Interesting things for Saturday

sheeeeeetHere is today’s collection of links and things that have come my way in between marking.

First off is something that makes me feel less guilty about giving you lots of links to work with. Gina Chen at Save the Media notes that linking was missing from list of 10 Tips for Journalists Who Blog, and posts about why it’s so important. It is, it really is. One thing I’m asked A LOT by journalists that I meet is ‘How do i get my blog more popular/visible/in search engines?’ I say “link”.

It’s still a surprise that so many ‘blogs’ published on MSM sites continue to appear without one link in the posts. THAT’S NOT BLOGGING. A link is about recognizing/being part of a bigger discussion. As Kirk Lapointe points out in his reflection on his first year blogging ” Giving credit where it’s due is a virtue online because your community feels respected, encouraged and understood.”

Tim Windsor muses on Don Tapscott’s take on the new digital audiences in his book  Grown Up Digital and asks Who are the digital natives? And what do they want? He then asks you “How are your sites changing to meet the increased expectation of Gen Net?” Do you need to ask that question? Are all young people Gen Net? What about Gen Off-Net? And doesn’t the media depend on the fact that a good deal of young people turn in to the same kind of old people their folks are?  Almost like having a demographic band that people move in to rather than defined by peoples behavior. Anyway, it’s an interesting read.

Picking up on yesterdays theme of recommendation (hello to today’s new twitter followers) Elaine Helm has some recommendations for Journo blogs to follow at Wired Journalists. One in particular that I hadn’t seen before was Brian Boyer’s Sixth W. What’s the sixth w? who, what, where, when, why and web.  I like that. I also hadn’t seen Matt McAlister’s Inside Online media. Posting is light, but good. I particularly like his post on Why the open strategy is a good idea.

Another source that gets a mention in the comments on Helm’s post is Delicious’ popular posts tagged with journalism. If you don’t use Delicious I would highly recommend you give it a whirl. Think of it like Digg but without the viral videos. Before you do, you might want to check out Jason Falls’ The Practical Guide To Content Tagging In Social Bookmarking which talks about tagging. I think delicious is a great place to learn/try tagging as it shows how it can work personally and then that experience can transfer across to the way you tag for an audience. It’s the future you know.

Talking of new discoveries and useful things, my new glut of twitter followers has included a number with non-English language blogs that are rather spiffing. These include the French by Fabrice Gontier, who’s all over multimedia at the wonderfully titled Centre de formation et de perfectionnement des journaliste. The perfectionnement des journaliste, I love that.  Another new follower is Antonio Granad whose blog Ponto Media I’ve been following for a while.  Of course there are plenty of other great foreign language blogs out there including:, and the wonderful Alex Gamela’s O Lago.

Alex blogs in English and Portuguese which makes me think the best language for a journalist to learn this year may not be Java or php etc. but an actual foreign language. But as my grasp of a foreign language (to my shame)  doesn’t stretch far beyond what’s on the back of a wine label, I rely on Mloovi to translate foreign language sites in to English RSS feeds so I can get lots of their loveliness in my reader. I use Google reader which picks up the post is a translation and automatically feeds any post you click to through its translator. Cool.

Speaking of useful online tools. It seems that the macworld rumour mill has kicked in with news that imovie may be going in to the cloud. Crunch gear have speculated that macs low-end, iwork video app may be moving online as Apple get to grips with online applications.  Computerworld notes the rumour and wonders if Apple is truly ready to go online after the ‘fiasco’ with MobileMe.

And finally the picture. Yes, its Clay Davis from the pure genius that is The Wire from Toffutibreak via Ben Hammersley’s Other Blog. And if that’s your thing then this may be as well.

Interesting things for the day

Much as I hate my first post for the new year to be a link list I’m elbow deep in marking at the moment. So here is what I’ve found interesting today.

Business Models for news online – Paul Bradshaw shares a recent presentation and jolly good it is to.

Amani Channel has decided to focus his Urban Report podcast on media production. I like the cut of his jib. And if tech is something on your list to engage with this year then you could do worse then look at Chris Amico’s wiki-like Tools for news

Ten questions for journalists in the era of overload – Matt Thompson poses some interesting questions to ask as we move in to a tough year. Think of them as self-diagnosis

George Hopkin pointed me a the announcement from Nintendo that they are starting a TV channel for the Wii. Considering the broad appeal of the platform this could be the trendsetter moment.

