31 July 2009

Social Media Revolution

Social media represent "a revolution in communication that no journalist or news organization can afford to ignore," says journalist and self-described change advocate Michele McLellan.

She offers three lessons in social media for news executives and entrepreneurs: Understand how it works. Understand how people (not journalists) use it. Use it strategically.

Specifically, she has three suggestions for how to proceed:

1. Try it. Start with Facebook. Set up an account, link up with friends and family members, and locate groups that reflect your interests. Start posting once a day. Share links to interesting articles. Ask friends to comment. Comment on others' posts. Devote 10 minutes a day to this for several weeks.

Next, she advises, start a Twitter account and repeat these steps. If you want to drive traffic for a certain subject on your site, Twitter will be a better tool than Facebook, she adds -- advice supported by JP Digital Digest posts earlier this week on the rapid growth of Twitter as a content-sharing tool.

"Resist the urge to create a litany of reasons you don’t like Facebook or Twitter or any other network you join," McLellan cautions. "You are not the point. Understanding how social media works is Job 1. Just talking about it or dissing it won’t get you there."

2. Watch how other people use social networks. What are people sharing and how do they share it? Don’t look at social media through the eyes of the journalist, she says; instead, focus on how people communicate with each other. Check out people who have a lot of followers on Twitter. How do they write, and what do they offer that appeals to you? Learn as much as you can about how people in your community use social media. Use search and check out sites such as PlaceBlogger to identify and connect with social media leaders. Ask the people around you how they use social media, too. Start thinking about how the news you produce might improve their experience -- which, she adds, "is different from trying to get them to read your news."

3. Be strategic. There’s no point in being on all the networks all the time, McLellan says. "Figure out a strategy, try it out and stick with it long enough to figure out whether it works, and learn from your mistakes if it doesn’t."

She says news organizations should not expect to get immediate revenue from social media. The applications are about community and conversation; they are valuable for journalists who want to increase their community connections. "It is those connections that may eventually yield revenue, from advertisers who want to speak to those communities, from services the news organization discovers those communities want, and from loyalty that will help keep the users coming back," McLellan concludes.


30 July 2009

Facebook Is King of Content Sharing

Facebook is the primary content-sharing method for internet users, though e-mail remains popular and, as reported here on Wednesday, Twitter is rapidly gaining ground.

Recent findings by AddToAny, provided as a Business Insider "Chart of the Day", broke down the various ways that people share content on the Web, finding that nearly a quarter of them use Facebook.

Applications such as Digg, Delicious, Reddit and StumbleUpon are among other options, but each accounts for less than 6% of the content-sharing usage, according to the chart.

Poynter Online's Will Sullivan points out that knowing how people use the Web to share information is important for news organizations, but accurately tracking the extent to which content-sharing sites drive people to their websites can be difficult. Analytics programmes may significantly under-report the number of referrals from sites such as Twitter, for instance.

Labels: ,

29 July 2009

Twitter Drives Traffic to Media Websites

Micro-blogging site Twitter has become a key source of traffic to other content-driven websites, including news and entertainment ones, Hitwise reports.

UK use of Twitter has increased 22-fold in the past 12 months, making it the nation's fastest-growing major website.

One consequence of its phenomenal growth, Hitwise's Robin Goad writes, is Twitter's new role as a traffic driver. During May 2009, Twitter was the 30th biggest source of traffic for other sites in the UK, accounting for 1 in every 350 visits to a typical website. And nearly 56% of this traffic went to other content-driven online media sites.

Twitter was the 27th biggest source of traffic to News and Media – Print websites in the UK during May, and all the main newspaper websites now have multiple Twitter feeds.

The key to a successful Twitter presence is to engage the community, Goad says.

"Twitter is a great viral marketing channel, and for many users the aim is to have their story ‘retweeted’ – i.e. passed on by other users – as many times as possible," he writes. "Although all of the newspapers have multiple ‘official’ feeds, these tend to be bland and have very low ‘retweet’ rates. Where journalists themselves are ‘tweeting’ themselves and engaging with the Twitter community, they typically have more success in creating viral stories."


28 July 2009

BBC To Share Video News with Print Websites

The BBC has struck a landmark deal with four national newspaper groups to share video news on their websites, the Guardian reports.

