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July 21 2010

10:57

Does Guardian ‘World Cup Wall’ show a nation’s growing interest in football?

Martin Belam shares the Guardian office’s Word Cup Wall with us over on his blog, which documented in clippings the newspaper’s coverage of the event since 1950.

While layout remained fairly similar over the years, the importance of football to the news agenda today is far greater than in years gone by, according to Belam.

Even in 1966, when England had just secured the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley, the Guardian was leading with issues in Nigeria, and framed the England victory through the prism of wage demands.

The next time England got anywhere close to the World Cup Final was in 1990, and by then football was important enough to get a picture lead on The Guardian front page.

It’s an interesting way of looking at how topics of importance change over time in our printing press, which Belam hopes to develop by looking at digital content in recent years.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



July 15 2010

16:42

GET DEROY PERAZA’S 2010 WORLD CUP RADIAL BRACKET POSTER

radialbracket1

It was in the front page of the Berliner Morgenpost, but now you can have a copy.

The fantastic graphic, updated with the final winner, is on kickstarter, the website where readers fund brilliant ideas and projects.

Deroy Peraza, his author, was asking for $3,000 but he got more money that he expected.

If you pledge $25 or more you will receive a limited edition, 5 color, 18″ x 24″ print on heavy uncoated stock.

If you pledge for $40 or more you will get a limited edition, 5 color, 24″ x 36″ print on heavy uncoated stock.

radialbracket

Deroy Peraza, principal and creative director of Hyperakt in New York, was born in Havana, Cuba, and  founded the company  in 2001 after studying Illustration at Parsons The New School for Design.

Deroy is now working in a new poster that includes brackets for all the 19 World Cups.

Here is the work in progress.

worldcuphistory.full

July 13 2010

17:01

Behind the Scenes of a Live World Cup

This year's World Cup coverage put a heavy emphasis on live, in-game updates and analysis. Here's a look at some of the data and processes involved.

July 12 2010

11:23
09:31

July 02 2010

13:30

VIDI Toolkit Makes Data Visualization Easy


You will love our powerful, intuitive Knight-funded data visualization toolkit: VIDI. I encourage you to go to the website and try it out.

The site includes Drupal modules and a playground to try them out, and you can work with pre-loaded data or upload your own. We let you generate embed code to place the visualizations you create on your blogs or websites. (A "My VIDI" page shows the history of a user's visualizations so they can go back and edit at will.

We had a bit of a challenge recently in balancing our workload and the visceral drive to watch the World Cup games, so we came up with this visualization of video highlights from the matches (yes, I am also showing off our embedding feature):

World Cup 2010

This particular visualization uses our module TimelineMap, which was built as a Drupal Views 2 style plug-in. It is based on the Google Timemap API and allows you to load one or more datasets onto both a map and a timeline simultaneously. (Only items in the visible range of the timeline are displayed as markers on the Google map.)

Of course, you can also download the modules, load them into your own Drupal site and customize to your heart's content. Part of our idea in going with Drupal was that rather than try to create a community around our open source code, we would contribute code to an existing, thriving community. The interest and feedback from Drupalistas has been tremendous, which inspires us to push the development envelope even further.

We've already got some major early adopters. We helped Patchwork Nation implement the modules as a part of a larger port of their site to Drupal. Check out the colorful pie charts, bar charts, graphs, and the moving hardship index they created.

On the near horizon, we'll be releasing our VIDI Wizard module, which is still finishing up alpha testing. For now, though, please play with VIDI in your spare moments over the next two weeks when you're not glued to the World Cup, and let us know how we can make it even better!

July 01 2010

08:15

NYTimes.com: Brazilian journalists want goal-line reporting

In soccer-mad Brazil, radio and television reporters stand behind the goals and along the sideline during matches. Technically, they are restricted to interviewing players before matches, at half-time and after the final whistle. But sometimes they get a few comments after goals are scored or when players receive red-card ejections. Once, they were even known to follow Pelé into the shower.

The New York Times looks at the frustrations of the Brazilian journalists covering the World Cup as they are restricted to media areas in the stadia for Brazil’s games and have to watch non-Brazil matches on a television screen in the media centre away from the ground.

There are security and exclusivity issues here, of course, but are Brazilian readers and viewers losing the access and immediacy they have become accustomed to in football journalism?

