Friday, June 4, 2010

Weekend Roundup: Useful Stories & Links

Here's a compendium of recent notes, quotes, anecdotes and other info that's worthy of your attention.

These are only excerpts, so be sure to click on each title to view that entire report.

Publishers see signs the iPad can restore ad money
By Andrew Vanacore (AP)

Good news for the news business: Companies are paying newspapers and magazines up to five times as much to place ads in their iPad applications as what similar advertising costs on regular websites.

This doesn't mean Apple's tablet computer will live up to its hype as a potential lifeline for the media industry. Online ads still generate a small fraction of news companies' advertising revenue, and it's an open question whether print ads will return to what they totaled before the recession.

But early evidence suggests the iPad is at least offering publishers a way to get more money out of advertisers. That bolsters the hope that portable touch-screen computers could start turning the economics of digital advertising in publishers' favor.

How to Find Public Domain Video
By Angela Grant (

Videos in the public domain are no longer subject to copyright laws, and you may use them freely without permission and without fear of legal repercussions. You may remix public domain videos into new works. When a video creator’s copyright expires, that video automatically becomes part of the public domain. Also, anything produced by the U.S. government is automatically in the public domain. Sometimes videos become public when the original copyright holder fails to complete the necessary paperwork to renew the copyright. If you want to learn more about the public domain, ...

# Determining if a video is public domain
# Using videos with Creative Commons licenses
# Sites offering free video
# Sites offering paid video

HTML5 and Web Standards
(Apple Website tutorial)

Every new Apple mobile device and every new Mac — along with the latest version of Apple’s Safari web browser — supports web standards including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. These web standards are open, reliable, highly secure, and efficient. They allow web designers and developers to create advanced graphics, typography, animations, and transitions. Standards aren’t add-ons to the web. They are the web. And you can start using them today....

Is J-school relevant? (#wjchat)
By Mindy McAdams (Teaching Online Journalism)

Last night I helped to moderate an organized Twitter chat. Robert Hernandez (aka @webjournalist) is the juggernaut behind #wjchat; he’s aided by a cheery posse including @killbutton, @kimbui, and @RobinJP.


List of Twitter Chats
By Meryl K. Evans (Meryl's Notes Blog)

Twitter group chats offer a clever and effective way to meet people with like interests and to share insights into the topic of discussion. Chatters track their conversations using hashtags (#) followed by the name of the chat, i.e. #journchat....


DIY and passion give birth to #wjchat
By Robert Hernandez (

For me, it began with a snarky tweet: #journchat Bad name, good PR.

Apparently that tweet touched a nerve and prompted Web journalists to come out of the Twitterverse to express agreement.

Before I continue, let me define two things:

#journchat is a Twitter chat that is “an ongoing conversation between journalists, bloggers and PR folks” held weekly on Twitter. Created by @PRsarahevans, the first Twitter chat was held Monday, November 24, 2008. While it has “journalism” in the name, it skews heavily toward public relations.

A Twitter chat essentially is a regularly held chat, usually weekly, on a specific topic… tied together through a hashtag. A group of Titterers gather and talk about whatever… blogging, book editing, etc.
Moments after that snarky tweet went out the hunger for Web journalists to network and learn from each other was apparent.

It makes sense.

We’re a community that is constantly evolving, struggling to find the “right” solution for our unique situations… from inside our newsrooms… often alone. Many of us have met at conferences or through social networking, but never regularly.

It was that passionate need mixed with the DIY-spirit of the web that got @lilgirlbigvoice @killbutton @kimbui and myself together to create #jchat within five hours from meeting each other the first time....


A Google Docs-like Web-based utility for collaboratively composing rich text documents.

The document text is synchronized as you type, so that everyone viewing your communal page sees the same text. This allows you to collaborate seamlessly on documents in your Web browser.

Just send the link of your page to a friend, colleague, or co-worker and "watch the magic unfold!"

The Future of VJs
By Deborah Potter (

We’ve all read the stories about the sea change in television news. From the ABC network news division to local stations from coast to coast, VJs are taking over, the stories say. The “one man band” reporter who shoots and edits once was found primarily in small markets but is now common in the top 10. Right? Maybe not.

Research by RTDNA and Hofstra University finds the use of VJs has indeed gone up for the past several years but it hasn’t skyrocketed. About a third of local stations now say they mostly use VJs. Three years ago, it was a little over one in five. And the number of stations that don’t use any VJs has gone down sharply, from 29% in 2006 to 18% today.

But researcher Bob Papper says the real surprise came in answer to this question: Did you use VJs more or less in the past year? Only 12% of news directors said they used them more, while 29% said less. Those numbers aren’t at all what you’d expect in current economic conditions, and even less so given that the survey was in the field during the depths of the recession. Yes, almost half of the news directors who responded said they expected to use VJs more in 2010, but that’s what they always say. “Every year, expected use of more goes up way faster than the actual use,” said Papper.

iPhone flips the Flip
By Deborah Potter (

Idiot-proof, lightweight and compact–the Flip camera appeared poised to revolutionize online video when it was introduced a few years ago. Reporters and photographers quickly took to using Flips or similar point-and-shoot cameras to produce Web-only video blogs and interviews. Sometimes, Flip video even showed up on TV newscasts. But now, it appears the Flip may be flopping.

Smart phones, especially Apple’s iPhone, can shoot decent video as well and they have a big advantage over the Flip. Files can be emailed and posted directly from the device, so you don’t have to download the video to a laptop before sending it. With UStream or similar software, smart phones can be used to stream live video as well, giving them another leg up on the Flip.

This Week in Review: The FTC’s ideas for news, Apple’s paid-news pitch, and the de-linking debate
By Mark Coddington (Nieman Journalism Lab)

The FTC’s ideas for journalism:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has spent much of the last year listening to suggestions about how they might change antitrust, copyright, and tax laws in order to create the best possible climate for good journalism, and this weekend it posted its “discussion draft” of policy proposals to “support the reinvention of journalism.” It’s a 47-page document, so here’s a quick summary of their ideas...

Steve Jobs’ proposal for paid news:

The folks from the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital interviewed Apple chief Steve Jobs on stage this week as part of their D8 conference, and Jobs had a few words for the news industry: Yes, he wants to help save journalism, because, as he put it, “I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers.” But if they’re going to survive, news organizations should be more aggressive about getting people to pay for content, Jobs said, like Apple did in helping raise e-book prices earlier this year.

As it turned out, there was something for everybody to pick apart in that exchange...

1 comment:

Meryl K. Evans said...

Thanks for the Twitter chat post mention, Professor! Also, I like the J-school link. Been considering a MFA or MLS. But more to help myself grow than effect my career.