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  • Gin, Television, and Social Surplus: Clay Shirky calls us out of our stupor « Breaking News
    historian who theorized that the most significant technology of the early industrial revolution was gin because it allowed the population to dull the pain and fear that accompanied the switch from agrarian to industrial society dull it long enough for them to make the switch and then wake up to take advantage of the riches industrialization brought them public education food libraries etc What he wondered was the equivalent sophorophic technology lubricating our transformation into an informational technology Sitcoms Television And now he believes we are finally waking up from a 50 year TV induced stupor and begining to understand the possibilities opened up for us by this new time and tool rich society we live in This is something that people in the media world don t understand Media in the 20th century was run as a single race consumption How much can we produce How much can you consume Can we produce more and you ll consume more And the answer to that question has generally been yes But media is actually a triathlon it s three different events People like to consume but they also like to produce and they like to share Shirky recalls a TV producer doing a pre interview with him on his book tour and after he had discussed the way the Wikipedia community fought over the Pluto page the TV producer made some comment like Who has the time for all that Clearly that ticked him off because that comment led to his entire talk and a clearer understanding of what he calls the cognitive surplus we re now beginning to see and beginning to use So how big is that surplus So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit all of Wikipedia the whole project every page every edit

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=41 (2014-10-09)
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  • Hey Look! A brand new newspaper launched in Baltimore « Breaking News
    Home Surprise Toronto transit strike tests local media Hey Look A brand new newspaper launched in Baltimore By Bill on April 29th 2008 W ell ok it s freebie available in 1 000 bright orange newspaper boxes and at gyms convenience stores and drugstores across the city And well yeah it s a youth paper Oh and a hip new web site Sigh Here s how the Baltimore Sun Media Group described their new offering b The tabloid newspaper and Web site will focus on news sports and entertainment news and blogs and listings geared to readers in the 18 to 34 year old range It plans to rely on reader generated material for about a third of its content The rest will come from its staff of about 20 and The Sun and other Tribune Co owned newspapers and entertainment listings from the company s metromix com site as well as Metromix sites in New York Los Angeles and Chicago The tabloid also has struck content sharing agreements with local radio stations WTMD FM and WNST AM Do any of these youth products actually succeed I know CanWest s Dose didn t and although they didn t give their readers enough credit for brains it aimed too low they actually managed to avoid the usual cringeworthy looking like grownups pretending to be cool Think 55 year old men in baggy pants with backwards ball caps making gang signs and say What up dude I m jiggy wit dat Dose has survived as a web only production but I m guessing it s something of a rarity Maybe I m wrong maybe college kids DO want to go play in a mainstream media ghetto and be forcefed beer ads lame recipies and self serving user contributed videos while reading blog

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=42 (2014-10-09)
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  • A novel use for twitter – a teaching taser « Breaking News
    future of our business A novel use for twitter a teaching taser By Bill on March 4th 2008 T witter a micro blogging tool that slipped a 140 character noose around the neck of the net s geekish crowd about a year or so ago and has kept them on that short leash ever since has also proven to be a useful kind of cattle prod in the task of shocking newsrooms into the 21st century The very first time I showed a roomful of journalists and advertising reps David Troy s Twittervision a mashup of Google Maps and the public Twitter stream of tweets the universal look of incomprehension on the gathered faces was like a frigid blast of winter air greeting a gardener on a spring morning Ah well I thought we have some work to do I explained the what are you doing concept the 140 character contstraint following and the conversations it was enabling I asked one veteran reporter what she thought of it I think these people should get a life she hissed with ill concealed disgust Part IRC part SMS part Social Network device and totally simple to use Twitter spread like cheap heroin in artists colony and proved to be just about as addictive And with that addiction has come innovation as it often does with the malleable tools that get tossed into the mosh pit of the web Fishing in the public stream of tweets I ve seen bands linking to mp3s of their songs marketers offering 1 hour only sales lovers making dates parents reaching out to other adults any adult please novels being written 140 characters at a time earthquakes being announced forest fires being tracked and conference keynotes being reported on Dozens of newspapers have even taken to alerting

