Jon Bounds is one of Birmingham’s most established and best-known bloggers. In this guest post, cross-posted from his own blog, he explains why he’s auctioning off that site, the reasons he started it in the first place, and the problems with the ‘hyperlocal question’.
I started Birmingham: It’s Not Shit back in the May of 2002, before there were really such things as blogs in the mainstream and the term ‘hyperlocal’ was not even a glint in an irritating theorist’s eye.
Pretty much everything that’s ever been on it, and definitely everything technical was written or created by me. I’ve had a couple of ‘columnists’ for short whiles and a couple of bits of ‘holiday cover’ but that’s all.
The site was flat, hand coded HTML until I learned of PHP and wrote a simple news updating section. Later I discovered that there wasn’t only a name for such things but software out there to do it more prettily and better.
And now it, or sites like it, are either the future of the media or a disappointment to those that thought they should be.
But, it didn’t start because the media was dying, it started because the media was crap: crap at explaining why people connected emotionally with a place that—when looked at objectively—was a bit shit. Crap at self awareness, crap at understanding real life. The media has changed a little, but mostly the contents have just shifted in transit. Continue reading
In a guest post for OJB, cross-posted from her blog, Franzi Baehrle reviews a new German TV show which operates across broadcast, web and mobile.
There’s a big experiment going on in German television. And I have to admit that I was slightly surprised that the rather conservative “Bayerischer Rundfunk” (BR, a public service broadcaster in Bavaria), would be the one to start it.
Blogger and journalist Richard Gutjahr was approached by BR to develop a format merging internet and TV. On Monday night the “Rundshow” was aired for the first time at 11pm German time, and will be running Mondays-Thursdays for the next four weeks. Continue reading
With local elections looming this is a great 20-30 minute project for any journalist wanting to create an interactive Google map of council ward boundaries.
For this you will need:
In a guest post for OJB, cross-posted from Putney Debater, Michael Chanan explores his experiences of video blogging for the New Statesman and how it differs from conventional documentary.
Being written for presentation at ‘Marx at the Movies’, these notes address the topic from an angle which is rarely treated in film and video scholarship, that of the peculiar labour process and mode of production involved.
When I started video blogging on the New Statesman, I don’t know if either the NS or myself quite knew what to expect. The main reason for not knowing: it was December 2010, it was clear that something momentous going on, that the protest movement was building, and the idea I had, which the NS agreed to go with, was simple enough: to go out and film stuff that was happening from a sympathetic point of view, and thus, almost week by week, build up a kind of ongoing documentary record of the events. I was thinking in terms of Glauber Rocha’s formula for Cinema Novo in Brazil—to go and make films with a camera in the hand and an idea in the head. I also had the idea from the outset of bringing these blogs together sometime later into a single long documentary (which duly appeared as Chronicle of Protest). Continue reading
Several people have tried to work out how many people are paying to get into the pawalled Times website. My estimate (first published here) is: 46,154 a day. Update: Tom Whitwell, assistant editor of the Times, says in the comments on the original that this figure “*spectacularly* underestimates” the actual number of visitors to the new site.
To come up with this figure, I compared how many people commented on two stories – one on the Times site (now paywalled) and one on the Guardian. The screenshot, below, taken at 1.45pm yesterday, shows the Times with 4 comments in 2 hours. The Guardian, on a similar but slightly later story, had 117 comments in 90 minutes. Continue reading
In a guest post, blogger Tim Kevan explains why he resigned from The Times over the paywall
Back in early 2007 I had been practising as a lawyer for some nine years. But I’d always dreamt of living by the sea and the surf and maybe even writing a novel. I just couldn’t quite see how it could be done.When I finally sat down to write a legal thriller what popped out instead was a legal comedy about a fictional young barrister doing pupillage.
I called him BabyBarista which was a play on words based on his first impression being that his coffee-making skills were probably as important to that year as any forensic legal abilities he may have. I wrote it as a blog and was hopeful it might raise a few smiles but in my wildest dreams I hadn’t imagined quite the extraordinary set of circumstances which then unfolded with The Times offering to host the blog and Bloomsbury Publishing of Harry Potter fame offering to make it into a book.
Since then the first book came out last August and was originally called BabyBarista and the Art of War. It is being re-issued in August under the new title Law and Disorder and the sequel is due out next May.
I was also continuing to publish my blog on The Times until May this year when it became clear that even blogs were going to go behind their new paywall. Continue reading
Karthika Muthukumaraswamy on how crowdsourcing experiments in journalism need to learn from their commercial counterparts – and how the end results could bring financial rewards for everyone.
The crowd has done a great deal for journalism: it has counted the number of SUVs on the streets of New York City, determined Bill Clinton’s financial impact on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and offered valuable suggestions to transform an impoverished Ugandan village.
Ever since journalism jumped on the crowdsourcing bandwagon following innovative business models in T-shirt designing and problem solving, it has been baffled by the intensity of crowd response. Consequently, the media’s implementation of it has lacked the selection process that is essential to use crowdsourcing to its fullest potential.
There are only so many T-shirts that Threadless can make and sell; there are only so many solutions to Innocentive’s complex problems; and there are only so many photographs that iStockphoto consumers will purchase. Continue reading
This was published as a guest post on Shane Richmond’s Daily Telegraph Technology blog:
Media organisations are still barely getting their heads around social media. They look at a conversation and see ‘vox pops’; they look at a community and see a market. They ask for ‘Your pictures’ and then complain when they get 1000 images of a mild snowfall.
They ghettoise viewers into 60 second slots at the end of the news bulletin, or ‘Have Your Say’ sections on the website. They can see the use of blogs and Twitter when they can’t access a disaster area and are desperate for news, but the rest of the time complain that they’re ‘only for geeks’ or ‘full of rumour’. And they advertise, when they should socialise. Continue reading