September 16 2010

09:41

Times and Sunday Times sites launching new dashboard feature

News International’s paywalled newspaper sites TheTimes.co.uk and SundayTimes.co.uk are launching a new feature which aims to enable readers to keep track of stories of interest.

The Dashboard tool will become available to readers on the site over the next few days, an announcement on TheTimes.co.uk says.

We hope this latest addition to our websites will help you to personalise your news and get straight to the stories that are important to you.

The tool will notify readers when their favourite sections publish new articles and when a previously read article is updated. It also provides them with a history of read articles which they can quickly link back to.

Commenting on the new feature, paidContent’s Robert Andrews said the tool shows how the service is taking advantage of its online platform.

You can’t do that in print. It’s also somewhat unique amongst news websites, even if it is essentially a friendlier version of RSS-type functionality.

Similar Posts:



September 09 2010

10:26

What the BBC learned from using Crowdmap tool to cover tube strikes

On Tuesday, Journalism.co.uk reported that the BBC were using Ushahidi’s new Crowdmap technology to record and illustrate problems on the London Underground caused by the day’s tube strikes.

The BBC’s Claire Wardle has helpfully followed up on her experiences with a post on the College of Journalism website explaining how it went, what they changed and what they would like to do with the technology next time.

She explains the reasoning behind decisions taken throughout the day to amend their use of the platform, such as moving across to Open Street Map as a default mapping tool and the introduction of a time stamp at the start of each headline. She also provides some suggestions on how the platform could be improved in the future, including provisions for greater information outside of the map.

It would have be useful if there’d been a scrolling news bar at the top so we could have put out topline information which we knew everyone could see by just going to the map. Something like ‘the Circle Line is suspended’ or ‘the roads are really starting to build with traffic’ was very hard to map.

See the full post here…Similar Posts:



September 07 2010

10:39

Tumblr improves attribution process

Tumblr has announced an upgrade of its attribution feature which will now only provide attribution to original sources within the post content, rather than all re-bloggers.

In the announcement on its staff blog, Tumblr says the upgrade was needed to fix issues within its automatic ‘via’ system, such as links being dropped, credit being buried under re-blog links, frequent mistaken attributions and the resulting impact on post appearance.

Starting today, reblogging will no longer insert attribution into the content/caption of the post except to quote content added by the parent post.

The new feature will also enable authors to attribute content to a source outside of Tumblr which will then be attributed whenever the post is reblogged on Tumblr, while the entire reblog history will remain in the post notes.Similar Posts:



September 03 2010

10:56

Why the US and UK are leading the way on semantic web

Following his involvement in the first Datajournalism meetup in Berlin earlier this week, Martin Belam, the Guardian’s information architect, looks at why the US and UK may have taken the lead in semantic web, as one audience member suggested on the day.

In an attempt to try and answer the question, he puts forward four themes on his currybet.net blog that he feels may play a part. In summary, they are:

  • The sharing of a common language which helps both nations access the same resources and be included in comparative datasets.
  • Competition across both sides of the pond driving innovation.
  • Successful business models already being used by the BBC and even more valuably being explained on their internet blogs.
  • Open data and a history of freedom of information court cases which makes official information more likely to be made available.

On his full post here he also has tips for how to follow the UK’s lead, such as getting involved in hacks and hackers type events.Similar Posts:



September 01 2010

15:37

10,000 Words: Making better use of location-based networks

Inspired by the successes of location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla, Mark Luckie offers some starting-points over on his 10,000 Words blog about how journalists and publishers could make better use of the technology.

His suggestions include greater exploitation of first person media by pulling together items such as tweets, photographs and audio recorded within a geographical area for a multimedia record of events or news.

Luckie adds that newsrooms could create apps or check-in alerts which centre on the technology which is able to pinpoint places of interest, such as cinemas, restaurants and shops near to a mobile phone user and then provide them with relevant reviews and articles.

With a little extra tinkering, an app can also aggregate reviews from other locals or like-minded movie viewers.

(…) So far though, the majority of those companies that are exploring and taking advantage of the technology fall outside of the journalism realm. Hopefully, as these services and social media applications become more mainstream, newsrooms will be more likely to adopt them for their own uses.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



August 20 2010

11:11

Poligraft: the transparency tool set to make investigative journalism easier

The Sunlight Foundation has launched a new tool – Poligraft – to encourage greater transparency of public figures and assist journalists in providing the extra details behind stories.

By scanning news articles, press releases or blog posts, which can be submitted to the program by inserting the URL or pasting the entire article, the technology can then pick out people or organisations and identify the financial or political links between them.

Discussing the impact of this technology, Megan Taylor writes on PoynterOnline that it is a simple yet powerful tool for the news industry.

Anyone can use this, but it could be especially powerful in the hands of hands of journalists, bloggers, and others reporting or analyzing the news. It would take hours to look these things up by hand, and many people don’t know how to find or use the information.

