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#jpod – SoLoMo: a look at the Guardian and Northcliffe’s innovations in social and local

February 3rd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Hyperlocal, Podcast

Developments in technology relating to social, local and mobile and how they can intersect have come together in a “perfect storm”, Sarah Hartley, community strategist for the Guardian Media Group explains in this week’s podcast.

Journalism.co.uk technology correspondent Sarah Marshal looks at SoLoMo and the opportunities for news.

The jpod hears from Sarah Hartley about the Guardian’s n0tice start-up; Jamie Riddell, CEO of Digital Tomorrow Today, investor in apps and  freelance technology columnist for Archant’s East Anglian Daily Times; and Lee Williams, general manager of Northcliffe Digital, who heads up the Local People sites, a group of hyperlocal sites launched in 2009.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes podcast feed.

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Sarah Hartley to join Talk About Local as interim managing director

December 9th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Journalism

Sarah Hartley, a community strategist for the Guardian Media Group and part of the team behind its online noticeboard n0tice, is to join community media project Talk About Local as its interim managing director next year, according to an announcement on the site.

The post adds that she will continue to head “the community strategy for n0tice.com” but will also help with “exciting new initiatives in the pipeline” for Talk About Local, which was set up by William Perrin.

In a quote Hartley said:

I am delighted to be starting 2012 tackling some new challenges working alongside the talented and dedicated team at TAL.

We have some exciting new initiatives in the pipeline, helping people find their online voice for communities, as well as continuing to be active in supporting and promoting the many blogs and websites we are already involved with.

Read more here.

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UCLan project awarded £64,000 from Google to support ‘news entrepreneurs’

November 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Data

The University of Central Lancashire’s Journalist Leaders Programme has secured €75,000 (£64,000) of Google funding to support “news entrepreneurs” after being named as one of three winners of the International Press Institute’s News Innovation Contest.

The programme, founded by researcher, academic and consultant on newsroom and digital business innovation François Nel (pictured), will develop a project called Media and Digital Enterprise (MADE), to offer an “innovative training, mentoring and research programme”.

The funding awarded by IPI will be spent by the UCLan programme on working “to create sustainable news enterprises – whether for social or commercial purposes – by helping innovators”.

Nel told Journalism.co.uk MADE will “support the entire news ecosystem as we need innovation across the sector”.

He is now looking for people with entrepreneurial ideas who are interested in news innovation.

The other two winners of the contest are Internews Europe, a European non-profit organisation created in 1995 to help developing countries establish and strengthen independent media organisations to support freedom of expression and freedom of access to information, alongside the World Wide Web Foundation, a Swiss public charity founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web.

In February Google announced it was awarding $2.7 million to the Vienna-based IPI for its contest.

There were round 300 applicants, reduced first to 74 and then to 26 before the three winners were selected by a panel of seven judges, including journalism professor and commentator Jeff Jarvis.

The winners of the total fund of $600,000 were announced yesterday; Nel heard this morning how much the MADE project is being allocated, telling Journalism.co.uk “it’s fantastic to have support for news innovations”.

Nel and others working on the Leaders Programme have been working with news organisations, including Johnston Press, Trinity Mirror and the Guardian Media Group, looking at digital processes and innovative business models.

MADE allows us to pull those strands together and work with directly with news entrepreneurs. And we’re really excited about the possibility of putting this to the test.

Nel explained that MADE will “deliver good skills for a whole range of news start-ups” and he is now “looking to work with individuals, groups and companies, who are interested in news innovation” to get involved.

The project will help develop new skills and test the business plans, offering bespoke support to those with entrepreneurial ideas.

We’re looking to support five good people and good ideas for at least three months so that we can give those ideas legs.

The project includes various partners that were part of the bid, including one to build content and one to build communities.

Developers at ScraperWiki will be working with the project to develop innovations in data journalism and build content. Another partner is Sarah Hartley who is now working on the Guardian’s social, local, mobile project n0tice, with this area of the project focusing on building communities.

MADE will also involve Nel’s colleagues at Northern Lights, an award-winning business incubation space at UCLan.

The project also has an international element, involving groups in Turkey, drawing on Nel’s connections in the country.

Nel explained why the funding and ongoing support from IPU is vital.

In the digital news media space the cyber world is littered with start ups. The corpses of news start ups are every here. What we really need to do is help news entrepreneurs stay up and that’s what we are trying to do here.

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Hyperlocals can now create noticeboards using the Guardian’s n0tice

Online noticeboard n0tice has today opened to all community groups and hyperlocal sites after testing the technology with a limited number of users.

Groups can now create their own customised page, choosing a domain and can start to moderate activity. The platform is still being developed but there are plans to later introduce revenue-sharing between n0tice, owned by the Guardian Media Group, and page owners, such as hyperlocal news sites and bloggers.

notice is like a cross between a village noticeboard, Gumtree and Foursquare in that it is a space for users to post small ads, local news and announcements and that information can be pushed to location-enabled mobile phones and devices. There is more on how and why n0tice was created at this link and how it will make money by charging users for promoted, location-based small ads.

