Update

June 22, 2009 by  
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Julie Posetti was kind enough to link to this site from a recent PBS MediaShift article, Rules of Engagement for Journalists on Twitter. Unfortunately, I’ve managed to make the list of journalists she linked to completely disappear.
UPDATE: The list is back online, thanks to ireckon.com fixing some rogue code for me. Thanks Darryl!!

I made the fatal mistake of messing with the code on my live site, and have somehow broken the relevant post, Australia’s Top 100 Journalists and News Media People on Twitter.

Thinking I would make a minor change to the comments.php file last week, I have somehow managed to block out the most visited post on the site. It’s still there, you just can’t see it, and I haven’t worked out how to fix it.

I’ve already tried reposting, only to see the same effect. I’m convinced the problem is in the paged comments part of the code, but have either not restored to the original, or have but to no effect.

In the interim…
In other news, I’ve been catching up on some podcasts and just listened to a great Pods and Blogs episode from April 7. One of the things mentiond in the podcast was a live streaming news centre that was set up by some students to cover G20.

From the PodcastDirectory show description:

This week Jamillah talks to the students who created a news streaming page from the middle of the G20 protests when many reporters were unable to get in, or out, of the thick of it.

Some of what they did sounds awesome but I was put off, and disagree completely, with one of the students interviewed. They suggested what they had done could not necessarily be done by members of the public, that they were trained in the technology, and knew how to speak to the camera as a journalist.

As I said, I completely disagree. There are plenty of people all over the world who are better trained (and self-trained), who could do a better job of framing the story on video. Or with their voice, or a still image, a piece of art, a song, or a line of code that generates a visualisation.

People tell stories every day in different ways, to all sorts of other people

I rant. You can find the podcast on Pods and Blogs, BBC Radio Five Live.

I’ve also been catching up on Dave Winer and Jay Rosen‘s regular fireside chat, which they’ve named Rebooting the News. I’ve started from the beginning and only made it to about number four, but there has already been some good listening. Check it out.

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Get your learn on

February 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Journalists, Media, Podcasts

podcast-logo
For people who want to upskill in journalism, or keep up with the advances and theories surrounding new media journalism, who has the time to study external extra-curricular courses, let alone attend classes?

Now you don’t have to. With the promotion of university lecture podcasts, you can get all your learning done in your own time, and for free. Staring out the bus or train window as the city passes you by on the way to work? Why not listen to some old Harvard grads from the class of 1955 talk about the changes in journalism in the last 50 years? 50 Years in Media: Changes in Journalism

Want something a bit more contemporary? Try Utah State’s Blogs, Wikis, New Media for Learning or Flash courses.

If you’re a visual learner and have a video iPod or other portable video player, try MIT’s Media, Education, and the Marketplace video lectures.

More podcasted courses available in the OEDB podcast directory, and also in iTunesU, university podcasts available directly from iTunes.

via New Media Bytes

Also from New Media Bytes: Ultimate guide to Twitter tools and resources for journalists

Email is old news to Generation C

January 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Podcasts, Social Networking

LAMP - Laboratory of Advanced Media ProductionOn the LAMP blog, a podcast with Head of Innovation at Nine MSN Jennifer Wilson is instructional for those pushing online news as a social, sharing medium.

She describes Generation C as the 12-24 age range, who think email is for their parents – it’s outdated. They almost exclusively communicate via social networking.

So what are online news sites doing to push every possible integration with social networking sites to increase coverage in this demographic – other than selling out news coverage for entertainment?

The New York Times has started text message news alerts via keywords

I’m not sure how the text message news alerts are different than the text/im/web updates that are already available through their various New York Times Twitter updates. I imagine having the in-house control of text message distribution of news opens more possibilities for monetisation of that media further down the track, rather than waiting for Twitter to start advertising.

