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#Tip of the day for journalists: Geotag your content using a WordPress plugin

October 19th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

If you are a journalist for a news outlet where location is a key part of the story (such as a local or hyperlocal news site), it is worth geotagging your stories to help search engines deliver local results.

This post from the Knight Digital Media Center has a list of WordPress plugins that geotag your content.

One of the plugins, called Geolocation Plus, also allows you to great GeoRSS feeds. Location-based feeds have huge potential. They may further develop as a way Google and other search engines return results based on a person’s location; they may be used by social newsreader apps as a way of delivering local news; and they have huge potential for mobile news reading other areas.

For example, see this post from earlier in the week as it explains how Sarah Hartley has been experimenting with location-based feeds in her role at n0tice and for an augmented reality initiative by Talk About Local.

It is also well worth reading this post by Matt McAlister on why publishers should consider GeoRSS.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.

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Guardian launches Streetstories, an app for King’s Cross

March 21st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

The Guardian has launched Streetstories, an iPhone and Android app, providing audio stories based on the phone’s location.

The app is another Guardian project focusing on social, local mobile and is launched the day after the public release of n0tice, another move by the news organisation into the SoLoMo space.

Launched ahead of the Guardian’s Open Weekend event this weekend, the Streetstories app provides a guide to King’s Cross,the area of London where King’s Place, the Guardian building where the event will take place, is located.

Francesca Panetta, the app’s creator, has blogged about it.

Streetstories is a free app for iPhone and Android which triggers audio relevant to your location - your smartphone knows where you are, and plays the stories automatically. The way the app works is you plug in your headphones, start up the ‘autoplay’ mode and put your smartphone in your pocket. The app will find where you are and start playing the clips, so you don’t need to press any buttons, just wander anywhere in the area and your route will create your own narrative

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App of the week for journalists – Google Latitude, for adding locations to stories

App of the week:Google Latitude

Phones: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian

Cost: Free

What is it? An app, web app, website and mobile site that allows you to add your location to a Google Map.

How is it of use to journalists? This was tip picked up from Paul Gallagher, head of online content at the Manchester Evening News.

During a session on mobile reporting at news:rewired, a conference about the latest trends in digital journalism, Gallagher explained how the MEN online newsdesk has encouraged reporters to use Google Latitude to add locations two paricular stories.

When Manchester City and Manchester United faced each other at Wembley in the FA Cup final in 2011, MEN sent reporters on the fan buses and created atmosphere by reporters geotagging locations as they travelled, using Google Latitude on a mobile phone.

MEN also used Google Latitude when reporting on roadworks, liveblogging a slow journey.

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App of the week for journalists – Sonar, for finding contacts near you

App of the week: Sonar

Operating systems: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Cost: Free

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Sonar allows you to see which of your contacts are nearby. It could be a particularly handy way for journalists attending press conferences, events and meet-ups to find out if there are key people in the vicinity.

The iPhone app first asks you to connect your Foursquare account, which provides the list of possible venues in the area. You can then connect your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

What could be potentially really useful is the ability to see second degree contacts, such as someone who is not connected to you directly but with whom you share Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook contacts.

Reviews: It gets 3.5 stars in iTunes App Store.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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App of the week for journalists – Glympse, for sharing your location

App of the week: Glympse

Operating systems: iPhone, Android, Windows, BlackBerry

Cost: Free

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Glympse allows you to share your location privately by texting and emailing, or publicly on Facebook and Twitter.

It could be particularly handy if meeting a fellow journalist in a difficult environment, such as when covering a story like a protest or marathon, or more simply to send your whereabouts back to the newsdesk.

One advantage of this app over other location sharing options is that the person receiving your location can do so on a mobile phone or on a computer and the recipient does not need to have the app.

Glympse automatically records the time so the recipient can find out how long ago you were at that point and even track your movements.

The app has some handy features such as being able to add a message and specify your destination.

Reviews: It gets 2.5 stars in iTunes App Store, 4.5 stars in the Android Market and 2.5 stars in the BlackBerry App World.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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Nieman: A year later, lessons for the media from the Haiti earthquake response

On the anniversary of last year’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, Nieman Journalism Lab’s Michael Morisy takes a look at the media response to the crisis and some of the tools at its centre, including radio, Ushahidi’s mapping platform and crowdsourcing.

Critical to parsing through all the data were centers far outside of Haiti, like one group in Boston that helped geolocate emergency texts, information that was then passed along to relief workers on location. Groups of Haitian expatriates helped translate the flood of data from Creole, French, and Spanish into English, passing it along to the most appropriate aid organizations as well as the U.S. Marines, who often served as the basis for search-and-rescue missions.

In Haiti, the report found the use crowdsourced emergency information had hit a turning point, helping inform real-time decision-making.

Full post on Nieman at this link.

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eMedia Vitals: How publishers should be using geolocation

May 14th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Sean Blanda introduces five ways publishers should be using geolocation technology:

Despite the hype surrounding geolocation, the technology is fairly new. Many publishers are still navigating geolocation and few have taken advantage of platforms like Foursquare, Gowalla, HTML5′s geolocation API and Twitter’s geotagging abilities despite the rich potential.

Geolocation can help publishers serve more relevant content or cover an event like never before. However, to use the technology to its fullest potential, it’s going to take some creativity.

Particularly like Blanda’s ideas for the news cafe – something tried physically by publishers such as Agora in Poland:

(…) with new geolocation technology, the news café can be everywhere. Businesses and restaurants have all used Foursquare to offer specials and discounts, why not media companies? Whether its your offices, your booth at a trade show or locations frequented by your readers, offer a free issue to people in check in at designated locations.

Full post at this link…

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Twitter geolocation: what uses for newsrooms?

October 5th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

As reported last week by TechCrunch, microblogging service Twitter has switched on part of its new geolocation API, which will see latitude and longitude coordinates attached to a user’s updates, who can choose to opt-in.

As an API this information will be available to third-parties – an idea taken up by iPhone app Tweetie, which is using it to map tweets.

Looking ahead, this could be a useful tool for news organisations, for example to plot Twitter buzz by location – especially to see what was being said about a news story by those in the area it had happened in.

While there are a range of ways for journalists to use Twitter for newsgathering purposes, this new functionality has great potential too, as suggested by Mashable’s five-point plan.

Mashable’s suggestions of tracking trending places – useful for monitoring breaking news trends on Twitter over an area; and an extension of an existing service, Tweetmondo, using the new API that would send you a direct message whenever someone mentioned a place of interest to you.

As well as notifying journalists about tweets relating to certain places on their patch, a service like this could also be used in a marketing/commercial tie-up. For a local news organisation, for example, such tweets could be used to attract new readers by targetting places of interest to them – businesses or attractions they frequent for example.

Additionally there’s scope for local news organisations to stream location-based tweets to create a real-time feed of conversation about their area.

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