Following a recent invitation roll-out, hyperlocals, bloggers and community groups can now create their n0tice page, measure performance and activity with social analytics tools, and “moderate community activity in order to encourage the kind of behaviour they want to see on their noticeboard”, Sarah Hartley, one of the team behind n0tice told Journalism.co.uk.

She added:

This service is designed to serve community groups of all shapes and sizes, active local champions and community leaders, local publishers and bloggers, interest groups and hobbyists, and anyone who wants to manage a community noticeboard. We are focused on serving UK-based community groups, but it works anywhere in the world.

The service is still in development, and we have a lot we plan to add in the near future.

For example, we will develop revenue sharing opportunities via the classified advertising platform so that noticeboard owners can earn money. We will also develop a private, restricted access community noticeboard service which will be offered for a fee.

We don’t have a date when these services will be launched, but we release new capabilities on a regular basis.  You can follow @n0tice to stay in touch with the team.

Access to n0tice.com is open, but community participation is currently by invitation only. There are details on the technologies used to create n0tice here.

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How to get involved with the Guardian’s latest venture into hyperlocal

October 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Citizen journalism, Hyperlocal

Six months ago the Guardian Media Group called time on its regional news pilot Guardian Local, but it is continuing to experiment in the local market, its latest venture being n0tice, a location-based online notice board to share and read news and notices.

The hyperlocal website and mobile site is currently in private beta, with a team of three at GMG along with an army of contributors helping to shape the online version of the village notice board. Others who want to get involved will soon be able join.

n0tice was born out of a Guardian hack day and has SoLoMo, a trend towards social, local and mobile, at its heart, but as it does not currently have Guardian branding it feels more like an independent start-up than a child of the news outlet.

The platform is a space for people to buy and sell, like the classifieds section of a local newspaper, and can be used for general notices, local news and liveblogs or updates posted by citizen reporters as community news breaks.

It is like a reverse Foursquare, where rather than checking in to a business or venue, you allow your computer or mobile to grab your location information and the site finds the community groups, items for sale and news near you.

How is it going to make money?

Listing on n0tice is free but users get the option to pay for a featured post. Pricing is yet to be confirmed but the figure currently being worked with is a charge of £1 for each mile radius from the seller’s location per day.

The site, which can be used worldwide and white labelled, will be given free to hyperlocals and sold to commercial ventures, such as anyone who wants to use the technology to set up a location-based site, according to community strategist at GMG Sarah Hartley, who was head of online editorial at the Manchester Evening News and later launch editor of the now defunct Guardian local experiment.

And of course, being a Guardian platform, it has an open API.

Along with Hartley, who this week spoke about n0tice at the Brighton Future of News Group, two others are working on the development of the platform: Matt McAlister, who is director of digital Strategy (who in May announced n0tice with this thorough explainer) and developer Daniel Levitt (whose blog is here).

One of the areas the team is looking into is how to best reward users who contribute, with a current system in place of an ‘Editor’ badge which goes to the first user in an area.

The next round of users will be invited into the platform soon soon, with a planned release of the site next year. You can sign up to be one of those by entering your email address here, you can follow @n0tice on Twitter and get involved by joining this Flickr group and “celebrate noticeboards” by contributing photographs.

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Hyperlocal – what does it mean?

Not long ago it was the buzzword of the media and news industry – but what does ‘hyperlocal’ really mean today?

It’s a question Guardian Local editor Sarah Hartley has sought answer on her blog, putting forward ten characteristics which represent the meaning of the phrase as it evolves.

First, she discusses the growing range of the term, which has developed from a postcode-focused news patch to now being used to describe focused subject matter, story treatment, or even geographical areas which are actually large in size. “Can these things be considered hyperlocal in nature?”, she asks.

Here is a summary of the main characteristics Hartley associates with the term:

  • Participation from the author.
  • Opinion blended with facts.
  • Participation from the community.
  • Small is big. Scale is not important, impact is.
  • Medium agnostic. Use of different platforms.
  • Obsessiveness. Sticking with a story.
  • Independence.
  • Link lovers.
  • Passion.
  • Lack of money.

Readers are invited to comment on her blog on whether it is time to find an alternative to the term ‘hyperlocal’ or whether it is well used enough to keep.

See her full post at this link…

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Are you on the j-list? The leading innovators in journalism and media in 2010

July 22nd, 2010 | 14 Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Online Journalism

Updated 05/08/2010

Recent industry lists ranking the great and good in journalism and the media fell a bit short of the mark for Journalism.co.uk. Where were the online innovators? Where were the journalists on the ground outside of the executives’ offices?

So we’ve compiled our own rundown listing those people we think are helping to build the future of journalism and the news media.