New York Times on FacebookThe New York Times also has a Facebook page (approaching 10,000 ‘fans’) and Rob Larson, vice president of product development and management at NYTimes.com said, “We intend to use every available platform to disseminate The Times’s quality news and information.”
via The Editors Weblog

The New York Times is by no means the only media organisation experimenting with digital access and social networking for news. They’re just recognised as one of the leading ones.

In Australia, very few news organisations use Twitter. As full disclosure, before I continue, I’m a journalist at The Courier Mail newspaper, where I worked as an online multimedia producer until December last year before moving into editorial.

Twitter logoI set up Twitter accounts for all of The Courier Mail’s news sections in early October last year, making our newspaper one of the only two news outlets in Australia using Twitter (that I have found), and definitely one of the largest media contributors to Twitter by number of content categories, but not necessarily volume of content.

Our current crop of 20 Twitter user accounts are providing free SMS/IM updates on topics ranging from sports, to business, to breaking news, all with tinyurl links to the original story content. I’m now trying to find time to play around with a Facebook page for The Courier Mail, although I rarely have any spare hours at home to spend doing that.

During the process of setting up these Twitter accounts, I did a search to see if other Australian news outlets were already using Twitter.

Of News Limited mastheads, apart from The Courier Mail, none of the other existing News Ltd Twitter users have posted.
Of Fairfax mastheads, only The Age has a single feed, last updated in May 2007.
The ABC has two feeds – one of which I follow to receive local news alerts on my mobile phone.

An informal audit of a selection of Australian media and their Twitter presence

Fairfax Digital logoFairfax masthead sites

ABC News - logoABC News

News Digital Media - News Limited logoNews Limited masthead sites

I am assuming the unused Twitter accounts above belong to these publications, but it’s entirely possible someone could simply be ‘squatting’ on the Twitter user names.

A search for “news” in Twitter, yields a lot of results. Here are just a few (listed as their Twitter user name) that may be of interest – financialtimes, npr news, cbcnews, wired, ITN_NEWS, BBC, SkyNewsBusiness, indianews, SkyNews, and CNETNews.

In the UK, the BBC and Sky have a larger selection of Twitter updates that can be followed.


The 2007 federal election was approaching when I was working on the Courier Mail Twitter accounts so, having already written a story about politics and social networking, I had a look at what political parties had on Twitter.

At the time the results were:
Greens: http://twitter.com/Greens
Three updates in total, all on August 2, 2007, that are worth mentioning.

The Greens have established a twitter and are testing it.
04:11 PM August 02, 2007
Do you receive my Greens twitter?
04:26 PM August 02, 2007
Hrrrmmm, if I was 14 I’d know exactly what would happen
06:39 PM August 02, 2007

Liberal (both spoofs)
http://twitter.com/johnhoward
http://twitter.com/johnhowardfacts
Labor: none
Democrats: none
Nationals: none

In 2008, however, the Greens seem to have got their act together with a Twitter page feeding from the Greens Blog website.
https://twitter.com/greensblog

I also didn’t find this during the election last year , but https://twitter.com/kevinrudd is another spoof Twitter account.

Qtrax launches free and legal music downloads

January 29, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Online, Podcasts, Technology

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Qtrax logoQtrax, a new online music service, has made 25 million songs available for free and legal download.

Qtrax requires a software download, much like the iTunes store, to browse, play and download the songs. The service is said to be supported by limited advertising around the Qtrax player window.

The Mac version of the Qtrax music player software isn’t due for release until March 18.

via: Download 25 million songs for free – legally | Australian IT

UPDATE: Apparently Qtrax didn’t have the support they thought they did, so in fact have delayed their launch.

NYT Soundslides – Benazir Bhutto

January 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Pictures, Podcasts, Videos

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Soundslides logoIt’s still pictures and audio, but it’s compelling.

John Moore, a photographer who was snapping pics just metres from Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade when she was killed, talks about the rally and that day.

The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto | The New York Times

Audio with random photos overlaid is not great. A slideshow with managed photo placement to associated narration is great. For a newsroom that thinks they can’t afford video (they can), well produced audio slideshows are a good way to make your readers more open to the future introduction of video content.

