Monthly Archives: May 2008

Web-surfing behavior: stuck in the 1990’s?

A new research from Indiana University showed that 54% of URL requests had no referrals. That means that most of the time, people do not click on links. They merely pick a site in their favorites or type in an URL in the address bar. A mere 5% of URL requests came from search engines.

The figures can hardly be doubted. The study monitored 100,000 users over 9 months – the largest yet. What is more, the number of URL requests without referrals actually increased over the course of the study.

Users seem less Google-prone than what is often claimed. They spend little time surfing and prefer to go directly to destinations they know. Continue reading

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The ‘title’ link attribute: is it worth it?

The title attribute of a hyperlink allows for a short description of the destination page to be displayed under the cursor. It helps the user get a hint of the linked page’s content without the loading time associated with Snapshot-like plugins (used on this blog).

Most of us would look at the browser’s status bar, but it can be difficult for regular users to determine whether a link is safe for work or if leads to any interesting content. For all the value the attribute adds to user experience, it takes an awful lot of time for a journalist to fill in all the fields. 30 seconds per link, 10 links per article and that’s 5 additional minutes per story. Continue reading

Has blogging changed your journalism?

As part of a book chapter on the subject I’m putting together some research on if and how blogging has changed our work as journalists. It would help me enormously if you could take a few minutes to complete this short survey on ‘Has blogging changed your journalism?’.

If you could pass on the link to other journalists who blog I’d be very grateful too.

It’s all anonymous, and the results will be published here as soon as I compile them, with an email notification to members of the Online Journalism Blog Facebook group.

If you want to say more on the subject, please email me at paul.bradshaw@bcu.ac.uk – or indeed, blog about it yourself and link back here so I know about it.

Many thanks.

A week in online journalism: roundup

Allison White has written this wonderful roundup of last week’s news for the OJB. But now she’s got a job. Persuade her to do this again in the comments…

Google

-Announced no desire to create content and will respect copyright.

It added face-blur technology to its Street View mapping serivce to protect privacy. Also speculation from Groves Media on whether this technology is more of a threat to civil liberties than CCTV.

Microsoft

-Looking to limit the kinds of computers that can use their low-cost OS, making them poor computers even if they could be better and still be as cheap. Continue reading

Introducing: the Facebook group for online journalism educators and academics

I’ve set up a Facebook group for online journalism educators and academics. I don’t know about you, but I find Facebook groups very useful for organising things quickly, asking for feedback, or finding the right people quickly. Teaching or studying online journalism can be like taking a shot in the dark sometimes, so I hope this will become a place to network, share ideas and gather support. Join it if you think it’ll be useful – I’ll try to assign an admin in every country so we can make it as useful as possible.

PS: There is also the Online Journalism Blog Facebook group.

Social bookmarking for journalists

This was originally published in Press Gazette as Del.icio.us social bookmarking explained and Need some background info? Just follow the electronic trail.

How journalists can use web bookmarking services to manage, find and publish documents.

Every newspaper has a library, and most journalists have kept some sort of cuttings file for reference. But what if you could search that cuttings file like you search Google? What if you could find similar articles and documents? What if you could let your readers see your raw material?

That’s what online bookmarking – or ‘social bookmarking‘ – tools allow you to do. And they have enormous potential for journalists.

There are a number of social bookmarking services. Del.icio.us is best known and most widely used and supported. For this reason this article will focus mostly on Del.icio.us. Continue reading

10 questions from a student: How has social networking transformed journalism? (Now with transcription)

I’ve decided to respond to student questions now via video. The latest collection are from Jess Barlow, and are copied below. The video responses are split into three videos – and there is a transcription of the responses at the end:

  1. Which online tools and resources do you use to keep up to date with breaking news stories, and why do you use these?
  2. Do you keep a personal Blog and if so how regularly do you update it, and why?
  3. How important is Blogging to you personally, and in your opinion for online news production?

Continue reading