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August 10 2012

15:43

Two linked data journalism workshops for hacks and hackers

Following on from the sold-out Data Journalism Camp in 2011, DEN has combined forces with the MADE project to offer two linked workshops this autumn.

Download the flyer here
  • DJCAMP2012 with Paul Bradshaw and Megan Knight is aimed journalists who want to turn data into compelling stories and runs from 9:30am on Friday, September 21 to 5pm on Saturday, September 22 in the Media Factory  on the University of Central Lancashire's Preston Campus.
  • If you want to learn how to build your own data scraper and have at least a basic understanding of software development languages Ruby and / or Python, then there's a four-hour Scraping Masterclass with ScraperWiki founder Julian Todd from 9:30am to 1:30pm on Saturday, September 22, also in the Media Factory. 

Both DJCAMP2012 and the Scraping Masterclass are being co-sponsored by the MADE Project and the School of Journalism, Media and Communication at UCLan,

More information and registration details are available HERE

December 21 2011

15:00

Paul Bradshaw: Collaboration! Data! 2012 will see news outlets turning talk into action

Editor’s Note: We’re wrapping up 2011 by asking some of the smartest people in journalism what the new year will bring.

Next up is Paul Bradshaw, the author of the Online Journalism Handbook and a visiting professor at City University London.

The problem with making predictions is that a year is too short a timescale; and five is too long. The secret, I’ve realized, is to actually talk about things you already know are going to happen, and then accept all the glory when they actually do.

Having broken the Magicians’ Circle of journalistic punditry, then, here are the developments I see shaping 2012.

1. 2012 will be the year we finally move away from the traditional homepage

Liveblogging has been taken up by the news industry more enthusiastically than perhaps any other web-native form of journalism. It’s sticky, great for SEO, and provides a simple way to turn a newsroom used to daily news cycles into a rolling news operation.

Indeed, its influence has been so great that some news organizations are seriously considering the very way they present their news — and in 2012 I think that influence will generate significant changes in how certain media organizations make that presentation.

The “stream” as an interface will move from being the preserve of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to being a serious consideration for news website homepages. We’re all 24-hour news channels now.

2. In 2012, “Collaboration Is King”

If you’re not already tired of conference speakers staging their own coronations where some aspect of journalism is crowned “king” — from content to curation and context to conversation — expect there to be another one in 2012.

I’m betting on “collaboration”: partly with users who have valuable expertise to share; but also between media organizations, strapped for cash and looking for new economies and new opportunities.

3. News organizations turn talk into action on data

In 2009 and 2010, the MPs’ expenses and Wikileaks stories helped news organizations see the potential of data journalism. In 2011, they spent plenty of time talking about it. In 2012, more of them will be ready to start doing it.

At the BBC, the College of Journalism has embarked upon a significant training program to build data journalism literacy among the corporation’s journalists, with other broadcasters making plans in the same area. The Guardian and The FT continue to set the pace for the UK newspaper industry, and the magazine industry is starting to look at the possibilities of data, too.

This slow skilling up of journalists can expect to get a fresh injection of pace with further open data developments in 2012, from the UK government’s attempt to stimulate the economy with further data releases, to the “carrot and stick” of pushing releases of data at an EU level. Any news organization that is serious about its fourth estate role is building the skills to interrogate those datasets.

June 03 2011

09:51

Speaker presentations: Session 2A – Developing the data story

Here are the presentations from Session 1A – ‘The data journalism toolkit’, at last week’s news:rewired conference.

The session featured:

With: Professor Paul Bradshaw, visiting professor, City University and founder, helpmeinvestigate.com; Alastair Dant, lead interactive technologist, the Guardian; Federica Cocco, editor, OWNI.eu; Conrad Quilty-Harper, data reporter, the Telegraph. Moderated by Simon Rogers; editor, Guardian datablog and datastore.

Paul Bradshaw, visiting professor, City University, London


Federica Cocco, editor, OWNI.eu

http://owni.eu/2011/05/25/a-map-to-freedom-the-internet-in-europe/
http://influencenetworks.org/
http://owni.fr/2011/04/18/carte-biens-mal-acquis-kadhafi-ben-ali/
http://wikileaks.owni.fr/
http://app.owni.fr/warlogs/
http://warlogs.owni.fr/
http://statelogs.owni.fr/
http://owni.eu/2011/03/04/app-fortress-europe-a-deadly-exodus/

Conrad Quilty-Harper, data mapping reporter, the Telegraph


Alastair Dant, lead interactive technologist, the Guardian



See the full session on video

May 27 2011

15:23

#newsrw: Keep the audience interested with interactivity

The developing the data story session gave predictions for the future – that it will be lots of screens and HTML5 – and how the Guardian would like to lengthen the life span of the data journalism news story.