Some important points to note:

  • There are no rankings to this list – those included are from such varied areas of work it seemed pointless;
  • We will have missed some people out – let us know in the comments below or with the hashtag #jlist who you are working with that should be included;
  • We’ve listed groups as well as individuals – with individuals we hope you’ll see them as representing a wider team of people, who have worked together on something great;
  • And it’s not limited to 50 or 100 – we’ll see where it takes us…

So here’s the first batch. There’s a Twitter list of those included so far at this link and more will be added in the coming weeks.

Click on the ‘more’ link after these five to to see the full list.

Tomáš Bella

Tomáš Bella was editor-in-chief and deputy director of Sme.sk, the Slovak republic’s most popular news site. He was author of the first European newspaper-owned blogportal (blog.sme.sk, 2004) and the first digg-like service (vybrali.sme.sk, 2006). In April 2010 he co-founded Prague-based new media consultancy NextBig.cz and is working on a payment system to allow the access to all the premium content of major newspapers and TV stations with one payment.

Paul Steiger

While ProPublica’s not-for-profit, foundation-funded model may be something commercial news organisations can never share, its investment in and triumphing of investigative and data journalism cannot be overlooked. The way in which it involves a network of readers in its research and actively encourages other sites to “steal” its stories shows a new way of thinking about journalism’s watchdog role. Image courtesy of the Knight Foundation on Flickr.

Chris Taggart

Paul Bradshaw’s description of his fellow j-lister: “Chris has been working so hard on open data in 2010 I expect steam to pour from the soles of his shoes every time I see him. His ambition to free up local government data is laudable and, until recently, unfashionable. And he deserves all the support and recognition he gets.”

Ian Hislop/Private Eye

Not much to look at on the web perhaps, but the Eye’s successful mixture of satire, humour and heavyweight investigations has seen its circulation rise. It blaized a trail during the Carter-Ruck and Trafigura gagging ordeal and has even lent it’s support to j-list fellow the Hackney Citizen to protect press freedom from international to hyperlocal levels. Image courtesy of Nikki Montefiore on Flickr.

Brian Boyer

Amidst the talk of what journalists can learn from programmers and what coding skills, if any, journalists need, Brian Boyer was making the move the other way from programming to a programmer-journalist. His university and personal projects in this field have been innovative and have got him noticed by many a news organisation – not least the Chicago Tribune, where he now works as a news applications editor. He blogs at Hacker Journalist.

Ushahidi

Originally built to map reports from citizens of post-election violence in Kenya, Ushahidi’s development of interactive, collaborative and open source mapping technology has been adopted by aid agencies and news organisations alike. It’s a new means of storytelling and a project that’s likely to develop more tools for journalists in the future.

More »

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Guardian Local on Twitter; wants to talk to local bloggers

Guardian Local, which launched sites for three cities in February,  introduced a new Twitter feed yesterday, @GdnLocal, with the aim of helping hyperlocal sites and local bloggers in the UK “stay connected”.

Guardian Local editor Sarah Hartley says:

If you run a hyperlocal blog and want to be included in the lists for each region or need an easy way follow the activity going on in your area, I look forward to sharing with you @GdnLocal.

In other Guardian Local news, the project is advertising for a new blogger for its Edinburgh site. We’re told that launch blogger, Tom Allan, has decided to move on and will concentrate on other multimedia projects, after six months in the role. He will, however, continue to contribute to the blog, said GNM.

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Hyperlocal ad trial spreads to Guardian Local’s Edinburgh and Cardiff sites

April 26th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Advertising, Local media

As reported by Journalism.co.uk last week, the Guardian’s trial of hyperlocal advertising system Addiply has spread across all three of its recently launched local “beatblogs”. The system, which offers low cost adverts that can be sold on a weekly or monthly basis with different rates for different sized customers, went live on the Leeds site last Thursday before being introduced to the Cardiff and Edinburgh Guardian Local sites.

Publishers retain 90 per cent of the revenue earned from the ads, with the remaining 10 per cent split between Addiply and PayPal.

“One of the things Addiply is good for is for people to be able to promote their own community events and local services. It’s not designed or intended to bring in big name advertisers; it’s more for the smaller advertisers in the community or for people listing individual items for sale,” Sarah Hartley, Guardian Local launch editor, told Journalism.co.uk last week.

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Guardian names three new Beatbloggers

January 29th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Yesterday afternoon Guardian News & Media announced its three new beat bloggers, part of the Guardian Local initiative.

The Local project is an “experimental small-scale community approach to local newsgathering,” according to launch editor Sarah Hartley.

Hartley writes:

We had a tremendous response to the advertised positions and, as the Local launch editor, I’m delighted to announce that the project has reached an important milestone, with the appointment of three journalists to take on the new roles in the three cities.

Tom Allan, Hannah Waldram and John Baron have been based at the Guardian’s offices in Kings Place this week to undergo training and will be starting work on their beats of Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds respectively from next week. The Local blogs will be launched during the first half of this year although no dates have been confirmed.

I’m thrilled that these talented journalists have joined this exciting new venture at such an important time, and more details will be announced in the coming months.

Full post at this link…

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