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  • Breaking News
    content of our web sites For that session It thought it would be fun to try out the Coveritlive live blogging tool which was created by a team in Toronto just down the highway Here it is July 9th 2008 Category Blogs blogging Tech Tips One comment Comments are closed Digital Survival Guide Part 2 By Bill on July 3rd 2008 Last November Steve Buttry from the American Press Institute put out a call to his colleagues for advice on as he put it how to help an old stegasaurus upgrade his online skills Steve I hasten to add wasn t the old dinosaur 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 Continue reading Digital Survival Guide Part 2 July 3rd 2008 Category Journalism Social Web Tech Tips Comments are closed Why Newspapers Still Don t Get The Web By Bill on June 30th 2008 As I was preparing the Seven Steps To Writing Like a Digital Native guide I was struck again by just how much newspapers are blinded to the power the web offers us It is I think one of the biggest mistake newspapers make online failing to use the web s rich resources or at least some of them in every story It s a mistake is deeply rooted in our print culture we re highly competitive and we re used to owning and controlling everything we publish But the web is different and that mistake costs us dearly I think because it Continue reading Why Newspapers Still Don t Get The Web June 30th 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Comments are closed Readers reading web news just like it s the morning paper By Bill on June 25th 2008 Continue reading Readers reading web news just like it s the morning paper June 25th 2008 Category Journalism Marketing News Tech Comments are closed Seven Steps to Writing Like a Digital Native By Bill on June 24th 2008 Here are the seven tips I give our WebU students who are learning how to write for the web Stop before posting ANY story and ask yourself these seven questions about how you can enrich your story for the reader 1 Are there original documents you can link to If you ve downloaded a report meeting minutes or agendas watched a video or listened to a tape share it If it s living elsewhere on the web link to it If you have your own copy can you scan it Post it yourself Tell people how they can get their own physical Continue reading Seven Steps to Writing Like a Digital Native June 24th 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Tips Comments are closed Forty percent of the Top 50

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  • Journalism « Breaking News
    s decision because it s the only safe thing to do the only easy way we can maintain our distance from the process and cling to our much vaunted objectivity Click to continue reading February 13th 2008 Category Journalism Comments are closed How to build a successful local news web site Hint Don t start with your newspaper By Bill on January 29th 2008 In an article written for Harvard s Nieman Reports special issue on Local News Richard Anderson founder of the award winning Village Soup web sites argues that most newspapers get it all wrong when they go on the web because they think of the site as a performance a stage show while his community host model combines that show with something like a trade show floor where everyone can gather to share ideas browse and buy Here s Richard The conventional community newspaper approach to going online is analogous to an event production just as a star performs on stage reporters Continue reading How to build a successful local news web site Hint Don t start with your newspaper January 29th 2008 Category Advertising Journalism Tips Comments are closed WebU The Second Term and a first draft of possible changes By Bill on November 20th 2007 Background WebU grew out several months of consultation and planning a process that brought together staff and managers from companies right across the Metroland West Media Group dailies weeklies shows and magazines That process identified a diverse series of skills knowledge and attitudes we wanted to impart to a broad swath of the company outcomes that were crystallized into curricula for some 29 different courses to be delivered to five separate streams of students during sessions that varied in length from 2 to 5 days In our first ten weeks we ll have graduated 107 students and should hit the 150 mark before Christmas Just 350 more to go after that While this draft document is focused on improving the courses we teach it s important to first understand that the success of WebU stems not from the clever courses or curriculum but arises directly from the quality of it s teachers 25 Metroland staff and managers who have chosen to take on the additional burden of teaching while continuing to shoulder their primary responsibilities i e their jobs Many also add to that commitment of time by commuting long distances to Hamilton to teach That effort does not go unnoticed nor unappreciated Where WebU succeeds and it has been succeeding the credit lies with the teachers Period Thank you all of you It is has come time to assess our work to see if what was imagined last summer has come to pass to examine if the courses we built are serving the needs not just that we imagined or learned of in consultations but the needs that staff and managers who come to the course are expressing in real time now Click to continue reading November 20th 2007

