mydigimedia by Amy L. Webb tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1 2009-02-16T17:55:14Z technology, innovation and insight for traditional journalists Movable Type 3.2ysb5-20051201 Gwen Ifill at the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy Summit tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1317 2009-02-16T17:54:28Z 2009-02-16T17:55:14Z MyDigimedia... AmyWebb MyDigimedia]> Working... tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1316 2009-02-16T13:22:32Z 2009-02-16T13:23:46Z Sorry for the absence here. I must tell someone once a day that in order to build a blog's traffic and an audience content must be updated regularly - and it needs to be good. Excellent example I'm setting here...... AmyWebb Sorry for the absence here. I must tell someone once a day that in order to build a blog's traffic and an audience content must be updated regularly - and it needs to be good. Excellent example I'm setting here...

My excuse? I've been hopping around various cities working...and we have a project over at Webbmedia Group cooking in the background that's been taking up a lot of my time. Look for an April launch!

One other thing we've been working on is translating our knowledge base - dozens and dozens of guides, how-to tipsheets, self-guided lessons and more - into multiple languages. Pretty soon, we'll have glossaries and tipsheets written for anyone working in communications translated into Russian, Arabic, Hindi and, of course, Spanish. (As an aside, we're still trying to find a French translator - pls email me if that's you!) Some of the work is currently available in the Public Research Center on the Webbmedia site.

Since we're in the process of putting together all of these resources, I'd love your feedback! Are there specific how-to guides or tipsheets you wish you had? Please let us know via email (info at webbmediagroup dot com) or Twitter!

 

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Layoffs and a Laugh... tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1315 2009-01-22T15:44:06Z 2009-01-22T15:58:11Z AmyWebb With Microsoft's announcement of fresh layoffs this morning and stories of financial markets tumblimng even further, I thought I'd offer a laugh and some help:

<Laugh>

(Can't find where these originated, and I'd like to include a link to the artists.)

<Help>
We're making the self-assessment worksheet and other materials from our "Now What?!" webinars available for everyone to use. Click here to see a list and download.

 

 

 

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New President - New whitehouse.gov Site! With Flash! tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1314 2009-01-20T17:30:26Z 2009-01-20T17:33:08Z Within minutes of President Obama's official swearing in, the new White House site launched. I'm exceedingly happy to announce it has a number of news tools, easy and direct links to various government offices, video, a blog and a... AmyWebb Within minutes of President Obama's official swearing in, the new White House site launched. I'm exceedingly happy to announce it has a number of news tools, easy and direct links to various government offices, video, a blog and a sleek design we've got used to seeing during his campaign. Hell, the damn thing even has Flash!

It's a great day indeed!

 

 

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Socialitics 101 tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1313 2009-01-16T15:48:58Z 2009-01-16T15:50:19Z Introduction It’s not enough these days to simply count the number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends you have. Most people who use a social network have at some point connected with someone else once, and then never visited their... AmyWebb Introduction
It’s not enough these days to simply count the number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends you have. Most people who use a social network have at some point connected with someone else once, and then never visited their Facebook page or paid attention to their Twitter posts again. Lots of people may hundreds, if not thousands, of connections on a social network. But does quantity trump quality?

The answer is no. There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence showing that true social mavens are not those with massive networks, but are instead the folks who actively produce great content that is forwarded and reposted via their connections (and their connections) across other networks. S/he may not have thousands of followers, but it doesn’t matter. A person in this position is eventually seen as a digital sage. Posts and updates will spread virally throughout global social networks even if 10,000 people aren’t connected to him/her.

At Webbmedia Group, we define socialitics as the the act of analyzing a person’s or message’s scope throughout social networks, in an attempt to discover its true reach and impact. To be sure, many people use the term “engagement” to describe in general how engaged your site’s visitors are with your content. (Are they clicking on your links? Are they staying on your site to read?). Socialitics is instead a measurement of what’s happening throughout the vast number of social networks on the web.

What is your company website/ mobile tool’s socialitics?
It’s important to monitor traffic, to determine how and where visitors are finding your content, how much time they spend with it, and what they’re clicking on. You advertisers (or funders/ investors) will want this data - and you’ll need to know about how you fare within your own competitive landscape.

