Hey, would ya look at that, the year’s almost over. And while I’m not the biggest fan of arbitrary divisions of time, I sure do like making lists.
Year-end lists are little nuggets of candy that fall from the sky like sweet, sweet hail, and every now and then, it’s the end of a decade, and people really go nuts with all the listing, and — naturally — the lists of lists.
As for me, I’m going to keep this post squarely focused on just two lists.
Posts I haven’t written yet, but promise to get to soon, really, honest
- That thing about the coming link economy. Wait, did I write that? Not really. Let’s just say this: If you spend time as a journalist digging up information online, finding valuable links to pass along to your readers and followers, adding context and reference to what we think of as the conventional “news,” then I think there’s some money in it for you. Not just PageRank. Not just whuffie.
- “Why I enjoy casually copy editing Wikipedia.” I do. And that’s an actual title from an abandoned draft post sitting in my WordPress install. I think it says a lot about the future of annotations and corrections that I can correct things like spelling and punctuation in Wikipedia without thinking about it too much, or jumping through any hoops at all related to my identity. It plays right into my desire to copy edit the world as I move through it. If I can’t carry around a black marker and play apostrophe police, at least I can fix Wikipedia.
- Hyperlocal is made of people. Seems obvious, but a lot of people seem to think it’s about software, or a business model, or user-generated content. Any version of those three items can and will work, but if you don’t have wildly passionate journalists, developers, salespeople, all three, or one person who does all three jobs, you’re not going to get very far. It used to be enough just to have a great idea for a news project. Then, you had to answer the inevitable question, “Sure, sounds great, but what’s the business model?” Now, even if you can answer that, people will ask you “But will it scale?” As if your success isn’t valid unless everyone else can succeed by following exactly the same path as you. See why I haven’t written this one yet? I’ve been on all sides of this argument in the last few years, and I plan to stay there.
The most popular posts here at Invisible Inkling this year
- The difference between Facebook friends and Twitter friends: Something pithy that StumbleUpon users seem to really love, a lot.
- 10 obvious things about the future of newspapers you need to get through your head: Still my most popular blog post ever. Pretty sure most of it still makes sense.
- 10 little white lies you hear about the future of newspapers: Wrote this in the middle of the Great Paywall Debate of early 2009. And it shows.
- New York Times on e-paper: This is from 2006. Search engines love it.
- Five Keys to Authenticity: Probably the post I put the most thought into this year, even if some of it was while I was hacking up phlegm en route to a talk in Pittsburgh on the topic. Following those five pieces of advice really are key to sounding like the human being you are, when you’re engaging with readers (or customers, for that matter) in what I’ll agnostically call “social media channels.”
- My advice to journalism students: This list goes to 6 because this post is right behind ‘Five Keys’ in pageviews. I’ve been giving unsolicited advice to journalism schools, faculty, and students since I started blogging, moments after starting a graduate program at San Jose State’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
Whether you’re reading this because you’re an avid subscriber of this blog via RSS, or you just keep it open in IE6 and hit refresh once a month, or because you follow me on Twitter, or because you see this posted automagically as a Facebook note, or because someone retweeted it after I tweeted a self-referencing tweet linking to it, or because your journalism professor made you subscribe to this blog months ago, I want to say thank you.
It’s been a fun year. (New job, new town, bigger kid, fun travels, awards, a diploma, new friends, etc.)