Archive for July, 2011

Discovering Discovery

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2011 by michaeldwells

I have previously introduced the idea of opening up the tools of journalism to ordinary users through the web. I have also talked about ways of using semantic relationships when browsing the news. I descibe the whole concept as a news ecosystem, the idea being that it can grow beyond the borders of it’s domain, sinking it’s roots into social networking and the blogosphere and driving traffic through those roots.

The problem I have with this oncept is that it’s a big, sprawling, amorphous dollop of ideas. When I try to reduce it  to its Minimum Viable Awesome, I find no backbone supporting the whole. Each individual part is rather trivial in its own right.

So I’ve looked again at the individual parts and tried to think about what they mean to the end user.
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Thinking Aloud

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 25, 2011 by michaeldwells

There’s a lot to be said for this working in the open business. Now that I’m actually trying to make things that explain what I’m working on, I’m finding that by trying to communicate, I can at least start a discussion with myself. The upshot of this is that I now understand what I’m doing much better. It’s all starting to make sense and come together. Hopefully, I’ll soon be telling that story that Jesse James Garrett talked about. Continue reading

More Upward Mockery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 23, 2011 by michaeldwells

Adding personalisation and socialisation to commercial news, and sneaking some light semantics in while we’re there. Continue reading

Homework week 2: Thinking Big

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 22, 2011 by michaeldwells

I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with this course. In trying to find ways to sell my ideas, I’ve begun to realise just how complicated those ideas are. I’ve never even stated what problem I’m trying to solve, so I’ll do that now.

We were asked to think about the future of journalism and the obvious answer to that is the rise of citizen journalism. That is something that has found a home in the social networks. That is irreversible. To profit from this situation, the news media needs to merge with the social Internet. There is a disconnect between professional news and social media. Though they feed off of each other, they don’t interact. I want to close that gap. Continue reading

Only Connect

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 21, 2011 by michaeldwells

I keep trying to rethink my, as yet, nameless idea. It all comes back to the same problem. How do I turn the abstract ambition of “linking everything” into a simple, easily understandable and ,above all, tangible product? So far, I’ve been attacking the problem from the comments up. But part of that meant identifying that comments and articles are just the same thing. So why not just call them all articles? Then I can approach the problem from the perspective of the writer, editor and publisher.

So that got me to thinking about text entry, like the text box I’m using now. I can link to things, of course, but there’s no semantic element to the link. I can tag my posts but why would I when those tags mean nothing outside the confines of my small blog? I want to put semantic tools unavoidably at the heart of text entry on the web. Quoting, referencing, replying, amending – all there automatically and every article subject to the analytical scrutiny of the community. Continue reading

Google Getting Gamey

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2011 by michaeldwells

Lots of folks in the lab have been looking into gamification of news as a means of increasing user engagement. If I’m honest, I have to say I don’t really approve – news reading is its own reward. The game mechanisms people have been looking to adopt have emerged from the online gaming world where time spent playing equals profit for the publisher. These tools are designed to keep people doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do. They’re tied in with the gaming addiction we associate most with slot machines. Do we really want kids reading news in the same way that old ladies sit robotically pumping quarters in sleazy Vegas casinos?

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Those mockups in full…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 17, 2011 by michaeldwells

You’ve read my last post and now you’re naturally curious about what I’ve come up with. I hope this brings some clarity. Whatever you think, I’d love to hear your feedback. First up, the results of some experimentation in my favourite medium – cardboard. I’ve always said, if it can’t be made out of cardboard and Sellotape™, it ain’t worth making. Continue reading