Online Journalism

Entries Tagged as 'Storify'

Twitter: Word of mouth 2.0

January 31st, 2012 · No Comments

[View the story “Twitter: Word of mouth 2.0” on Storify]

Tags: Comm361 · social media · Storify · Student Blog Posts · Uncategorized

Tech Blog #14: Guest Speaker Rick Reo

April 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Tech Blog #14: Guest Speaker Rick Reo

David Lee, the co-founder and creative director of Projeqt.com, was supposed to be with us in class today, but wasn’t able to. Rick Reo, though, an instructional designer for GMU’s Division of Instructional Technology, was!

TBWA Worldwide, a part of Omnicom Group Inc., is a global advertising agency that sponsors Projeqt.

“We wanted to make sure that it was usable by people with limited Web browsing knowledge,” said an employee via Skype. “You don’t have to be a super designer to use this.”

Along with many other personalization options, one can use either a grid mode or a linear mode when designing one’s project.

A lot more information on TBWA can be found here.

Tags: Comm361 · Projeqt · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Guest Speaker: Mark Potts

April 7th, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest Speaker: Mark Potts

Mark Potts, who is a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, came and spoke to our Comm. 361 class on March 29. He has been exploring the digital world for 19 years and is always looking for new tools to utilize.

Copyright: newsonomics.com

During Potts presentation, he gave us TONS of wonderful resources, helpful websites, and examples of well-done storytelling.

One thing that I was especially surprised to hear was that he spoke very highly of Wikipedia and called it “a fantastic news site”.  After constantly hearing from professors that it’s not a reputible source of information, here Potts comes saying he thinks it’s great. He explained how its got voluminous work and is built by the crowd, which adds to it’s resourcefulness.

He then showed us a story done in December of 2010 that utilized Facebook as the medium to telling the story. So in essence,Facebookdid the storytelling and the rest fell into place. The article is called “A Facebook story: A mother’s joy and a family’s sorrow” and can be found here.

He explained how Storify gives the reader structure and some kind of flow, but doesn’t necessarily work for every story. He definitely believes that crowdsourcing is a HUGE component to storytelling today and very beneficial.

“Do what you do best and link to the rest,” Potts said towards the middle of his presentation. I thought this was very powerful and presented the fact that using outside resources and stories to LINK to your story is a good thing.

Another big topic that came up, as always, was Twitter. His take on it was incredibly different from what we’ve been hearing from previous speakers. He said:

  • He only uses it to tweet his recent blog posts
  • Doesn’t care for it
  • Doesn’t see it as that interesting
  • Isn’t filtered
  • There’s just too much stuff

I was very surprised to hear this, but understood what he meant at the same time. It’s good to find the pros and cons to everything, and since we’ve ONLY been hearing the pros it was cool to get a different perspective.

He ended his presentation by saying that he stopped reading print news years ago because there’s better writing on the web. He explained how30 years ago only way you got info was the newspaper. It was the only option you had. He explained how newspapers are out of date the second they’re published, but that the web is constantly keeping up to the SECOND with information.

His final statement, which stuck with me for the rest of the day was, “We need to be our own filters today.” Basically saying, there’s so much information out there, but WE need to be responsible consumers.

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Tech Blog #11: Guest Speaker Mark Potts

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Tech Blog #11: Guest Speaker Mark Potts

Mark Potts, journalist and digital pioneer, spoke to our class today. He helped create the Washington Post website, served as editor for various news websites and has worked in the media field for nearly 20 years.

Check out his blog Recovering Journalist.

Potts showed us a variety of different websites that all present unique ways of telling stories:

  • Wikipedia — As soon as a story breaks, there is always a collection of new data and compilations by citizen journalists. A lot of journalists look down on Wikipedia, but Potts believes it’s a great tool for researching.
  • Washington Post article “A Facebook Story” — used Facebook as a story telling device to create a human-interest story
  • Storify – Pulls pictures and tweets to create a unique storytelling platform. However, it doesn’t work for everything. A downside is that the reader has to pull together the story themself without any transitions.
  • Baristanet – example of hyperlocal news with an organic focus.
  • TBD — Combined a variety of users’ blogs to create local news coverage from the public without having to hire other local-based journalists.
  • FiveThirtyEight – A blog that follows and analyzes political polls and looks at how electoral votes are being represented during elections.
  • The Texas Tribune – Non- profit website that covers serious topics in the state government that other news organizations seem to overlook.
  • Tubeify — Music website that uses the Billboard program and lets users travel through the years to see what was ranked on the charts in the past.
  • New York Times interactive map “A Peek Into Netflix Queues” — Lets you mouse over neighborhoods in big cities to see what the top 10 rentals are according to zip codes.
  • Google’s Flu Trends — Maps flu trends based on searches the Google database.
  • Newsmap — Kind of like a Tag Cloud, it features a variety of stories color-coded by type to see what’s going on in the world.
  • A few websites like NCAA Probe  , Play the News  and Predict the News  let users play interactive games featuring certain news-worthy events or situations.