Paul Bradshaw, visiting professor, City University and founder of helpmeinvestigate.com used the principal of toys to give ideas on developing the data story and explained the importance of  “future proofing the information we are gathering”, saying “that’s one of the big commercial imperatives”.

Conrad Quilty-Harper, data mapping reporter at the Telegraph, explained how creating maps adds to a story by using the example of a map on bike sharing schemes he created (though did not publish) using “Google Fusion Tables and a bit of javascript”.

He recommends Google Maps and says the trailblazer of a news site using Google Fusion tables is the Texas Tribune.

One of the Telegraph’s examples Quilty-Harper gave was a map of what the UK would look like if the 2010 election was decided by people voting under the AV.

He said the Telegraph is moving away from Flash graphics, which is not supported by the iPad.

“My proudest example” was a live interactive Royal Wedding map which “worked brilliantly for three hours”.

It showed some of the best tweets and were geolocated on the map. “We’ve got the data and we’re gong to analyse it and do something with it in the future,” he said. “It tells you what people in specific locations were thinking”.

The Telegraph would like to use the technology in a crisis news story, such as an earthquake or conflict.

“There’s a lot of underused resource” in the UK when it comes to creating maps, Quilty-Harper explained, saying the US are ahead of the game.

He gave a tip that the Met office has an amazing resource of data on weather.

Federica Cocco is editor of OWNI.eu and demonstrated the power of bloggers, data journalists, activists and graphic designers working together.

OWNI considers itself a think tank and as describes what they do as “augmented journalism”.

She showed examples a map demonstrating internet freedom in Europe and this impressive interactive piece of data journalism of shale gas extraction, which in cases has contaminated drinking water supplies.

Alastair Dant, lead interactive technologist at the Guardian, gave a run down of how news websites use interactive content.

He listed the use of photos, slideshows, the interactive timeline, maps, charts and graphics, open-ended systems or ‘games’, which are interactive and allow users to make choices about what should happen, for example.

In explaining how interactivity assists data visualisation, he used an example of captured Twitter traffic during the World Cup showing “data in motion”.

In the case of the Afghan war logs he said “we wanted to create film like experience” using the data.

His view of the future is one of “lots of screens” as people use phones and tablet devices and of HTML5, which provides cross browser compatibility, overcoming the current problem.

Dant’s three tips for making interactive content are:

1. Google Fusion Tables

2. Tableau

3. Dipity, which is for timelines.

A question on how interactivity affects the audience and visitor numbers resulted in Paul Bradshaw discussing how many interactive maps and graphics go viral.

“With interactivity you get engagement”, Bradshaw said, and people spend a lot more time on the page – five times longer in the case of the data store, Bradshaw said.

For the Telegraph the AV map was particularly popular with audiences.

Simon Rogers of the Guardian said the amount of work that goes in to many data stories warrants a greater lifespan and said that interactive posts may soon have a life beyond the news story, for example in Facebook, something being worked on at the paper.

11:58

LIVE: Session 2A – Developing the data story

We have Matt Caines and Ben Whitelaw from Wannabe Hacks liveblogging for us at news:rewired all day. You can follow session 2A ‘Developing the data story’, below.

Session 2A features: Professor Paul Bradshaw, visiting professor, City University and founder, helpmeinvestigate.com; Alastair Dant, lead interactive technologist, the Guardian; Federica Cocco, editor, OWNI.eu; Conrad Quilty-Harper, data reporter, the Telegraph. Moderated by  Simon Rogers; editor, Guardian datablog and datastore.

Click on the link below to access the liveblog:

August 19 2010

10:04

OJB: What online publishers can learn from Ofcom’s internet research

Writing on the Online Journalism Blog, Paul Bradshaw shares key points from the internet section of Ofcom’s latest report on The Communications Market 2010, analysing the implications of each for online publishers.

1: Mobile is genuinely significant: 23 per cent of UK users now access the web on mobile phones (but 27 per cent still have no access to the web on any device).

Implication: We should be thinking about mobile as another medium, with different generic qualities to print, broadcast or web, and different consumption and distribution patterns.

Full post at this linkSimilar Posts:



August 02 2010

16:30

HelpMeInvestigate.com looks at campaign expenses after Goldsmith case

Crowdsourcing website HelpMeInvestigate.com has launched probes into MPs’ campaign expenses. The move follows Channel 4′s investigation into Zac Goldsmith, who is alleged to have exceeded the spending limit set for his Richmond constituency.

So far, the focus has fallen on the closely-fought Edgbaston race, where Labour’s Gisela Stuart held her seat with a reduced majority of 1,274, but investigations have also begun in other Birmingham constituencies and in Brighton.

