Tag Archives: washington post

Living stories comes to wordpress

You may remember a that Google trialed a bit of code with the New York Times and Washington Post called Living Stories:

Living Stories are a new format for presenting and consuming online news. The basic idea of a living story is to combine all of the news coverage on a running story on a single page. Every day, instead of writing a new article on the story that sits at a new URL and contains some new developments and some old background, a living story resides at a permanent URL, that is updated regularly with new developments. This makes it easier for readers to get the latest updates on the stories that interest them, as well as to review deeper background materials that are relevant for a story’s context.

It wasn’t long before the code became open source for people to tinker with. You need to be prepared to tinker a lot if you want to run it on anything other than Googles AppEngine (and even then you’ll be tinkering for a while). But now that tinkering may be over.

Google have announced the release of a special theme and collection of plugins that allow you to create a version of their Living Stories using WordPress as the base.

I’ve had a quick play and (once I got over a mistake with the installation. I’m a donkey!) it certainly makes it’s presence known. Look at the updated  dashboard!

The post page becomes redundant as you get a choice of a raft of different content types organized in to stories by assigning categories.

You start by defining a category for the story and then creating an event. You can then add other elements and, hey presto, it starts to package it up.

There is no fancy timeline but the way it breaks the content up would make for an interesting approach to group work on a project.

Worth a play.

HT to Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) for the head up to this one

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Print and the newsroom center of gravity.

“In every newsroom there’s a power center, and the reporters know where the power center is and they will follow it,” says Ken Sands, former online publisher at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. “I can’t think of one regional paper that is run by a Web person. You have [print] people running them who have been in the same kind of jobs for 25 years. At the regional level, that is jeopardizing the need to make substantial changes.”

That’s a quote from an interesting article on Editor and Publisher which asks When Will a Web Editor Lead a Major Newsroom? . The article is specifically about the changes at the Washington Post. But that quote resonated with me. Especially the part about the regional level.

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Interesting stuff for Tuesday

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I thought I would start with a “guess the object” comp. Answer at the end.

Wendy Parker has some good advice about getting started with blogging -Beginning blogging for journalists: Get started, already!

On the geek side of things JVC Pro debuts solid state camcorders for Final Cut Pro editors which could solve the problem of intermediate timelines ( a common affliction of FCP users)

Less geeky but still video related is a post by Chrys Wu outlining 10 golden rules for video journalists. These come from Washington Post video journalist Travis Fox at a recent “Creating Video Narratives” workshop at Beyond Bootcamp. Solid stuff.

From the sublime to the ridiculous.  Joe the plumber is going to ‘report’ from Gaza. Old news I know but, honestly, you couldn’t make stuff like that up could you. Next Obama will send Hillary Clinton over and they will do battle like Mothra and Godzilla over Jerusalem. What makes me more mad about that, and in a more serious tone is that journalists are being hacked to death. Much as I hate to question Joe’s motives. Man, journalism has to be taken a bit more seriously than ‘joe the plumber’.

Maybe that re-inforces Bob Steele’s point as he worries about Ethics Crashes on the Digital Media Highway over at Poynter. It’s a thoughtful piece but the tone doesn’t recover from “Too often we give unjustified credibility to bloggers who are, at best, practicing amateur journalism or simplistic punditry.” Recent events in Mumbai and now Nepal, plus the countless other incidences of violence against journalists and bloggers reporting the world around them should be making this kind of them and us redundant.

On a lighter, but no less interesting, note though is Mark Hamilton who explains how he could get behind some of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent rambles about journalism

The ever brilliant Martin Belam continues to pick apart media sites and their web presences by looking at  how the sites appear when people search for them in Google

And more UK goodness from Lindsay Bruce giving more valuable lessons in community in part 9 of an invaluable series on Paul Bradshaws Online journalism blog

Meanwhile Pat Thornton calls for more innovation in the user interface of news sites. I think he is right but it may be a difficult balance between convention – already established – more depth which you could deliver as effectivly with a better relationship with the print product. But that takes us multi-platform and away from Pat’s point. Worth a read

Read/Write web’s How to: Build a Social Media Cheat Sheet for Any Topic has been popping up across the place with glowing recomendations. Well worth a look. As is their article on Mobile TV.

Aspiring web journos can get a glimpse of life as it could be as the NYtimes profiles the renegade cybergeeks who may just save the paper. (wasn’t that the plotline of the last Die Hard?)  It feels a bit 90210 to me. By which I mean, this is how the beutiful people do journalism. But read it with a less cynical eye and there is some nice insight.

And the picture? It’s one of several arty shots of Fabian Mohr’s new FlipHD. He has more nice pics and some test movies on his site. Go and have a look.

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