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  • News « Breaking News
    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 Continue reading Hey Look A brand new newspaper launched in Baltimore April 29th 2008 Category Journalism Marketing News One comment Comments are closed Surprise Toronto transit strike tests local media By Bill on April 26th 2008 If you like hard news you should have been in heaven in Toronto on Friday night Unfortunately the local media didn t do a hell of a job covering it The major union for Toronto Transit Commission workers called a surprise strike last night giving the city just 90 minutes notice that they were shutting down the nation s largest transit system The strike arising from the rejection of a tentative settlement stranded thousands of people who were out blithely enjoying a warm spring Friday night in the city s core Breaking ongoing late night news like this is about as tough a stresser of a newspaper s abilities as you can find and it s instructive to see how it was handled here in media rich Toronto First the background The TTC union executive narrowly accepted 8 7 a tentative contract earlier this week and it was put to a vote of members all day Friday At about 10 30 pm last night the union issued a press release saying the offer had been rejected by 65 of workers and as a result they would walk out at midnight The Mayor held a press conference moments before midnight decrying the move and vowing back to work legislation from the province The system shut down at midnight just as thousands of people began streaming out of movie houses and bars and restaurants Think of that thousands of Torontonians pouring out of bars and clubs and restaurants looking forward to nothing so much as their distant bed and finding suddenly they had no way home What would happen Riots Innocents struck down on darkened streets as they trekked home alone and on foot So how did the Toronto media respond to the challenge Sadly most did at least modestly well in print but failed to use the web very well at all Let s have a look Toronto Sun Back when I worked at the Sun they would have flooded the zone on this story held the print run and dragged reporters and editors and photographers out of their beds and bars and fanned out across the city to put together a comprehensive photo packed pullout complete with howls of outrage from one or more columnists As I

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  • Breaking News
    of the critical research on this was published back in Feb 2006 in Science the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science but most of us learned about it in a recent Fast Company piece by tech writer and Canadian Clive Thompson Is The Tipping Continue reading Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random May 6th 2008 Category Marketing News Social Web Tech Comments are closed Crowdsourcing a map of the universe By Bill on May 5th 2008 I ve been thinking and reading a lot about crowdsourcing lately partly because it s becoming increasingly obvious that online news sites need to figure out how to open themselves and the job of filtering information to their community but also because I m suddenly teaching WebU s crowdsourcing class The course was created by Peter Organisciak a Mac student and by now probably grad way to go Peter I hired to bring some needed technical expertise into our little faculty In Clay Shirkey s SuperNova 2007 talk he examined how the net s communication tools meant that now love could be as strong Continue reading Crowdsourcing a map of the universe May 5th 2008 Category Social Web Tech Comments are closed More Clay Shirky Is love stronger than profit By Bill on May 1st 2008 Another one of my favourite talks by noted Internet thinker and author Clay Shirky I told you about his recent Web 2 0 talk comparing television sitcoms to gin a stupifying social lubricant that s helped us deal with wrenching social changes Here s another one of his talks this one delivered as one of the opening keynotes at Supernova 2007 Using the repeated tearing down and rebuilding of a 1300 year old Japanese shrine as a metaphor Clay explained how the net s social nature changes the basic dynamics of business and collective creativity replacing the profit motive with something that looks Continue reading More Clay Shirky Is love stronger than profit May 1st 2008 Category Social Web Tech Comments are closed Gin Television and Social Surplus Clay Shirky calls us out of our stupor By Bill on April 30th 2008 Author and journalist programmer Clay Shirky gave a powerfully thoughtful talk at Reilly s Web 2 0 conference last week Gin Television and Social Surplus In his relaxed 16 minute talk Shirky drew up upon the thoughts of a British 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 Continue reading Gin Television and Social Surplus Clay Shirky calls us out of our stupor April 30th 2008 Category Journalism Marketing News Social Web Tech Comments are closed Hey Look A brand