Posting on the HelpMeInvestigate.com blog, the site’s founder Paul Bradshaw said he was undergoing this investigation after Goldsmith and the Conservative Party claimed that they were justified in only accounting for election materials that were used in the campaign, as opposed to materials that were not used as they had become out-of-date.

“We want to see if this is true. Are other candidates not claiming for the expense of ‘unused’ materials? Or is Goldsmith an exception?” writes Bradshaw.

“We’ve started one investigation in Birmingham but would really welcome sister investigations in other towns and cities.”

The website is currently in beta testing, meaning new users can only access the site after requesting an invite.

HelpMeInvestigate on campaign expenses at this link.Similar Posts:



July 27 2010

12:46

Hacks and Hackers look at health, education and leisure

Online journalism expert Paul Bradshaw gives a detailed post on his experiences of a recent Hacks and Hackers day in Birmingham organised by Scraperwiki, experiences which he claims will “challenge the way you approach information as a journalist”.

Talking through the days events, Bradshaw observes how journalists had to adapt their traditional skills for finding stories.

Developers and journalists are continually asking each other for direction as the project develops: while the developers are shaping data into a format suitable for interpretation, the journalist might be gathering related data to layer on top of it or information that would illuminate or contextualise it.

This made for a lot of hard journalistic work – finding datasets, understanding them, and thinking of the stories within them, particularly with regard to how they connected with other sets of data and how they might be useful for users to interrogate themselves.

It struck me as a different skill to that normally practised by journalists – we were looking not for stories but for ‘nodes’: links between information such as local authority or area codes, school identifiers, and so on. Finding a story in data is relatively easy when compared to a project like this, and it did remind me more of the investigative process than the way a traditional newsroom works.

His team’s work led to the creation of a map pinpointing all 8,000 GP surgeries around the UK, which they then layered with additional data enabling them to view issues on a geographical measure.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



July 22 2010

10:18

Are you on the j-list? The leading innovators in journalism and media in 2010

Recent industry lists ranking the great and good in journalism and the media fell a bit short of the mark for Journalism.co.uk. Where were the online innovators? Where were the journalists on the ground outside of the executives’ offices?

So we’ve compiled our own rundown listing those people we think are helping to build the future of journalism and the news media.

Some important points to note:

  • There are no rankings to this list – those included are from such varied areas of work it seemed pointless;
  • We will have missed some people out – let us know in the comments below who you are working with that should be included;
  • We’ve listed groups as well as individuals – with individuals we hope you’ll see them as representing a wider team of people, who have worked together on something great;
  • And it’s not limited to 50 or 100 – we’ll see where it takes us…

So here’s the first batch. There’s a Twitter list of those included so far at this link and more will be added in the coming weeks.

Click on the ‘more’ link after these five to to see the full list.

Iain Overton

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is both a return to supporting classic, investigative journalism and an experiment in collaborative working and new business models for heavyweight reporting. Overseen by managing editor Iain Overton, the bureau is working with news organisations across a range of media and investing efforts in data mining and new business models.

Will Perrin/TalkAboutLocal

Will Perrin and his team at Talk About Local are changing the local media landscape one website at a time. Through training workshops and community groups, TAL is helping citizens have a voice online – but also encouraging new growth in hyperlocal news. It all began with Kings Cross Environment, the local site that Perrin set up himself.

James Hatts, SE1

There’s a lot of hype about hyperlocal as a future model for local news – and in James Hatts’ case it’s justified. Hatts was still a student when London SE1, which covers London’s Bermondsey and Southwark areas, started. It’s now more than 10 years old and is a great example of quality news and information for the community with an innovative approach to making money to support that goal.

Marc Reeves

The former Birmingham Post editor makes our list because of his straight-talking, forward-thinking attitude to business journalism. Having recently helped launched a new edition of successful online business news network TheBusinessDesk.com for the West Midlands, Reeves views on niche news and the role of editorial in the commercial life of a news organisation are not to be missed.

Stewart Kirkpatrick

The former editor of Scotsman.com, Kirkpatrick launched a new newspaper for Scotland in January this year. With 200,000 unique users in its first month, you wouldn’t bet against the Caledonian Mercury and Kirkpatrick’s innovative approach to creating a truly complimentary print and online newspaper with a strong and independent identity.

Martin Moore

As director of the Media Standards Trust, Martin Moore has many responsibilities and aims – but near the top of that list is more transparency for public data online and for the metadata associated with news. His work on the hNews project with the Associated Press in particular is something to keep an eye on.

