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Getting Naked for CF – Seven Days and Counting

 And now, as Terry Gilliam said more than once, for something completely different.

My large and rambunctious clan is taking part in the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s annual Great Strides fundraising walk, under the Dunphy Armada banner. The walk is on May 30.

In addition to the walk, I’ve decided to challenge my network to raise enough money for me to shave off my beard  – something that hasn’t been done since the previous century. That’s right, I’m going to go naked faced out into the world next Sunday.

You can learn more about it – and even sponsor

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How to write for the Web (it ain’t just words on a page)

 Looking at research around writing for the web quickly turns up a central paradox: Readers scan web pages, they don’t read them like books, they jump from page to page, from link to link and back again, they drop stories and headlines within reading the first two words YET people are apt to finish more stories on the web, and to read deeper into stories if they finally do light on them.

What’s up?

Hard to say. Surely it has something to do with the conditioning we’ve received on the web, with the continual invitations to distraction that a

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Mapping The Story

 Here’s the slides – complete with links – from my Camp VJ session on Mapping and the Web.

Cheap and easy video for independent newspaper sites

 This is really for the folks from Ink and Beyond, the Canadian Newspaper industry’s annual gathering, where I gave a brief presentation on video for independent newspaper web sites. 

I’m posting it here really just to give everybody the links.

Bill

Beware of turtle-necked strangers bearing gifts, or: The iPad is a many-edged device

Rarely have I been so conflicted as while trying to evaluate Apple’s much-hyped iPad. On the one hand I can see the real potential in an instant-on, beautifully-engineered, letter-sized touch screen device that plays videos and music, that replaces books, magazines and newspapers, and offers print publishers the same simple digital storefront that music and video folks have had for years with iTunes Simply put — I want it. On the other hand, I look at Steve Jobs, loose and lanky on that Moscone Centre stage, smiling lightly and offering the world his latest shiny steel and plastic fetish

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Ernst Zundel goes free: Defending the indefensible

As this day slowly slips away, I wonder if I should write this post at all. It’s March 1st. 2010. This morning, German authorities released Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist Ernst Zundel from jail. I know Zundel all too well. Back in the last century, I spent five or six years as an investigative reporter for the Toronto Sun, specializing in the rise and fall of Zundel, his sorry skinhead shocktroops, and the motley crew that coagulated under the Heritage Front banner waved by Zundel’s protegé, the late Wolfgang Droege. Nearly a decade later, in a post 9-11 America,

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If you outsource print production, are you still a newspaper?

(Cross posted from ShiftLock, my tech column in the Canadian Newspaper Association’s paper, The Publisher) “Schmuck!” The red-faced man was sitting high in his SUV, leaning out his window, pointing with one hand, and calling across to us. He was entering the parking lot, we were leaving it. A kind of backwards irony.

Can the print monster be beaten?

He works in pre-press, in imaging; we work on a team that’s rolling out a new, centralized content management system across the whole chain. We’re not too popular this day. “You schmuck! They’re going to lay off 40 of

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Going where your audience is (and newspapers mostly aren’t)

This week I teamed up with an old colleague, Steve Buist of the Hamilton Spectator, to spend a half day or so with editorial staff from the Metroland West community newspapers at their annual Editorial Training Day.

Steve spent an hour and a half offering a highly personalized tour of the web tools he relies on for his – need I say it? – award-winning investigative reporting, with a focus on online court and government documents and databases. Steve has garnered multiple National Newspaper Awards and nominations for his work on topics like the food we eat (A Pig’s

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Seven Ways to Write Like a Digital Native

I originally developed this web writing checklist for my Writing for the Web class in WebU, but am reposting it here today because I’m giving a short seminar on this topic here at the Star. Additionally, one of the best resources for Writing for the Web has to be Jacob Nilson’s collection of posts on the topic at Useit.com

Here are seven ways to get the most out of the web when publishing a story. Stop before posting ANY story and ask how you can enrich it for the reader:

1) Are there original documents you can link to?

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The Top 1,002 Internet Tools for Journalists

It’s Wordstock time again. It’s probably Canada’s longest-running annual professional development day for journalists and I got a chance to host two workshops – a panel on place blogging with David Topping of Toronto.ist and Tim Shore of Blog.To and the perennial Top Tools workshop. I felt pretty ambivalent about the Top Tools piece – I mean, who doesn’t already have a toolbox crammed to overflowing with useful, cool and free tools? I felt that way last year too when I did it, but my audience surprised me by being large and enthusiastic. And it quickly became obvious that

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