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=54 (2014-10-09)
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  • What are YOU doing? « Breaking News
    2008 November 2007 October 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 Blogroll Development Blog Documentation DreamHost Blog Plugins Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes Simple blend of music images and interview a moving tribute to Guelph artist Ken Danby Home Boy plummets Spec stock skyrockets What are YOU doing By Bill on April 2nd 2007 In case you wanted to know here s what the cool kids are up to on the net Twitter http twitter com A web site whose sole purpose seemingly is described this way A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question What are you doing Your answer is limited to 142 characters You sign up to Twitter publicize your Twitter name and anyone can subscribe to your twitters you ongoing answers to the What are you doing question And of course you can sign up for the feed from other people s Twitters It s the latest little trick in the Look at Me end of the web A stalker s wet dream perhaps Insane Likely But maybe that s just because you re not cool OK neither am I it is one of the fastest growing web services around And then there s Twittervision http twittervision com Someone is scraping Twitter posts and placing them on Google maps in a never ending and mildly interesting in a non sexual voyeuristic way parade of people announing what they re doing right now Who cares Well we should because it s an example of the way people are creating and maintaining communities which historically has been one of our key jobs using web tools And the Twittervision tool itself is interesting Plus it s part of the growing evolution of something we are MILES behind mobile computing information retrieval Twitter is usually accessed via

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=75 (2014-10-09)
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  • News « Breaking News
    News 2 comments Comments are closed Cheap and easy video for independent newspaper sites By Bill on May 14th 2010 This is really for the folks from Ink and Beyond the Canadian Newspaper industry s annual gathering where I gave a brief presentation on video for independent newspaper web sites I m posting it here really just to give everybody the links Bill May 14th 2010 Category News Comments are closed Beware of turtle necked strangers bearing gifts or The iPad is a many edged device By Bill on April 8th 2010 Rarely have I been so conflicted as while trying to evaluate Apple s much hyped iPad On the one hand I can see the real potential in an instant on beautifully engineered letter sized touch screen device that plays videos and music that replaces books magazines and newspapers and offers print publishers the same simple digital storefront that music and video folks have had for years with iTunes Simply put I want it On the other hand I look at Steve Jobs loose and lanky on that Moscone Centre stage smiling lightly and offering the world his latest shiny steel and plastic fetish Continue reading Beware of turtle necked strangers bearing gifts or The iPad is a many edged device April 8th 2010 Tags Apple mobile disruption Category News Tech Comments are closed Ernst Zundel goes free Defending the indefensible By Bill on March 2nd 2010 As this day slowly slips away I wonder if I should write this post at all It s March 1st 2010 This morning German authorities released Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist Ernst Zundel from jail I know Zundel all too well Back in the last century I spent five or six years as an investigative reporter for the Toronto Sun specializing in the rise and fall of Zundel his sorry skinhead shocktroops and the motley crew that coagulated under the Heritage Front banner waved by Zundel s protegé the late Wolfgang Droege Nearly a decade later in a post 9 11 America Continue reading Ernst Zundel goes free Defending the indefensible March 2nd 2010 Category Journalism News One comment Comments are closed If you outsource print production are you still a newspaper By Bill on December 3rd 2009 Cross posted from ShiftLock my tech column in the Canadian Newspaper Association s paper The Publisher Schmuck The red faced man was sitting high in his SUV leaning out his window pointing with one hand and calling across to us He was entering the parking lot we were leaving it A kind of backwards irony Can the print monster be beaten He works in pre press in imaging we work on a team that s rolling out a new centralized content management system across the whole chain We re not too popular this day You schmuck They re going to lay off 40 of Continue reading If you outsource print production are you still a newspaper December 3rd 2009 Category News Comments are closed