Charlie Beckett

As director of journalism and society think tank POLIS and a former broadcast journalist, Charlie Beckett is a leading exponent of networked journalism: the idea that journalists can work together across organisations, media and with non-journalists to produced news. His research and writings on this model for journalism show a new way of thinking about the role of the journalist and reader in the production and distribution of news.

Paul Egglestone

Egglestone is digital director at the School of Journalism Media and Communication at the University of Central Lancashire. He’s been instrumental in the innovative Meld and Bespoke schemes that run projects from multimedia training for freelance journalists to work aimed at improving local community relationships and living spaces through hyperlocal news, mapping and social media projects. Image courtesy of Andy Dickinson

Pierre Haski

The former Liberation journalist and colleagues from the title are busy carving out a model for successful, heavyweight and independent journalism online with Rue89. The site is not afraid to innovate when it comes to revenue models and crucially not afraid to kill off parts of its network if they’re not working. A new print offshoot has just been launched and with or without this new source of revenue Haski expects the venture to move into profit next year.

Jason Mawer/Oxbury Media

Taking something traditional – the parish newsletter – and seeing the potential of community-interest publications when combined with cutting edge technology – Fwix – is Oxbury Media‘s game. The agency is focused on getting hyperlocal and community media networked, particularly in terms of advertising. Currently involved with more than 10,000 titles, Oxbury Media has the opportunity to create a hyperlocal powerhouse.

Andrew Sparrow

Senior political correspondent for Guardian.co.uk, Andrew Sparrow showed us how liveblogging was done during the 2010 UK election campaigns: on a typical day the blog got between 100,000 and 150,000 page views, rising to two million on election night. Sparrow’s ability to report, summarise and aggregate material for the site made it a must-read and has rewritten the rulebook for online political coverage.

Alison Gow

Alison is executive editor for digital at the Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo. Gow makes the list not only for her work with those titles but also for her openness to new ideas, technologies and experimentation with journalism on the web. Her personal blog Headlines and Deadlines shares her thoughts on these developments and offers important insights into the changing role of local media and its relationship with a community online and offline.

Ben Goldacre

The author of Bad Science and esteemed science writer is as influential for his loyal following – you should see the traffic spikes when he links to anything on Journalism.co.uk – as he is for his views on science journalism and transparency online. As a doctor and health professional his views on journalism come from a different perspective and can offer a necessary antidote to the “media bubble”. Image courtesy of psd on Flickr

Jo Wadsworth

Web editor for the Brighton Argus, Jo Wadsworth is a digital journalist who remembers the importance of offline as well as online networking. Her work on building a team of community correspondents for the paper and her efforts to help with training and mentoring for non-journalist readers wanting to get involved with the website amongst other things show the scope and rewards that a local newspaper website can bring.

Alberto NardeliiAlberto Nardelli/Tweetminster

Alberto Nardelli knows a thing or two about Twitter and social networks – and he’s willing to share it with media and non-media partners to create a better service for users of his site Tweetminster. His and the Tweetminster team’s work shows the power of tracking real-time, social media information, while doing the filtering dirty work for us. It’s a tool for journalists and an example of how new ideas in the digital media world can take hold.

Sarah Hartley/Guardian Local

It’s early days for the Guardian’s venture into hyperlocal ‘beatblogging’ and its architect Sarah Hartley, but the signs are positive. The three existing sites offer a model for how ‘big media’ can do local, making use of third-party websites and dedicated to the online and offline audiences for their patch.

David Cohn/Spot.Us

David Cohn is the founder of Spot.Us, a model for ‘crowdfunded’, investigative journalism. Cohn has carefully built the pitching and funding model, as well as relationships with news media to create partnerships for distributing the finished articles. Spot.Us has grown out of its San Francisco base with a new venture in Los Angeles and even a project built to its model in Australia. Image courtesy of Inju on Flickr

Tom Steinberg/mySociety

Director and founder of non-profit, open source organisation mySociety, Tom Steinberg works to improve the public’s understanding of politics, government and democracy. From campaign literature site the Straight Choice – to FOI request site WhatDoTheyKnow, Steinberg helps create tools for journalists and ways for them to play a part in making a better society. Image courtesy of Tom Steinberg on Flickr

Heather Brooke

From her Freedom of Information rights campaigning to her work on MPs’ expenses, no list of journalism innovators would be complete without Heather Brooke. She’s both a classic investigative journalist with the nose and determination to get a story and someone who knows the best tools to challenge the data and information restrictions that can affect her line of work.

Juan Senor/Innovation Media Consulting

A fantastic speaker on news and magazines, in particular the notions of design and newsroom structure, Senor’s work with Innovation Media Consulting is perhaps best seen through Portuguese microformat newspaper i, a visually stunning and innovative take on what a newspaper or news magazine should look like.

