Archive for October, 2009

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2009: A Blog Odyssey

October 23, 2009

The fourth wave of online journalism has brought forth many concerns for traditional media journalists. Blogging, technological and social change, and the digital divide are changing the way news is reported.

Although they are not considered journalists by some, bloggers have changed the way news is developed. Their independence and freedom from editors and publishers allows them to choose how and what they write about. The blogs allow for millions of voices to be heard on an infinite array of topics. Those voices can share their opinions or support the blog with a comment, turning the news into an interactive conversation. This can get the readers more involved and it solidifies loyalty to the blog.

Blogging has brought to light a lesson for the traditional news media: people want news now and they want it for free. These free business model basics have been illustrated many times, most historically from Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. While major news corporations were waiting to verify rumors concerning the President’s relations with Monica Lewinsky, in this time Drudge posted it on his blog.

In order for the traditional media to retain its existing audiences and gain new ones they have to focus on their communities. Through a type of horizontal integration they must be able to provide quality content for their audience over every medium. Quality reporting for print, ability for user generated content on the web, and fast bite-size information for mobile users.

It is important to strongly focus on this horizontal integration model because of the digital divide. Although there are a strong number of early adopters anticipating the newest mobile and online content there are still plenty of consumers caught in the technological and informational gaps. They either cannot connect or choose not to connect. These ‘have-nots’ and ‘choose-nots’ are joined by the neo-luddites, those who choose not to be involved in technology, that form a group of more than 50 percent  of the population that is not jacked into the internet.

These fourth wave concerns can be easily managed by adaptation of blogger’s tactics and horizontal integration of their communities. Traditional media should provide its services through every medium its consumers choose. It is in this way that they can usher in a new wave of online journalism, a wave in which they can have more control.

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Stick this in your archive and store it

October 16, 2009

My first computer was used by my entire family which meant that memory got filled up quite fast.

I can recall times when i would transfer my files to floppy disk. FLOPPY DISK! (the bane of my existence). We would use the floppys because our computer featured a 20 gig hard drive, the latest version of the iPod has 160 Gigs.
Memory has become remarkably cheap, a welcomed helping hand in media storage availability. The first computer i ever had only had a 25 Gigabyte hard drive, the latest version of the iPod has 160 GB.

This revolution in storage capabilities has enabled a whole new way to work for everyone. As a photographer it is important that i have a good amount of space for all my images. The new digital technology allows for photographers to take hundreds more shots than ever before. There are many web sites that offer image hosting and organizing such as photobucket, flickr and shutterfly. The 10-year-old shutterfly even allows you to keep full resolution of your images.

Even g-mail features over 7 gigs of space for your e-mails. Simply attach, or copy & paste, that 15 page term paper to an e-mail and you can access it anywhere in the world (even if your dog ate your homework).

The web is also an outstanding tool for archiving newspapers, no longer do researchers have to go to the libraries for to search through older newspaper documents (granted the archives include pre-internet content). Although some, like the New York Times, charge an extra cost for viewing articles online, the advantage outweighs the negatives and even saves a tree or two in the process.

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GooJo: Google journalist

October 2, 2009

A Mojo may  become a Goojo

Google is an everyday noun and transitive verb that may continue to aid journalists everywhere.

I search for story ideas and research on Google. My work at the college newspaper won an award, i found out on Google. When I wanted resume writing tips, information on scholarships and internships or the cheapest price for the AP Stylebook, I GOOGLED IT.

Google has its sights set high for the future, aiming to compete with two well established programs and a format of communication: Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Their conduit for domination is know as Google Wave.

Google has described the Google Wave as “an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration.”

Don’t go purchase your copy of Google Wave for Dummies just yet, it is still in beta form set to be available in 2010. However the Wave has already spurred many good first impressions.

The Wave may have many possibilities for Journalist. Reporters can write articles on their PC or mobile device send them to their editors who edit the article, thats nothing new. However through a brilliant Wave feature the reporter can see each edit in the order they were made. Through the same wave the editor and reporter can communicate via an advanced form of IM that displays the words as they are being typed.

This could allow beginning journalists to get a grasp on where they need to improve and get instant feedback.

There are many features being described by Google that can also play a major roll for multimedia in journalism including easy file uploading and sharing via Wave. This could help editors communicate and receive important data from their reporters, photographers and Mojos.

It may seem ironic to use a google tool for journalism while the debate that google is killing journalism still is rampant. I welcome any technology that makes my life easier especially if Google does it right.