ABC Now

In a continuing push to break new ground in digital media, ABC (Australia) has released ABC Now, a desktop media player for select ABC digital content.

The potential of this application is huge. When I read the description of what it would do, I couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately the interface isn’t entirely user-friendly at the moment, but it’s in beta, so expect something great to come.

For what is obviously planned for this media player the ABC is again demonstrating why Australians go to them for original online audio and video content – because they try to make it easily accessible.

Often they succeed in the attempt, and that’s why their podcasts and vodcasts have enjoyed such popularity. ABC digital content has succeeded because it is available. If there’s not much to choose from, people move on. The ABC’s integration online of text, audio and video content is impressive, to say the least.

If you haven’t seen it, check out an example of their in-page video player on this story.

Video ads

March 6, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Podcasts

Automating advertising to fit with visual or audio clip content based on speech recognition could yield some unwanted results, particularly if the accent isn’t recognised.

Apparently it’s going to be the way to go, with software created to serve relevant ads based on words spoken in a video clip.

But how much design goes into getting it to work in the US, only to have a New Zealand news clip about six beached whales return ‘relevant’ escort service ads?

Newspapers – Online Video provider of choice

February 14, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, News, Online, Podcasts, Print, Videos

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A US report was released yesterday showing newspaper sites grossed US$81 million in local video advertising compared to US$32 million for local TV sites.

Yes, the ‘owners’ of video, TV, are being beaten to the online visual punch by their print rivals.

It’s also predicted online video advertising revenue will make up one-third of ALL online ads by 2012.

It’s no surprise then that TIME Magazine is launching an in-house studio to develop online video content.

The distinction between print, radio, and television will continue to blur as they all produce similar content for online consumption.

Sources:
LostRemote – Time to build a video studio
LostRemote – Newspapers beating TV sites to video revenue

ABC reorganisation

February 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Journalists, Media, News, Online, Podcasts, Videos

There’s been a big shakeup at the ABC, with a new digital media strategy announced by managing director Mark Scott.

“Digital media is now integral to everything we do. It is not an add-on, it is not a novelty, it is the present reality as well as the future,” Mr Scott said.

Possibly the biggest announcement is their intention to pursue revenue through digital offerings like podcasts and video. Already one of the biggest producers of quality digital content, they have until now not charged for it. It seems they may continue to not charge for most of the material, but rather archived audio or video content would be available to download at a cost.

I mentioned some time ago that the ABC could make some revenue from their podcasts, seeing as they were some of the most popular downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. Even if downloads dropped, only one person willing to pay makes revenue the ABC otherwise would not have had.

Another big announcement, at least in my world, is the integration of ABC News Online with their news and current affairs divisions. I’m not sure how this affects my chances of a week-long internship since I had hoped to go to the ABC Online division, which is based in Brisbane. As it is, I’ll still be off at the Courier Mail for a week starting tomorrow.

The Australian: ABC to create digital earner

Crikey: Traditional content divisions the big winners in ABC shake-up

Crikey:Will the ABC now carry advertising on-line?

ABC: ABC announces digital media strategy

PDFDocumentIconABC Media Release (pdf)

School 2.0

November 20, 2006 by  
Filed under Media, News, Podcasts

Driving the quiet streets of Brisbane in the last week, two school notice billboards caught my attention.

The first, from Our Lady of the Assumption in Enoggera, told how the Year Fours were almost done with their podcasts. Podcasts! My first thought is simply, “Cool.” Then logic kicks in and I think, “Wait, is that really important? Shouldn’t they be doing grammar or mathematics or something?” And then, finally, I kick logic in the teeth and say, “Learning the skills needed to work in a multimedia environment is probably the most important training those kids can get, and at such a young age, they’re off to a good start!” You’ve got to give credit to the teacher who came up with that project. The Year Four page at the school’s site doesn’t yet show the podcasts, but I’ll be keen to check them out if they do post them.