Potts also explained the term crowd sourcing, which is asking the audience what they know and letting them report on what they find. For example,  certain news outlets might ask the public to call in when there is a pothole somewhere or allow them to go through government documents to see if they can turn up any suspicious information.

“Twitter is nothing but noise,” said Potts. It has “a fire hose of stuff.” Potts believes that at times Twitter can be useful, and says it is an excellent publicity tool and something necessary that journalists should keep up with. However, Potts says there are too many posts without filters, something I definitely agree with.

When asked what the most important tool for journalists in the last five years has been, Potts pointed to his iPhone.

Potts encourages the use of a variety of different mediums for telling stories and writing articles. “You don’t have to tell every story in words,” said Potts.

Tags: Comm361 · New York Times · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Guest speaker: Mark Potts

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest speaker: Mark Potts

Mark Potts works in the digital world for the past 20 years, and tries to take full advantage of all internet resources.

He started showing us some good examples and resources:

  • Wikipedia: you can find anything, and it’s built by the crowd. It’s looked down upon, but it’s a great way to find an overview of things.
  • Story on the Washington post about a mother who just had a baby. Wash Post used Facebook to tell the story. Quite compelling, a must read.
  • Storify! He had an idea of having a story just made with quotes, but transitions are important.
  • Crowdsourcing! Click here for a good example. Another good example? Snow story in New York.
  • Hyper local news: Baristanet.com replicate what community newspaper used to do and still do, but opening for readers involvement.
  • Huge amount of blogs, it’s better to aggregate them instead of creating a new one. That’s where Patch is going wrong.
  • TBD: there are all these blogs out there, let’s cooperate! You take advantage of people who are already doing it. Modern way to look at a city newspaper.  Interesting model.
  • Some bloggers do it for the respect in the community. Journalism is about passion and covering things you care! It’s very different news, it’s what is going on the community and no one else is covering it.
  • Computational journalism: using computers to tell stories. Good example by Nate Silver. Fun to read and unique.
  • Using data in a different way: API making public the way you sort your data. The New York Times has done it.
  • Music program that uses online data: tubeify.com
  • Netflix map by the New York Times. Maps are a very good way to tell stories, and it’s very easy to visualize.
  • Most important tool in journalism: your phone!
  • More maps? Flu map
  • Another idea: visualize the stories by using colors and visualization with newsmap
  • Give the readers a way to interact with the news, create different things, even create news.
  • Interactive timeline that tells the Middle East protest
  • Good blog about journalism and technology: 10,000 word
  • We need to be our own filter!

Tags: Comm361 · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Skype session with Kevin Anderson

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Skype session with Kevin Anderson

Courtesy of his Twitter; Kevin Anderson: Digital strategist and freelance journalist with more than a decade experience with the Guardian and the BBC. Helping create the future of journalism. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER!

On Thursday, March 24, 2011, Anderson skyped in to chat! Being half way accross the world didn’t stop him from making his 3:30 p.m. EST Skype sesh.

Valuable advice given to aspiring job-searching journalists: Go to WordPress.com or Tumblr, set up a blog, start writing and taking pictures. The costs of doing that is almost nothing. Use your moble phone and take pictures of videos. Think of the best ways to tell stories with graphics and data. You need to show you didn’t need that first job to make the initiative.

Anderson said, “With BBC, I did interviews with military bloggers. One of the most powerful radio programs is I got three soldiers together talking about their experiences. With a joint interview, you can usually get more out of them; you can have them talking to eachother. They all conversed and shared their stories. I still get shivers when I think of that radio program.”

Storify has been a hot topic in the Online Journalism classroom the entire semester.  He did raise caution with one aspect of the site. “Its grat to collect material, but make sure you use the text tool to add content to what youre making,” said Anderson.

Professor Steve Klein responded with, “So in otherwise, bridge the material with good old fashioned writing.”

“Absolutely,” said Anderson.

