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  • Seven Steps to Writing Like a Digital Native « Breaking News
    t have to own a file to share it with your audience Need a photo of a coffee addicted dog for a story on off leash dog parks Go to Flickr s creative commons site and search for what you need That looks for photos with a Creative Commons attribution licence you can use the photos so long as you attribute them The dog photo comes from Bruce by the way If you can t get permission to post or host the file yourself why not link to it Just always make it clear what the reader user can expect on the other side of the links you create 3 Can you map it Mapping information especially interactive mapping can offer readers highly useful information And with tools like Google s free map api or even their wsywg My Maps a simple locater map or a route map can be created and embedded directly into a story in a matter of minutes Some stories might even best be told entirely as an annotated interactive map Ask yourself if this is one of them 4 Can you gather past stories together and link to them It s a conversation remember You ve gone and dug out and re read the old stories to prepare for your interviews and to nail down the background why not share them Two of the biggest complaints we get about stories we do are that we fail to follow up or provide context Providing a sidebar or box with links to 2 or 3 or 5 related stories takes care of both those complaints It also potentially increases our sites page views which adds up to more revenue 5 Can you post the audio or video of an interview or performance or meeting If you ve

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=29 (2014-10-09)
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  • Going (digital) Native — Four Easy Steps To Help Journalist Survive and Thrive in Web 2.0 « Breaking News
    was a little younger and a fair bit more web savvy than I d been led to believe I was expecting a room full of beginners pretty much people who can use email and Google and do their banking and book trips and maybe even read a web comic or two Instead about half the room is on Facebook a quarter of them had heard of Twitter a third of them read blogs etc That s a higher web literacy level than I ve been finding among the students who stream through WebU and certainly a higher web awareness than average out in the wild all of which is good news for the magazine industry It also made my job easier because I could push them further up that learning curve in the short time we had together I wanted to drill two things into their heads 1 An understanding of how the web is changing our business model without waiting for anybody s permission and 2 The need to learn to think and act like a digital native not a print journalist whose tacked on video or blogging onto their resume There s a reason Whales grew fins and flukes when they moved back into the sea In order to get them kickstarted on this I recommended a months worth of homework 4 week long exercises that I uhmm guaranteed them would give them a deeper richer understanding of how the web works They may not be able to pass as a digital native but at least they ll be clutching a green card in their hands Here s those exercises 1 Set up RSS Create a Google Account and sign up for Google Reader Subscribe to Five Feeds Idea Factory Seth Godin Matthew Ingram plus 2 of your

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=32 (2014-10-09)
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  • It’s Alive! Animating Print Publications on the Web « Breaking News
    like the real thing complete with animated page turning and even swoooshing sounds as the page flips open A lot of people have been trying variations on this technology for a long time Initially papers and magazines would simply post static pdf s of their actual pages as a service to readers but mostly I think it was an attempt to lead their advertisers online See Look how nice your ad looks on the web And it didn t hurt a bit Things began getting a little out of control as different companies Olive PressSmart come to mind began offering tools that attempted to duplicate the print exeprience online The National Post and all the CanWest daily papers offer fairly sophisticated digital editions which include the option of listening to a machine read each story In our own chain we ve used the technique for some advertising focussed sections like the Spectator s New Home Living magazine and a few complete specialty publications I can understand why publishers go for these little monsters they re relatively cheap to produce and you can upsell advertisers to the product or at least as I said before get print advertisers used to the idea of being on the web but I can t really believe they do much for readers I mean they really seem like a transitional technology a crutch or perhaps training wheels to help print producers move into the digital age But as the father of three daughters I can tell you from experience you learn to ride a bike a lot faster without the darn things You ll fall down a couple of times but if you re depending on your own sense of balance to survive rather than leaning on those little wheels you soon learn what it

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=33 (2014-10-09)
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  • How to find video stories in the classifieds « Breaking News
    March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 Blogroll Development Blog Documentation DreamHost Blog Plugins Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes It s Alive Animating Print Publications on the Web Home Watching Walmart Grow and other strange uses for Freebase The World s Database How to find video stories in the classifieds By Bill on May 14th 2008 E ver read any of the Missed Connections ads on Craigslist or in the back pages of your favourite alternative weekly You know the ones that go something like Me 30 something poet with pony tail and messenger bag You Flustered blonde with polka dot boots and a 30 gig Video iPod We never talked but our eyes met briefly on the 86 B at 9 30 pm Tuesday night when you dropped your copy of Jane Eyre etc Reading the ads can be a kind of guilty pleasure a form of social voyeurism in which nobody gets hurt or too creeped out But do you ever wonder who these people are Katy Newton did and then she did something about it a weekly video feature for a cool new multi media site on the Los Angeles Times site ICU It s a crapshoot of course a good number of the sad souls taking out Missed Connections ads may very well be people you really just don t need to know about But Newton doesn t show us the failures only people who are entertaining touching even funny Check out Hot Guy I Hit With My Car sample line He was all rugged and hot The last time I hit a guy with my car he wasn t very hot The point is these are simple human stories that translate very well to video They