The second billboard was from the primary school I attended during my only year of primary education in Australia, Ashgrove State School. They took out Primary first place in the best web-based student newspaper category for their Kid’s eZine. It’s fairly basic in design and writing, with most of the stories about 100 words in length, but a great achievement for 6-10 year olds! My only suggestion to them would be to put dates on their stories so people know how current they are. My favourite story was one about Ashgrove sports teams written by four of the boys. In it they ask the question, why do Ashgrove sports teams achieve so much? The answer, they decide, is that “the coaches don’t yell, they encourage their teams with firm but quiet talk.” Great stuff.

This sort of information on school noticeboards is much more interesting than the usual “Congratulations Jack and Jane – State Finals”. Apart from Jack and Jane who may get a sense of pride seeing their name by a main road, the general public haven’t learnt much about any of the school’s (possibly) great programs. These boards actually caught my attention and made me interested in what the kids were achieving, underscored by what’s obviously an interesting and fun program. And what they’re doing is great. As I said before, giving young children practical training in a multimedia environment is setting them up for the future.

UPDATE: The title of the post, School 2.0, refers to the now commonly used term Web 2.0, the “supposed second generation of Internet-based services … that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users” (from Wikipedia).

Gervais

March 22, 2006 by  
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The Ricky Gervais podcast has been, since it started, the most popular podcast available at the iTunes Music Store. I’ve downloaded one episode and have yet to listen to it, but I’m wondering if it’s moving into the pay category. All podcast downloads are free at iTunes, and while the Ricky Gervais Show still appears in the podcast directory (and the final episode is free), the shows are also offered for $2.99 each, as audiobooks (that link may not work for all – and will try to launch iTunes if it does). The podcast link offers Episode 12 only, as does the Guardian Unlimited site (below). At rickygervais.com the podcast link takes you to the audiobook I already mentioned above, so it does seem their podcast is no longer free.

Speaking of pay-for podcasts, the ABC has been quietly talking about introducing advertising to raise revenue. Well, the Communications Minister Helen Coonan has been talking about it. There were two articles in The Australian’s media section two weeks ago (which I have been meaning to do a post on) talking about the succuss of ABC Radio’s podcasts. If they start charging for them they could make a bucketload, as the argument goes. My argument goes a little differently, if they start charging for them nobody will listen. That’s not entirely true, but you’ll definitely see the downloads drop dramatically. I guess it really wouldn’t matter though – if only one person paid $2.99 for “Dr Karl on triple j”, that’s $2.99 more than the ABC had before. Incidentally, one of those articles thought the ABC would rake in more along the lines of $10million a year, even if downloads dropped and were only charged at 99c a pop. As an aside, the top 25 podcasts on the iTunes Music Store today include six from the ABC’s suite, five of those are in the top 15, and four of them are from triple j.

Other links:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/rickygervais
http://www.rickygervais.com/

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Long time in the pipes

February 22, 2006 by  
Filed under Pictures, Podcasts

This post has been a long time coming. The post gets categorised under podcast because, believe it or not, I’ve recorded one! It’s meandering and mumbling for almost 5 minutes, but it’s here, for your listening enjoyment.

I’ve just had the pleasure of sending an email to the realtor for some maintenance in our unit. As my last email told you, we hadn’t had a real shower for several days. Not so bad, but neither was it so good – who would have guessed it wouldn’t be a grand time? I promise you, however, that I have taken at least four showers in the last two weeks. I decided to write you this post to show you what I sent to the realtor – more for your own discomfort and the amusement it will afford me, knowing you didn’t need to know.

Repairs/Request Required:

1. Screening on balcony needs to be sealed to stop water coming in during rain. This was a previous repair request and, while the installers came and sealed some spots, none of the areas most in need were sealed. Consequently in rain yesterday the screens have again leaked water when closed.

I didn’t send it to them in January, but this is the water we had coming through screens that aren’t supposed to let the deck get wet.

