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August 31 2010


The Guardian launches science blogs network

The Guardian is launching a new science blogs network to get readers discussing and debating all aspects of the science world, from palaeontology to extraterrestrial life.

This is another step in the Guardian’s strategy to set up partnerships with bloggers, following in the footsteps of its recently launched law network.

The science network will comprise of four regular bloggers sharing their expertise on the latest in evolution and ecology, politics and campaigns, skepticism and particle physics. A fifth blog will act as a window into other discussions going on in the science world and will also host the Guardian’s first science blog festival.

The festival will showcase a new blogger every day and aims to put newbies at ease by offering lots of new places to start reading. The web world is buzzing with thousands of science enthusiasts sharing their knowledge and thoughts, but it can be very overwhelming for those not familiar with it, explains the introductory post from Alok Jha, a science and environment correspondent at the Guardian.

Readers can also share any posts that especially excite (or infuriate) them by using the Guardian’s WordPress plugin that allows bloggers to republish articles on their own sites.Similar Posts:

August 26 2010


Journalist invites others to join in with ‘liquid newsroom’ idea

German journalist Steffen Konrath has called on fellow journalists to help him revolutionise the way journalists interact with news over the internet.

Konrath, a web applications director from Munich, is busy building what he calls a ‘liquid newsroom’, for which he aims to gather journalists from all over the world to simultaneously tackle items in the news.

Konrath said: “A Liquid Newsroom would challenge the restrictions of space and organizational form. Instead of a given organisational type, the news site will come into existence from the time someone decides to open a topic.”

I would like to start an experiment with my readers & Twitter followers to start an open innovation project on a global level to develop such a concept using social media tools and simply our connectedness.

Full post at this link

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August 24 2010


Should bloggers pay business tax?

Should bloggers making money from their site have to pay a business tax?

It’s a question that’s been doing the rounds in the past week, following what commentators have been labelling a “tax amnesty” in Philadelphia. Thousands of online writers have reportedly received letters from local government reminding them that if they make money from their site, they must pay up.

Any bloggers earning revenues from their online publishing – through display advertising or services such as Google Adsense – will be asked to pay $300 (or $50 a year) for a Business Privilege Licence. Alternatively, they can remove any advertising or other money-making means and have their blog classified as a hobby.

The renewed efforts by the city council to ensure everyone eligible to pay does so have sparked wide debate and commentary across the web, from the Washington Post and Reuters to technology news site Mashable, who say the fee will only have limited impact.

The Atlantic Wire offers a neat summary of the main arguments, from Technorati’s post arguing that a $300 tax is “outrageous” for bloggers who on the whole make little returns, to New York Magazine’s suggestion that bloggers should shun advertising services, rather than hand over the small profits they make.Similar Posts:


New US hyperlocal Twitter network using zip codes to aggregate news

A new Twitter network could be about to change the face of local news gathering.

Twitzip is designed to share ‘hyperlocal’ news based on users’ zip codes. American creators Nathan Heinrich and Aaron Donsbach created accounts for nearly all of the zip codes in the US back in 2008 with the idea of building a network that would harness the knowledge of local residents and allow them to share news by tweeting from an account for their area.

As we analyzed Twitter’s potential, we realized the one location-based handle that everyone knows is their zip or postal code. We thought it would be a waste if Twitter zip code handles or ‘TwitZips’ were owned by tens of thousands of different people with tens of thousands of different uses. Furthermore, we thought TwitZips might be valuable for networking local citizens together. This was the start of TwitZip.

According to a statement on the network’s website, the service is currently focused on hyperlocal news, blogs, and crime, but will soon integrate weather and government alerts.

If successful, TwitZip could prove a happy hunting ground for local journalists tracking breaking news.

For more details, visit www.twitzip.com and www.hyperlocalblogger.comSimilar Posts:


Amateur media watchdogs helping keep newspapers in check

While a handful of established groups shoulder the responsibility of holding news and media organisations to account, the internet has fueled the growth of the individual online watchdog, according to an interesting post on the European Journalism Centre website.

Author Jamie Thunder, an Investigative Journalism MA student at City University uses several examples to illustrate the biggest media bloggers within the online community, such as Tabloid Watch, Five Chinese Crackers, Angry Mob and Enemies of Reason.