But standard analytic tools, such as Omniture SiteCatalyst, Tacoda and Google Analytics, aren’t able to capture data on the discussion about your site (or you, personally), references to content that’s been posted or even instances of your content that has been reposted elsewhere.

What’s your personal social network’s socialitic score?
Let’s say that you now have 27,000 Twitter followers and that you typically post 20 tweets on an average day. Doing simple math, that means your message is heard 540,000 times every single day - and that would just be within your own personal network.

The problem is that the numbers don’t really add up quite so nicely. While there is no concrete, official data released from any of the social networks, those who study them agree that only 20-40% of uses participate - that means post and read posts - with any regularity.

A recent study by Bernardo Huberman, Daniel Romero and Fang Wu, researchers at Hewlett-Packard’s Social Computing Lab, looked at 309,740 Twitter users who had an average of 255 posts (in total), 85 followers and followed 80 other users. Of the 309,740 users, 32% posted only one time and then didn’t use the service again.

Rather than counting friends or followers, a more accurate representation of reach is to follow reposts, retweets and mentions of your content across other social networks.

Your socialitic score, therefore, measures how effective you are at contributing to conversations and compelled others to share your wisdom/ questions/ content.

We have just createad a new tipsheet to help you determine how powerful you/ your message/ your company is online. We offer a checklist and lots of websites to get you started. Download the tipsheet here.

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Dear New Yorker/ Condé Nast Advertising Team tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1312 2009-01-14T23:07:32Z 2009-01-14T23:08:42Z Dear New Yorker/ Condé Nast Advertising Team: Got your email (again) today. Sorry, I was in meetings with some of our clients - just getting to your message now. I'm starting to question our relationship. Yesterday, you insisted that... AmyWebb

Dear New Yorker/ Condé Nast Advertising Team:

Got your email (again) today. Sorry, I was in meetings with some of our clients - just getting to your message now.

I'm starting to question our relationship. Yesterday, you insisted that I purchase a BlackBerry Storm when you know I have a relatively new iPhone 3G. I thought we were on the same page. I mean, you seemed to think it was pretty neat when Lizzie Widdicombe talked to that guy who tried to publish a magazine using his iPhone. I thought the iPhone was "cool." But I guess you've moved on.

Today in your message, I think you're accusing me of being, well, a little fashion-backward. You urged me to "be a well-dressed rebel with GQ rules." But have you seen my hair?! It just doesn't get more rebellious than this. In fact, I already use a cocktail of four products in the morning to tame my curls and frizz. That's after shampooing and conditioning with this really fancy stuff I import from France. (And we all know that they're rebellious!)

Quite frankly, I'm a bit concerned about what you might suggest I do next. I mean, what else is wrong with me? Do you think I made the wrong computer purchase? Am I looking fat? Do I need certain...enhancements?

I'm starting to question our relationship. I used to look forward to your once-a-week wit and charm. Now, it just feels like you're harassing me day in, day out.

Anyhoo - I guess I'll look forward to hearing back from you tomorrow afternoon sometime. Unless we're fighting or something. Is it the way I dress? I feel like you want me to leave the "in" group. Are you mad at me? I'm really worried.

XOXO,
Amy

 

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WTF, New Yorker and Condé Nast?! tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1311 2009-01-13T14:54:28Z 2009-01-13T14:55:07Z A question for the good people of Condé Nast Publications/ New Yorker Magazine: Why have you made absolutely no good use of digital media for your content, and yet you’re willing to flog BlackBerry’s wares via mass email? I... AmyWebb

A question for the good people of Condé Nast Publications/ New Yorker Magazine: Why have you made absolutely no good use of digital media for your content, and yet you’re willing to flog BlackBerry’s wares via mass email? I got the above message yesterday from you. Please help me understand how you, the smartest minds in publishing, could be this far behind in electronic media?

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The New Palm Pre Cannot Compete tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1309 2009-01-10T15:29:38Z 2009-01-10T16:04:11Z AmyWebb My husband and I are always on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to new mobile technology. For reasons that absolutely escape me, he's wedded to his Palm. I'm a prefectly happy iPhone user. So when the new Palm Pre was unveiled at CES this week, I prepared for battle.

Yes, the new Pre looks sleek. Yes, it has a slide-out full keyboard. Yes, it will use their new webOS platform. Yes, it promises to bring "you the information you want without having to search for it."

But the Pre doesn't have an iTunes Store. And that's why it won't be a game changer.