The deal -- described as the latest step in the BBC's plans to share content, expertise and technology in the name of public service -- will make a limited range of free BBC video news content available on the websites of the Daily Mail, Guardian, Independent and Daily Telegraph. The BBC video will supplement the websites' own material in the areas of UK politics, business, health and science, and technology.

The BBC plans to make the same video news content available to other UK-based news websites in the future. The arrangement covers only news, not other genres such as entertainment or sports.

The video will carry BBC branding, and partner media organisations are not allowed to place advertising around the clips.

The video news sharing proposal marks a significant shift in relations between the BBC and rival media companies, GuardianMedia writer Mark Sweney points out. Newspaper publishers have long argued that the BBC has used licence fee revenue to fund its expansion into digital media, an arena where it competes with content providers that do not have access to a comparable public subsidy.

The industry won a battle last November to halt the BBC from launching a £68m network of local video news websites when the BBC Trust rejected the corporation's proposals.

The BBC recently has embarked on a series of partnerships with commerical media companies to fend off government proposals to top-slice the licence fee to help support other public service broadcasters, Sweney reports.

Labels: ,

27 July 2009

Mobile Seen as Key to 'Future-Proof' Strategy

A "future-proof" strategy for newspapers requires a strong mobile presence, according to the Winning Mobile Strategies report recently released by the World Association of Newspapers.

Mobile usage is soaring, with 3.9 subscribers expected by the end of 2009 and a billion more in 2012, according to estimates by Portio Research. Global wireless online access also is growing very rapidly -- from 70 million to 920 million in 2008. The growth is occurring in both developed and developing nations.

"There is no question mobile, although currently a small slice of the digital pie, will increasingly be a key platform audiences turn to, and newspapers must be there to meet them," the WAN report says. It quotes Anders Børde, marketing director for Oslo-based More Mobile Relations, who warns that "newspapers, as well as any other type of company, cannot take the risk of not communicating with customers over the mobile platform. It will simply be expected."

Experts cited in the report say mobile is "ripe" for the development of advertising to suit the platform, as well as offering the ability to develop micro-payment opportunities.

Mobile tagging is another promising revenue stream, the report says. By digitally linking a 2-D barcode and a mobile device, users can obtain complementary information such as coupons, product details and contests.


24 July 2009

‘Paid Content Is The Future’

Nearly all news sites will charge for content within 12 months, according to the Financial Times editor.

Lionel Barber said he did not know which particular payment models would be used, but he remains convinced they will be installed by this time next year, reports Guardian.co.uk.

Speaking at a Media Standards Trust event, Barber pointed out that his own newspaper’s website has achieved success with its pricing system for quality niche content.

And he suggested other news organisations will soon be following suit, citing the New York Times as an example.

“How these online payment models work and how much revenue they can generate is still up in the air,” said Barber.

“But I confidently predict that within the next 12 months, almost all news organisations will be charging for content.”

The full text of the editor’s speech is available on the Media Standards Trust website.

And the Guardian discussed his comments on its recent Media Talk podcast.


Indy Unveils Politics Twitter App

A new Twitter application devoted to British politics has been launched by The Independent and Tweetminster.

Livewire enables Twitterers to follow and interact with the tweets of politicians, political journalists and parliamentary commentators.

Users can search by party, person or source to track feeds and will have Twitterers recommended to them by Livewire.

The service also features analytical tools which enable visitors to compile stats on topic trends and the most popular links in real-time.

“This is a great step forward in aggregating the latest whispers from the corridors of power and influence,” said Jimmy Leach, editorial director for digital at The Independent.

Alberto Nardelli, a co-founder of Tweetminster, added that his company was honoured to be launching a partnership project with the daily title.

In a press statement, he said: “Together, we’re pushing the boundaries of what newspapers do, and more importantly we are bringing people closer to politicians and to the heart of political debate, helping politicians and politics to become more approachable, open, and social.”

Labels: , , , , ,

23 July 2009

Times Revamps Comments System

Times Online has launched a new version of its comments system and introduced some rule changes as well.

Would-be posters now have to go through a registration procedure before they can submit a comment and activate a link from an email to confirm the address.