Paul Bradshaw

Founder of the Online Journalism Blog Paul Bradshaw will soon be leaving his online journalism teaching post at Birmingham City University – but that doesn’t mean he’ll be resting on his laurels. Through his teaching, blogging, books and Help Me Investigate site, Paul’s research and insight into new opportunities for journalists, whether that’s tools, collaborations or entrepreneurship, are not to be missed.

Jack of Kent

A.k.a. David Allen Green. A shining example of specialist writing for the web and why bloggers shouldn’t all be tarred with the hobbyist “in their pyjamas” brush. Green’s dedication to his subject matter, his ability to distill often complex or jargon-riddled legal concepts into plain English and give the issues context should be a lesson to all specialist journalists.

James Fryer and Michelle Byrne/SoGlos.com

Online entertainment and arts magazine for Gloucestershire SoGlos.com prides itself on high standards editorially and innovation commercially. The site has embraced a start-up mentality for the news business and is quick to react to new business opportunities sparked by its editorial quality. What’s more the site is developing its model as a potential franchise for elsewhere in the UK, licensing for which would go back into supporting SoGlos.com.

Matt McAlister/Guardian’s Open Platform

Matt McAlister is head of the Guardian’s Developer Network and the driving force behind the Guardian’s Open Platform initiative, which allows third-party developers to build applications using the Guardian’s content and data. The platform has now launched commercially – a revenue stream for journalism from a truly digital age. Image courtesy of pigsaw on Flickr

Aron Pilhofer

Aron Pilhofer and his team at the New York Times are pioneers in data journalism – both creating interactives and visualisations to accompany NYTimes content and opening up the title’s own data to third parties. Image courtesy of Institutt for journalistikk on Flickr

Adam Tinworth

The man involved with most, if not all, things with a social and digital media twist at Reed Business Information, Adam Tinworth is pushing innovation in multimedia journalism and distribution within a big publishing house. He documents his work to help other journalists learn from his experiences – whether that’s reviewing equipment or explaining a common problem – and his liveblogging abilities are something to behold!

Joanna Geary

As part of the Times’ web development team, Joanna Geary is part of one of the biggest experiments in UK journalism. But she’s also a journalist clearly thinking about the future of journalism and news as a business and profession – whether that’s through her own use of new communication tools and technology or in setting up Ruby in the Pub, a meet-up for journalists and programmers.

Similar Posts:



July 20 2010

14:34

Online innovator to leave university post after ‘complicated decision’

Online journalism innovator Paul Bradshaw has taken voluntary redundancy from his post as course leader for the online journalism MA at Birmingham City University, in what he says was a “complicated decision”.

Bradshaw, who is also founder of the Online Journalism Blog, hopes he can now invest more time in his own projects, with immediate plans to develop his Help Me Investigate site.

“It was a very complicated decision,” he told Journalism.co.uk. “There are a lot of opportunities around data journalism that I want to explore and I want to spend more time on Help Me Investigate. I felt it was probably the right time to dive in to more of those opportunities and now I have time to accept offers I have been made. But I am wary of taking too much work on. Part of the point is to invest more time in Help Me Investigate. I plan to start some development work and explore business models soon.”

Bradshaw is also already working on two different books, his own on magazine editing which is set to be completed by the end of the year and another dedicated to online journalism, which he is contributing to with former FT.com news editor Liisa Rohumaa, likely to be out by early next year.

On top of all that, he admits he may  keep his toes in the teaching pool.

“I will certainly miss parts of teaching,” he told Journalism.co.uk. “I absolutely, enormously enjoyed teaching the students this year. Some of their work has been the best so far. I may still do a bit of teaching, but I think I have always wanted to keep growing and developing. The students say they are gutted, but they were quite excited and positive about what I am doing. I am experiencing a huge jumble of emotions. I am excited about the possibilities but I am really going to miss the students and staff.”Similar Posts:



June 01 2010

08:13

Online Journalism Blog: Paul Bradshaw on journalism and enterprise, blogging and JEEcamp

Editor of the Online Journalism Blog and reader in online journalism at Birmingham City University Paul Bradshaw talks to Matt Wardman about the opportunities running a blog has given him and why he decided to set up JEEcamp – an ‘unconference’ focusing on journalism and enterprise.

Interesting insight into what makes a good event – and why he decided to end JEEcamp after three years.

Full post at this link…

Similar Posts:



08:00

JEEcamp 2010: Interview with Paul Bradshaw of Online Journalism Blog. By Matt Wardman

q-logo-jeecampPaul Bradshaw has run a conference "Journalism, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship" for independent and mainstream journalists interested in "making a living from journalism in the era of free information".

