If I had the time, I would write about Digital Sunlight, Bring a Professor Night, and BarCamp NewsInnovation

  • Publish2 begins a Digital Sunlight campaign, encouraging citizen journalists to contribute information about stimulus spending to a pool of coverage.
  • Next Sunday is “Bring A Professor Night” at CollegeJourn, a new-ish weekly live chat about the state of student media and j-school.
  • BarCamp NewsInnovation is growing quickly, and about as distributed as can be expected, with upcoming events in Chicago and Portland on this Saturday and Miami on Sunday.  (I’ll be at the national wrap-up of these in Philadelphia, April 25.)

Every time I wave the “oh, my, I’m afraid I don’t have much time to blog these days” flag I end up writing six posts in a day, but just in case I don’t follow through this time, consider that flag waved.  However, keep in mind, the real hip-hop is over there.  There, in this case, being my Friendfeed stream, where you can find all my pithy little commentary and benefit from my habitual oversharing of useful linkery.

(Oh, and if you really want to know which side project is keeping me busy these days, check out what I wrote for IdeaLab a few days ago: ReportingOn is Back in the Lab.)

You are the future of journalism. Aren’t you?

Without much preamble, I highly recommend you enter Publish2’s “Are you the future of journalism?” contest, wherein you can WIN A JOB.

Considering how many journalists lost their jobs today, and how many likely will lose their jobs tomorrow, and how many have lost their jobs this year, I’m betting there’s a pretty big pool of talent out there.

So before you start looking for a gig in public relations, please consider the simple idea that you need not work for a newspaper to call yourself a journalist.

This isn’t about who has the thickest resume:  You can submit your entry as a video, slide show, or plain text i that’s what you’re into.

(I’d probably go with a fast-paced screencast-style presentation, but that’s just me.)

More details about the contest and the opportunity in Scott Karp’s blog post about it.

Packaging national election headlines for local news sites with Publish2

Happy Election Day-After!

I’m still up to my neck in post-election analytics, gathering stats and data from hundreds of news sites I work with to do a little postmortem on what worked, who learned some new tricks, and what the readers thought of it.

One of the things we put together here at GateHouse for Election Day coverage was a national election news widget.

Because I work with small-town and rural community newspapers, national news is the last thing I want reporters and editors to spend time on while local election results are coming in.  Copying and pasting AP stories?  No.

But, wouldn’t it be nice to have a constant stream of headlines available for readers obsessively pounding the refresh button looking for updates on local races?  Without depending on any one source, like the AP, that everyone else has on their sites?

Yeah, it would:

Neosho Daily News on November 5

This is a screenshot of a chunk of the content well at NeoshoDailyNews.com a small (think: sub-10,000 print circulation) news site in Southwestern Missouri.

The top part of it is list of headlines that we’re putting together with Publish2.

I’ve been working with editors from the GateHouse News Service to use Publish2 as a bookmarking engine to route headlines from our browsers to that widget on many GateHouse sites.  In fact, the news service has been using it for months now to feed links to their Elections page.  You can find notes on that use and our use of Publish2 to feed Hurricane Gustav headlines to sites in Lousiana here.

Here’s why we’re getting so much use out of this:

  1. It’s simple. Use a bookmarklet, surf the Web, hit the button when you find a story to share.
  2. It’s diverse. You choose the sources, you push the buttons, you curate the content.
  3. It’s timely. I sat in front of my laptop last night, scanning politics.alltop.com, Google News, Yahoo News, the network’s sites, big national papers, Memeorandum, Twitter, and Google Reader, plucking the results off the pages and bookmarking the link with Publish2, giving local sites an instant feed of national headlines.

Scott Karp started telling about his plans for Publish2 more than a year ago, when it quickly inspired me to start thinking about ReportingOn, based on what Publish2 didn’t do; but he keeps developing the idea, and I think he makes a strong case for using it as a tool for curating the Web in a way that makes sense for news organizations.

Yes, yes, I know that you could do something similar with Delcious or Google Reader or FriendFeed or even a Twitter account, but Publish2 has a by-journalists-for-journalists feel that I like.  You’re not repurposing some other app to do what you want; this is designed to do what you want, and even allow you some editorial control, or even to group users with access to a set of links.

Check it out.  Curate the Web that your community cares about.

On IdeaLab: Can the political press grow a spine with a little help from you?

I interviewed Jay Rosen today on IM about his spinewatch project, which encourages journalists, bloggers, and citizens in general to point out moments when the political press on the campaign trail shows evidence of needing to grow one, or of having grown one.


“But the rules and assumptions underlying the fact checking regime are vulnerable to challenge from any campaign that a) doesn’t care if it’s called out, b) is willing to deny in a flat, affectless way realities as plain as the nose on Jay Carney’s shellshocked face, and c) has incorporated attacks on the news media into the heart of its appeal to voters.

In response to this extraordinary challenge to one of the most legitimate “checking” functions they have, journalists need a stronger spine; they have to call out the strategic use of deception and the amazing retreat from empiricism that we have seen from the McCain camp. And if Obama starts doing the same thing, they need a stiff spine for that too.”

Read the whole thing, which includes details on how and why Jay is encouraging the use of Twitter, Publish2, and other tools to monitor the status of the backbone of the press.

Go register for Publish2 now

Publish2, a social network for journalists, is now taking beta registrations. I highly recommend you, Journalist, go sign up right now.

For a brief explanation/exploration, check out the Beatblogging post where David Cohn puts it like this:

“Think of it as a Poynter 2.0: There is a core niche of journalism, but it is a space to connect to other people and share important ideas and information with them. It could have a tangible benefit to their work.”

It’s the “tangible benefit” part that excites me the most about this and inspired me to start drawing up plans for ReportingOn, which I envision as something closer to Twitter-for-journalists and Digg-for-readers rather than the Digg/Delicious sweet spot that Publish2 is trying to hit.

The thought of reporters strewn all over the city/state/country/world sharing notes on issues and building up context for local stories is The Right Idea; it’s what the Web is for.