Online editor Tom Whitwell writes that this new procedure “will enable us to highlight and reward our best commenters, and weed out our least constructive”.

He also announced that users will no longer be restricted to 300 characters as the new rules allow 2,000 characters (about 250 words) per comment.

And he added that more changes will be introduced in the coming months.

The Times receives an average of 4,000 comments a day and each is read by moderators before publication.

[HT – Journalism.co.uk]

Labels: , ,

22 July 2009

Top Of The News Tweets

A blogger has compiled a list of the most popular Twitter feeds provided by national newspapers in the UK.

Malcolm Coles found that just three newspapers account for the ten most followed feeds – the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Times.

The Guardian’s Tech Twitter account is the number one in the chart, with 831,935 followers at the time of compilation (risen to 911,143 when this post was written).

It’s then a big drop to second with the Guardian News feed, with over 25,000 followers on Twitter.

Also making up the top ten are FT finance news, Guardian Music, Times Travel and Times Money.

The full table showing the 131 official feeds and their followers is available here.

Labels: , , , ,

Follow Globe Video Via Facebook

Fans of a news site’s sports video can now follow it from their Facebook pages.

The new application enables Boston.com to make its daily Globe 10.0 more of an interactive feature as users can submit comments and contribute ideas for the next sporting debates.

Facebook users can also win prizes for the most promoted comments and invite their friends to join in with the burning issues.

See Editor & Publisher for more on this story.

Labels: , , , ,

21 July 2009

Sports Coverage Draws Record Traffic

Preview coverage of an all-star baseball game has given an American news site its best-ever traffic figures.

Staff at the St Louis Post-Dispatch went all out with their multimedia reporting of the classic event and reaped the rewards after recording some 2.7 million page views in a single day.

The preview coverage included blogs, video content, photos, a round-up of the latest all-star tweets and all-star game quizzes.

Editor Arnie Robbins attributed the success to the multimedia approach taken by his team.

He told Editor & Publisher: “We had a lot of cool stuff this time on the game.

“The most interesting was a video - Cardinal Culture - a six-minute video of fans who love the Cardinals.”

He added: “We have the best coverage of the All-Star game anywhere.

“Fans from the area want to know about things like traffic around the game and events, and out of towners basically are fans of the game who want to know about this game, too.”

Visit stltoday.com/allstar to see the preview reports and subsequent coverage of the game itself.

Labels: , , , , ,

Independent Signs Video Deals

The Independent is working with two media groups to enhance its video content.

Firstly, the newspaper has secured a deal with Press Association to supply its website with 200 video packages per week.

It has also signed an agreement with Octopus Media Technology to improve the presentation and distribution of video content.

According to the Independent, PA video journalists will provide 100 voiced video reports each week as well as 100 short clips to be displayed alongside the newspaper’s own articles.

“Working with PA and Octopus ensures that we have a platform that can deliver video to our userbase that is both flexible and integrated,” said Bill Swanson, managing director for digital at the Independent.

“The range of content also enables us to position the player in more areas of the site, it is the next step in our evolution as we continue to try and enhance the user experience and relevancy of our site.”

Labels: , ,

20 July 2009

Liverpool Paper Makes TV Debut

A live debate about unemployment has become the first programme made in the Liverpool Daily Post’s new digital TV studio.

The half-hour show was streamed live on the business section of the Daily Post’s website using Bambuser technology, reports HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk.

Viewers were invited to contribute by submitting comments in real-time to an accompanying live blog.

Business editor Bill Gleeson declared the online debate to represent “a big leap forward in terms of bringing the digital age to newspaper titles”.

He said: “In the run up to the programme, I looked at how 20 other UK and US newspapers did television, in terms of the standards of presentation, production and research.

“In all of these areas, ours was the best by a long way.”

Following the success of this first digital TV venture, LDP editor Mark Thomas announced that his team is already looking to produce similar offerings in the future.

“We are now working on developing a rolling programme of business debates in the same format and I think this has the potential to bring us in some significant new revenue in the months ahead.”

Labels: , , , ,

Mail Recruits Video Producer

The Daily Mail is to boost its online video content thanks to a new deal with ITN On.

