Friday, 6 June 2014

Goodbye Blogger

Headlines and Deadlines is on the move. I've had a long and committed relationship with Blogger but we're calling it a day and my cardboard boxes have been unpacked at Casa Wordpress.

I exported my content, uploaded it to, updated my domain so it points there instead, and this is the last thing I'll be posting here. So if you want to keep following my links and posts, you need to go  here from now on. If you're subscribed to this blog in a Reader, I have tried to port the rss (God knows, I have tried). However, I am not sure it's worked - and since Feedburner has trembled on the cusp of closure since Google bought it, allegedly, it may be a moot point anyway.
Come and say hello - I've tidied up specially, just in case someone visits... 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Social media has wrecked my blog*

I am a lazy blogger but it's not my fault. Twitter and Diigo are to blame for my indolence, and Blogger has a part to play in it too. 

You see, it's so easy to just tweet a link, perhaps with a (very) short opinion, or save it to Diigo and get that site to sweep my curated links and comments onto this blog once a week, that I have gotten out of the habit of writing longer thoughts here. 
Classic example: 

This is in the Social Journalism group on Facebook - it's not a secret group although you need to request to join, so I don't thing screengrabbing the image is bad form. 
I read Ian's post and thought he made a very relevant point re verification, cynicism and the requirement to check something out because it seems too incredible to be true, but I couldn't link to it because FACEBOOK.  
That meant I couldn't tweet or share it either,
So I was about to give up when I suddenly thought "I could put it on my blog" - and it was a true OMG moment; I really had forgotten that my blog was there for such things. 

In addition to the other social channels taking over, I actually don't like Blogger much as a platform, but I continually fail to find the time or energy to relocate to another one. See? Again, a lazy blogger. Both these things really need to change.

So how to get out of the habit of tweeting and bookmarking, instead of blogging? Does it even matter, in the scheme of things? 
I started the blog six years ago to test social tools and ways of storytelling, and it gradually morphed into a 'thoughts about changing journalism' (I meant that in both senses btw) and now it's a linkroll of things I find interesting to read, because I tend to forget about it for other things.

Apparently, I'm not alone in this - Nieman Labs says the blog is dead and cites 2014 as the year of its expiration. The Atlantic goes further, and says that the Stream of online organised information is now The Thing - fresh and now are what matters. 
That must mean the River of News is at an end, not so much dried up as diverted into a backwater. (Dave Winer's reference to RSS, which I see crops up in the Altantic's comments, incidentally).

But, although I'm a lazy blogger I enjoy being a blogger, and while I enjoy and celebrate the nowness of the Stream, the River is also important to me. 

I think there is room for both; in the same way we're grappling with how to present longform journalism to readers in a way that is compelling and engaging (which, in English, means they stick with the story rather than going off to look at a list of 19 Things You Did When You Were a Teen That Will Make Your Teen Cringe!). 
At the Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo, we've worked with Shorthand this month to create two immersive stories around football - here and here - which taught me a lot about the ways we should structure longform. More importantly, both articles were sharp reminders of the idea that if it doesn't work on mobile, don't bother doing it - swathes of work was cut from the MCFC story because they simply didn't make for a good mobile experience. 

So, two things. I need to be less lazy about my blogging and I need to work on my relationship with Blogger, or find a new partner. New month, new attitude... new home?

* The title of this post is of course provocative and wrong - after all, blogging is social media as far as I'm concerned - but it was the best way to describe this post in a pithy headline.


Sunday, 11 May 2014

This week, I've been reading... (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

This week, I've been reading... (weekly)

  • I believe we spend far to much time faffing about making home pages look 'right' when much of our traffic comes to stories direct rather than from our shop window, so to speak. Therefore, of course I agree with this post (which also links to another worthwhile read on the subject at The Verge...TL:DR? Takeaway point is this - "the article page is the new homepage."

    tags: audience

  • "Twitter used to be a sort of surrogate newsroom/barroom where you could organize around ideas with people whose opinions you wanted to assess. Maybe you wouldn't agree with everybody, but that was part of the fun. But at some point Twitter narratives started to look the same. The crowd became predictable, and not in a good way. Too much of Twitter was cruel and petty and fake

    tags: twitter

  • "brands on Instagram are getting exponentially more engagement as a percentage of followers/fans than content on Twitter or Facebook."

    tags: instagram engagement audience

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

This week, I've been reading... (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

This week, I've been reading... (weekly)

      • This is the key for me. Immersive means I am lost in what I am reading/watching/hearing/experiencing. 
    • Immersive experiences rule. Take me somewhere I have never been. Show me something I have never seen.

  • I haven't used any of these but I'll give them a go "in digital years a lifetime for a product seems like about 21 months. “Moore’s Law”  predicted chip-processing power would double about every 18 months. It more or less has for decades, and each wave of chips remakes the digital world. In digital time, that means a tool born in 2012 was born a lifetime ago. There’s nothing wrong with the classic tools; they just aren’t the latest ones. "

    tags: tools

  • "Closing Thunderdome is just part of a major north-of-$100-million cost cutting initiative that is putting the best glow on some tough financials. The reason for the sale: Despite CEO John Paton’s aggressive remaking of the company, Alden’s investments in cheap newspaper company shares (“The Demise of Lean Dean Singleton’s Departure and the Rise of Private Equity”) haven’t worked out the way private equity bets are supposed to."

    tags: thunderdome DFM newsonomics

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.