links for 2009-08-28

  • Kevin: An excellent overview of the use of social media by major newspapers in the United States with interviews with key editors in charge of the efforts.
  • Kevin: Steve Outing writes about a future of news conference in Aspen. About the the paid content debate: "Will news publishers charge for content online? Almost certainly, yes, for some of it — actually, for a very small part of it. I believe there is consensus among most (not all) news publishers that they can and should charge online users (and mobile, too) for the extra-special, can't-find-it-elsewhere, this-will-make-you-more-money-or-improve-your-life content they produce. And most of the news content that is the traditional fare of newspapers will remain free online, supported by advertising and additional revenue streams." He says that if publishers can get 10% their loyal online readers to pay for something, it would represent a significant source of new income.
  • Kevin: This is well worth a read, and while some of the problems might be more pronounced in the US, some of the issues are affecting newspapers in most developed countries. He points out: "Subscribers didn’t pay for news. Advertisers did." His point that newspapers are the product of monopoly thinking might be more relevant to the US than the UK where there is competition in 'national' daily newspapers. But he doesn't just criticise editors and managers, he also challenges journalists. "Journalists like to affect a garrulous Ludditism." It's definitely worth a read.
  • Kevin: We use Google Docs internally here at the Guardian to share documents and to collaborate. We also use Google Spreadsheets to publish data to our Data Store, where we publish the data that informs our stories. This is a great tutorial on how to get started with Google Docs.

links for 2009-08-27

  • Kevin: Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb – the best site for coverage of internet developments – writes of why people are wrong to abandon RSS. More importantly, he pulls back the curtain on how his team at RWW keep on top of the latest developments on the web.

    "I will tell you that I no longer use Google Reader or Netvibes. Instead, I use open source software on our own servers that is more customizable, more reliable and more efficient.

    Our team scans over thousands of company RSS feeds each morning for updates (what news writer wouldn’t do that?) and we use an open source customizable meme-tracker to make sure we haven’t missed anything important. We use open source RSS parsing software to set up a dashboard tracking all our competitors’ feeds, we use an RSS to IM alert system to get some feeds sent to us right away and at least some of us use Gmail Webclips for another layer of ambient feed tracking."

  • Kevin: "The universe of reviews, ratings and recommendations online open a tantalizing window on the collective consciousness."

links for 2009-08-24

links for 2009-08-22

  • Kevin: I am a huge fan of visualisations, and I see them being a larger part of what we do as journalists. They can often uncover patterns in complex sets of information. Mashable highlights some fascinating visualisations that look at Facebook, the networks, connections and sharing in that vast group of groups.
  • Kevin: Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures talks explores the idea of sharing so much of one's life on the internet. "I also understand that many people will never twitter about their golf exploits or check into restaurants via foursquare. Not everyone wants to "life stream" like I do.

    But a lot of people do. Extroversion on the web is a growing phenomenon."

links for 2009-08-20

links for 2009-08-19

  • Kevin: "National Public Radio (NPR) has just opened another means for developers to access content from a Transcript API. This API provides access to tens of thousands of transcripts from some of the most popular programs on NPR." Other radio orgs (hello BBC) should be looking at this. NPR is really moving forward with a lot of very interesting projects.
  • Kevin: Alan Mutter asks why newspapers didn't buy Everyblock, Adrian Holovaty's hyperlocal site (or micro-local as the site refers to itself). "The fact that the leading hyperlocal website was snatched up by a multimedia partnership operated by NBC and Microsoft shows a dismaying lack of imagination, foresight and, perhaps, economic resources on the part of the companies operating the nation’s struggling newspapers." And Alan continues, "With Microsoft, NBC and MSNBC feeding Everyblock resources and traffic, the site has the opportunity to take as big bite out of local news and advertising as Craig’s List took out of classified advertising."
  • Kevin: An interesting Q & A with Ewen MacAskill, the Guardian's Washington bureau chief about the Guardian's operations in the US.
  • Kevin: "Last Thursday, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals weighed in on what procedural safeguards are necessary to protect the rights of Internet users to engage in anonymous speech. In Solers, Inc. v. Doe, the D.C. high court set out a stringent standard for its lower courts to follow and emphasized that a plaintiff "must do more than simply plead his case" to unmask an anonymous speaker claimed to have violated the law."

links for 2009-08-18

links for 2009-08-17

  • Kevin: Ben Parr at Mashable loves US National Public Radio's new app. It has the day's big stories and news articles but it also has links to the 1000+ NPR radio stations, news programmes and live streams, available to listen to anywhere.
  • Kevin: Stowe Boyd writes: "But I disagree that the conventional wisdom is now that newspapers screwed up by giving away content free: that's the conventional wisdom in old school journalist circles, and perhaps nowhere else.

    I hold — along with others like Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen — that they are screwing up by not finding new means to compete in a horizontalized media world."