Since the iPhone's launch, we've seen a handful of phones that look and feel like copies. The Android. BlackBerry's Storm. And now the Pre.

What makes the iPhone special isn't the flat touch screen or the ability to play music. It's the content users have access to via the iTunes Store. It's the sheer number of available applications, the relative low cost to buy them, and the ability of anyone to develop and deploy creative new games, productivity tools, and more. As a former BlackBerry and Palm user, I can tell you that there's just no comparison. BlackBerry applications tend to be wickedly expensive. As for the Palm, there just aren't chic, exciting apps for it.

Apple wins because it continues to control the means to fantastic content distribution. The only way to play is to visit the iTunes Store. And to do that, you gotta have an Apple product.

Stay with me, now, because I'm about to veer off into business models for news... It used to be that news orgs controlled the distribution. Not just anyone could easily publish a big newspaper or command the airwaves. The web forever altered the distribution channels. Is there something to be learned from Apple's approach?

In one sense, Apple is essentially a distribution company that also controls the means of collecting that content. The iPod and iPhone wouldn't have reached critical mass without the iTunes Store and vice versa. Here's a newer example: Amazon was smart launching the Kindle as a means for distributing books, magazines and newspapers.

Maybe it's unrealistic to imagine a news org launching a competing piece of hardware, especially this late in the game. But why aren't more newsrooms seeing opportunities to partner with mobile companies in a more meaningful way? Most of you are still using SMS in America rather than developing across mobile platforms. I can only think of one, maybe two, mobile applications from traditional media outlets that work correctly. The rest are promising something they're not ("breaking news where you are" means using location-aware services, duh!) or the app just wasn't executed well.

The new Pre doesn't launch in the U.S. for another six months, according to Sprint. Mobile is the next shift, folks. Get ready, or get ready to face another round of dramatic, uncomfortable change within your organizations.

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New Platform for 2009? tag:mydigimedia.com,2009://1.1308 2009-01-02T16:46:03Z 2009-01-02T16:48:12Z We were grocery shopping last week at Giant, and we were asked if we wanted to try a new scanner as soon as we entered the store. The basic idea is that we'd scan our own merchandise, then bag it... AmyWebb We were grocery shopping last week at Giant, and we were asked if we wanted to try a new scanner as soon as we entered the store. The basic idea is that we'd scan our own merchandise, then bag it and then place it into our cart. At the end, we'd scan a final barcode at the register and swipe our credit card. Given what lines are like in this area - I've been known to ditch my cart after waiting on the line for 20 minutes or longer - it seemed like a fantastic idea. Plus, a new toy!

As we were moving though the store, the scanner (Motorola) began suggesting items we might want based on where we were standing and the items we'd already scanned. It also offered up coupons.

Is there a way to integrate news content here? Absolutely - and that's all we talked about as we shopped. What about news alerts that were location aware? Sports scores, breaking news, weather... It'd also be a possible platform to carry video ads, since our scanner had sound and speakers. What about streamed content, like what's available in New York City cabs?

This may seem far-fetched to you, but I talk often about multi-screen content and how that applies to journalism. I don't just get content on my office computer. I have a few laptops. Two mobile phones. TiVo. A GPS system in each of our cars. Is your news organization in a position to deliver your content across multiple screens? Can I start following your coverage of, say, the Hamas/ Israel conflict on my television in the morning, then continue with your brand while I'm on the train and then later at work in my office? If not, what's your plan for the next six months to correct that?


front of store scanning center


my other half scanning butter


coupon notification alert


checkout center

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Happy Holidays - and a freenalce project for grabs tag:mydigimedia.com,2008://1.1307 2008-12-25T17:05:37Z 2008-12-25T17:06:23Z Happy holidays to you and yours! Here's to a healthy, joyful 2009! How about this to start off the new year? My company, Webbmedia Group, has a short-term PR consulting project that we need some help with right away.... AmyWebb

Happy holidays to you and yours! Here's to a healthy, joyful 2009!

How about this to start off the new year? My company, Webbmedia Group, has a short-term PR consulting project that we need some help with right away. We need someone seasoned, with a great source list, is based in the States and who has some time right after the first of the year. If that's you, please shoot me an email...