‘Watchdog’ groups are nothing new to the media. But these blogs are different. There’s no unifying political ideology, and they’re maintained alongside full-time jobs. They’re not run by media theorists or political activists – just individuals stirred to action by the daily iniquities of the press.

He says that while they accept their impact on the papers themselves will be minimal, it’s the online “groundswell” among readers which is where their power lies.

We all know the media landscape is shifting, and shifting fast – paywalls, user-generated content, and Wikileaks are just three recent developments. Yet little has been said about the increasing ability for non-journalists to analyse and publicise the press’s problems (…) And as long as newspapers keep misbehaving, they’re not going away.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:

August 23 2010


BBC shares results of social media and accountability research

An interesting update via the BBC Internet Blog on Friday regarding the broadcaster’s approach to social media. Social media executive, BBC Online, Nick Reynolds shares the executive summary of research conducted by Unthinkable Consulting into accountability and social media use.

The findings of the research were given to the BBC in April and as such some of the recommendations made are already being worked on. But it makes for interesting reading – both in terms of what the BBC should be doing with social media, in particular blogs and user comments, and what other news organisations can learn.

Key recommendations include:

  • “We recommend that blog authors respond at least in part to popular comment threads where new points or questions are being raised. We also recommend greater empathy and consistency from hosts.”
  • “There needs to be a culture change inside the BBC such that it becomes an accepted and expected part of the job of senior editorial management to read online social media output associated with their linear brands, as well as being aware of the competition.”
  • “We recommend that the BBC should consider to what extent  conversations which are now conducted on bbc.co.uk could be conducted externally instead. Regardless of the outcome, the BBC also needs to  spend more time reading and engaging with online commentary around itself and its brands.”

Read Nick Reynolds’ full post at this link…

View the executive summary:

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August 17 2010


August 16 2010


Lara Setrakian’s ‘accordion bureau’ of media tools

Media Gaggle has an interesting profile of ABC’s Middle East correspondent Lara Setrakian, who describes how social media and mobile tools make up her “accordion bureau”.

Setrakian’s description of using different media and channels to share news and reports is great:

I don’t have to sit around and wait for a story to rise to the occasion of one of our shows, to the bar of one of our shows, something still significant but less visual, or something still significant but shorter. We’ll put it on the radio or tweet it. These things are important. I’m at Fadlallah’s funeral, I’m somewhere, I’m in Hezbollah’s neighborhood, I’m in Iran, I can tweet these effects. It has created a spectrum of ways to do this job.

And she’s @laraABCNews on Twitter.

Full post on Media Gaggle at this link…Similar Posts:

August 12 2010


Social media fellowship offers week-long course for US journalists

A great opportunity for journalists in the US: the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, part of the Ohio State University, is looking for journalists for its social media fellowship.

The fellowship consists of a week-long course in March 2011 for journalists who want training in using social media for news gathering and publishing, including tuition on SEO, the semantic web, social networks and building an online presence.

The foundation will cover the costs of the course and travel and board.

The deadline for applications is 30 November.

(via SPJ’s Net Worked blog)Similar Posts:


Twingly: Testing social media’s love of traditional news

Using its channels feature, blog search engine Twingly has done a rough analysis of which traditional news organisations in 10 European countries are “best loved” by social media.

The site looked at the “top stories” of the day for each of the news sites and calculated the references and links shared to them on social sites, including blogs and Twitter.

Comparing all these, there are quite some striking scenarios to look at. The strongest Channels in terms of linking blogs and tweets are without a doubt UK and Sweden. Taking a closer look at both, one notices that all top stories on the Swedish Channel usually have far more blog posts referring to them than tweets! In Norway it looks largely the same – almost all top stories get discussed more on blogs than on Twitter.

Full post on Twingly at this link…Similar Posts:

August 11 2010


Mashable: Are social networks becoming personal news wires?

To celebrate its five-year anniversary, Mashable is producing a series of posts on developments in social media. The latest looks at the impact of social networking on news consumption and the idea that social networks have become personal news wires.

Following a discussion of online “friends” evolving into our news editors, writer Vadim Lavrusik rounds-up some interesting ideas about ways to measure source credibility in the future for greater transparency online.