Journalists could paste in their copy to do a quick check for connections they might have missed. Bloggers could run Poligraft on a series of political stories to reveal the web of contributions leading to a bill. All this information is public record, but it’s never easy to dig through. What is possible when investigative journalism is made just a little bit easier?

See a video below from the Sunshine Foundation posted on Youtube explaining how the technology works:

Hatip: EditorsweblogSimilar Posts:



10:38

Could technology actually be a gateway to long-form journalism?

There’s a useful post on PoynterOnline this week in which author Mallary Jean Tenore details some of the best tools and technologies available which support the future of long-form journalism on the web.

These include Nate Weiner’s Read It Later, which can “save, share and organize URLs”. He explains that this means users can return to the whole article offline at their own leisure, rather than simply bookmarking the URL.

“Read It Later is essentially the article’s second chance. It actually improves the likelihood that the article will be seen,” Weiner said via e-mail. “If any article is there, the user put it there. And in order for a user to have put it there, they would have to have visited the publisher’s site.”

Other examples include Marco Arment’s Instapaper, which not only saves web pages but also creates RSS feeds of saved stories and an ‘Editor’s Picks’ feature based on the most bookmarked content and Twitter account @LongReads, created by Mark Armstrong, for a constant stream of long-form journalism examples.

See her full post here…Similar Posts:



August 16 2010

16:34

Nieman: Exploring a niche for non-niche fact-checking

There are a number of fact-checking platforms online, including PolitiFact, FactCheck and Meet the Facts. “The efforts are admirable. They’re also, however, atomised,” writes Nieman Journalism Lab’s Megan Garber.

Now Andrew Lih, associate professor of new media at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism and author of The Wikipedia Revolution, has plans to bring the scope of the wiki format to the world of fact-checking with WikiFactCheck.

WikiFactCheck wants not only to crowdsource, but also to centralise, the fact-checking enterprise, aggregating other efforts and creating a framework so extensive that it can also attempt to be comprehensive. There’s a niche, Lih believes, for a fact-checking site that’s determinedly non-niche.

Full story at this link…Similar Posts:



August 13 2010

16:02

Resources for journalists covering the floods in Pakistan

As the extent of the devastation caused by recent flooding in Pakistan continues to emerge, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s service AlertNet has some fantastic resources for journalists covering the disaster.

Firstly, there’s a directory of contacts telling journalists which aid agencies are working in the region. This directory is available for other humanitarian and crisis situations too.

On top of this you can use the site’s agency news feed, which carries the latest press releases issued by the groups working on the ground.

Related reading: Read how citizen journalism sites in Pakistan have sourced on-the-ground coverage for mainstream news organisations.Similar Posts:



August 10 2010

12:12
11:40

Crisis-mapping platform Ushahidi launches new simple service

Open source crisis-mapping platform Ushahidi has launched a new service for the less technically minded user.

Crowdmap enables anyone to rapidly deploy the platform on a subdomain without the need for any installation.

Testing the platform yesterday Curt Hopkins from ReadWriteWeb.com came into some difficulties, but the company say these have now been ironed out. Hopkins added that if the problems are sorted, the platform has significant potential for supporting blogging in difficult situations.

Crowdmap, if it works without inducing aneurysms, may have the potential that blogging did in areas of conflict and high censorship: anyone with basic tech access and determination should be able to download, launch and run a Crowdmap deployment.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



August 06 2010

15:29

Zinio and Rolling Stone launch first iTunes-integrated iPad app

Zinio, a leading digital publishing company, has teamed up with Rolling Stone magazine to offer iPad an iTunes-integrated feature.

For Rolling Stone’s ’500 Greatest Songs Of All Time’ issue, users of the Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader App on their iPads will be able to listen to samples and buy the tracks on iTunes through the application as they read about them in the magazine.

Rolling Stone executive editor Jason Fine said: These are all the songs you need to have on your iPad. With Zinio, you can listen to the songs while you read, giving our audience an exciting way to experience the list.”

The interactive edition will be available on other platforms, and can be sampled on your PC here.Similar Posts:



10:35

Google Wave: Then and now

After less than a year of being available to the public, Google Wave is being phased out as the web giant admits that it hasn’t attracted enough users.

It was unveiled to great fanfare in May 2009, and was heralded by some online tech sites as the future of e-mail and online collaboration, but what are those sites saying now that it’s bitten the dust?

TechCrunch

TechCrunch then (May 2009): “Wave offers a very sleek and easy way to navigate and participate in communication on the web that makes both email and instant messaging look stale”

“It’s ambitious as hell — which we love — but that also leaves it open to the possibility of it falling on its face. But that’s how great products are born. And the potential reward is huge if Google has its way as the ringleader of the complete transition to our digital lives on the web.”

TechCrunch now: “Maybe it was just ahead of its time. Or maybe there were just too many features to ever allow it to be defined properly.”