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Digital Shuns Newspaper, and Thrives tag:mydigimedia.com,2008://1.1306 2008-12-23T14:47:18Z 2008-12-23T15:11:14Z NOTE: I've updated this post. Jay Rosen rightfully points out that Carr's piece was part of the Biz section, and not part of Op-Ed. ***** The New York Times published an op-ed piece by David Carr yesterday that's snaked its... AmyWebb NOTE: I've updated this post. Jay Rosen rightfully points out that Carr's piece was part of the Biz section, and not part of Op-Ed.

*****

The New York Times published an op-ed piece by David Carr yesterday that's snaked its way through all of my social networks (and then some). Carr is a GA for the paper's Culture section and also writes a weekly column in the Business section.

This particular story, "Newspaper Shuns Web, and Thrives," uses Dan Jacobson, publisher/ owner of the New Jersey paper TriCityNews, as a case study to argue that the Internet is destroying the newspaper. Apparently, online advertising will experience a sharp decline over the next few quarters (quoting Gawker's Nick Denton - his predictions are now good enough source material for the NYT?!).

"There is no doubt that readers benefit in all sorts of ways from digitized journalism and searchable listings online, but that ease of use has not been accruing to the benefit of the publications that provide that information, or very often, their advertisers," Carr writes.

According to the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which peddle in actual data (neat!), we've really seen an 11% increase in Internet ad revenue since 2007. The rate of increase may be slowing compared to several years ago, but it's still on the rise. I'd also point to washingtonpost.com, latimes.com and hell, even Carr's own nytimes.com, whose parent companies may have undergone organizational change in the past 12 months but are proving that digital growth is the only way up and out for troubled media conglomerates. Just last week, we learned that latimes.com site revenue has surpassed the LAT editorial payroll costs...

But here's the rub. Carr's analysis isn't particularly strong - turns out that TriCityNews is a 3.5-person shop with a 10k circ - and it's not even a new perspective. The Times chose to print it anyway, ostensibly inviting commentary on a topic that's very much in the spotlight. (Because, why else recycle an old, tired opinion piece?) You're supposed to want to forward it to a friend. To send it to a colleague. To share it elsewhere. To discuss it. To venerate it. To chastise it.

But you can't.

Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal just told E&P that "our Op-Ed now is very rapid response, but it is at the most the next day. We are looking at a way to take advantage of the expandability of the Internet, the back and forth of it and the instantaneous nature of the Internet."

Rosenthal is, well, wrong. The Times may well start posting opinions on breaking news beginning next month, but what it's doing now isn't exactly..."rapid."

And it certainly doesn't conform to what the rest of the world is doing online. The Carr story offers three external links, and "Gawker" simply redirects to a Gawker Media topics page on the Times' website and doesn't mention anything about Denton or his ad apocalypse premonition. It is possible, though not immediately clear how, to share that story with someone else. But all of the discussion I've seen has been way off of the nytimes.com site. It's been via Twitter. Facebook. And now, my blog.

It makes me think that the editorial dept. doesn't really get the digital world. Maybe they don't want to?

I know incredibly smart, talented people working on the Times' website. They know a hell of a lot about how and why the Internet works. The print-side Times' folks would do themselves well to sit down with digital and learn a little. At least learn the lexicon and the players, for goodness sake. </rant>

 

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Our Newly Favorite Twitter Apps... tag:mydigimedia.com,2008://1.1305 2008-12-17T22:58:27Z 2008-12-17T22:59:58Z For those of you who have attended one of Webbmedia Group's training sessions, you'll have already received a version of what's below. We just finished testing some newer tools, and we've reorganized our Twitter hit-list below. You can obviously... AmyWebb For those of you who have attended one of Webbmedia Group's training sessions, you'll have already received a version of what's below. We just finished testing some newer tools, and we've reorganized our Twitter hit-list below. You can obviously use this as a reference, but also feel free to download a copy for yourself or for your organization. It's available at our Research Center. As always, we've noted how these tools can be used for journalism.

Utilities
TwitterFeed - Got a blog? This will automatically updated your posts to your Twitter account. If you're not sure how to effectively Twitter at your news organization, create a basic Twitter account - like BaltimoreNews. Then, you can automatically send out announcements of your new blog entries to everyone who's following you.

Autopostr - You can use Autopostr to post Flickr photos to Twitter and also send a tweet to your followers.

Mobypicture - Shares photos via Twitter, enables you to post directly to Flickr and your blog.

