Tag Archives: forums

Hyperlocal Voices: Geoff Bowen, Sheffield Forum

Sheffield Forum

For the latest in our Hyperlocal Voices series, Damian Radcliffe talks to Geoff Bowen the Founder of the Sheffield Forum. Now one of the UK’s largest forums, the site launched just over 10 years ago.

During that time it has attracted considerable amounts of traffic and a huge archive of community discussions. With over 150,000 registered users and up to 500,000 unique visitors every month, there are now more than 6.4m posts on SheffieldForum.co.uk, and this is increasing at a rate of around 2,000 per day.

In a social media age, what Geoff’s experience shows is that forums continue to offer a highly relevant means for local communities to come together and communicate.

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Search Options: Google adds more intuitive search tools, ‘takes on Twitter’

It’s often said that Twitter’s big advantage over Google is its ability to allow you to conduct ‘real time search’ – if an event is happening right now, you don’t search Google, you search Twitter.

But today Google has announced a series of features that, while still not offering real time search, take it just that bit closer. For me it is the most significant change to Google’s core service in years. 

Here’s the video:

This week, while talking to my students about the ability to search by date in Google, the computer assisted reporting blogger Murray Dick mentioned how unreliable the feature was, so I wouldn’t get too excited. 

What is new, however, is the ‘recent search’ facility, which brings up results from the past hour or two. Continue reading

JEEcamp – when the cottage news industry met mainstream media

What happens when you bring together local journalists, bloggers, web publishers, online journalism experts and new media startups – and get them talking?

That was the question that JEEcamp sought to answer: an ‘unconference’ around journalism enterprise and entrepreneurship that looked to tackle some of the big questions facing news in 2008: how do you make money from news when information is free? Where is the funding for news startups? How do you generate community? What models work for news online? Continue reading

German newspaper of record tries social media

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

Some conflicting lessons on journalism ethics re: forums, social networks, mailing lists and blogs

A recent discussion on the NUJ New Media mailing list prompted me to jot down some thoughts on the current private-public confusion thrown up by online communication channels. I think some education is required here on both sides.

Lesson 1: It’s public. Whatever you may think about codes of conducts, etc. etc. if you say something on a forum you should be aware that it may be quoted, that it may be indexed by search engines, databases, etc and potentially findable. You cannot rely on people’s good manners. So be careful what you say, or be prepared to stand by what you say.

Lesson 2: It’s private. Journalists got a lot of flak for wandering into blogs and forums after Virginia Tech because they saw it as being ‘in the public domain’ and therefore ethical (Tony Harcup had this view when I spoke to him at the time). But people using those platforms have a different view of what is ‘public domain’. So be courteous and sensitive.

An addendum: legal issues are still to be resolved around much of this. Employers and lecturers who look at people’s social networking profiles could be breaking the law; Facebook ads might be doing the same.

This post is part of a ‘blog carnival’. Read more at CarnivalOfJournalism.com.

A model for the 21st century newsroom: pt1 – the news diamond

UPDATE: A more up to date version of this post can be found at OnlineJournalismBlog.com, where this blog has moved to.

A month ago, I used the Online Journalism Facebook Group to ask readers to suggest what areas they wanted covering, in an experiment with bottom-up editing (the forum for suggestions is still open by the way). Megan T suggested “Rethinking the production of newspapers”.

After researching, conceptualising and scribbling, I’ve come up with a number of models around the news process, newsgathering, interactivity and business models.

The following, then, is the first in a series of proposals for a ‘model for the 21st century newsroom’ (part two is now here). This is a converged newsroom which may produce material for print or broadcast or both, but definitely includes an online element. Here’s the diagram. The model is explained further below it

21stcnewsroom1.gif

Building on the strengths of the medium

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Wiki journalism: are wikis the new blogs?

On Thursday I’ll be presenting my paper on wiki journalism at the Future of Newspapers conference in Cardiff. As previously reported, the full paper is available as a wiki online for anyone to add to or edit. You can also download a PDF of the ‘official’ version.

Based on a review of a number of case studies, and some literature on wikis, the paper proposes a taxonomy of wiki journalism, and outlines the opportunities and weaknesses of the form. The following is the edited highlights: Continue reading