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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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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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How to find video stories in the classifieds

Ever read any of the "Missed Connections" ads on Craigslist or in the back pages of your favourite alternative weekly? You know the ones that go something like:

"Me: 30-something poet with pony tail and messenger bag. You: Flustered blonde with polka-dot boots and a 30 gig Video iPod. We never talked, but our eyes met briefly on the 86-B at 9:30 pm Tuesday night when you dropped your copy of Jane Eyre…" etc.

Reading the ads can be a kind of guilty pleasure, a form of social voyeurism in which nobody gets hurt or too

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How to produce professional-looking video reports online, on the cheap

One of the most common complaints I get from students who get all fired up about doing video for the web is: "but we don’t have any equipment – and there’s no way my boss is going to spend thousands of dollars." The truth is you don’t need a $5,000 Sony or Cannon HD video camera – if you already have a modestly up-to-date Dell or Apple computer you can start producing good looking web video for a tiny fraction of what you’d spend on one of those pro video cams.Last October I produced my Going Digital Without Going

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How to build a successful local news web site (Hint: Don’t start with your newspaper)

In an article written for Harvard’s Nieman Reports special issue on Local News, Richard Anderson, founder of the award-winning Village Soup web sites argues that most newspapers get it all wrong when they go on the web because they think of the site as a performance, a stage show, while his "community host" model combines that "show" with something like a trade show floor where everyone can gather to share ideas, browse and buy. Here’s Richard:

The conventional community newspaper approach to going online is analogous to an event production; just as a star performs on stage, reporters

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How to create a blog for your paper, magazine or show – NOW

So you want to try blogging – NOW? Don’t want to wait for our over-burdened digital media folks to get around to implementing or building out blogs for your paper using our TOPS and TED system?Outsource it.That’s what the Spec, The Record and The Mercury are doing. They’re all using the Typepad service from Six Apart. I"ve been using it for several years now and can attest to it’s ease of use, flexibility and stability.I’ve helped a half dozen non-bloggers become bloggers, a list that inlcudes several decidedly "non-techie" types, so Typepad must be doing something write in the

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How to write darn good headlines for the web: Stop acting like a newspaper

Good headline writing anywhere is part poetry, part Western Union — the idea is to attract, inform, and maybe surprise the reader with very few words. But the real goal is to get them to read the story.And while the underlying principals are the same, their application to print and web headlines should produce very different results. In print we depend on the context the printed page lends to the story: the photos, the sidebars or pull quotes, kickers and subheads, all of these provide a wealth of contextual information for the headline itself. Good print headlines are snappy,

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Going Digital — Without Going Broke

 
   
    This is the IFRA’s guide to multi-media – you won’t need all this gear, but if you’d
like to see this report, you can get
your own .pdf copy here
.


Y
ou don’t need dedicated A/V technicians, a $5,000 High Definition
video camera and a $10,000 editing suite to do multi-media on the web.
Advances in video and audio technology mean not only is high quality
audio and video well within the reach of most budgets, the skill sets
needed are well within the reach of any interested person.
Heck, as YouTube (and MetaCafe and Blip.tv) proves, these days a 14
year old with the family handycam and home computer can create the kind
of video it used to take a roomful of professionals to produce.
So. What do you need to start producing your own sound and slide shows, podcasts or videos?
Not an awful lot.
A word of caution: These are recommendations. The specific products we
mention aren’t your only choices by any means – you should seek and
take the advice of our IT staff and buyers. The key here is not the
specific product, but the capabilities of each. You can spend an awful
lot more than we’re recommending and get higher quality software and
hardware that gives you more options and abilities and produces a
higher quality product.
But we’re being guided by the "good enough" philosophy of the Newspaper
Next program. (As well as the "fail fast and fail cheap" part of that
philosophy.) If you get the equipment we’re recommending — or similar
products — you’ll be able to get multi-media on the web fairly quickly,
fairly cheaply with the staff on hand — especially if any of them are
WebU grads.
Read the rest of the WebU Guide to Going Digital — Without Going Broke after the jump….
Bill Dunphy

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