Twadget - If you're a (blech) Vista user, this is a gadget that will track and send all new tweets from your account.

Twitzer - Want more than 140 characters? Twitzer works with Firefox and will allow you to type in longer posts. Be warned, though. Twittering is meant to be is micro-sized, and some of your followers may not want long, rambling posts from you.

TwitterGram - Tired of just sending out 140 characters? Use TwitterGram to send mp3s tweets. Use it for journalism: This could be a fantastic way to share breaking news audio reports. You might also consider using it to send out quick advertisements every X# tweets.

Clients
Twhirl - This is a nice desktop application that allows you to update and read your Twitter account. This application really functions more like an instant message client. Still, it can help reporters stay on top of breaking news.

Snitter - This is a popular desktop client, but it requires Adobe Air to run.

Twitteroo - Desktop client, works best on PC.

Twitterrific - Desktop client for mobile or desktop.

Twitbar - For our Linux friends, a Twitter client for Gnome users to post from the Deskbar.

Trends and Analysis
Twitt(url)y - A popular service to track the most buzzed-about URLs people are sharing. This could be a useful tool for reporters during breaking news events.

SocialToo - Includes a host of Twitter applications, including SocialSurveys, which enables users to easily create polls. You can also auto-follow, blacklist and DM followers after setting up an automated system.

TweetPad - Enables you to visualize Twitter stats. http://silentlycrashing.net/tweetpad/

Favrd - Aggregates the most favorited tweets, which can help journalists to identify upcoming news stories and events or even search by topic on previously popular stories. http://www.textism.com/favrd/

TweetDeck - A must for tracking Twitter trends and conversations, though you’ll need to install and run Adobe Air to make it work.

Peoplebrowsr - A comparative Twitter search tool, aggregator, connector and messaging system. It’s incredibly helpful, though the amount of information it produces can at time be overwhelming.

Monitter - The interface looks suspiciously like PeopleBrowsr, but that doesn’t make it work any less efficiently. You can search keywords at once and compare results.

Search
Twellow - This is a search engine that you can use to browse people and other topics, uses Twitter and other social networking tools. http://www.twellow.com/

Twitter Answers - Ask Twitter a question, find an answer. http://www.mosio.com/twitter/

Summize - Twitter’s own search engine.

TwitterTroll - Yet another search engine, TwitterTroll also shows the most popular searches at any given time. Can be useful to search the zeitgeist.

Tweet Scan - This is another search engine for tweets. Again, you're not quoting directly from folks - just looking for leads and additional context to aid in the reporting process.

Mobile/ Geolocation
PocketTweets - This tool enables you to post and read tweets via your iPhone.

TwitterLocal - Filter out tweets from just a certain area. Reporters can use this as source material to find out what's happening within a certain range of miles, postal code, state, city, etc.

BrightKite enables you to share your location and find people based on where you are.

Loopt helps you to find friends and track them using Twitter and your mobile phone’s data connection. (Also available on the iPhone without using Twitter.)

Fun
TwitterLit - This application will send out the first line of a book and a link to Amazon. It's part trivia - can you guess the author and title? - but mostly a marketing ploy to get Twitter users to buy more stuff on Amazon. But it's effective - and lots of people are using it. Mimic this application for use in your own newsroom. Tease new stories. Use quick-hit trivia to drive traffic to your site. What about promotions? Selling photos or archived video?

Twitter Tube Tracker - Track the status of London's Tube trains and get delays sent to Twitter.

Twittervision - We wrote about this last year... Twittervision displays random updates from people around the world. It's a bit like watching an aquarium, and it's addictive. Want to get included? Add TwitterWhere, which will automatically post your tweet location.

Tweetbeep - Google News Alerts for Twitter.

People/ Relationship Management
Twubble - Want to follow more people but not sure where to start? Twubble will make recommendations based on who you currently follow and your geographic location. This is a good way for jurnos to get started using Twitter, especially if they're not sure who to start following just yet. Note: In order for Twubble to make suggestions, you need to be following a handful (10 or more) of Twitter accounts.

FriendOrFollow - May make you feel worse about yourself, so be warned. This service will show you who you’re following that isn’t following you back.

Follow Cost - Will forecast the amount of time you’ll need to spend following a given person or account on Twitter.