Twitter. On the topic of media giant Twitter, Anderson said talked about maps and locations. In all seriousness, he said that he includes his location in his tweets so he can map them later. Although, don’t do that in Syria because you don’t want to encourage an air strike.

Relating to online journalism and storytelling. Anderson wrapped up the Skype sesh with, “You couldn’t tell the horror without the Japanese tsunami without the videos. And that is a small example of it. You can’t tell the story of the revolution in Egypt without the voices or the people submitting their videos online.”

Tags: Comm361 · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Tony Rico’s coverage on Storify

March 27th, 2011 · No Comments

Tags: Comm361 · Steve Buttry · Storify

Off The Written Path 2011-03-26 23:20:04

March 26th, 2011 · Comments Off on Off The Written Path 2011-03-26 23:20:04

Tags: Comm361 · Steve Buttry · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Tech Blog #10: Guest Speaker Kevin Anderson

March 24th, 2011 · Comments Off on Tech Blog #10: Guest Speaker Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson, a digital strategist and freelance journalist, spoke to our class today via Skype. He has worked for BBC, Al Jazeera English and the Guardian.

Check out his personal Twitter account , his Muckrack account, and some of his work with Al Jazeera English here.

When asked what tools are needed for a journalism skill set in the real world, Anderson  says an important part of landing a first job is to take the initiave now by setting up a blog, taking pictures, and doing multimedia journalism. Anderson says to also start thinking about the best way to tell stories through this type of social media.

Anderson also notes that Zeemaps is a great tool for projects as well. He suggests that when doing video recording, make sure to get some of the background noise from the setting where you are reporting to make the audience feel like they are in the middle of the story. Audio is one of the most important things when shooting video, but often is forgotten the most. Shaky video is forgiven, but terrible sound quality is not.

“Social media without context doesn’t do the audience any favors,” says Anderson. In other words, make sure that when using platforms such as Storify, you are able to explain the various social media content that is being used.

With there being an increase in more citizen journalists, it can be hard for trained journalists to make their mark. Regarding this situation, Anderson says, “If we amplify every voice, it just becomes noise.” It is still important to make editorial choices when dealing with articles and newsworthy items.

“We’re entering a fascinating time, and how we navigate that is going to be very interesting, especially as journalists. It’s a tough time in journalism. You’ve got to start somewhere. Where you start doesn’t determine where you end up,” says Anderson.

Tags: Comm361 · Storify · Student Blog Posts

MediaShift: How to Integrate Social Tools into the Journalism Classroom

February 25th, 2011 · Comments Off on MediaShift: How to Integrate Social Tools into the Journalism Classroom

This couldn’t be a better article for the relevance of this Comm. 361 Online Journalism class. This article gives an excellent overview of some innovative websites that can be used for classes dealing with journalism.

MediaShift is a website which tracks how social media, weblogs, podcasting, citizen journalism, wikis, news aggregators and online video are changing the media world.

This particular article, by Nathan Gibbs, gives a list of SEVEN social media techniques and websites that can be utilized in the classroom. The seven areas are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Group blogs
  3. WordPress
  4. Social Curation
  5. Collaborative Writing
  6. Mind Mapping
  7. Experimentation

Facebook:

  1. Facebook groups: students utilizing Facebook groupsis beneficial as students are already using Facebook so it eliminates making a new user name/password, it takes little effort to “like” or comment on students work, and it encourages more interaction.
  2. Facebook pages: such Facebook pages can be utilized to post stories and get sources for other stories.

Group blogs: group blogs are a great way to introduce students to online writing and basic web publishing; the kind of work they’ll be doing as journalists. He suggests using Tumblr or Posterous.

WordPress: Gibbs explains how WordPress opens the door to extensive customization. Users are able to enhance the blogging experience and really take their work to a new level.

Social Curation: Gibbs explains how it’s important that students know how to collect and annotate messages from social media websites. Storify, Curated.by and Keepstream all allow users to gather and embed social media messages for use in blog posts and articles.

Collaborative Writing: Gibbs explains how Google Docs is an excellent editing tool that allows multiple contributors to write at the same time and track revisions.

Mind Mapping: Gibbs explains how structured brainstorming helps people organize their ideas based on their relationship to other aspects. He suggests using Mind Meister to implement online collaboration.

Experimentation: Trying new things and learning what works and what doesn’t is a huge component to journalism. Making sure to apply one’s journalistic curiosity by exploring how new social tools can further your storytelling skills.

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · social media · Storify · Student Blog Posts