Full story from the New York Times at this link…Similar Posts:



June 30 2010

10:29

Radio 5 Live’s Big Mexican Wave digital project

England fans might be desperately trying to sell on their World Cup tickets, but there’s still time to join a Mexican wave in support for the remaining teams playing in South Africa.

BBC’s Radio 5 Live is building an online Mexican Wave, as its special Twitter account advertises:

Join the mother of all Mexican Waves with BBC Radio 5 Live for 2010 World Cup! Dizzee Rascal, Miley Cyrus & Richard Hammond are in, are you?

To be included, users upload need to upload a photo as described at this link. This generates a Mexican Wave video containing the user’s photo, and photos of Radio 5 live and Radio 1 presenters and celebrities; the user will also be included in the 5 Live Mexican Wave.

The latest news? @bigmexicanwave says the former morning doyen of Radio 2 might be making an appearance too:

There’s a rumour we’ve got the godfather of radio, Mr @terry_wogan to do a #bigmexwave. Watch this space!

Similar Posts:



09:47

ONLY IN THE TIMES OF LONDON

vuvuzela

Today, in a letter to the editor:

“Sir, Has the World Cup been a disaster? Yes, it has. My parrot has learnt to mimic the vuvuzela”

Dr. Alun Stedman Stevenage.

June 21 2010

09:17

TheGame: How World Cup journalism works

The phone goes. It is the newsdesk. “We need you to go and find North Korean fans now,” comes the instruction. “There aren’t any,” I helpfully reply. “Don’t care. There must be at least one. Go and find him.”

Hmmm. I am in Soccer City, the North Koreans are at Ellis Park across the City. I have only a couple of hours to kick-off, no North Korean contact – but then, who has? – and no ideas, except for simply standing outside the ground and waiting for a North Korean to arrive. This is not time quibble because the message from the newsdesk is that this is a “must-have” story. Foreign correspondents in South Korea and Japan are filing dispatches and Jonathan Clayton, our correspondent in Johannesburg, has been stationed outside the team hotel. I have 800 words to write on the mysterious North Korean fans. Oh dear.

Times reporter Kevin Eason gives a great, first-hand account of tracking down stories – and North Korea fans – at the World Cup. It’s a story of shoe leather, pressure and a little bit of luck as a reward for doggedly chasing leads. Would be interesting to know if any World Cup reporters are using social media shoe leather too?

Full post at this link…

Similar Posts:



June 16 2010

18:30

Announcing the 2010 Knight News Challenge winners: Visuals are hot, and businesses are big winners

They started out last year as a crowded field of hopefuls from around the world, each dreaming of a chance to perform under the big lights. Over months, their numbers dwindled as the level of competition rose; each successive round brought new disappointment to those eliminated and new hope to those left in the running. And now, whittled down to an elite few, they’re ready for the global stage.

Okay, I’m giving myself a yellow card: So maybe the World Cup isn’t the perfect metaphor for the Knight News Challenge. But the News Challenge is the closest thing the future-of-news space has to a World Cup, and while this year’s 12 winners — just announced at MIT — won’t be forced to battle each other for global supremacy, they do represent the top of a sizable pyramid of applicants — nearly 2,500 in all. You can judge for yourself which ones are Brazil and Germany and which are New Zealand and North Korea.

I’ve got information on all the winners below, but first a few observations:

Visuals seem to be this year’s theme: lots of projects about things like mapping, data visualization, video editing, and games inspired by editorial cartoons. Just one winner focuses on the business-model end of the equation (Windy Citizen’s real-time ads).

— This year’s new grants total $2.74 million. That’s up from last year’s total of $1.96 million, but still down substantially from the really big checks Knight was writing in the first two years of the News Challenge ($11.7 million in 2007, $5.5 million in 2008). The number of grantees is also up a bit from 2009 but well below earlier years (26 in 2007, 16 in 2008, 9 in 2009, 12 this year).

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Knight’s overall commitment has decreased over time. Many of its grants are distributed over multiple years, so some of those early commitments are still being in force.

— Despite extending this cycle’s application deadline in part to encourage more international applicants, the winners are quite domestic — 11 American winners out of 12. In 2008, there were six international winners, and last year there were two projects that, while technically based in the U.S., were internationally focused — Ushahidi and Mobile Media Toolkit. (You could argue that this year’s One-Eight should count as international, since it’s about covering Afghanistan, but through collaboration with the U.S. military. And while Tilemapping will focus on Washington, D.C., a version of its software was used after the Haiti earthquake.)