In this interview, Paul explains to Matt Wardman what the aims and achievements of JEEcamp have been, and reflects on how his own blogging activities over 6 years has opened up opportunities for him personally.

May 22 2010

20:23

The last #jeecamp in pictures

JEEcamp, the online journalism enterprise and experimentation unconference, was held for the last time yesterday (Friday 21 May 2010) in Birmingham but went out with a bang with excellent and revealing speeches from Stewart Kirkpatrick, founder of the Caledonian Mercury, and Simon Waldman, former director of digital strategy for the Guardian Media Group and now group product director at LOVEFiLM.

I have uploaded a few shots of the key speakers to flickr and created the slideshow below, which shows in order, JEEcamp organiser Paul Bradshaw (@paulbradshaw), Simon Waldman (@Waldo), Karl Schneider (@karlschneider), Stewart Kirkpatrick (@calmerc), Mark Pack (@markpack), Siôn Simon (@sionsimon) and Matt Wardman (@mattwardman).

Expect other future great events from either Paul Bradshaw and/or his students in the future.

Similar Posts:



May 21 2010

09:21

#JEECamp: Follow live

Today we’re up in Birmingham for the JEECamp unconference. Follow the live blog below for tweets and comments from the conference.

JEEcamp is an opportunity for a range of people to get together to talk about how on earth journalists and publishers can make a living from journalism in the era of free information, what the challenges are, and what we’ve learned so far.

You’ll find details of the day at this link: http://jeecamp.pbwiki.com/. It has a flexible agenda, but the keynote will be given by Simon Waldman, digital director, Guardian Media Group.

Similar Posts:



May 19 2010

11:14

April 20 2010

15:30

Telegraph’s new election database (in beta)

I’m having a play with the Telegraph’s new database feature, currently in beta. The basic search allows you to find basic information about your candidates, eg. their educational background (private / state school etc.), as well as the background stats on the constituency itself.

If your candidate is an MP, you also get a link to the Telegraph’s expenses file on them, and their parliamentary allowances page. Check out Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Phil Woolas, for example.

Like Paul Bradshaw points out on the OnlineJournalismBlog, the really nice feature is the ‘advanced search’ option.

With this, you can narrow down your search to very specific criteria – by type of school, age or the category of candidate they are.

It is in beta though, and a lot of information is still missing. Until all the information is complete (e.g every school for each candidate is accurate and complete) you couldn’t begin to make proper analyses of social backgrounds etc.

There’s a how-to guide at this link.

The swingometer feature is fun too (though perhaps needs clearer explanation on the main page – a pop out box, perhaps?):

“[F]ind which seats will change for a given swing. Choose from Labour v Conservative swing, Labour v Liberal Democrat, or Liberal Democrat v Conservative, and push the swingometer up to 20 per cent either way to see which constituencies change hands.”

On constituency search you can see where parties have picked their battlegrounds, which can be further narrowed by retiring or defending MP. So, for example, I can search all Labour target battlegrounds, where they are defending seats. There’s a swing feature here to:

[S]earch by swing required for a change of MP from the 2005 results. This can be organised by party using the drop-down bar and slider – so it is possible to show all the seats that would fall to the Conservatives given a 10 per cent swing from Labour, for instance.

Like Paul Bradshaw says, it’s a shame that there’s no API available or ‘mashable’ data on tap, but definitely a very nice looking tool – which I need some more time to play around with.

Similar Posts:



April 16 2010

13:20

This Week in Review: News talk and tips at ASNE, iPad’s ‘walled garden,’ and news execs look for revenue

[Every Friday, Mark Coddington sums up the week’s top stories about the future of news and the debates that grew up around them. —Josh]

Schmidt and Huffington’s advice for news execs: This week wasn’t a terribly eventful one in the future-of-journalism world, but a decent amount of the interesting stuff that was said came out of Washington D.C., site of the annual American Society of News Editors conference. The most talked-about session there was Sunday night’s keynote address by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who told the news execs there that their industry is in trouble because it hasn’t found a way to sustain itself financially, not because its way of producing or delivering news is broken. “We have a business-model problem, we don’t have a news problem,” Schmidt said.

After buttering the crowd up a bit, Schmidt urged them to produce news for an environment that’s driven largely by mobile devices, immediacy, and personalization, and he gave them a glimpse of what those priorities look like at Google. Politico and the Lab’s Megan Garber have summaries of the talk, and paidContent has video.

