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Tool of the week for journalists: Timeline

March 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Tool of the Week

Tool of the week: Timeline

What is it? A wizard to enable you to create and embed a timeline of curated content.

How is it of use to journalists? News sites often use a timeline for digital storytelling. This is a tool just released to enable you to do just that.

There are several examples, such as a Timeline of the Republican run-up.

Mashable compares Timeline to Storify, a tool that enables you to curate web content by dragging and dropping tweets and other media to create a story.

Mashable’s report states:

Timeline, created by Zach Wise, a multimedia journalist and journalism professor, was developed in partnership with the Knight News Innovation Lab at Northwestern University, where Wise teaches. The interactive tool allows users to generate timelines on the web by curating content from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Google Maps and SoundCloud.

“The tools that already exist on the web are almost all either hard on the eyes or hard to use,” said Wise. “Timeline is an open-source, JavaScript and HTML/HTML 5 based tool that creates elegant timelines.”

Timeline does not offer the simplicity of Storify and although aimed at non-techies, it will require you to add some code to the head of your site and will take a quite a bit longer to create than a Storify.

One way you can create the timeline is by using a Google Doc. Timeline provides a template and you can simply add your links to the media.

For example, the below screenshot shows how we used the Google Doc template to create a timeline of some of the key phone-hacking moments, adding a Flickr photo, tweets and YouTube footage.

 

 

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Evening Leader plots UFO sightings with Dipity

October 9th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Multimedia

Nice use of timeline builder Dipity by the Evening Leader: the paper has plotted videos and text reports of UFO sitings in the area onto a timeline, turned it into a widget and embedded it on its website.

What’s extra nice is that the Dipity widget lets readers look at the info as a timeline, map, flipbook or list. Using the third-party service helps the newspaper get extra mileage out of what are no doubt already popular online stories.

The feature has also been made ‘public’ through dipity’s site to help drive traffic back to the Evening Leader.

The tool has previously been used by the Manchester Evening News for its coverage of a proposed congestion charge for the city; and the Liverpool Daily Post to create a 24-hour snapshot of Liverpool as this year’s European Capital of Culture.

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