From games platforms to blogging platforms. Over at ZDNet Zack Whittaker seems a little behind the curve with Journalism vs. blogging: the present and the future but there are some interesting asides in Zack’s interview.

If WordPress is your blogging platform of choice, then how about a facelift? Try this list of  wordpress themes. But if you’ve moved to the new version of WordPress over Christmas then Mindy McAdams has a nice post on dealing with the new dashboard. The post also touches on students blogging which gives me chance to point out a nice post from Alf Hermida, guesting at media shift, about the value of blogging in Journalism education

Talking of Journalism education, Mark Hamilton has a great post offering “A few thoughts for my students before heading back to the classroom”. All my students will be seeing this when they get back along with the widely circulated ( Resolutions for journalism students from Suzanne Yada.

Mark Luckie over at 10,000words kept me busy this afternoon following a raft of new people as he updated his 10 Journalists you should follow on Twitter which I feature in at No 5, which is wrong for so many reasons, not least because of those who aren’t. But I’ll bask in the kudos and say hello to all those new followers who have made it this far. The post is worth a look for the comments where the decidedly male bias has started an interesting discussion. My wife would say it’s the slightly obsessive/compulsive nature of the male of the species that means there are more of us online.

Still, male or female,  there are more and more of us online as we enter the new year and in the Andy Burnham, our Minister for Culture, has stirred a little mumbling with his idea of ratings for the web. Steve Bowbrick has a great take on this as he focuses on the idea of filters  “What we should do in response to Burnham’s reflex rejection of the net’s openness and permissiveness is get on and provide the filters people need”. He is right and, as many have already said,  it should be one of the things journos look to add to their tool belt.

Of course journos have a lot to think about in the coming year. Over in the US the amount of good news seems in short supply as Jeff Jarvis (and the inneviatable comment discussion afterwards) proves. In the UK, blogger Fleet Street blues has some comparably dire predictions for 2009 including the prediction of a Mea culpa moment.

You can’t keep cutting journalists and demand ever more from them without something cracking. Yes, reporters make mistakes all the time. But expect something spectacular to emerge next year, a mistake, accidental or otherwise, so unavoidable that news editors the length and breadth of the country will have to sit up and take notice. Britain’s Jayson Blair, if you like.

Scary but it has a ring of inevitability about it. But finally, and more positively, Shawn Smith has a great post (and a kind of companion for Suzanne Yada’s post) Forget Survival: The Journalist’s Guide to Owning 2009 and Beyond. I love his starting point

Journalism is NOT dependent on the fate of your employer, newspapers or mass media. Rather, YOU can help decide journalism’s future.

DNA 2008 and the power of blogging

DNAPosting has been light over the last few weeks as my teaching load has crept up and eaten head space. I need to get back in to the swing because the blogging opens up so many exciting opportunities.

The latest is an invite to be on a panel at the DNA2008 conference.

You can come and point and laugh as I sit on a panel on Tuesday afternoon called Newspaper video will die in 2008

 2008 is the do or die year for online video in your media organization. In this session we will provide practical and strategic advice to make sure you don’t miss the boat on this one. How to use video, how to change staffing roles and expectations, the do’s and don’ts of online video.

If that has a familiar ring to it it’s because its one of my predictions for this year.

I’m lucky (and not a little freaked out) to be sharing  a stage with Chuck Fadley and Michael Rosenblum which puts me one part in the thick of it and two parts out of my depth.

Scary stuff.  You just spout this nonsense and before you know it you are in Brussels.

But it proves just how powerful this blogging stuff can be.

Blogging works

It’s a pause for thought for me as one of the things I’ve been doing is getting the students blogging. And it’s proving  tricky trying to convince them that there is some value in it.

Some get it, some get on with it because they have too. Some just don’t see the point.

Maybe it’s because their world is busy enough that they don’t want to expand their horizons. Maybe it’s the fear of the great digital unknown. Perhaps the silo mentality that still exists in the industry still permeates and they have taken their allocation for a future medium has already stuck.

Sorting Hat

Please, Please please make it ‘print journalist’

Do I miss the bit when they sign up and go through that scene in Harry Potter where they where a magic pork pie sorting hat  is placed on their heads and they are sifted in to mediums?Maybe I havn’t communicated just how quickly the digital divide is growing and how worried I am that they’ll be left on the wrong side.

Maybe I should be playing up the opportunities for world travel.

But while the opportunities are there, I’m going to enjoy it. So if you are at the DNA it would be great to hook up and try some of the beer.