A Powerful Tool for Local Journalism: Contextualized News on a Map: Alexis Madrigal, like many who have commented so far, are impressed with Tackable’s tablet news map app. Me, too.
Susan Mernit relays a question from one community member in Oakland. According to the available data, the answer appears to be a resounding “no.”
Thinking of going it alone in the hyperlocal journalism world? Start here, and take notes on how Howard Owens has embedded himself in the community he covers.
A deep look into what’s running a hyperlocal startup in Ann Arbor.
Hyperlocal news from Madrid neighborhoods, built with WordPress.
Carlos Virgen rounds up some thoughts on wiki use by news organizations, but I always get the feeling that most reporters and editors stop reading at the word “wikitorial,” freak out, and hide under the desks.
Good. Carlos has a great idea about using a wiki as a “contextual archive” for related stories. (Matt Thompson might call them “topics.”)
“So maybe calling it a wiki is the wrong thing to do. Maybe it would be more precise to call it a contextual archive of news stories. Although I think incorporation wiki conventions such as public input via comments and edits (after a reasonable registration to preclude trolls) should be a big part of this feature.”
I like the idea, but I’d like to reiterate my frequent pitch for using wiki software to build an evergreen “FAQ About [Your Town Here].”
It doesn’t even need to be a fully open to the public for editing endeavor — you could use one account for your entire news organization and let any staff edit it.
This is really a wiki in FAQ’s clothing. This, my friends, is a gateway wiki.
It should be good for SEO if you do it right, it would drive traffic to your news site (because you would link to stories that helped answer the questions, yes?) and it could serve as trip-to-the-morgue-free reference material for reporters.
Looking for those notes on who was the district superintendent in 1981? Would you rather search your news site (or a filing cabinet) or search your wiki that has links to the pages for the school district, the year, the superintendent, all superintendents, and links to the relevant stories if you really need them after all that?
Back in Santa Cruz, I always thought this would be perfect during tourist season. Entries on parking, the Boardwalk, Umbrella Man, surf lessons, etc… The questions locals constantly answer. Well, maybe I answered these more often than most as a bartender, but you get the point.
Then, how about a front page print tease on a regular basis with a fun “fact about town” to drive people to the FAQ and let them know it’s there?
This is low-hanging fruit if you ask me. I recommend MediaWiki, which looks, feels, and acts like Wikipedia, making it familiar to readers and less complicated than I expected for editors.
[UPDATE: Derek Willis tweeted that he covered this ground and came to similar conclusions in 2005.]
[2nd UPDATE: Brad Flora of Windy Citizen and I ended up having a video chat this afternoon to talk out some ideas around this. Check it out below.]
The aggregation-by-location niche seems to be blowing up lately, especially as startups try to hitch their maps to the iPhone’s wagon, but Placeblogger feels like real live humans are writing blog posts in real live places. I like that.
via the Knight Foundation Blog.