There were bunches more sessions and panels (American Journalism Review’s Rem Rieder really liked them), but two I want to highlight in particular. One was a panel with New York Times media critic David Carr, new-media titan Ariana Huffington and the Orlando Sentinel’s Mark Russell on the “24/7 news cycle.” The Lab’s report on the session focused on four themes, with one emerging most prominently — the need for context to make sense out of the modern stream of news. St. Petersburg Times media critic Eric Deggans and University of Maryland student Adam Kerlin also zeroed in on the panelists’ call to develop deeper trust and participation among readers.

The second was a presentation by Allbritton’s Steve Buttry that provides a perfect fleshing-out of the mobile-centric vision Schmidt gave in his keynote. Poynter’s Damon Kiesow had a short preview, and Buttry has a longer one that includes a good list of practical suggestions for newsrooms to start a mobile transformation. (He also has slides from his talk, and he posted a comprehensive mobile strategy for news orgs back in November, if you want to dive in deep.)

There was plenty of other food for thought, too: Joel Kramer of the Twin Cities nonprofit news org MinnPost shared his experiences with building community, and one “where do we go from here?” panel seemed to capture news execs’ ambivalence about the future of their industry. Students from local universities also put together a blog on the conference with a Twitter stream and short recaps of just about every session, and it’s worth a look-through. Two panels of particular interest: One on government subsidies for news and another with Kelly McBride of Poynter’s thoughts on the “fifth estate” of citizen journalists, bloggers, nonprofits and others.

Is a closed iPad bad for news?: In the second week after the iPad’s release, much of the commentary centered once again on Apple’s control over the device. In a long, thoughtful post, Media watcher Dan Gillmor focused on Apple’s close relationship with The New York Times, posing a couple of arresting questions for news orgs creating iPad apps: Does Apple have the unilateral right to remove your app for any reason it wants, and why are you OK with that kind of control?

On Thursday he got a perfect example, when the Lab’s Laura McGann reported that Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore’s iPhone app was rejected in December because it “contains content that ridicules public figures.” Several other folks echoed Gillmor’s alarm, with pomo blogger Terry Heaton asserting that the iPad is a move by the status quo to retake what it believes is its rightful place in the culture. O’Reilly Radar’s Jim Stogdill says that if you bought an iPad, you aren’t really getting a computer so much as “a 16GB Walmart store shelf that fits on your lap … and Apple got you to pay for the building.” And blogging/RSS/podcasting pioneer Dave Winer says the iPad doesn’t change much for news because it’s so difficult to create media with.

But in a column for The New York Times, web thinker Steven Johnson adds an important caveat: While he’s long been an advocate of open systems, he notes that the iPhone software platform has been the most innovative in the history in computing, despite being closed. He attributes that to simpler use for its consumers, as well as simpler tasks for developers. While Johnson still has serious misgivings about the Apple’s closed policy from a control standpoint, he concludes that “sometimes, if you get the conditions right, a walled garden can turn into a rain forest.”

In related iPad issues, DigitalBeat’s Subrahmanyam KVJ takes a step back and looks at control issues with Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google. Florida j-prof Mindy McAdams has a detailed examination of the future of HTML5 and Flash in light of Adobe’s battle with Adobe over the iPad. Oh yeah, and to the surprise of no one, a bunch of companies, including Google, are developing iPad competitors.

News editors’ pessimism: A survey released Monday by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism presented a striking glimpse into the minds of America’s news executives. Perhaps most arresting (and depressing) was the finding that nearly half of the editors surveyed said that without a significant new revenue stream, their news orgs would go under within a decade, and nearly a third gave their org five years or less.

While some editors are looking at putting up paywalls online as that new revenue source, the nation’s news execs aren’t exactly overwhelmed at that prospect: 10 percent are actively working on building paywalls, and 32 percent are considering it. Much higher percentages of execs are working on online advertising, non-news products, local search and niche products as revenue sources.

One form of revenue that most news heads are definitely not crazy about is government subsidy: Three quarters of them, including nearly 90 percent of newspaper editors, had “serious reservations” about that kind of funding (the highest level of concern they could choose). The numbers were lower for tax subsidies, but even then, only 19 percent said they’d be open to it.

The report itself makes for a pretty fascinating read, and The New York Times has a good summary, too. The St. Pete Times’ Eric Deggans wonders how bad things would have to get before execs would be willing to accept government subsidies (pretty bad), and the Knight Digital Media Center’s Amy Gahran highlights the statistics on editors’ thoughts on what went wrong in their industry.

Twitter rolls out paid search: This week was a big one for Twitter: We finally found out some of the key stats about the microblogging service, including how many users it has (105,779,710), and the U.S. Library of Congress announced it’s archiving all of everyone’s tweets, ever.