ReadWriteWeb

ReadWriteWeb then (June 2009): “Once you get into the flow of things, regular email suddenly feels stale and slow. ”

“Like any great tool, Wave gives its users a lot of flexibility and never gets in your way.”

ReadWriteWeb now: “Why did Wave fail? Maybe because if you don’t call it an ‘email-killer’ (and you shouldn’t) then you’d have to call it a ‘product, platform and protocol for distributed, real time, app-augmented collaboration.’ That’s daunting and proved accessible to too few people.”

“Maybe this failure should be chalked up as another example of how Google ‘doesn’t get social’ in terms of user experience or successful evangelism. After an immediate explosion of hype, it never felt like Google was really trying very hard with Wave.”

Mashable

Mashable then (May 2009): “Our initial impression of Google Wave is a very positive one. Despite being an early build, communication is intuitive and not cluttered at all. User control is even more robust than we first expected (…) [I]t’s not as complicated as it seems at first look. It’s only slightly more complicated than your standard email client.”

Mashable now: “The product might’ve been more successful had it been integrated into Gmail (basic e-mail notifications weren’t even part of the launch), though Google hasn’t had much success with Buzz in that department either.

“In any event, Wave represents another disappointment in Google’s long line of attempts at social, an area in which the company is now reportedly eyeing a completely new approach. Shutting down Wave, it would seem, is a logical step in moving on.”

Pocket-lint

Pocket-lint then (October 2009): “Google Wave in its current state is an impotent, stunted, stub of a web service, which is functional at best, and buggy at worst. But it’s also the future. Consider the state of Twitter in 2007 – it was just a website with little messages that people pushed out via SMS. No one was terribly impressed.”

Pocket-lint now: “Although the web at large hasn’t embraced Wave in the way in which Google would have hoped, it is a sad day for its users. But it is a platform that would have only really worked if it reached out to a mass audience, and disappointingly, it never did.”

Techie Buzz

Techie Buzz then (September 2009): “Wave is an awesome real-time service for sharing docs, sending emails and much more. In-fact it is the most anticipated product of the year and people are already desperate to get their hands on a invite.”

Techie Buzz now: “I still believe that Wave deserved all the attention it received. It truly was a revolutionary service. Unfortunately, Wave might have been too different for its own good. Many failed to grasp the concept of Wave and struggled to get started, while several others grew frustrated with the chaotic nature of an open ended communication platform like Wave.”

Finally, from Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani, who wrote a book on Google Wave with Adam Pash, an elegy for the beleagured platform:

Wave is a tool I love and use daily, and this announcement makes Adam’s and my user guide essentially a history book, an homage to a product that I believe was simply ahead of its time.

I respect any product that shoots as high as Wave did, even if it misses in the market.

Similar Posts:



July 21 2010

10:22

World’s first social magazine launches on iPad

Flipboard, the world’s first personalised social magazine, has been launched on the iPad, offering its users a magazine packaged collection of the news, features, videos and images circulating within their social networks.

The app was masterminded by Mike McCue, former CEO of Tellme and Evan Doll, former senior iPhone engineer at Apple and is getting its first public demonstration later today.

Because Flipboard renders links and images right in the magazine, readers no longer have to scan long lists of posts and click on link after link – instead they instantly see all the stories, comments and images, making it faster and more entertaining to discover, view and share social content.

Flipboard also lets readers easily create sections around topics or people they care about. Choose from Flipboardʼs suggested sections on topics such as sports, news, tech and style, with content hand-curated from popular and interesting Twitter feeds. Or, create an entirely new section by searching by topic, person or Twitter list to make Flipboard even more personal.

See a demonstration video below, courtesy of Inside Flipboard:

See the site at this link…Similar Posts:



July 16 2010

14:16

‘Apptop publishing’ technology targets bloggers and independents

London-based Publisha has launched a new product and coined a new digital media term in one fell swoop – the company is targeting bloggers and independent digital publishers with its ‘apptop’ publishing device, designed for distributing content across a range of mobile devices and social networks.

Essentially it provides one content management system to create a basic website, Facebook ‘articles’ tab on your fan page, an iPad and smartphone application and is developing analytics, Twitter integration and an ad-serving platform.

“Publisha offers a new way of bringing content to readers. Unlike PDF readers, we’re not trying to replicate print magazines, but rather focus on offering a service to bloggers, writers and publishers who don’t want the constraints of a traditional magazine layout. Publisha allows even small teams to easily publish across multiple digital platforms, gain readers effectively and monetise their work in a complete ecosystem,” says Publisha’s CEO Ian Howlett in a release.

But the company is particularly interested in Facebook applications – it sees these as a way for specialist and more niche publishers to find readers with common interests and open up a network. Creating news feeds to Facebook fan pages is at present rather unintuitive and clunky – tools like Publisha could offer an easier way around this, though more customisation would be a plus. See it in action on the Facebook page for US bridal magazine Bodas USA:

Similar Posts:



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