That said, the deadline extension was also about reaching out for other kinds of diversity, and that happened in at least one way: Knight reports that nearly half of this year’s winners are private companies, up from 15 percent in 2009. That’s despite Knight’s elimination of a separate category for commercial applicants last cycle.

Below are all the winners — congratulations to one and all, and my sympathies to the thousands eliminated along the way. In the coming days, we’ll have profiles of all of the winners and their projects. In the meantime, for context, you can also read all we wrote about last year’s News Challenge and what we’ve written so far about this cycle.

CityTracking

The winner: Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design

The amount: $400,000

The pitch: “To make municipal data easy to understand, CityTracking will allow users to create embeddable data visualizations that are appealing enough to spread virally and that are as easy to share as photos and videos. The dynamic interfaces will be appropriate to each data type, starting with crime and working through 311 calls for service, among others. The creators will use high design standards, making the visuals beautiful as well as useful.”

The Cartoonist

The winner: Ian Bogost of Georgia Tech and Michael Mateas of UC Santa Cruz

The amount: $378,000

The pitch: “To engage readers in the news, this project will create a free tool that produces cartoon-like current event games — the game equivalent of editorial cartoons. The simplified tools will be created with busy journalists and editors in mind, people who have the pulse of their community but don’t have a background in game development. By answering a series of questions about the major actors in a news event and making value judgments about their actions, The Cartoonist will automatically propose game rules and images. The games aim to help the sites draw readers and inspire them to explore the news.”

Local Wiki

The winner: Philip Neustrom and Mike Ivanov of DavisWiki.org

The amount: $350,000

The pitch: “Based on the successful DavisWiki.org in Davis, Calif., this project will create enhanced tools for local wikis, a new form of media that makes it easy for people to learn and share their own unique community knowledge. Members will be able to post articles about anything they like, edit others and upload photos and files. This grant will help create the specialized open-source software that makes the wiki possible and help communities develop, launch and sustain local wiki projects.”

WindyCitizen’s Real Time Ads

The winner: Brad Flora of WindyCitizen.com

The amount: $250,000

The pitch: “As a way to help online startups become sustainable, this project will develop an improved software interface to help sites create and sell what are known as real-time ads. These ads are designed to be engaging as they constantly change showing the latest message or post from the advertisers Twitter account, Facebook page or blog. Challenge winner Brad Flora helped pioneer the idea on his Chicago news site, WindyCitizen.com.”

GoMap Riga

The winner: Marcis Rubenis and Kristofs Blaus

The amount: $250,000

The pitch: “To inspire people to get involved in their community, this project will create a live, online map with local news and activities. GoMap Riga will pull some content from the Web and place it automatically on the map. Residents will be able to add their own news, pictures and videos while discussing what is happening around them. GoMap Riga will be integrated with the major existing social networks and allow civic participation through mobile technology. The project will be tested in Riga, Latvia, and ultimately be applicable in other cities.”

Order in the Court 2.0

The winner: John Davidow of WBUR

The amount: $250,000

The pitch: “To foster greater access to the judicial process, this project will create a laboratory in a Boston courtroom to help establish best practices for digital coverage that can be replicated and adopted throughout the nation. While the legislative and executive branches have incorporated new technologies and social media, the courts still operate under the video and audio recording standards established in the 1970s and ’80s. The courtroom will have a designated area for live blogging via a Wi-Fi network and the ability to live-stream court proceedings to the public. Working in conjunction with the Massachusetts court system, the project will publish the daily docket on the Web and build a knowledge wiki for the public with common legal terms.”

Porch Forum

The winner: Michael Wood-Lewis of Front Porch Forum

The amount: $220,000

The pitch: “To help residents connect with others and their community, this grant will help rebuild and enhance a successful community news site, expand it to more towns and release the software so other organizations, anywhere can use it. The Front Porch Forum, a virtual town hall space, helps residents share and discuss local news, build community and increase engagement. The site, currently serving 25 Vermont towns, will expand to 250.”