According to a press release, the multimedia group will supply the Mail Online with dozens of video packages each week covering national and international news.

The company will also provide dailymail.co.uk with video news reports featuring the latest sports, business and showbiz headlines.

“ITN On has demonstrated to us that they have high-quality content which is frequently unique,” said James Bromley, managing director of Mail Online.

He added: “We are looking forward to working with them to add video to even more of our stories.”

ITN On recently hit the headlines itself after it was revealed that ITN.com had cancelled its contract to supply video and multimedia content to the site.

[HT – Journalism.co.uk]

Labels: ,

17 July 2009

Why Newspapers Should Blog

We’ll end the week with a slideshow from the Courier-Post which preaches the good word about blogging.

Submitted to SlideShare earlier this year, the presentation from the South Jersey title offers some valuable insights into the advantage of blogs for mainstream media groups.

It aims to provide “an overview of the Courier-Post’s blog publishing effort”, and to show “why blogs are important to the future of newspaper websites”.

Below is the detailed slideshow, which shows the evolution and effectiveness of blogs on the Courier-Post’s website.


16 July 2009

Journalists Launch InvestigateWest

A group of journalists has gone it alone and set up a website dedicated to investigative journalism.

The team behind the nonprofit InvestigateWest previously worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which went online-only in March this year.

Now they are calling the shots at their own news organisation, which is focusing on issues affecting healthcare, social justice and the environment in the western US and Canada.

According to the press release announcing the launch, InvestigateWest will distribute its text, video and online content via a syndicate service and through partnership deals with other media groups.

“InvestigateWest is a new model of public service journalism that seeks to fill the void rapidly developing in investigative coverage,” said Rita Hibbard, executive director and editor.

“Our goal is to produce journalism that empowers citizens and changes institutions. We will measure our success by the impact of our stories.”

InvestigateWest is funded by a mix of individual donations, contributions from companies and a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

The nonprofit group is also a founding member of the new Investigative News Network, which partners together more than 20 groups dedicated to investigative journalism.

Labels: , , , ,

EveryBlock Makes Code Available

Hyperlocal news and info site EveryBlock has released its source code online.

This means thousands of news websites around the world can now make use of the technology to power their own location-based news services.

It is this code which has enabled EveryBlock (launched in January 2008) to provide a hyperlocal news and info service for some 15 cities across the US.

Visitors can search for news by postcode or area and can get access to civic records as well as breaking news stories.

The company also has a number of partnership deals with news groups, including the New York Times.

Announcing the release of the code on their blog, the EveryBlock founders said: “We hope this extensive code base helps spark lots of great work.”

Find out more on the Editors Weblog.

[HT – Martin Stabe]

Labels: , , , , ,

15 July 2009

How-To Videos On YouTube Channel

A YouTube channel dedicated to online journalism is building its stock of videos from industry experts and practitioners.

Launched in April, the YouTube Reporters' Center already holds more than 30 videos offering tips on key aspects of digital journalism.

Categories include Expert Videos, Interviews and Profiles, Investigative Reporting, and Ethics, Law & Fact-Checking.

Among the industry insiders offering the benefit of their experience are veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward, CBS news anchor Katie Couric, and HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington.

In addition to these general advice pieces, there are also technical instructional videos such as this one from Reuters.com about filming effective video interviews.

And this video from Bloomberg TV gives some valuable tips on how to tell a story with numbers.

YouTube says of the citizen reporting resource: “The YouTube Reporters’ Center is a new resource to help you learn more about how to report the news.”

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Users Decide Blog’s Top Stories

Users are in control of a city blog as they contribute the content and vote on it to create the homepage.

New York-based bloggers submit their posts to NYC.is, where visitors can then rate articles to promote them to the homepage.

Links to the most popular articles are distributed via email and social media sites such as Twitter.

According to NYC.is, “when you decide what’s on the front page, local news stops being boring”.

Site founder Susannah Vila told Editor & Publisher that the recommendation element makes her blog stand out in the crowd.

“The idea of democratising local media is the crux of the project.

“If it were not for the front page/upcoming design, the site would not be different enough from other projects in this space to make it worthwhile.”