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=8&paged=2 (2014-10-09)
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  • Why you need Twitter « Breaking News
    expressed by one reporter who when I introduced her to Twitter during a course and asked her what she thought of it snarled I think some people need to get a life Wrong answer Twitter has a lot to teach us about our emerging digital culture about the way the web works the things our readers want and do and the places we should be if we are going to play anywhere near as central a role in this culture as we did the print culture While many of the messages people send each other are as dull as this one avhutch just posted All that pizza really wrecked my sleep last night other people have found other uses for the tool Since people sign up to follow someone s twitters the service is really a free subscription based publishing tool It s constrained by the 140 character limit but brevity is a virtue on the web Two main uses have emerged it helps people to have conversations within highly scattered populations and it s become a powerful tool for pushing news out to willing recipients Some examples Print reporters and bloggers have used Twitter to scoop radio and TV by providing live reporting of conferences and everything from the US presidential primaries to the funeral of a small boy who d been killed by an ice cream truck NASA announced the apparent discovery of water on Mars via Twitter The Los Angeles Fire Department and tens of thousands of Californians used Twitter during last year s wild fires to broadcast and receive up to the second information about the fire s paths and progress Twitter users broadcast breaking news about earthquakes in China Mexico and California well ahead of authorities or mainstream media More than 300 newspapers use Twitter to inform readers of breaking news using software to automatically send headlines and links to their stories the second they re posted to the website The New York Times has nearly two dozen Twitter accounts offering breaking news on everything from food to politics So What does all this tell us Two things I think Firstly a significant group of people want to participate in the creation and distribution of news not just it s consumption and once handed a tool like Twitter they leap at the chance By the millions they leap at the chance You d be foolish not to find a way to join that conversation to make it easy for these people to distribute your news for you This growing digital culture has had much less impact on weeklies than dailies mostly because the big internet ad players Google Yahoo and Microsoft have yet to figure out a how to effectively deliver affordable geographically targeted local display ads and b they have yet to figure out a better model for flyer delivery But they re working on it and working hard And with a reported 25 billion in ad revenues last year Google for one can

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=103 (2014-10-09)
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  • Digital Survival Guide – Part 2 « Breaking News
    in question rather the request had arisen from one of his students I reread what I had provided Steve and I think it s some pretty fair advice for any journalist who s looking to upgrade their skills so I m reprinting them here But I urge you to visit Steve s original post and take in some of the really smart suggestions that came from journalists and instructors across North America Here s what I wrote Since I m in the midst of re vamping our own WebU s 30 course curriculum this question comes at a good time Unclear from the note whether this old stegosaur is looking for formal training or self led learning If it s the latter I have some simple suggestions for any journalist wondering how to get up to speed on these issues Learn how to use your favourite MP3 player and free software like iTunes to catch podcasts Start with IT Conversations spend time with the Most Highly Rated list picking and choosing topics and speakers that seem interesting Then begin picking shows weekly They feature some of the brightest minds in the web digital tech field and giving them an hour or three a week of your time while you re commuting running raking leaves etc is like a free University extension course Ditto Twitter Short sharp messages you can broadcast to whoever signs up for them Tool or toy No snap judgements study it figure out what it s doing for all those tens of thousands of loyal users Get yourself an RSS reader Google Reader Bloglines various plug ins in Firefox Safari itself and start getting serious and organized about reading writers whose ideas speak to you Find one you like and then spider out from there tracking the

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=26 (2014-10-09)
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  • Rob Curley’s crew flees suburbia for … Las Vegas « Breaking News
    was the one who was supposed to know we should be talking to Rotary Club meetings every day Mr Curley said I dropped the ball I won t drop it in Vegas dude I ve been an admirer of Rob Curley s work for some time and have high praise for his ability to engage and enthuse a newspaper audience his early successes his folksy optimism and his unabashed love of journalism and newspapers make him a sorely needed tonic But there has always been a disconnect between his speech and his actions His formula for success at Lawrence Kansas at Naples Fla and then in Washington a highly motivated tech savvy young crew pouring resources into hyper local coverage was clearly too rich for most papers All three papers had much deeper pockets than is ordinary and all were deeply interested in creating quality on line god bless them Furthermore when you scratch Rob Curley he bleeds ink judge him by his actions not his words and we can see someone who still deeply believes in the one to many model of journalism he s just putting it on the net and bolting cool stuff onto it so that it works in fascinating and fun ways But he s not showing that he truly gets web culture It says here the net is all about connections about links it s the network of networks stupid People go online to get specific things done info email travel banking shopping distraction research and to connect to others These connections these communities swell and converge and gel and sometimes move on and sometimes put down roots Really successful sites combine both the job thing and the community thing When my students study local sites and look at Loudoun Extra com the verdict

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=31 (2014-10-09)
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