Tag Archives: customisation

Customising your blog – some basic principles (Online Journalism Handbook)

customised car

A customised car. Like a customised blog, only bigger. Image by Steve Metz - click to see original

Although I cover blogging in some depth in my online journalism book, I thought I should write a supplementary section on what happens when you decide to start customising your blog.

Specifically, I want to address 3 key languages which you are likely to encounter, what they do, and how they work.

What’s the difference? HTML, CSS, and PHP

Most blog platforms use a combination of HTML, CSS and PHP (or similar scripting language). These perform very different functions, so it saves you a lot of time and effort if you know which one you might need to customise. Here’s what those functions are:

  • HTML is concerned with content.
  • CSS is concerned with style.
  • And PHP is concerned with functionality.

If you want to change how your blog looks, then, you will need to customise the CSS.

If you want to change what it does, you will need to customise the PHP.

And if you want to change how content is organised or classified, then you need to change the HTML.

All 3 are interrelated: PHP will generate much of the HTML, and the CSS will style the HTML. I’ll explain more about this below.

But before I do so, it’ll help if you have 3 windows open on your computer to see how this works on your own blog. They are:

  1. On your blog, right-click and select ‘View source‘ (or a similar option) so you can see the HTML for that page.
  2. Open another window, log in to your blog, and find the customisation option (you may have to Google around to find out where this option is). You should be able to see a page of code.
  3. Open a third window which you will use to search for useful resources to help you as you customise your blog. Continue reading

6 ways of communicating data journalism (The inverted pyramid of data journalism part 2)

This is a duplicate post. You can find the original here, or a version in Spanish here.

6 ways of communicating data journalism (The inverted pyramid of data journalism part 2)

Last week I published an inverted pyramid of data journalism which attempted to map processes from initial compilation of data through cleaning, contextualising, and combining that. The final stage – communication – needed a post of its own, so here it is.

UPDATE: Now in Spanish too.

Below is a diagram illustrating 6 different types of communication in data journalism. (I may have overlooked others, so please let me know if that’s the case.)

Communicate: visualised, narrate, socialise, humanise, personalise, utilise

Modern data journalism has grown up alongside an enormous growth in visualisation, and this can sometimes lead us to overlook different ways of telling stories involving big numbers. The intention of the following is to act as a primer for ensuring all options are considered.
Continue reading

Why do people read online news? (Research summary)

Ioana Epure summarises “Harnessing the potential of online news: Suggestions from a study on the relationship between online news advantages and its post-adoption consequences”, a study by An Nguyen (University of Stirling)

In the last decade journalism has entered a stage in which news organisations are less reluctant to invest in online operations, but An Nguyen’s study starts from the premise that they do so driven not by the desire to innovate and fully exploit the potential of online news, but because of the fear that the internet will replace traditional media in the news market.

As a consequence, they haven’t actually tried to understand what users want from online news and how what they want will affect their behaviour after receiving it.

Surprisingly, the results of Nguyen’s study show that traditional press still has a battle to carry, provided that practitioners understand why people have turned to online news and try to offer them something similar. Continue reading

Guest blogger Bas Timmers on the customisable future of news

Bas Timmers is Newsroom Editor at Dutch broadsheet de Volkskrant

It´s 2015. Newspapers don´t exist anymore. At least, not as a mass medium. Because everyone is living in his own cocoon, his own little world, assembled to his own preferences. Customizable, as the phenomenon is generally called. A television(or a computer screen or electronic paper?) displays documentaries and YouTube-like videos from internet users with the same preferences and the same lifestyle. The mp3-player pounds out songs automaticallty that fit the mood of its user, because the bloody thing can sense the mental state of of its boss. And in the meantime it also suggests some new songs that might match his preference. Continue reading