Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Washington Post and Technorati partner

Interesting...from a press release I just received on an email list:

[Arlington VA – August 31, 2005] -- washingtonpost.com today announced that it has partnered with blog search company Technorati to offer its readers the opportunity to view comments and opinions about washingtonpost.com articles and editorials from around the blogosphere.

The service will search millions of blogs for postings and feature links to the most blogged about articles and the liveliest web discussions on washingtonpost.com content.

"This partnership is part of our ongoing initiative to embrace and respond to the many dynamic ways that users consume and participate in news and information over the Internet," said Caroline Little, publisher and CEO of washingtonpost.com.

washingtonpost.com executive editor, Jim Brady, said. "News is not static. With the help of the web, interesting stories immediately become part of a broader national conversation. This partnership with Technorati lets the users in on that conversation by delivering the most interesting and lively discussions about washingtonpost.com content from some of the best and most popular blogs on the web. "

David L. Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati, said " We're pleased to be working with washingtonpost.com in leading the way toward expanding the interaction between the public and those who make and report the news. We salute them for recognizing the potential of blogs as a valuable contribution to the public discourse."

According to Kottke, though, (and I have to agree with him), Technorati is SOOO over. Feedster has been much kinder to me. And no, the irony is not lost on me that I am using Technorati tags below. Anyway, at least it's an interesting move. But Salon's been doing this for ages.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Suck on that, print journalists!

Oh happy day, and some validation that I went the right route in choosing a new media grad program: Cyberjournalist reports that salaries are higher in online media than other media industries.

(via Jeff Jarvis)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Batten Symposium

Bah! I'm actually leaving for Chicago the day right before this takes place, but Adrian Holovaty alerts me to the fact that the Batten Symposium will be taking place Monday, September 12 at the National Press Club, and registration (which can be found here) is free. The keynote will be from Michael Kinsley of the LA Times and Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder. Sounds fun! But by then, I'll hopefully be halfway to the windy city, as long as my Budget truck doesn't fall apart on me and send my entire life's possessions scattering across some highway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Medill info

One of the (very few) things I've been displeased with in my (admittedly very short, I mean, I'm not even there yet) experience with Medill is the fact that I haven't been alerted to some important info regarding the upcoming quarters. Like, orientation info and the academic calendar. Well, browsing around the site today, I finally found that they've updated those pages. It's in the admitted students section, which is password protected, but if you're a Medill grad student and want the info, just leave a comment.

I don't think it'd be too terrible to post the following relevant info about the orientation, though:

* Fall 2005 Journalism Orientation
Monday, September 19, 2005
8:30 a.m. McCormick Tribune Center
1870 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208

Other information:
Photos: Remember we will be taking 2 photos of you upon your arrival at orientation, one for our Who's Who Directory and one for your Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) pass.

Attire: Dress casually and wear comfortable shoes!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Quotey quote quote

Came across this Susan Mernit post today - a quote from New Media director Rich Gordon, with whom I'm really excited to work - and thought it worthy of a Medildo heads up. Woot.

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Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Credit

I've received some feedback about my personal brouhaha regarding the Post not crediting DCist for a story that we broke. Most of it has been supportive, but a few comments were, um, less than polite, and a few were of the attitude that this stuff is going to happen anyway, it's not that big of a deal, and you should just brush it off.

Admittedly since I came home that night, outraged and, well, a little tipsy, my rage has definitely subsided, but I still think it's a big deal. I mean, this particular instance isn't that big of a deal (mostly because the story itself wasn't that big). But the attitude that it reflects is. The fabric of online journalism is the following: credit and link, then credit and link some more. If DCist were to take a smaller, less-noticed story from the Post, that they had obviously broken, and try to pass it off as our own, you can bet there would be some repercussions. Simply because the Post is a media giant and we're a small site doesn't mean they shouldn't be doing the same in the reverse case. (It has been pointed out to me that DCist aggregates much of the Post's content and that we wouldn't be around if it weren't for their news so we should suck it up. I totally agree that we use tons of their stories for morning roundups or ideas for other entries, but that's not the point at all; we have NEVER ever mentioned anything from the Post without, at the very least, a link, and usually a citation like "The Post reports...")

As Rafat from PaidContent.org said (in a post I can't find any longer, strangely enough): "One of the defense bigger news sources have employed in the past is ignorance, ignorance that they never knew it was on a smaller site like ours. In this hyper-technorati-feedster-google-blogpulse linkedup world, ignorance is not bliss, it is idiocy. For journalist, there is no sin bigger than laziness."

In an age before new media and the internet and hyperconnectivity, this probably wouldn't have even been an issue. But in an age when you can cite and find every source on every story in every cache, there's no excuse not to give credit where it's due.

The Post credited us before; why not this time? Could it have been that that story was on page DZ02 and this story was on page B01? LAME.

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Friday, August 05, 2005

Toggling away

Alrighty. After my earlier rant at the Post, I figure I should give them props for something I do agree with - their switch to a dual format home page, one that shows local news and one for national users from outside of the D.C. area. Cyberjournalist has a chat with Jim Brady about how the process has gone thus far (via onsquared):
"As for the two home pages, the feedback has been largely positive," Brady tells CyberJournalist.net. "We're now able to do day-parting on the local page because, for the first time in the site's history, we know the time zone of a large majority of the people using a home page. So we're promoting traffic cameras during rush hour, more aggressively promoting weather stories, etc. It's really given us an outlet for local stories that historically we've always shown some restraint with, since so many of our home page users are national and international. So I think we feel liberated.