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  • Journalism « Breaking News
    Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes Doc Searls Thinks We Should All Get Wet By Bill on October 19th 2007 Doc Searls co author of the brilliant ClueTrain Manifesto thinks news is a river a living flowing moving thing that doesn t take well to being being bottled up and stored for an hour or six before being uncorked and consumed Here he says it better Future to Newspapers Jump in the river October 19 2007 in Future Journalism Here s the problem with most news it isn t It s olds It happened hours ago or last night or yesterday or last month or before whenever the deadline was in the news organization s current news cycle It s not now Unless Continue reading Doc Searls Thinks We Should All Get Wet October 19th 2007 Category Journalism News Comments are closed Boy plummets Spec stock skyrockets By Bill on March 29th 2007 Speed sells At about 10 30 am thanks to Jen Moore s sharp ears yesterday morning we figured that some indistinct scanner chatter was likely about a boy a boy who d fallen nine storeys and lived Gary Yokoyama needed no urging grabbed a video camera and flew down to the Jackson St scene as did reporter Paul Legall and photog Kaz Novak We had the Hey something s happening item on NewsNow within 10 mins and a solid accurate bare bones version of the story within 25 mins Most impressively we had our first video report complete with video of the Continue reading Boy plummets Spec stock skyrockets March 29th 2007 Category Journalism Comments are closed How to Present Video By Bill on February 9th 2007 From the Poynter Org s E media blog comes a pointer to what looks to be a fabulous use of web

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  • News « Breaking News
    rapidly The Washigton Post which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing it s free web site has a useful piece on the shift Continue reading Death of the Subscription model November 18th 2007 Category Advertising Journalism News Comments are closed Personal Computer sales tanking in Japan By Bill on November 6th 2007 Home computer sales in gadget mad electronics crazy Japan have declined for 5 straight quarters Is this a sign that ubiquitous computing is finally coming That personal computer type processing power has now been embedded into so many things cell phones PDA s music players cameras gaming consoles hell even refrigerators that people don t need their high powered all in one do anything home computer anymore According to an AP story PC shipments fell 6 2 percent in 2006 Note it s not that the sales increases have been slowing the actual number of PCs being shipped and sold is declining And so far the numbers for 2007 Continue reading Personal Computer sales tanking in Japan November 6th 2007 Category News Tech Comments are closed Facebook Google driving to develop standardized ads and delivery methods By Bill on November 4th 2007 Maybe one of the things that s keeping online newspaper sites from hitching their wagon onto the online advertising gravy train is our failure to develop and standardize online advertising formats Sure we ve done it somewhat with our leaderboards hate that name and buttons and tiles and big boxes but these are all simple display ads and I have a feeling we re behind the curve on this Look at what some of the big players in the online ad business are doing It s a little geeky Okay a LOT geeky but Google s Open Social marks a significant step forward for Continue reading Facebook Google driving to develop standardized ads and delivery methods November 4th 2007 Category News Comments are closed Can a beat reporter profit from exposing his network By Bill on November 2nd 2007 Damn I think I stepped out of reporting at the wrong time New York journalism prof and new media journalism evangelist Jay Rosen Assignment Zero The People Formerly Known As the Audience etc is launching the third major project of the NewAssignment Net initiative He s trying to integrate social networks and beat reporting Beat Reporting With a Social Network Can it Work Are there network effects in beat reporting Across the US a dozen reporters with beats are going to try to find out simultaneously This will improve their odds of succeeding I m still recruiting participants so read on the rest of this pretty interesting and challenging idea can be found at his blog PressThink Rosen s group will hook together 12 reporters he says he s got 7 or 8 and is looking for a few more each of whom is going to be using a web based social network to stimulate and co ordinate story creation and beat coverage I ve

