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FT: BBC officially partners with AudioBoo to add programme web clips

The Financial Times has reported that the BBC has officially partnered with AudioBoo to post sound clips from programmes onto its website.

BBC journalists have been using AudioBoo since shortly after its launch in 2009 and the Radio 4 Today programme has providing catch-up audio for some time, getting around 20,000 listens to the 24 “boos” it posts each week, the FT states.

According to the article, the deal will “result in a series of branded BBC channels using AudioBoo, which the BBC hopes will broaden its audience reach worldwide”.

The FT states:

The decision to back such a small home-grown technology company is also a big step for the BBC, which has until now limited its official media partnerships to larger companies, such as Facebook and Twitter.

AudioBoo allows users to record and share up to three minutes of audio using the iPhone app or website. It also offers paid subscriptions for those who want to record and share longer interviews and sounds.

After launching in 2009, London-based AudioBoo gathered a loyal following of journalists and well-known personalities such as Stephen Fry who gave the platform an early boost.

AudioBoo founder and CEO Mark Rock told the FT that the BBC deal “took 18 months and 38 meetings to complete, because it was the first time a large media outlet had given official sanction to his business”.

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Independent uses Spotify button to add ‘new angle to music journalism’

April 11th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology

The Independent has announced that it has added music service Spotify’s new play button to its site which “means we can add a new angle to our music journalism”.

Writing in a blog post, Jack Riley, head of digital audience and content development for the Independent and i, explains that any website can add the new button which allows readers to stream music without leaving the host site.

For the Independent this means we can add a new angle to our music journalism; as well as adding streamable albums to our album reviews (see Alabama Shakes here), we can embed setlists into our live reviews (Kylie) and singles into our weekly charts. We’ll also be using the player to illustrate features; this piece from Nick Hasted on jazz’s influence on pop music (via Radiohead) is a great example of how the player can really add something to the reading experience.

You can see all of the tracks we’ve used the play button on this page which also explains how the button works. We’re tweeting articles featuring the new functionality with the hashtag #listenwithspotify and results for that hashtag from us are displayed on that page.

 

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Tool of the week for journalists: Muck Rack

Tool of the week: Muck Rack

What is it? A site that aggregates Twitter and social media feeds for thousands of professional journalists.

How is it of use to journalists? Journalists often break or share vital information first through social media. Muck Rack allows you to monitor trending topics among journalists in real-time. Its aim, according to Muck Rack’s creators, is to deliver “tomorrow’s newspaper to you today”.

Launched in 2009, Muck Rack now draws content from thousands of journalists who use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sources to break news on a daily basis.

Built around a central directory of verified professionals, Muck Rack now boasts an extensive directory of top journalists from around the world which can be searched by name, publication or even beat.

Professionals only need a valid Twitter account to apply for verification, although the process is heavily vetted to ensure certain standards are met such as relevance of tweets or posts and consistent activity.

The site also emails out a daily analysis of what journalists are saying called the Muck Rack Daily, which is pored over by its editorial team.

Muck Rack dovetails well with previous Journalism.co.uk tool of the week Press Pass, which organises journalists by beat, media outlet or region.

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Tool of the week for journalists: freeDive, to create a searchable database

Tool of the week: freeDive

What is it? A wizard to turn a Google spreadsheet into a searchable, embeddable interactive

How is it of use to journalists? This is a fantastic tool from the Knight Digital Media Center, based at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

freeDive is a wizard that allows you to take a Google spreadsheet, turn it into an interactive database, embed it into a news story and let readers to explore the data.

A word of warning: the embed code created is mainly JavaScript which some platforms restrict.

WordPress users can download a plugin such as Artiss Code Embed which works with WordPress security settings, allowing you to embed JavaScript.

The tool generates a simple embed code and also has an option to allow you to download the HTML, upload it onto your server and use an iframe.

Here is one we made earlier. This searchable database shows the ABC-audited web traffic figures for regional news groups.

[iframe src="http://www.journalism.co.uk/uploads/abcembedtest.html" height="650px"]

 

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Tool of the week for journalists: Data.gov.uk’s map-based search

Tool of the week: Data.gov.uk’s map-based search

What is it? An option of searching for data sets by geographical location

How is it of use to journalists? Since the launch of Data.gov.uk just over two years ago, and the promotion of open government data, the site has become a go to place for many journalists in search of a data set.

The site now has a map tool which allows you to search for data by location, potentially useful for journalists working on local news sites, newspapers and radio stations.

The map-based search allows you to draw a search area, submit the area and find data relating to that location.

Not tried your hand at data journalism? This guide written for Journalism.co.uk by Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian’s Datablog tells you how to get a grip with data journalism.

  • Journalism.co.uk also offers a one or two-day course in data journalism, led by Kevin Anderson. The next introduction to data journalism courses are being held on 9 May or 28 May. The intermediate data journalism course will be on 29 May. Those looking to expand their skills quickly can book on both courses, turning it into a two-day course and saving £50 on the course fees.
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Tool of the week for journalists: Cuttings.me

Tool of the week: Cuttings.me

What is it? An easy to use portfolio tool created by a freelance journalist for freelance journalists.

How is it of use to journalists? Cuttings.me was built by freelance journalist Nicholas Holmes who wanted a way of presenting links to his best work.

Launched in October, Cuttings.me now has thousands of links and is being used by journalists from the BBC to the New York Times to Al Jazeera. You can see Nicholas Holmes’ portfolio at Cuttings.me/nicholasholmes.

Last week it was been adapted and redesigned with the help of feedback from other users.

As of this today, Cuttings.me has a “multimedia clippings” feature, which opens up Cuttings.me for broadcast journalists too.

Another feature released today is RSS, allowing anyone who wants to subscribe to a feed of your best work to have an easy way of doing so.