Labels: , , , , ,

14 July 2009

Daily Express Tests New Site

The Daily Express is seeking feedback on its redesigned website, now available in beta.

Visitors to express.co.uk are currently directed to this new beta version, but can still access the original site by selecting it from the home page.

After comparing and contrasting the two, users can go to the short survey and give their views on the changes.

Created by Netro42, the pilot website introduces category widgets on the homepage – such as Weather, TV Guide, Lifestyle – which can be collapsed by users to suit their interests.

The beta version also introduces a web search widget and a video player offering sporting highlights from the Ashes series, the Premier League, and international football.

Reviews of the beta site can be found on the Online Journalism Blog and on e-consultancy.com.

Labels: , ,

Murdoch Talks Down Micropayments

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has ruled out micropayments as a standalone business model for online news.

In an interview with TheStreet.com, the News Corp chief executive said his company is still figuring out a viable model for generating revenue on the Web.

However, Murdoch revealed he’s not confident about the potential of micropayments to answer the paid content question.

“I don’t think people will pay for it. We’re still thinking our way through this and there will be micropayments as part of it, but I’m thinking much more along the lines of subscriptions like The Wall Street Journal does,” he said.

The News Corp chairman also pointed out that “no one monetises the Web today to any extent other than search,” and said he had “no idea” how a site like Twitter could turn interest into revenue.

In May, the News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal announced a new micropayment scheme for non-subscribers.

[Picture – Coin Stacks by Darren Hester on Flickr]

Labels: ,

13 July 2009

Twittering Reporter Earns Exclusive

A journalist has stumbled upon an exclusive story thanks to a bunch of tweets exchanged with a contact.

Journalism.co.uk reports that the Edinburgh Evening News reporter had initially approached a fellow Twitterer to find out more about their involvement in the forthcoming festival.

However, causal mention of a body discovered in their block of flats led Victoria Raimes to follow up the lead and write a front-page exclusive on the incident.

Raimes revealed that the microblogging service has become a valuable story-finding tool since she joined the newspaper.

“Each week I pick up a page lead from Twitter ... I would encourage every regional journalist to use it,” she said.

Raimes, who has made contacts via her own account and the Twitter feed of the Evening News, also noted that the website enables journalists to get feedback on their work.

Labels: , , ,

Asylum Piece Wins Multimedia Award

A multimedia report revealing the plight of refused asylum seekers in the UK has won a photography award.

Still Human Still Here by freelancer Abbie Trayler-Smith has received first prize in the multimedia category of the Press Photographer’s Year 2009 competition.

The video uses still photos, moving images, text captions, audio excerpts from interviews and a soundtrack to tell the story of some of Britain’s most impoverished people.

All the elements work together to produce a captivating piece of photojournalism, which was posted to video-sharing site Vimeo four months ago.

Still Human Still Here - Refused asylum seekers in the UK. from panos pictures on Vimeo.

The report was produced by independent photo agency Panos Pictures and will be on view in an exhibition of all the winning entries at the National Theatre this summer.

Among the other 15 category winners were photographers from the BBC, Manchester Evening News, Getty Images and the Daily Mail.

[HT - HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk]

Labels: , , , ,

10 July 2009

Attracting Users With Social Media

How news sites attract audiences via social media is the subject of a presentation from net consultant Martin Belam.

Belam, who is information architect for the Guardian’s web development team, presented his findings at last month’s International Social Media Summit.

Among the social media tools and sites discussed were social bookmarking and recommendation sites, blogs and Twitter.

Belam has made his presentation available on Slideshare (see below) and as a six-part series of posts on his currybetdotnet blog.

Labels: , , , , , ,

New Twitter App For Journalists

A tech journalist has created a Twitter application designed to help reporters get the most out of the social media tool.

Creator Andrew Miller says he made his JournoTwit program “to suit the fast-paced, nomadic lifestyle of a journalist”.

It enables users to view tweets in columns for various Twitter feeds and to prioritise updates from selected Twitterers.

Miller writes: “JournoTwit is a lot like TweetDeck, but web-based.

“It stores all your settings, and your last read tweet, remotely, allowing you to move from machine to machine to mobile seamlessly, or simultaneously.”