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=35 (2014-10-09)
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  • Watching Walmart Grow – and other strange uses for Freebase, “The World’s Database” « Breaking News
    available for any geek or number nerd to come along and wring sense out of Segaran built his Walmart growth video using data from Freebase an open public database that launched a year or so ago Freebase is an attempt to build a freely accessible database of the world s knowledge Here s how they describe it Freebase created by Metaweb Technologies is an open database of the world s information It s built by the community and for the community free for anyone to query contribute to build applications on top of or integrate into their websites Already Freebase covers millions of topics in hundreds of categories Drawing from large open data sets like Wikipedia MusicBrainz and the SEC archives it contains structured information on many popular topics including movies music people and locations all reconciled and freely available via an open API It s a noble ambition similar to the noble ambition that created it s cousin Wikipedia The difference between the two is that in Wikipedia the community contributes information by posting words narratives articles In Freebase the community contributes data and applications that make use of that data If you work with public databases this is the stuff that dreams are made of Data raw data and lots of it too If it s so great I can hear you think why aren t more people using it Good question I think there s at least two answers the difficulty in accessing using and displaying the data ultimately this is a number nerd playground And while I happen to think a number nerd is exactly what every newspaper needs I m not sure Freebase is going to be able to live up to it s founders dreams for one simple reason data reliability Anyone can contribute

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=36 (2014-10-09)
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  • Baltimore Sun’s New Suburban Site Links to Competitors « Breaking News
    s Database Home Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random Baltimore Sun s New Suburban Site Links to Competitors By Bill on May 7th 2008 D ear lord I wish this wasn t news But it is According to Editor and Publisher the Baltimore Sun s new county news web site ExploreHoward com is actually linking to other news sites Gasp That s right they re sending readers to the competition I wrote last week perhaps too dismissively of the increasingly nimble Baltimore Sun s efforts to reach a youth market by launching a new paper and web product b What they ve done now to warrant the coverage in Editor and Publisher is launch a new website that aggregates news content from it looks like four community papers they own that serve suburban Howard County Maryland One of the features of the new mostly clean and simple looking website is a news feed box a headline widget really that features headlines and links to stories about Howard County that are appearing anywhere including their competition Gasp I say someone please open a window I think I feel an attack of the vapours It s a sad indictment of our business that our trade publications correctly see it as news when a newspaper website finally recognizes what huges swaths of the web have known for years that one of the key jobs we can do for readers is to filter the world s information for them reliably swiftly and if we re all very lucky with a bit of style You don t have to produce or own or even have the publishing rights to that information to do this service you can link to it Hello Fark Digg

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=37 (2014-10-09)
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  • Lessons from WebU « Breaking News
    June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 January 2010 December 2009 October 2009 March 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 Blogroll Development Blog Documentation DreamHost Blog Plugins Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes Brits create The Churner Prize Home US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising Lessons from WebU By Bill on April 11th 2008 I got a chance to do a webinar for the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Ontario Community Newspaper Association this week and I must say it s a very odd experience I ve sat in on several webinars webcasts linked via chat or conference call but this was my first time presenting It s kind of creepy sitting and talking to your computer monitor for nearly one straight hour without getting any kind of visual or aural feedback from your audience I outlined the origins and goals of WebU walked people through a typical week and then ended with some results and lessons learned Nothing revolutionary in the format or content but I

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=46 (2014-10-09)
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  • Newspapers in danger of abandoning their mission « Breaking News
    US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising Home The Wire s final season Newspapers in danger of abandoning their mission By Bill on March 22nd 2008 P eggy Drexler a psychology professor from Cornell University has written a marvelous thoughtful piece on newspapers and the net that warns that while local newspapers are certainly healthy and strong and likely to survive journalism the passionate deep reporting and storytelling that makes them great is not As newspaper companies adapt to the realities of consumers who can travel the world on their iPhone I am afraid they are going to become a shell of their original purpose a brand name for a collection of niche publications free tabloids and assorted Web sites The center that gravitational force that holds the parts of a community in its orbit will be gone She s clearly a keen observer or at least a shaply intuitive one of the newspaper business because that is precisely the shape that many see our business acquiring The American Press Institutes latest Newspaper Next report calls on papers to re orient their business and turn themselves into local information and connection utilities That s a smart and sensible approach But it ain t gonna do much for journalism other than keep newspaper companies alive Drexler acknowledges that newspapers quite sensibly are investing in and moving onto the net a free wheeling space that so far has not proved hospitable to ad supported or subscription based local journalism But this means their print counterparts will increasingly be starved of resources talent and ultimately readers Neither these new newspaper lites nor their web versions seem capable of supporting the same depth and volume of original journalism as print A central role will go unfilled Sometimes flawed newspapers are more

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=48 (2014-10-09)
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