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Archive for February, 2012

Facebook made Timeline available today for branded pages. My colleagues Mandy Jenkins and Ivan Lajara collaborated on this explainer for how to add Timeline. I guess I need to stop planning to get to Timeline on my page next week.

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You can’t know how successful you are — or even if you’re succeeding — unless you find a way to measure performance.

I’ll be leading a workshop today on metrics for Digital First journalists in Connecticut. It’s scheduled for the Middletown Press, but if the weather turns nasty, I might stay in New Haven. Either way, you can follow the workshop on a livestream and live chat. The workshop starts at 4 p.m. (but if I’m traveling, weather could delay that slightly).

I’ll start with a process journalists should use to measure their digital efforts, then I’ll discuss some possible ways and tools to carry out that process: (more…)

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I will be leading a workshop on working as a Digital First journalist starting at noon today for colleagues in Connecticut. You are welcome to join on the livestream and ask questions on the live chat.

We’ll address the concerns of the journalists in the conference room and on the live chat. Many of the answers are found in my various blog posts on Digital First journalism:

I will not be using slides on this beat, but if they are helpful to you, here are slides I have used in previous workshops on this topic:

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A beat blog gives a newsroom a vehicle for providing in-depth coverage that the general-interest approach of a newspaper generally doesn’t allow.

I have decades of memories of arguments with editors (when I was a reporter) and with reporters (when I was an editor) about the reporters’ desire to tell stories in greater depth than the interest level of this mythical “typical” newspaper reader. A newspaper has finite space, and to tell the stories that serve this general-interest need of the masses, its reporters gather far more information that has appeal only in niches of people with keen interest in a particular topic.

Beat blogging is a way to serve that deeper level of interest, to use all the information a reporter gathers. It makes a newsroom’s content more valuable to the community, by serving the broad but shallow general interest and the narrow but deep niche interests.

I’ll be leading a workshop today for Digital First journalists in Connecticut on beat blogging. You can watch the livestream and ask questions on a live chat, starting at 3 p.m. Eastern time. You also can read about how the beat blog fits into the full work of a reporter in my earlier posts that addressed the work of reporters covering courts, sports, statehouses and other beats. Other helpful resources would be the BeatBlogging website (no longer active, but loaded with helpful advice and links), my Introduction to Reporting course for News University and my general blogging advice. I’m sure others have produced many other helpful resources. Please share some of those links in the comments.

I will try to compile a list of good current beat blogs, and I welcome your contributions to that list. Who are good reporters who blog regularly about their beats (don’t hesitate to suggest your own beat or someone on your staff)? But for now, I want to offer some basic advice for beat blogging. (more…)

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I will be leading workshops this week for Digital First journalists in Connecticut. You are welcome to watch them by livestream.

The schedule and topics (all times are Eastern time, all sessions lasting roughly 90 minutes):

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This is a blog post I wrote March 5, 2008, on my Training Tracks blog at the American Press Institute. The original is no longer online, but I’m resurrecting this because Elaine Clisham referred to it on Twitter yesterday, prompting my post this morning about why linking is good journalism. I have not checked the links to see if they are still good. Given the topic, I think I should leave them in this piece either way.

Some questions about journalism innovation stump me. This one didn’t.

A person who’s trying to help journalists move into the digital world was trying to persuade some newspaper editors and writers to “build credibility with their users by having the courage to send users elsewhere for info when they can’t meet the need.” The editors were appalled and asked for “hard data to take home to convince their legacy managers this is a good idea.”

You want hard data? Here’s some hard data: Google.

This need by too many journalists and newspaper executives to control how our audience spends their time is laughable except that it’s so maddening. Our users control how they spend their time. They always did and they always will. We need to give them value and links have value. (more…)

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I was traveling yesterday, so I came in late to a discussion about outbound links. A tweet from Elaine Clisham brought the discussion to my attention:

Actually, it was about four years ago, I think. But thanks for remembering, Elaine. Alas, that blog post for the American Press Institute, where Elaine and I were colleagues, is no longer available online. I will try to find it somewhere and resurrect it for archival purposes. (Update: I found and reposted my 2008 post: Google doesn’t fear outbound links; neither should you.) I don’t have time to pull in all the tweets of a really long Twitter discussion, but Mathew Ingram curated some of them in a blog post asking, “Is linking polite, or is it a core value of journalism?“, prompted by MG Siegler’s rant about the Wall Street Journal’s refusal to link when he beat them on a story for TechCrunch.

If you’re interested in the discussion that followed that post, check yesterday’s tweets by Mathew, Charles Arthur and Caitlin Fitzsimmons and this 2010 post by Jonathan Stray. Update: A comment below points out this piece by Felix Salmon that covers linking and attribution at length. I don’t agree with it all, but it’s well argued and reasonable.

This tweet from Fitzsimmons seems representative of the linking-is-just-a-courtesy viewpoint:

My contribution will be these four reasons why linking is good journalism (which may somewhat echo Jonathan’s and Mathew’s posts, because they are both right): (more…)

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