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  • Breaking News
    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 Continue reading Lessons from WebU April 11th 2008 Category News Comments are closed US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising By Bill on March 25th 2008 First employment classifieds Then automotive advertising moved massively online And now a the executive summary of new report out of the US by Borrell Associates suggests real estate advertising dollars are going to jump to the web in a big way For newspapers the situation is worse We project that coming off last year s high of almost 5 2 billion in print advertising there will be a 6 8 percent decline this year 2007 almost the same again in 2008 followed by a stunning 16 percent fall in 2009 and 13 percent in 2010 By then real estate marketers Continue reading US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising March 25th 2008 Category Advertising Marketing Comments are closed Newspapers in danger of abandoning their mission By Bill on March 22nd 2008 Peggy 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 Continue reading Newspapers in danger of abandoning their mission March 22nd 2008 Category Journalism News Tech Comments are closed The Wire s final season By Bill on March 17th 2008 I have yet to see a single full episode of The Wire a critically acclaimed cable TV show out of the US that chronicled Baltimore s seedy drug subculture and ended its five season run with a long story arc set in a fictional Baltimore newsroom but after reading this blog post by exec producer David Simon I want to watch the whole darn thing In the post Simon rips US journalists who loved or hated the show and wrote about it extensively for failing to note the key point of the season the paper sucked It was Continue reading The Wire s final season March 17th 2008 Category News Comments are closed Here s how we should be doing news on the web By Bill on March 14th 2008 Hint Think radio Another hint it s a conversation remember Howard Owens was right we should never have begun dumping our printed paper onto the web It s been a disaster sucking enormous resources and energy

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  • News « Breaking News
    insert a photo onto the page from Continue reading New Blogger March 27th 2007 Category News Comments are closed My first WebU post By Bill on March 27th 2007 It s day two locked in this airless hellhole deep in enemy Go territory and I m alive I m pretty sure For a news guy like me it s damn tough being surrounded by so many people with smiles on their faces new products on their desks and celeberty gossip on their lips But actually all that s outside the WebU bunker arrayed around it like row upon row of green and friendly tank traps Inside WebU I feel a lot more at home People are hunched and scowling pounding their keyboards and screaming into phones at recalicitrant police officials and hapless bureaucrats Continue reading My first WebU post March 27th 2007 Category News Comments are closed A Waterloo Region visitor By Bill on March 26th 2007 And they ve got me working School shouldn t be work But seriously this is fun And the only way to learn and brush up on skills I m Karlo Berkovich associate editor online at The Record and I m here to pick up tips I ve learned a lot since I took my job moving over from being sports editor on Sept 5 06 I d been blogging before that and posting some breaking news so moving to the web fulltime as essentially a coordinator between the newsroom and the web centre techies seemed a natural fit I now do tons of breaking news Continue reading A Waterloo Region visitor March 26th 2007 Category News Comments are closed Technical difficulties By Bill on March 7th 2007 The idea is very cool A whole week to learn about using the web with a focus on some kind of project Blogging was what I wanted to learn about with a sideorder of introduction to video So it s odd as we are being introduced to this supposedly high tech world that the biggest frustration is just the usual low level computer failures Tuesday afternoon we couldn t upload to The Spectator s News Now one of the most basic things we are supposed to be doing This morning I ve twice had to call the tech folks just to make the Continue reading Technical difficulties March 7th 2007 Category News Comments are closed Jeff and Gary s Excellent Adventure By Bill on March 2nd 2007 As often as we can we ll be posting the WebU projects after the students complete them Here s a great 3 min video that Jeff Day and Gary Webb a Visa student from downstairs made this week based on a suggestion from Bob Hutton Bd March 2nd 2007 Category News Comments are closed Catalogue goes electronic By Bill on February 28th 2007 There have been big changes in the LCBO Classics Catalogue system as of 2007 It s the selection of limited availability and generally most expensive wines

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