TwitterSnooze - Gives you the ability to temporarily stop receiving a specified person’s tweets - without letting them know or without having to unsubscribe entirely.

Basic Communications
GroupTweet - Will enable you to use Twitter within groups, which you cannot do with the current platform on its own.

TwitThis - Allows you to tweet anything you see online, directly from the page you’re visiting. If it launches for iPhone, this would solve the headache caused for folks wanting to retweet but can’t because of the missing cut and paste function.

Twitter Ad Networks
Twittertise
Twittad
TheDeck

<Some Twitter Basics>

# Use a hashtag in front of a keyword to make it more easily searchable. People decide on a keyword and then tweet conferences, breaking news events and more. For past examples, search #griots, #web20summit and #mumbai.

@ Use the @ symbol in front of a Twitter user’s name to reference them in your post or to respond to them publicly.

Sending a direct, private message varies depending on the Twitter client or site you use. It may be the letter “d” in front of the username, or you may need to select “direct message” from a drop-down window. Be careful when sending content that you intend to be private - one click could make your message available to all of your followers.

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Registration is Full tag:mydigimedia.com,2008://1.1303 2008-12-12T18:21:46Z 2008-12-12T18:23:42Z We're going to have to close registration for the free training sessions (see entry below) early, because we're full. If you are still interested and weren't able to register in time, please let us know - we may add a... AmyWebb We're going to have to close registration for the free training sessions (see entry below) early, because we're full. If you are still interested and weren't able to register in time, please let us know - we may add a third session late January. I don't want to turn anyone away, especially with all of the new layoffs announced last week. Free Training for Our Gannett Friends... tag:mydigimedia.com,2008://1.1302 2008-12-03T00:09:56Z 2009-01-07T01:02:31Z The news this week has been grim. Three thousand layoffs at Gannett. The News Journal in Wilmington is cutting 44 jobs. More at the Tennessean, the Asbury Park Press, the Tallahassee Democrat... And now here's what I know you don't... AmyWebb The news this week has been grim. Three thousand layoffs at Gannett. The News Journal in Wilmington is cutting 44 jobs. More at the Tennessean, the Asbury Park Press, the Tallahassee Democrat...

And now here's what I know you don't want to hear: Many of you probably won't land back on your feet as a working journalist at an American newspaper. The economy is in the shitter, news orgs are still using tired business models and old fashioned newsroom jobs just aren't in demand. Not when the Huffington Post pulls in more traffic on an average day than many newspaper websites do in an entire month.

I want to make things better. About half of what my company (Webbmedia Group) does is training. We train reporters, editors, producers, developers, teachers...hell, we even train lots of trainers...on how to adapt technology for journalism. (The other half is strategic planning and innovation. Like, which content management system should you use and how can you best implement it to accommodate mobile, the geospatial web, etc?)

So, to the recently laid-off journalists, here's an early holiday gift. We're offering two free live online training sessions focusing on emerging technology and post-mainstream journalism careers. We'll show you some new tech trends, explain how you can combine them with what you already know, and then show you how to apply your skillset to either land a new gig or even start your own site. We might point you in the direction of a new project or introduce you to a different kind of digital journalism entirely. This won't be an hour of learning code - it'll be instruction on how to think and understand differently. Why should you go away quietly and take a random PR job or somesuch, when you can instead harness the technology that's causing much of the heated competition facing newspapers?

Again, these sessions are free. You'll also get access to tipsheets and other information. Criteria are below:

WHO: We'd prefer that you're a Gannett refugee, but we won't turn away working journalists. Sorry - this time, we will not take technologists, consultants, academics or students. We're going to check, so don't try to pull a fast one on us...

WHEN: Two sessions - they'll be repeats with the exact same information. Tuesday, Dec. 23rd at 4pm Eastern and Wednesday, Jan. 7th at 1pm Eastern. The training session will last 75 minutes.

HOW/ WHERE: We'll give registrants a call-in number and passcode the day before. You also must be calling in from the U.S. and not from an international number. You'll need a computer (one that's online, of course) and a phone line to call into. After the session, we'll give you access to tipsheets and other information to help you continue learning on your own.