Both desktop and mobile versions of the app are available and Miller notes that an iPhone variant is on its way.

[HT - The Guardian]

Labels: , ,

09 July 2009

Interactive Coverage For Jacko Tribute

Social media sites joined with mainstream news groups on Tuesday to offer interactive coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial concert.

Live video was accompanied by real-time comments from fans on the websites of many broadcasters – including CNN, ABC News and msnbc.

Twitter was the social media tool of choice for msnbc.com, which aggregated tweets (powered by Tinker) alongside streamed video footage from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

New product development director Cory Bergman said that the online coverage represented “a first for both Twitter and msnbc.com on a large-scale news event”.

Meanwhile, both CNN and ABC News opted for Facebook Connect to draw fans to their live video stream.

According to Mashable, the interactive coverage on CNN.com attracted a total audience of almost ten million and thousands of updates from Facebook users.

In an interview for CNN, Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg talks about her company’s involvement in the broadcaster's coverage of the event.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Google Drops Subject Comment Box

A feature which allowed people quoted in articles to comment on them has been dropped by Google News.

The New York Times reports that the comment box for story subjects originally attracted interest from within the industry - but this did not translate into significant use of it.

In a recent statement, Google said: “We’re always experimenting with ways to make Google News more useful.

“Occasionally, this means we have to re-evaluate our efforts to be sure we focus on features that make the most sense for our users.”

[HT – The Guardian]

Labels: ,

08 July 2009

Five Lessons From Hyperlocal Site ‘Death’

The managing editor of a defunct hyperlocal news site is giving others advice on how to avoid a similar fate.

Dr Michelle Ferrier was one of the key figures behind MyTopiaCafe.com, a community news website from the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Beset by problems during its two-year existence, the site closed last week and Dr Ferrier has now passed on the benefit of her hyperlocal experience via Poynter Online.

Here are the five factors that she believes contributed to the site’s demise, and the lessons that can be learned from each:

1 – Lack of Tech Support

“We did not have access to the video technologies, programmers and support on the content and technology sides that could have helped demonstrate the functions we were having our users adopt.”

The Lesson:

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Build a team that includes the content folks and the technologists.”

2 – Size Matters

“The borrowed model was too big for a hyperlocal community.”

The Lesson:

“Don't try to chew more than you can swallow. Start operations in smaller geographic footprints or niches and grow the operations and technological capabilities as you gain revenue.”

3 – The Long Haul

Dr Ferrier writes that “...reaching that tipping point of audience and user contributions takes time and evangelising and training and people, not just technology”.

The Lesson:

“Consider the project an experiment in technologies and in developing new capabilities - not an immediate cash cow.”

4 – Learn to sell Online

“The newspaper advertising management didn’t know how to sell this ‘online community thing’ as a part of the media mix without cannibalising its cash cow.”

The Lesson:

“If you don’t have a sales force that knows how to sell your product, find them or train them - quickly.”

5 – Work With Print

“We kept delaying the rollout of a print component and struggled to integrate the content into existing print products.

“So the site had limited exposure in existing publications.”

The Lesson:

“Develop multiple revenue streams out of the box - both online and in print.

“Don’t knock what looks like chump change on an ordinary day. These are not ordinary times.”

Read the full post on Poynter Online.

Labels: , , ,

Daily Post Wins Digital Award

A regional award for digital journalism has been won by Laura Davis from the Liverpool Daily Post.

Davis was named Digital Journalist of the Year at last week’s O2 Media Awards for Cheshire and Merseyside.

The blogger and columnist was among several journalists from Trinity Mirror’s Liverpool titles to visit the winners’ podium during the ceremony.

Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray told Journalism.co.uk: “It was a great night for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo at last night’s O2 awards.

“To walk away with so many awards across so many categories is confirmation and recognition of the talent, hard work and tenacity of not only our editorial team, but of everyone connected with these two great papers.”

Visit HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk for a full list of winners.

Labels: ,

07 July 2009

Northcliffe Unveils Local UGC Sites

The first batch of Northcliffe’s user-generated content community websites has gone live.

A total of 23 areas in the south-west of England are covered by the network of websites listed on the localpeople.co.uk hub page.