One-Eight

The winner: Teru Kuwayama

The amount: $202,000

The pitch: “Broadening the perspectives that surround U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, this project will chronicle a battalion by combining reporting from embedded journalists with user-generated content from the Marines themselves. The troops, recently authorized to use social media while deployed, and their families will be key audiences for the online journal steering, challenging and augmenting the coverage with their feedback. The approach will directly serve the stakeholders and inform the wider public by bringing in on-the-ground views on military issues and the execution of U.S. foreign policy.”

Stroome

The winner: USC Annenberg’s Nonny de la Peña and Tom Grasty

The amount: $200,000

The pitch: “To simplify the production of news video, Stroome will create a virtual video-editing studio. There, correspondents, editors and producers will be able to upload and share content, edit and remix with friends and colleagues — all without using expensive satellite truck technology. The site will launch as eyewitness video — often captured by mobile phones or webcams — is becoming a key component of news coverage, generating demand for supporting tools.”

CitySeed

The winner: Arizona State’s Retha Hill and Cody Shotwell

The amount: $90,000

The pitch: “To inform and engage communities, CitySeed will be a mobile application that allows users to plant the ’seed’ of an idea and share it with others. For example, a person might come across a great spot for a community garden. At that moment, the person can use the CitySeed app to geotag the idea, which links it to an exact location. Others can look at the place-based ideas, debate and hopefully act on them. The project aims to increase the number of people informed about and engaged with their communities by breaking down community issues into bite-size settings.”

StoryMarket

The winner: Jake Shapiro of PRX

The amount: $75,000

The pitch: “Building on the software created by 2008 challenge winner Spot.us, this project will allow anyone to pitch and help pay to produce a story for a local public radio station. When the amount is raised (in small contributions), the station will hire a professional journalist to do the report. The project provides a new way for public radio stations to raise money, produce more local content and engage listeners.”

Tilemapping

The winner: Eric Gundersen of Development Seed

The amount: $74,000

The pitch: “To inspire residents to learn about local issues, Tilemapping will help local media create hyper-local, data-filled maps for their websites and blogs. Journalists will be able to tell more textured stories, while residents will be able to draw connections to their physical communities in new ways. The tools will be tested in Washington, D.C. Ushahidi, a 2009 Knight News Challenge winner, used a prototype after the earthquake in Haiti to create maps used to crowdsource reports on places needing aid.”

14:00

Gooooooooaaaal, in any language: Boston Globe uses Google Translate to expand its soccer blog’s reach

How do you make the most of World Cup fever? If you’re the Boston Globe, you think…well, globally. Boston.com’s soccer blog, Corner Kicks, has integrated Google Translate into its user interface: click a button, select a language — from Afrikaans and Azerbaijani to Welsh and Yiddish — and the blog’s text will be translated for you, instantly.

For example, in Spanish:

The insta-translation is one way to extend the blog’s — and, by extension, the newspaper’s — reach, says David Beard, Boston.com’s editor. “I love it,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for us to bring people into the tent.”

A polyglot blog, Beard points out, allows the Globe to leverage both depth and breadth: to find new audiences both in local communities and around the world. The fact that Corner Kicks can now, with essentially a single click, be translated into Spanish means not only that the Globe can easily reach new readers in Spain or Mexico or the Philippines…but also that it can reach new readers in Lawrence, the Boston-area town with a large community of Spanish speakers. Same deal with Portuguese and Framingham. Same deal with Vietnamese and downtown Boston.

That said, the automated translation service — though steadily improving — isn’t perfect. To integrate Google Translate is to integrate an experimental feature on the Globe website. And that’s “going to rub some people the wrong way on the perfectionist-slash-iteration divide in American newsrooms,” Beard allows. As he put it in an editor’s note introducing the new feature:

To our readers,

We’ve added a translation feature to the Corner Kicks blog to assist readers who may be more comfortable reading another language.

Google Translate is not perfect — we’re aware of that — but it is quite good at getting the main points of the story across. We’ve successfully used it on The Big Picture, Boston.com’s extremely popular world photography site. I’d be eager to hear your feedback on its use in Corner Kicks, in whatever language.

David Beard, Editor, Boston.com
beard@boston.com

Still, though, the translation is “fairly good, I think,” Beard points out — at least for many of the languages most relevant to the Boston area. (Beard is fluent in Spanish, and speaks some Portuguese.) And besides, its integration ultimately “allows a greater number of people access to our content.”

And that fact alone, from both the business and editorial perspectives, is vuvuzela-worthy.

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