HOW TO REGISTER: Send an email message with your full name, your email address and where you're currently (or were recently) employed. Also tell us what kind of job you had (multimedia producer, city hall reporter for the paper, etc). For those of you who have previously participated in one of our training sessions, you'll already know that we never do the same thing twice and that all of our sessions are completely personalized. To the extent we can, we're going to try and do the same thing this time around - so share whatever information you'd like. The more we get, the more meaningful we can make the information for you. DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION IS DECEMBER 15th. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Because of the software we're using, we're capped at 100 participants per session. This means that we can only take 200 people - first come, first served. Since we're not charging anything, please only sign up if you can definitely make the session. We don't want to take away spots from others who'd like to attend.

There are no strings attached, folks. We're just trying to help out. Consider it an early 8th night Hanukkah present from Webbmedia Group & company.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that we also have an upcoming training session that's being held in conjunction with the Columbia J-School. It's a four-hour, hands-on, intensive class on how to dig really deep through the dark web, social platforms and more to enhance your reporting. We're also going to detail some nifty Google tricks/ hacks. This one isn't free - and they may or may not have seats still left. But details are HERE .

 

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Reshaping the Conversation tag:mydigimedia.com,2008://1.1301 2008-11-26T16:56:06Z 2008-11-26T17:00:37Z Warning: The following is a bunch of inside baseball talk about some recent online chatter about new business models for journalism. For the past few weeks, those following the news industry have been treated to a slew of arguments regarding... AmyWebb Warning: The following is a bunch of inside baseball talk about some recent online chatter about new business models for journalism.

For the past few weeks, those following the news industry have been treated to a slew of arguments regarding the future of journalism. At least that's what folks passing around the links to said arguments would have you think. But actual discussion about technology, business models and saving (or throwing out) the business hasn't exactly been the main dish. It hasn't even been the cranberries or the little pickles that my mother used to throw on our Thanksgiving table as a filler.

Jeff Jarvis posted his thoughts on why newsrooms are failing and what he thinks should be done about it. Slate's Ron Rosenbaum "ripped Jeff Jarvis" a "new one" shortly after. Jarvis hit back. Journalists, pundits and many of my friends weighed in on Team Jarvis or Team Rosenbaum. I suddenly found twice as many tweets to read.

Today, the conversation spread, and I was emailed/ tweeted yet more links to follow another minute thread of this asinine discussion.

It amazes me that while the digital landscape is changing - changing every damn day - so much of the industry's limited attention span is focused on semantics. Who's saying what? So-and-so argues such-and-such about whom? Who has a new retort? It's that juicy??

I asked a few hundred people this morning (see my tweet) why they're focused incessantly on this ongoing debate about, at this point, who has a bigger pair.

Whoever's twittering for the Huffingtonpost (tweet: huffpost) repeated what Jay Rosen put to me earlier:

I agree: a snarkfest adds little. But why can't we argue out the ideas AND run good experiments?

Followed by this, from Rosen:

The notion that Jarvis is an ideologue about journalism, but Jon Landman of the New York Time is not... that's hilarious. http://is.gd/97cg

I'll tell you why. Because while we're all waiting for the titillating next details about JarvisBaum, we're not discussing the technology that's forcing such disruptive change. I'd be a multimillionaire if I had a nickel for every journalist - and that includes publishers and general mangers - who complained to me that they don't have any extra time. They're so busy. No time to learn about technology. And yet we seem to have ample time to argue about arguing.

Raise your hands: Who's got an hour today to learn about the geospatial web? What about reality mining using cellular data? What about semantic tagging? 2d barcodes? Mobile frameworks using advanced SMS?

That's what I thought.

Here's the real problem facing our newsrooms. Most people are out there playing checkers while companies like Google and Adobe are playing chess. NOTHING WILL CHANGE in journalism unless the conversation is refocused on what matters most: How can the ever-hastening disruptive change be either met or overcome by adapting technology and creative business models?

Want to fix that? Here are the first three things you do:

  • You start looking beyond the immediate technology challenges you think you're facing. I promise, what you perceive to be a problem now won't begin to compare what I know you're going to face within the next 12 months.
  • You start researching and reading the work of real technologists and successful businesses working within the web/ mobile space. That includes smart retailers like Tony Hsieh and entrepreneurs like Young Joon Hyung.
  • You set aside time to understand the real problems facing the industry. It's not just budgetary. There must be shifts in your culture, in your expectations and in your investment in both training and R&D.

I'm done reading the back-and-forth. Semantics interest me, but only when in reference to tagging and code.

 

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