Monthly Archives: August 2006

Subscribe to an email feed

[Keyword: , , ]. Yes, I have a new box on the right if you want to subscribe to regular emails. And there’s some history to this…

Frequent readers of my blog may be familiar with my ongoing quest to find a suitable way to offer email subscriptions. My first effort involved getting my blog to email posts to a group on Yahoo! Groups which anyone could subscribe to. However, for some reason the group stopped working, so I switched to Google Groups. Neither solution was ideal, as it still required users to do more work than simply entering an email address, so I was pleased to discover BotaBlog offered a simple email entry field. Thing is, it didn’t seem to work properly either.

So, I’m thrilled to discover a new feature on Feedburner where you can choose from three different email delivery services: the first, provided by Feedburner itself, simply requires users to enter their email address in a box you can insert on your site; the second, from Feedblitz, not only does that, but provides you with subscribers’ email addresses too. The third, from Squeet, doesn’t provide subscriber email addresses, but does allow them to ‘buzz’ their favourite articles and promote them further.

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Blog recommendation: Innovations in Newspapers

[Keyword: ]. Here’s a blog that’s worth perusing if you’re interested in the changes in newspapers brought about by new media: Innovations in Newspapers. Produced by a consultancy (clever way to spread the word about your services) it demonstrates a good understanding of good and bad practice in online journalism.

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New Trinity Mirror multimedia chief puts focus on citizen journalism

[Keyword: , , ]. More from Press Gazette as the latest issue includes an interview with newly appointed head of multimedia for Trinity Mirror’s regional newspapers Michael Hill.

It seems Hill is going to be firmly focused on making the most of citizen journalism, as he says:

“I think newspapers, particularly regional newspapers, need to be — and will be — much more open to news being generated and sent to them by their readers.

“There is going to be much more of a focus on being inclusive, rather than publishing to an audience at a time you specify, and giving the audience the news diet that you decided.

“There’s going to be a bigger focus on interacting with that audience, answering to them, and using a lot of the stuff that they produce for you.

“I think the distinction between professional journalists and citizen journalists may become a little blurred.

“Rather than seeing the content that citizen journalists provide as being useful exclusively on a website, papers can start looking a lot more to use some of that content in print as well.”

These are great things to be hearing from a ‘multimedia chief’, although as part of his role will be “advising local editors on best practice ideas for multimedia” the biggest challenge, it seems, will be persuading them to implement the impressive ideas he has.

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Telegraph website keeps improving

[Keyword: ]. Press Gazette reports on continuing changes to the Telegraph.co.uk website with online editorial director Edward Roussel quoted as saying: “We want our readers to be engaged with the news-making process, by sharing their views on our blogs and other forms of online discussion.”

The article lists changes including

“larger text … and more news added throughout the day in the form of written
articles, audio and video. Other new additions include more “economic snapshots”
on the business pages including info on key indicators such as house prices,
unemployment, inflation, GDP and interest rates; content on the travel pages
divided by continent and country using maps; property pages to include data on
historic prices and access to 7.5 million UK house prices; a revamped blogging
site including online diaries from Telegraph writers such as Celia Walden, Ben
Fenton and Hilary Alexander.”

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Contribute to citizen journalism training

[Keyword: , , ]. There’s a call for contributions on Dan Gillmor’s citizen journalism blog after the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the award of a grant to Gillmor’s Center for Citizen Media “to create five online training modules for citizen journalists. Those modules will cover 1) thoroughness, 2) accuracy, 3) fairness, 4) transparency and 5) independence.”

“The modules will be available initially on the Knight Foundation site and here, and will also be available under a Creative Commons license.

“We need your help,” says Gillmor. “To that end, we’re creating discussion boards where we can have a conversation about the content and ideas behind these modules. Watch this space for more details.”

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How newspapers can take advantage of citizen video

[Keyword: , , ]. There’s a lengthy column at Editor & Publisher with some useful advice for any newspapers looking to jump on the latest bandwagon: user-generated videos of the YouTube variety. The writer suggests:

“1. Understand the benefits and drawbacks of the existing sites for viewers and advertisers alike.

“2. Make a conscious transition from being strictly content creators to become local communication facilitators.

“3. Create new channels to capture and share the best content from around the country and world (similar to the Associated Press or ESPN but for user-generated content).

“4. Integrate, don’t segregate. Video needs to be integrated directly into existing sections.

“5. Experiment. Create new sections and new services to test what types of videos
people want to share and whether they’ll pay to place or see them. “

There’s plenty more advice including why newspapers have an advantage, how to make sure cream floats to the top, and even the idea of video comics.

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Proof that you don’t have to be a big paper to produce interactive features

[Keyword: , , ]. Mindy McAdams has blogged about a good example of multimedia being used at a small newspaper:

“The Star-Exponent just won an award from the APME for “Online Convergence,” for a story in January 2006 about the lynching of a black man in Culpeper in 1918.
The award apparently hinges on the multimedia element of the story package (this was designed to pop up in a small window). It includes a slideshow with sound and some original documents. It’s not one of the cleanest or most usable Flash packages, but this is a very small newspaper, and I give them a lot of credit for making the effort.”

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