Towns covered by the UGC sites include: Newton Abbot, Falmouth, Dorchester and Weston Super Mare.

HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk reports that the new sites are devoted entirely to content from users and are monitored by paid community publishers rather than journalists.

The community publishers are tasked with encouraging visitors to submit their own news and notices and with moderating content.

The director of strategy at Associated Northcliffe Digital said the new sites will complement the company’s established network of news websites, which cover larger areas.

“Our view is that while these sites are quite complementary to the thisis sites they are actually quite different,” said Roland Bryan.

“They are not news-led propositions, they are community-led propositions.”

He also stated that the websites will “create a genuinely user-generated approach to local content, giving local people an online forum to discuss and debate relevant issues with other locals, and shape opinion in their community”.

The network launch was announced by Northcliffe back in May, when the company also revealed that a further 20 sites are to be unveiled later this year.

Find out more about the network of community sites at localpeople.co.uk.

Labels: , , ,

Mirror Launching Footie Site

A website dedicated to the beautiful game is set to be launched this year by Trinity Mirror.

The standalone multimedia site will feature text, video and photographic content from matches, reports the Guardian.

It will have a breaking news feed, blogs, and plenty of special features, such as a weekly video report from the ever popular Robbie Savage and a daily soccer show.

Fans will also be able to access a treasure trove of Mirror Group photographs capturing the highs and lows of English football over the decades.

MirrorFootball.co.uk is scheduled to go live this summer, in time for the start of the new season.

[Photo by Atomic Shed on Flickr.]

Labels: , , , , ,

06 July 2009

Guardian Crowdsources Plinth Project

Readers are being asked to help the Guardian capture every moment of the Fourth Plinth project in Trafalgar Square.

Designed by Antony Gormley, the public artwork will see human statues take to the plinth every hour for the next 100 days.

Photographic coverage of such an event represents a “massive undertaking”, said the Guardian, and therefore crowdsourcing is the newspaper’s chosen method for tackling it.

A Flickr group - Plinth Watch 2009 - has been created so users can post their pictures alongside those taken by Guardian photographers.

The editor’s picks of these readers’ pics will later be published on Guardian.co.uk and some could possibly be printed in the newspaper too.

Reporters have also set up a Twitter feed dedicated to updates about events on the plinth throughout the day.

In an article appealing for content, culture editor Alex Needham pointed out that the crowdsourcing approach reflects the spirit of the work itself.

Needham said: “One and Other is a work of art which will be created by the general public.

“It would be brilliantly apt if our coverage of it could be made in a similar spirit of mass participation.”

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Showbiz Blog Sells For Over $10M

Entertainment news blog Deadline Hollywood Daily has been purchased in a deal estimated to be in excess of $10 million (£6.2m).

The 24-7 breaking news blog is written by established showbiz journalist Nikki Finke and is now owned by Mail.com Media Corporation.

According to the Guardian, newspapers have received tip-offs that the purchase price stands somewhere between $10m and $15m.

Breaking the news of the landmark deal on DHD, Finke assured loyal readers that the blog would retain its editorial independence.

“Know this: I did not sell out. I really meant it when I said that DeadlineHollywood Daily.com will continue to be an independent editorial voice – and I would retain complete control over everything reported on the website - so that DHD’s credibility with its readers could remain intact.”

She added that new infrastructure and resources means the site will now expand to cover east-coast entertainment news, with a New York-based reporter set to join the ranks soon.

Finke, who has worked for Newsweek and the LA Times among others, first wrote DHD as a column for LA Weekly before starting the website.

Labels: , ,

03 July 2009

MPs' Scandal Adds 1m Users

Telegraph.co.uk’s exclusive coverage of MPs' expenses brought more than 1 million additional users to the site in May.

According to a report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the website boosted traffic by 1.4 million unique visitors compared to the previous month.

The expenses coverage also helped the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) improve its print circulation performance during May.

Plus, advertising revenue received a boost as a direct result of the newspaper’s expenses coverage, reports Forbes.

And it is likely that June’s figures will see impressive growth too with the publication of the unredacted data in a pullout special distributed with the Daily Telegraph.