2. The toilet water in our unit is not cool. It generally causes an unpleasant odour to hang in the air that can’t be dispersed. While not being a plumber I suspect it’s a flushing problem since sometimes – and I apologise for the imagery, but it explains the issue – objects thought sent on their way have ‘reappeared’. The smell is constant and has been for a while – reappearing objects are infrequent, but more disturbing.

See? I knew you all wanted to know that.

3. When our bath leaked a few weeks back I informed you via phone that water had come through the wall and stained the carpet. I was supposed to hear from a carpet cleaner, but didn’t, so this is to remind you we have a very obvious 70x40cm brown stain on the carpet inside our front door.

That stain’s pretty. Having a brown explosion on a beige carpet to greet your guests as soon as you open the front door is a great conversation starter if a little short-lived as a novelty,

In other news, I think I may have previously mentioned the program Autostitch. It does a great job on panoramic shots – stitching them together automatically, as the name adequately explains. You can see it in action in the honeymoon pics gallery – two named ‘pano’. It’s a Windows only program, so I have to use my old laptop instead of my do-no-wrong iBook, but the results are well worth it.

This image is another one by autostich, taken at my church (click for full size). Actually, it’s 66 images (2,592 x 1,944 pixels each) put together by the autostitcher at only 5% of the original output size and jpeg compression at 75% quality. After doing the one you see here, I wanted to go the whole hog, so set it to 100% output size and 100% jpeg quality. That was at about 1am Tuesday morning, 41 hours ago. It’s up to ‘Rendering block 23 of 54’. Admittedly my five-year-old Compaq Presario 700Z is probably not suited for the task – with its raging 946MHz and rubber-burning 112Mb of RAM – but she’s having an honest go at it! Task Manager would have me believe the program’s not responding, but it’s progressed 6 blocks in the last 12 hours…liar.

I guess that’s it for now. I’m off to do some jobs before my wife gets home. I’ll likely blog about this panoramic shot when it finishes in another three days or so.

October 22, 2005 by  
Filed under Podcasts

UPDATE: I’m reposting some old podcasts buy orlistat so they’re current, as I’ve just submitted my feed for consideration in the Australian iTunes Music Store. That said, you’ve probably already listened to these. Next to them I’ll put their original posting date.

Earley Edition Podcast

(12:20, 3mb)

purchase discount cialis online

It’s a podcast! I’m toying with the idea of using a less intrusive podcast icon, such as this one… That other one I was using was, well, big. But since saving this as a draft I’m no longer toying with the idea. Kate likes it. I like it. You like it. Yes, you do.

October 22, 2005 by  
Filed under Podcasts

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UPDATE: I’m reposting some old podcasts so they’re current, as I’ve just submitted my feed for consideration in the Australian iTunes Music Store. That said, you’ve probably already listened to these. Next to them I’ll put their original posting date.

Earley Edition Podcast

(1:34, 3mb)

canada viagra generic

Sorry about the post title, it’s a poor attempt. This order viagra post, I have one picture, and one podcast. The podcast is 13 minutes (3mb) and generally consists of a stream of consciousness as I drove to university this morning. Is that what it’s called? Anyway, simply click on the podcast icon to hear it in your browser, or right-click and ‘Save as’ to download to your computer before listening.


Contents of podcast:

  • Proposal (not a recording of it, just a bit about it),
  • info about Kate and myself,
  • a lot of unnecessary details in between.

October 18 Podcast

October 18, 2005 by  
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Earley Edition Podcast

(12:20, 3mb)

It’s a podcast! I’m toying with the idea of using a less intrusive podcast icon, such as this one… That other one I was using was, well, big. But since saving this as a draft I’m no longer toying with the idea. Kate likes it. I like it. how can i buy viagra in canada You like it. Yes, you do. Of about 8 small designs I tried, this one looked the best. Oh what the hey. These were the other designs. And so the podcast pic above all this text is the MP3 file if you want to manually download it (ie, if you don’t have podcast software to automatically get that for you).

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