Though news is increasingly social and user-generated, the persistent fear is one of credibility and a flaw in measuring a curator’s knowledge on or interest in a topic. This problem could be improved by enabling users to develop more targeted news feeds on personalized topics of interest, but also by identifying specific sources and curators of information as more or less credible than others.

One idea he discusses, put forward by Andy Carvin a senior strategist at NPR,  would be to measure “who is knowledgeable” about a topic being shared.

This could also include sifting sources based on whether they are eye-witness to an event or are experts on the topic, both of which add value in their own way, he said. Such a model could then help establish a credibility index among users as sources, helping consumers better decide what information is credible.

See the full post here…Similar Posts:

August 06 2010


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 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 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 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 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:

August 04 2010


#TNTJ – the return of a blog and information network for young journalists

TNTJ, or Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists, was set up to provide an informal blogging network for young journalists to share their experiences of the industry and debate, discuss and dissect the issues affecting their fledgling careers.

We’re relaunching the blog network under the same criteria, but with some new features planned. Every month there will be a new question or topic up for discussion. If you join TNTJ, we’d like your views on it, but we also want you to blog on your own site too to spread the word. It’s an opportunity to make new contacts, get advice and promote yourself online – you can create a user profile for all your posts on the TNTJ site.

In addition to the monthly debates, we’ll post events, opportunities, interviews and advice that we think would interest our TNTJ members. Please feel free to do the same.

To sign up, please click ‘Register’ in the sidebar or click here to register. ANYBODY can sign-up, so long as you:

1) Are younger than 30-years-old;
2) And you blog about journalism/are interested in taking part in an online discussion about journalism.

Enter your details, and soon we’ll activate your account so you can post your entry. Bear with us while we do that – it’s not an automated process, but we’ll be quick as we can.

The revamped TNTJ will be moderated by a team of young journalists, who we’ll be introducing shortly along with a question for August. You can also follow the blog on Twitter, @TNTJ.

Let’s get blogging!Similar Posts:


NPR publishes results of extensive survey on Facebook

News organisations and journalists wanting to make better use of Facebook to promote and share their work would do well to read NPR’s findings from its survey of more than 40,000 of its Facebook fans.

While NPR admits some of the responses will be skewed because the questions were asked via Facebook, the news organisation does have more than one million fans, so it must be doing something right.

Some important points:

  • “Users don’t think the number of ‘likes’ on a Facebook post will make them more likely to click it”;
  • “The vast majority (84 per cent) of NPR Facebook fans regularly read the links we post”;
  • NPR’s Facebook fans “are more inclined to consume NPR content on Facebook that other news sources”.

Full round-up of results at this link…

And if you fancy befriending Journalism.co.uk on Facebook, our fan page is at this link.Similar Posts:


Nieman: French journalists experiment with social network newsgathering

A radio journalist who took part in a week-long social media experiment – confining herself and four other journalists from French-speaking stations to an isolated cabin where their only news sources would be Twitter and Facebook – has detailed her findings on the Nieman Journalism Lab.

Janic Tremblay documents the highs and lows of following events via the two platforms whilst trying to build a strong network of reliable news sources.

On our first night in France, I went online and came across tweets from a man who had been arrested during a demonstration in Moscow earlier that day. He had been jailed for many hours and was tweeting about what was happening. I did not know him. Clearly we lived in different universes, but it turned out that a member of his social network is also part of mine. When my social networking friend retweeted his posts, he showed up in my Twitter feed, and there we were—connected, with me in a French farmhouse and he in jail in Moscow.

(…) With the traditional tools of journalists, the odds of me finding this man would have been close to zero. However, I believe situations like this one happen rarely, as best I can tell from my experience and that of my colleagues.

See the full post here…Similar Posts:

August 03 2010


Will the paywall protect Times journalists from public opinion?

The Guardian’s Martin Belam makes an interesting point about the impact of the paywall on journalists whose work later falls under scrutiny. Have the Times and Sunday Times built a kind of protective layer around their journalists online?

Belam compares the recent outcry regarding AA Gill’s review last week, accused of containing homophobic language in reference to Clare Balding, with Jan Moir’s column on Stephen Gately, which saw links to the story circulating through social media in no time. In the latter case, latecomers to the event could still read the original writing for themselves online.