But the biggest news was Twitter’s announcement that it will implement what it calls Promoted Tweets — its first major step toward its long-anticipated sustainable revenue plan. As The New York Times explains, Promoted Tweets are paid advertisements that will show up first when you search on Twitter and, down the road, as part of your regular stream if they’re contextually relevant. Or, in Search Engine Land’s words, it’s paid search, at least initially.

Search blogger John Battelle has some initial thoughts on the move: He thinks Twitter seems to be going about things the right way, but the key shift is that this “will mark the first time, ever, that users of the service will see a tweet from someone they have not explicitly decided to follow.Alex Wilhelm of The Next Web gives us a helpful roadmap of where Twitter’s heading with all of its developments.

Anonymity and comments: A quick addendum to last month’s discussion about anonymous comments on news sites (which really has been ongoing since then, just very slowly): The New York Times’ Richard Perez-Pena wrote about many news organizations’ debates over whether to allow anonymous comments, and The Guardian’s Nigel Willmott explained why his paper’s site will still include anonymous commenting.

Meanwhile, former Salon-er Scott Rosenberg told media companies that they’d better treat it like a valuable conversation if they want it to be one (that means managing and directing it), rather than wondering what the heck’s the problem with those crazy commenters. And here at The Lab, Joshua Benton found that when the blogging empire Gawker made its comments a tiered system, their quality and quantity improved.

Reading roundup: This week I have three handy resources, three ideas worth pondering, and one final thought.

Three resources: If you’re looking for a zoomed-out perspective on the last year or two in journalism in transition, Daniel Bachhuber’s “canonical” reading list is a fine place to start. PaidContent has a nifty list of local newspapers that charge for news online, and Twitter went public with Twitter Media, a new blog to help media folks use Twitter to its fullest.

Three ideas worth pondering: Scott Lewis of the nonprofit news org Voice of San Diego talks to the Lab about how “explainers” for concepts and big news stories could be part of their business model, analysts Frederic Filloux and Alan Mutter take a close look at online news audiences and advertising, and Journal Register Co. head John Paton details his company’s plan to have one newspaper produce one day’s paper with only free web tools. (Jeff Jarvis, an adviser, shows how it might work and why he’s excited.)

One final thought: British j-prof Paul Bradshaw decries the “zero-sum game” attitude by professional journalists toward user-generated content that views any gain for UGC as a loss for the pros. He concludes with a wonderful piece of advice: “If you think the web is useless, make it useful. … Along the way, you might just find that there are hundreds of thousands of people doing exactly the same thing.”

March 30 2010

10:47

#DENDATAMEET Data Alchemy: new sources, innovative uses,

Ollie Jones might have had a point, but I think there's a case to be made that in the Digital Age it's data, not love, that makes the world go round.

How can news publishers access useful sources of data and how can they put it to use to serve users and to build revenue?

That's the theme for the next Digital Editors Network meeting on May 12th at the offices of Northwest Vision & Media at Media City in Salford Quays.

Confirmed speakers include:

There is no charge for the event, but spaces are limited and must be reserved in advance.

Click to download the pdf for map and directions. To reserve a parking, space contact Northwest Vision and Media at 0844 3950385, or email: info@visionandmedia.co.uk.

The Digital Editors Network is sponsored by Northwest Vision & Media and theSchool of Journalism, Media & Communication at the University of Central Lancashire, home to England's oldest university journalism programme.

For addtional programme details and updates, contact or follow Nick Turnerat @nickincumbria / Nick.Turner@Cumbrian-Newspapers.co.uk , or François Nel @francoisnel / FPNel@uclan.ac.uk .

Follow - and contribute to - our Twitter updates #dendatameet

December 11 2009

09:21

December 09 2009

11:44

#aopforum: Liveblog coverage on microlocal media discussion

For those of us unable to attend today’s Association of Online Publishers (AOP) forum on microlocal media (hyperlocal/ultralocal/local – whatever you want to call it), we’re lucky to have the liveblogging skills of journalist Caroline Beavon, who will be covering the sessions as they happen from 2:30pm.

Starting with: Sarah Hartley, launch editor for the Guardian’s local project:

 
 
Sarah Hartley at AOP

Click Here!


 
 

Paul Bradshaw, senior lecturer in online journalism, Birmingham City University (from about 2:50pm) on monetising microlocal:

 
 
Paul Bradshaw @ AOP

Click Here!


 
 

A case study from Roger Green, managing director of digital media, Newsquest (3:35pm):

 
 
Roger Green at AOP

Click Here!


 
 

Panel discussion (4:05pm) featuring the above and:

  • Lori Cunningham, digital strategy director, Johnston Press
  • David Higgerson, head of multimedia at Trinity Mirror
  • James Thornett, executive product manager, local & llocation services BBC

 
 
AOP Panel debate

Click Here!


 
 

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