RSS was “one of the most-requested features since the redesigned site launched late last year”, according to Holmes, who is is tourism Editor at AFP/Relaxnews and a freelance contributor to other publications including the Independent.

It’s quite a major upgrade and means users will be able to activate a personal RSS feed of their work, allowing them to easily export their cuttings to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to ensure all of their contacts are kept up-to-date, whenever they add a new piece to their Cuttings.me page.

A short video on how to get started with Cuttings.me is below.

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Is your blog in this PR database of 1.3 million blogs?

Press officers have long relied on databases of journalists in order to approach them for stories. PRs are now increasingly targeting bloggers, recognising their reach. One start-up has seized on this trend, creating GroupHigh, “a research engine” which crawls 1.3 million blogs in real-time.

Launched in April 2011 in Boulder, Colorado, the software allows PRs to search by keyword, location and blog traffic.

Listed in the Next Web’s top 20 social media tools of 2011, GroupHigh gets a ringing endorsement.

13. GroupHigh.com – If you haven’t tried GroupHigh yet, the next sentence might encourage you to do so. Ready? GroupHigh.com is the best blogger outreach research and engagement tool on the planet. The latest update (version three) makes it even easier for you to discover the most relevant blogs by keyword, style and receptiveness. Brilliant.

PRs who pay for access can ask the database for “a list of every mum blog out there”, co-founder of the start-up Bill Brennan told Journalism.co.uk. You can then ask the software to “tell me the ones that have written about baby formula or home schooling in the last year”.

When I tested the software and searched for “UK bloggers”, left-leaning political blog Liberal Conspiracy was listed at number one (see screen shot below).

The location search works by “triangulation”: crawling the blog, its Facebook page and Twitter feed, Brennan explained.

Users can also filter by page rank, Facebook shares or Twitter followers and export the data to Excel.

Version three of the software lists blogs not bloggers, Brennan said.

We’ll probably add contacts for individual bloggers at each blog as part of version four.

GroupHigh is the co-founders’ second start-up. Their first foray was recipe search engine Recipe Bridge, which they sold to an Australian ad network.

Confident in their ability to build software to crawl the web and realising “it’s difficult to make money [from] advertising”, the pair “started to tap into the blogosphere”, Bill Brennan said, noting a changing trend within the PR industry.

It seemed like blog outreach was really becoming a staple of campaigns for their clients.

Brennan added that PRs were finding the big bloggers, such as TechCrunch, but “they were not tapping in to what we call the ‘magic middle'” of less well-known blogs.

The cost of using the software is likely to preclude bloggers from satisfying their curiosity and checking if their site is crawled. An annual GroupHigh licence for PRs costs $3,000 (£1,926), plus $1,000 (£642) for each additional user.

Below is a video demo of how GroupHigh works.

GroupHigh 3 Video Overview from Andy Theimer on Vimeo.

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Tool of the week for journalists – Formulists (use it before it disappears)

Tool of the week: Formulists

What is it? A tool to create smart Twitter lists (and more).

How is it of use to journalists? Formulists is a fantastic tool to create Twitter lists. Simply sign in with your Twitter account, search for a keyword such as “journalist” and Formulists will create a Twitter list of all the people you follow with the word “journalist” in their profile. Formulists found that 135 people I follow include the word journalist in their profile, for example. Here is the Twitter list.

But be warned: Formulists is shutting down. You can still create lists but they will no longer be automatically updated.

It is a real shame this tool is being pulled, particularly as Twitter lists are a great way for journalists to filter those they want to follow and focus on. If your “all friends” stream has become too busy, make it more manageable by creating lists based on keywords while you still can. Your lists will not be updated as you follow additional Twitter users but Formulists provides a great way to start creating new lists.

It is worth exploring Formulists as it allows you to do more than simply create lists, such as allowing you to search for new Twitter users by topic.

The Formulists blog also points out some additional Twitter filtering tools.

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Audio Notetaker, software for adding notes to audio, launches Mac version

January 18th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology

Audio Notetaker, software designed to help journalists record interviews, organise quotes and add notes and images to specific points in a recording, has launched a Mac version.

The software, made by UK-based company Sonocent, has previously been available for PCs.

It is also aimed at students attending lectures and people attending meetings with a need to record and navigate through audio.

Both versions offer a 30-day free trial, which allows you to test it out before you buy.

The platform allows you to import or record audio, displaying it as bars (see picture below). The spaces between bars signify pauses where the speaker has taken a breath between sentences.

Audio Notetaker also allows you to re-order and edit the recording.

You can highlight various bars, making it easy to find a quote in the recording, no doubt a useful feature for journalists working on a complex and legally sensitive story as audio can be labelled.

The free trial version comes with a lengthy tutorial introducing you to the platform.

After the month-long period trial expires costs are £47.99 for a once-year licence or £95.99 for a a full licence.

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Tool of the week for journalists – ProPublica’s TimelineSetter

Tool of the week: ProPublica’s TimelineSetter

What is it? A tool for creating beautiful interactive timelines.

How is it of use to journalists? Having spent time developing a timeline tool, US investigative journalism news site ProPublica has made the code available for others to use, enabling journalists to build interactive timelines from a spreadsheet.

ProPublica’s timeline on how one blast affected five soldiers is a clear demonstration as to just how effective the tool can be in online storytelling.

The LA Times and Chicago Tribune are among those who have utilised the open source software since it was made public in April 2011.

TimelineSetter is not for the technology shy, however. Non-coders should not let this introduction to the tool put them off and should instead try watching the two videos embedded below and test out the technology.

Let us know at @journalismnews if you build and publish a timeline using ProPublica’s code.

If you want to create a timeline but avoid coding, try Dipity, a previous Journalism.co.uk tool of the week.

Hat tip: 10,000 Words

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