It does rather hark back to a previous age – where reporters reported on what had been said about a story, and you had to take their word for it, rather than the audience being able to Google it for themselves. As it is, with the paywall in place, rather than making our own minds up about whether AA Gill was nasty and homophobic, it now seems we’ll have to wait for the PCC to judge it for us.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:

August 02 2010


The changing face of the news editor in the world of social media

The freedom attributed to the world of online journalism supports the notion that the internet fosters equality. When it comes to news, we can be our own gatekeepers and use social media to carve out our own news agenda.

The issue is at the heart of a post on Nieman Journalism Lab by Ken Doctor, looking at the evolving image of the news editor within social media, from the experienced newsdesk figure to our community of online friends.

In this hybrid era of straddling print and digital publishing, the role of the gatekeeper has markedly morphed. It’s shifted from “us” to “them”, but “them” includes a lowercase version of “us”, too. Gatekeeping is now a collective pursuit; we’ve become our own and each other’s editors.

With social media, the serendipity that came with turning pages and suddenly discovering a gem of a story that an editor put there happens in new ways. We’re re-creating such moments ourselves, each of us―individually and collectively―as we tout stories and posts to each other. A friend e-mails us a story; we might read it, time permitting. We get the same story from three people, and chances are good that we’ll carve out time to take a look.

Doctor says that in the future news organisations will need to “harness this power” by combining a professional and traditional news judgement with the value and reach of social media networks. Additionally – never underestimate the importance of aggregation in appealing to social media audiences.

Go ahead and call it gatekeeping, but think of it with a different slant when it comes to flexing those well-honed news judgment muscles. These days editors have a much bigger bank of news and features on which to draw. It’s not just what staff reporters and wire copy offers; it’s the entire web of content.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:

July 28 2010


Facebook on how news organisations can best use the social network

The main man behind media partnerships at Facebook, Justin Osofsky, has posted a blog detailing the social network’s recent analysis of how news sites currently use Facebook.

A Facebook team conducted the independent analysis of the “100 top media sites”, assessing their user engagement through social plugins.

We recently set forth to learn how news organizations can best use Facebook to (1) drive growth in audience and traffic, (2) increase engagement, and (3) gain valuable customer insights.

We also analysed the pages of several top media organizations and the stories they posted, including their content, types of status update, and time of day.

The findings have been shared today on a Facebook and Media page, with an overall aim to improve news organisations’ use of Facebook media in the future.

Examples include the use of Facebook Insights to better understand user interests, and placement of the ‘Activity Feed’ and ‘Recommendations’ social plugins on both the front and content pages to gain up to ten times more clicks per user than on the front page alone.

See the full post here…Similar Posts:

July 27 2010


NUJ silver surfers can get together online with new Facebook group

Silver surfers from the NUJ 60+, an organisation dedicated to the unions “old(er) hacks”, can now come together online on a Facebook page launched just for them.

‘Old(er) hacks aloud’, which currently has just five members, offers a space to “seek old mates, share anecdotes, ideas and opinions on the world of journalism today and yesterday”.

Old(er) Hacks aloud! is a way of using the internet to involve those who use this medium and those who will do, in whatever way they want (observing NUJ ethics of course), seriously or to have some fun.

The NUJ, which is affiliated at national level to the National Pensioners Convention, says the 60+ group provides members with an opportunity to “use their vast experience and collective voice”.Similar Posts:

July 21 2010


Is Facebook falling out of favour?

Newspaper sites are more popular with internet users than social networks such as Facebook and Myspace, according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The statistics, which were also quoted in a Washington Times post, show online news outlets topped the tables with satisfaction scores of 82 per cent (FoxNews.com), 77 per cent (USAToday.com) and 76 per cent (NYTimes.com).

By comparison, social networking site Facebook achieved just 64 per cent, while Myspace was even lower at 63 per cent.

According to the report, this puts Facebook in the bottom 5 per cent of all measured private sector companies.

Wikipedia claimed the highest social media rating with 77 per cent, while YouTube achieved 73 per cent. Search engines also outperformed social media, with Google receiving 80 per cent, closely followed by Bing at 77 per cent.

This was the first time social media websites have been measured by ACSI, which pulls data from interviews with around 70,000 customers.Similar Posts:

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