"The only issues that have been raised consistently by readers are the lack of a notification on the page that signals which page you're on, which we're working on, and also a concern that there's no direct link between the local and national/international pages, which is intentional, since our local page is not a local-only page, but a locally focused page. So you're not missing any national and international news if you sign up for the local home page, and you don't want any local news if you've signed up for the national/international home page. So we felt a toggle would create more confusion than it would resolve. But, as I said, overall, it's been popular and the feedback pretty benign."

Sounds good, but frankly, I disagree with Brady on if a toggle would create more confusion. I think it'd be a billion times easier. Right now, as far as I can tell, it's a pain in the ass to switch back and forth between the local and national. I'm subscribed to the local page right now, but when I move to Chicago, I'd like to be able to easily see both pages. A simple toggle at the top of the page would solve that for me. Right now, you must go to the "Home Page Changes" Editor's Note and choose your version there, or else go to the "Edit your profile," login, change your preference, and go back to the home page. It's kind of a process. Why not just havet your page set to automatically go to whichever version you've subbed to in your profile, and then, when you're on the homepage, you can toggle back and forth, with the page you're on in bold on the appropriate tab so it's easy to know which version you're viewing. People love tabbed browsing - why not a version of a (sort of) tabbed homepage?

Or maybe it's stupid. I dunno.

We Media Fellowships

As promised...
Fellowships Available for The Media Center's "We Media: Behold the Power of Us"

Reston, VA – The Media Center is offering 15 fellowships to enable independent, non-profit or academic participants from any country to attend "We Media: Behold the Power of Us," an Oct. 5 conference in New York City, hosted by The Associated Press.

For program details, visit http://www.mediacenter.org/wemedia05/

Fellowships cover the full registration fee ($695) for the conference, including conference meals and materials. Fellowship recipients will be responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

To apply for a fellowship, send an e-mail to gpan@mediacenter.org, with:

1) “We Media Fellowship Application” in the subject line
2) The applicant’s name, title and organizational affiliation at the top
3) A statement of no more than 250 words explaining why the applicant wishes to attend

The deadline for fellowship applications is 12 noon, Monday, August 22, 2005.

The direct link is here.

I'll have to check the schedule for my upcoming quarter at Medill, but if it looks like I'll be free, I'll definitely apply. Thanks for the info, mcatapi.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Washington Post screws over blogs

Well, I have to say I'm not surprised, but this is what happened: I am an associate editor at DCist.com, which is, of course, part of the Gothamist LLC empire. I adore working for the site. I write mainly about music, but occasionally about hard news items or other things as well. You know, whatever comes across my path and the staff agrees is newsworthy. It's not my fulltime job - I currently work in a pubs department of an association - but I would be happy if it were. DCist.com rocks. We are the second biggest site in the -ist network, certainly something to be proud of.

Yet, every opportunity they get, major local media ignores us. We are constantly linking to stories from the Washington Post and the City Paper, but this is how we get repaid.

So, DCist (specifically, me, ubergoddess that I am; I read it in an internet forum and went on to confirm it) broke a story (I think, anyways; we were at least the first media outlet to report it) about Congressman Bonilla wanting to rename 16th St. NW "Ronald Reagan Boulevard." 12:58 p.m.

Come 7:09 p.m., the Washington Post has the story. On their front page. The part where they cite us?:
Rep. Henry Bonilla, co-chairman of the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions, quietly introduced a 103-word resolution before Congress adjourned for summer recess July 28. As word spread in the nation's capital, neighborhood Web logs in the overwhelmingly Democratic city crackled with disbelief...

I know for a fact that DCist was the first media outlet to report this story, yet the Post can't even give us our due. Is it because they actually see us (a blog, with 10,000 readers a day) as competition, or just because they suck? I'm thinking a combination of the two.

Spencer S. Hsu - poorly done.

UPDATE: PaidContent finds themselves on the same side of a similar incident (of course, they are a wee bit bigger than DCist). Just sucks no matter what.

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Behold the power of money

Holy crap! Maybe I'm just naive in the ways of conferences, but looking into the upcoming event "We Media: Behold the Power of Us," to be held in October in New York, I am, how do you say, totally fucking aghast. For the low low price of SIX HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE DOLLARS, you too can attend the conference, which will feature, among many others, Wonkette, Calacanis, Jeff Jarvis, Dan Gillmor - you know, the regulars - many people that I really do admire. And I would be totally interested in attending if I could carve out time from school - who doesn't want to participate in "Intimate conversations, creative collaborations and social networking events with those shaping the relationships, the technologies and the businesses of the We Mediascape"? But the price tag, and the fact that the conference is limited to 200 people, already ensures that this is going to be a totally exclusionary event, which seems, um, the complete opposite of what they're going for: "We Media brings together the trailblazers, leaders, movers and shakers of a movement that is connecting people everywhere."

You mean connecting the already well-connected people everywhere.

Say what you want about BlogHer, it was open to anybody and, at $94, completely affordable. But I guess We Media is going for a different experience.

UPDATE: As you can see from the comments below, Andrew Nachison and mcatapi from the Media Center were kind enough to leave their thoughts (gotta love feedster). Apparently there will be fellowships for both the '05 and '06 conferences. As soon as that information becomes available on their site, I will post it here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Holovaty moves on

This is awesome news a) because Adrian Holovaty has done great things for the Lawrence Journal-World and b) I had no idea that wapo.com had a department for Editorial Innovations, and now I am totally going to do everything I can to get a job there post-Medill, even if it includes writing sincere sentences about hot air balloons.

For those that didn't know, Holovaty was lead developer at World Online, the online division of the Lawrence media empire. Personally, I think he's a model of what journalists of THE FUTURE should look like - mad tech development skills and good journalistic sense. I don't doubt that he'll do great things at washingtonpost.com.

Additionally, the Post's job listings are looking pretty good right now, for anybody interested. I'm particularly partial to the Local News Producer opening.