“a service that lets our users create and share their comic-style stories with the community. We aim to provide our users with easy to use tools that transforms their most cherished and most memorable photographs into something fun. We also aim to build to build a fun and light-hearted community where people can hang out to have a laugh or two.”
Now there’s a rich history of comic strips and graphics in newspapers. Satirical cartoons are an obvious application of this.
Could Comiqs introduce a user generated element to that too?
If you’re not one of the 3,000-plus people to have viewed Dave Lee’s video of the BBC’s “shambolic” coverage (or lack of) the UK earthquake this week, I’ve embedded it below. This deserves to be watched by everyone at the BBC (although interestingly, only Sky, who come out of this quite well, appear to be linking to it). For everyone else, the reaction from those who had just experienced the quake and are waiting for some acknowledgement from Auntie Beeb is just very very funny indeed.
As you have probably worked out, this year’s Online Journalism students have been building up towards launching an environmental news website. This week the site went public, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned so far…
The site is the final year project of two final year journalism degree students – Azeem Ahmad and Rachael Wilson. The decision was made to launch an environmental site because of the increase of investment in this area from a number of news organisations, and also because of a local connection – more of which later.
Azeem is responsible for the more technical side of the site, which he has built from scratch using the open source content management software Joomla.
Rachael has the responsibility for editorial, which means writing for the site herself, but more importantly managing 14 second year students on the Online Journalism module as they try to build a news site on a subject most have never written about. She’s also been blogging her experiences.
Week One: Choosing a name, assigning beats, making connections
After some cheesy brainstorming, the very literal name ‘Environmental News Online‘ was chosen for the site for the simple reasons of search engine optimisation and domain name availability. The abbreviation ‘ENO’ lent it more character. Continue reading →
Kudos to two of my student journalists who had the nous to report on last night’s earthquake as soon as it happened, using Twitter, blogs and the website, and sourcing from forums, Twitter, blogs, and Flickr.
Once he’d gathered some facts, he blogged it. In addition to the official sources and other news outlets, Mitch had also gathered some original material from blogs and blog comments.
(And the Flickr-sourced image of a bleary-eyed housemate in dressing gown watching the news was an unusual one, but in the absence of the old lump-of-debris snap it kinda works for me as a representation of what was happening across the country – and he gets credit for thinking visually).
Cleverly, he’s obviously set up Twitterfeed to post blog updates to his Twitter account too.
Bounder, who writes the blog, sets up the following rules:
“Each player starts with an odd, but fun, fact about Brum and one odd, but fun, fact about their blog.
“At the end of your blog, you need to choose two people to get tagged and list their names.
“Tag your post “birminghamUK” and “brumblogtig” (the second one is a memetag).
“People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (with their version of the post) and post these rules (or link to them here). They can tie it in with their particular subject if they so wish.
“Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
It’s a great idea – a viral thing right down to its rules (“a bit like a game of consequences, a bit like a chain letter”) and another example of the power of tags.
Now, my blog isn’t about Birmingham per se (though I often write about online journalism taking place here), and I’m not even from the city originally, but I’m game for anything, so here’s my pass-it-on:
Birmingham fact: The inventor of the Baskerville font lived and worked in Birmingham. A sculpture of the Baskerville typeface, Industry and Genius, stands in the city’s Centenary Square. The letters point to the sky so you have to lean over it to see them.
Blog Fact: The blog has gone through a number of names and addresses. Originally it was a general blog called ‘More Blogs About Buildings And Food’.
“To follow the money, you have to shift from a basic view of a market as a matching of two parties — buyers and sellers — to a broader sense of an ecosystem with many parties, only some of which exchange cash.
“… There are dozens of ways that media companies make money around free content, from selling information about consumers to brand licensing, “value-added” subscriptions, and direct ecommerce (see wired.com/extras for a complete list). Now an entire ecosystem of Web companies is growing up around the same set of models.”
In an attempt to reconnect with its readers, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung(FAZ) introduced a thematic and participatory website a few weeks ago.
The translation of The Kindly Ones, a blockbuster book wherever it’s been released, landed in German bookstores last Saturday, February 23. Its controversial content (sex, Nazis and sadism) makes it a favorite conversation topic among the quality-newspaper-reading population. FAZ decided to organize this conversation.Continue reading →
I’ve been teaching my student journalists how to use the content management system for our new news website (more about that in a later post). We’re using Joomla – it does a lot, but it’s not exactly user-friendly, which ironically makes it a very good experience for anyone who’ll have to use newspaper CMS’s.
And this begs the question: what CMS do you use – and what does it do well or badly?