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Capturing the print diaspora – disruption as a training opportunity

The US newspaper industry shed 10,000 jobs in 2007 and not surprisingly that’s engendered a lot of fear, folly and false prophets. As my own publisher Dana Robbins keeps pointing out, the Canadian Newspaper industry is in much better shape (2007 industry-wide total revenue in Canada dropped just .08%  versus 9.4% in the US).

But there’s no denying nor ignoring the pain south of the border. That’s why it’s kind of refreshing to see the birth of a company aimed at helping journalists and the industry "cross the chasm" from print focused to content focused: TreeHouse Media. Founded by

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Live Blogging a WebU Grad Course

During these summer months WebU is offering a series of "grad" courses – shorter, sharper sessions aimed at specific constituencies: photographers, ad sales reps, editorial writers etc. One of these sessions is for the Metroland web "masters", the folks responsible for the editorial content of our web sites. For that session It thought it would be fun to try out the Coveritlive live blogging tool, which was created by a team in Toronto, just down the highway. Here it is:

Digital Survival Guide – Part 2

Last November, Steve Buttry, from the American Press Institute put out a call to his colleagues for advice on, as he put it, how to help an old stegasaurus upgrade his online skills. Steve, I hasten to add, wasn’t the old dinosaur in question, rather the request had arisen from one of his students. I reread what I had provided Steve and I think it’s some pretty fair advice for any journalist who’s looking to upgrade their skills, so I’m reprinting them here. But I urge you to visit Steve’s original post and take in

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Why Newspapers Still Don’t Get The Web

As I was preparing the "Seven Steps To Writing Like a Digital Native" guide, I was struck again by just how much newspapers are blinded to the power the web offers us. It is, I think, one of the biggest mistake newspapers make online: failing to use the web’s rich resources or at least some of them, in every story. It’s a mistake is deeply rooted in our print culture — we’re highly competitive and we’re used to owning and controlling everything we publish. But the web is different and that mistake costs us dearly, I think because it

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Readers reading web news just like it’s the morning paper

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Seven Steps to Writing Like a Digital Native

Here are the seven tips I give our WebU students who are learning how to write for the web.Stop before posting ANY story and ask yourself these seven questions about how you can enrich your story for the reader:1) Are there original documents you can link to?If you’ve downloaded a report, meeting minutes or agendas, watched a video or listened to a tape — share it. If it’s living elsewhere on the web, link to it. If you have your own copy – can you scan it? Post it yourself? Tell people how they can get their own physical

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Rob Curley’s crew flees suburbia for … Las Vegas

So Rob Curley has finally flopped moved on.(See update at end of post)One of online journalism’s undoubted stars — the driving force behind a crew that created the award-winning, high on cool and low to the ground sites like LJWorld.com and KUSports.com and the Naples Daily News site — has left LoudounExtra.com, which appears to be floundering. LoudounExtra was a model hyper-local news website template he was building for the Washington Post, but after about a year he and much of his team have decamped for … Las Vegas.Don’t get me wrong — I think Rob’s a brilliant

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Going (digital) Native — Four Easy Steps To Help Journalist Survive and Thrive in Web 2.0

Just got back from Mags University, a magazine and internet publishing conference in Toronto where I offered a roomful of magazine journalists a "Digital Survivor’s Guide".I had to throw my presentation together in something of a hurry as I was a last minute replacementfor Mark Briggs, a Tacoma, Washington sport journalist turned web evangelist who’d been scheduled to give the talk — from Tacoma via streaming video or something — but in the end couldn’t make it.I borrowed some from the talk Star web editor Marissa Nelson and I gave at Wordstock 2007, adding in some of the stuff

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It’s Alive! Animating Print Publications on the Web

For some time I’ve been pretty derisive of the "animated .pdf" school of web publishing. You’ve seen these  Frankenstein creatures: dead wood print publications that are zapped with flash magic in the lab and then propped up on a slab on the web for people to view "just like the real thing" complete with animated page turning and even swoooshing sounds as the page flips open. A lot of people have been trying variations on this technology for a long time. Initially papers and magazines would simply post static .pdf’s of their actual pages, as a "service"  to readers,

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“Most Read” stories may be a matter of luck, not quality as research discovers ‘hits’ are almost random

Good news: trends probably aren’t started by cool kids who are way smarter and more influential than you or I. Instead, products and ideas catch on in society because we’re ready for them – and just about anyone can start up the the wave of acceptance for that new idea. Some of the critical research on this was published back in Feb 2006 in Science, the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, but most of us learned about it in a recent Fast Company piece by tech writer (and Canadian) Clive Thompson Is The Tipping

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