Tag Archives: slideshows

Instagram has launched a new “carousel” feature – here’s how journalists can use it

Example of using Instagram's new feature to tell Storm Doris story

Using Instagram’s new feature to tell Storm Doris story. Note the call to action to ‘swipe’: this can also be done in the caption to the first image or video.

This week Instagram announced a new feature that allows its users to share up to 10 pictures and videos within a single post. The feature resembles Stories in some ways, but with this key difference: posts are permanent. In a special guest post, Sam Gould explores how the feature can be used by journalists and news organisations.

You might be mistaken for thinking Instagram’s new “multiple photos and videos in one post” feature is just the same as Instagram’s Stories feature, which they introduced in August. But there is one difference which is key for journalists and publishers: these posts are permanent.

Although Instagram haven’t referred to the new updates as a slideshow or gallery, that is perhaps the simplest way to describe the new feature: users can swipe from left to right to move between pictures, and/or videos. Continue reading

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Journalism *is* curation: tips on curation tools and techniques

Curation is a relatively new term in journalism, but the practice is as old as journalism itself. Every act of journalism is an act of curation: think of how a news report or feature selects and combines elements from a range of sources (first hand sources, background facts, first or second hand colour). Not only that: every act of publishing is, too: selecting and combining different types of content to ensure a news or content ‘mix’. 

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ in his talk to employees at the Washington Post said: “People will buy a package … they will not pay for a story.” Previously that package was limited to what your staff produced, and wire copy. But as more content becomes digitised, it is possible to combine more content from a wider variety of sources in a range of media – and on any one of a number of platforms.

Curation is nothing new – but it is becoming harder.

Choosing the tools

I’ve identified at least three distinct types of curation (you may think of more):

  1. Curation as distribution or relay: this is curation at the platform level: think of Twitter accounts that relay the most useful links and tweets from elsewhere. Or Tumblr blogs that pass on the best images, video and quotes. Or UsVsTh3m.
  2. Curation as aggregation or combination: seen in linkblogging and news roundups, or galleries, or news aggregators (even creating an algorithm or filter is a journalistic act of selection).
  3. Curation as filter or distillation: this often comes in the form of the list: Buzzfeed is a master of these, distilling conversations from Reddit and complementing them with images.

Buzzfeed lists

There are also a number of ways in which the journalist adds value (again, you may think of more):

  • Through illustrating (as Buzzfeed, above, does with images to liven up highlights from a text discussion)
  • Through contextualising
  • Through verification
  • Through following up

As a journalist operating online, you are both reporter and publisher, able to curate content both at the article level and that of ‘publication’ – whether that’s a Twitter stream, a Tumblr blog, or a Flipboard magazine. Here are some suggestions for tools and techniques:
Continue reading

How will people use your content? (Bad slideshow design)

gruffalo cake recipe

Design is not just about aesthetics but usability as well. This is particularly relevant when you are designing content online. So when I encountered this example of a slideshow for a cake recipe, I had to share it.

1. There is no ‘print’ option on the page

2. The ingredients are on one page, the recipe instructions take up a further 9 pages. So using the browser’s print option would involve clicking at least 19 times (9 times to get to the next page, 10 times to print each page – more clicks if you add in clicking on menus, etc.)

What do people do with recipes? Not this, if they can help it.

Thinking about how people might use your content should be part of how you design it. Newspapers have evolved over centuries in response to this – and even that doesn’t stay still, as the way that people use newspapers continues to change.

So what should this slideshow include? Well if you have to use a slideshow then at least include a link to a printable or fullscreen version (if they have the laptop or tablet in the kitchen) of the full recipe.

And if you’re going to allow people to ‘share’ it (as this slideshow did), don’t let that mean sharing just one part of the recipe (as, sadly, this slideshow did. I pity the person who received my message saying that I thought they might like step 1 of an incomplete recipe).

Thankfully the slideshow format is not used for any other recipe on The Guardian’s recipes page. Meanwhile, it’s a good lesson in bad design.

Hyperlocal Voices: Ian Wylie, Jesmond Local

JesmondLocal

Yessi Bello continues the Hyperlocal Voices series with an interview with JesmondLocal‘s Ian Wylie, who decided to dabble in local journalism after taking voluntary redundancy from a national newspaper. Still viewed as a “pro-bono”, ” good thing to do” Jesmond Local has now become an integral part of the Jesmond Community.

1)Who were the people behind the blog, and what where their backgrounds?

After 15 years working for The Guardian as a reporter, features writer and finally section editor, I took voluntary redundancy in 2009, and began thinking about what I would do with the next chapter of my career. I’d been involved mostly in national newspaper and magazine journalism, so local journalism was something I hadn’t dabbled in before.

The concept of “hyperlocal” fascinated me as an area for me to explore and an opportunity for me also to “give something back”. I discovered that Newcastle University lecturer David Baines had a research interest in the subject. We met to discuss and he suggested I offer some of his students the chance to launch a hyperlocal website, which we did almost exactly a year ago. Continue reading