A searchable database holding details of all the expenses claims then went live on Telegraph.co.uk towards the end of the month.

TMG’s digital editor, Edward Roussel, told the Guardian that the publisher’s exclusive and in-depth coverage of the scandal has been of interest to a global audience.

“Our MPs’ expenses coverage brought new audiences to our website, helping to extend the Telegraph brand in the UK and across the world.”

Labels: , , , , ,

02 July 2009

NPR Crowdsources Who’s Who Pic

The audience is helping American reporters identify political lobbyists from a series of photographs.

National Public Radio (NPR) decided to crowdsource the task after finding it hard to identify many of the people representing health lobby groups at a senate committee meeting.

Spokesperson Andrea Seabrook told Poynter Online that the photographs were taken with the original intention of enabling journalists to pick out faces.

However, when this only resulted in several identifications, the audience was called on to help.

“We’ve been watching various groups use crowdsourcing to mine and process data, and when it turned out to be harder than we’d originally thought to ID lobbyists ourselves, we thought we’d give it a shot,” said Seabrook.

She added: “We’re very glad we did. It seems to be making the story more interactive and engaging for our listeners, and we’ve already gotten quite a few great leads.”

The crowdsourcing effort forms part of NPR’s Dollar Politics series, which is looking at the impact of lobbying on US legislature with regards to healthcare, banking regulations and energy.

Labels: , ,

Pay-For-News Service Targets 10%

The team behind an online journalism content service believes it can get 10% of users to pay for news.

According to the Guardian, the founders of the soon-to-launch Journalism Online see such a significant percentage of paying users as an attainable goal.

Journalism Online is among a number of start-ups which will work in partnership with publishers to provide a paid content service.

Users will be given the option to subscribe to view all the content of participating websites or can sign up for content bundles and niche packages.

Journalism Online was founded by Court TV creator Steven Brill and Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz among others.

The service is scheduled to launch later this year.

Find out more about its paid content model and see its mission statement on the Journalism Online website.

Labels: , ,

01 July 2009

Knight News Reveals Winners

The nine recipients of this year’s Knight News Challenge grants have been announced this month, reports Journalism.co.uk.

Over $5 million (£3 million) is to be shared among the winning projects, all of which seek to provide innovative ways for news and data to be shared with communities.

Among the successful bidders are an open platform document-sharing scheme and a project to develop data visualisation tools.

Receiving over $350,000 from the Knight News Challenge is MediaBugs, which plans to create a national website where readers can report journalistic inaccuracies published online or in print.

The brainchild of Salon.com co-founder Scott Rosenberg, MediaBugs hopes to promote transparency among reporters when it comes to admitting and fixing their errors.

Another recipient of a significant sum is a wiki project from New York’s Gotham Gazette.

The online news provider will use its $250,000 grant to fund the creation of a wiki dedicated to the law-makers at the city council.

Gotham Gazette is planning to use the wiki to inform citizens about local politics and share information about city legislators.

Mobile journalism is the focus of a winning bid from the co-founder of MobileActive.

A $200,000 grant will fund the organisation’s plans to create the downloadable Mobile Media Toolkit.

The toolkit will feature applications for video and audio as well as a function enabling content distribution on social networking sites.

A list of the nine winning projects is available on this pdf file.

The Knight News Challenge is a five-year contest to fund community-focused digital journalism projects.

Labels: , , ,

Hyperlocal Platform Launched

Hyperlocal news specialist Outside.in has launched a neighbourhood news service for publishers.

Described by its creators as an “out-of-the-box hyperlocal news section”, Outside.in for Publishers (OIP) aggregates local news stories from a variety of sources.

Users can search for news by their area and then select articles and blog posts to read from the pins available on the map.

According to the Outside.in blog, the self-service platform enables publishers to create “hundreds or thousands of new high-quality pages for their site ... with targeted advertising inventory”.

The service has been taken up by a number of news providers in the US, including Counton2.com and Richmond.com.

OIP is not currently available to publishers in the UK, but an international rollout of the service is planned in the future.

Outside.in first launched in the UK in October 2008.

[HT – Journalism.co.uk]

Labels: , , , , ,

Subscribe to JP Digital Digest by Email Add to Technorati Favorites