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Wired.com gets playful with cow clicking interactive

January 4th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Funny, Magazines, Multimedia

Wired.com has published a feature about tongue-in-cheek gaming, adding a playful twist by turning the article into a game.

In a feature called the curse of Cow Clicker: How a cheeky satire became a videogame hit, Wired.com reports on how a “cow-clicking game” (FarmVille), inspired another cow clicking game (Cow Clicker), by adding a cow clicking element to the feature – perhaps a first in digital storytelling.

Every time a reader clicks on the word “cow” – repeated 97 times within the feature – a graphic of a cow appears, with the “cownter” keeping track of how many cows have been clicked on. The cows in fact obscure the text therefore making it more difficult to read the article.

Readers can also click on the graphical cows to send them to their Facebook friends.

The feature is intended to “echo the theme” of the Cow Clicker Facebook game discussed in the feature, Shannon Perkins editor of interactive technologies at Wired.com told Journalism.co.uk. “It’s an intentionally trivial experience obscuring a more content rich experience,” he said.

Cow Clicker was created by Ian Bogost, a game developer, academic and co-author of Newsgames: Journalism at play. The game, which peaked at 56,000 players, was inspired by popular Facebook game FarmVille.

The Wired.com featured includes an interview with Bogost.

… This thought popped into my head,” Bogost says: “Games like FarmVille are cow clickers. You click on a cow, and that’s all you do. I remember thinking at the time that it felt like a one-liner, the kind of thing you would tweet. I just put it in the back of my mind.”

He developed Cow Clicker with “transparently stupid prizes—bronze, silver, and golden udders and cowbells—that people could win only by amassing an outlandish number of points. (A golden cowbell, for instance, requires 100,000 clicks.)”

On one level, this was all part of the act. Bogost was inhabiting the persona of a manipulative game designer, and therefore it made sense to pull every dirty trick he could to make the game as sticky and addictive as possible. But as he grew into the role, he got a genuine thrill from his creation’s popularity. Instead of addressing a few hundred participants at a conference, he was sharing his perspective with tens of thousands of players, many of whom checked in several times a day.

  • Shannon Perkins, editor of interactives at Wired.com, who is behind this interactive will be speaking on newsgames at news:rewired. Also presenting in the session is Bobby Schweizer, Ian Bogost’s co-author of Newsgames: Journalism at play.
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Conde Nast appoints new chief technology officer

Magazine publisher Conde Nast has a new chief technology officer – whose first task will be to manage the expansion of the group’s publications, according to Wired.com.

Conde Nast, which is the parent organisation of Wired.com, announced the arrival of Joe Simon, formerly chief technology officer at Viacom, yesterday. Wired.com says the new recruit will be faced with the job of extending the company’s portfolio onto multiple platforms.

Periodicals of all stripes are staring down plenty of challenges these days, due to the massive proliferation of alternate entertainment and information options in these connected times. But they’re also faced with a major opportunity: to expand beyond the paper and website formats. The iPad is clearly a step forward in this regard, and looks fairly innovative now. But it’s by no means the final word on digital magazine publishing, according to Sauerberg, Jr., who hopes his new hire will expand the company’s reach potentially to dozens of further platforms.

See the full post here…

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Wired.com: 26 per cent of Wired mobile traffic now from iPad

“Less than three weeks after its launch, Apple’s iPad already accounts for 26 percent of the mobile devices accessing Wired.com,” the technology site and magazine reports.

Overall, mobile devices account for between 2.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent of our traffic. For April 3 to 19, iPad users represented 0.91 per cent of total site traffic.

Full story at this link…

(via Martin Stabe)

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Writing a feature for Wired magazine – live

Wired magazine is publishing a blog about the commissioning and writing of a feature about Charlie Kaufman.The latest installment on September 5 sees some ‘creative brainstorming’ because Kaufman doesn’t want to sit for a photo-shoot.

The project outline on Wired.com says it’s ‘an almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature.’

Wired creative director Scott Dadich’s SPD blog, The Process, explains the design side of things. It posts internal e-mails, audio, video, drafts, memos, and layouts.

The thinking behind the one-off experiment is to ‘pull back the curtain’ on the process of making magazines. See the video The Birth of Storyboard for how it all began

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Wired.com: Wikileaks to auction Hugo Chavez aide emails

August 28th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Leaked documents website Wikileaks is to auction off emails from a ‘top aide’ of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to the highest media bidder.

The site is experimenting with the auction as a new revenue model.

The successful bidder will receive embargoed access to the messages, which will later be made publicly available by the site.

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Crowd-funded journalism project Spot.us starts first campaign

July 9th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

Spot.us, a project to fund community news stories by donations from that audience, has started to raise money for its first brief – a feature on the supply of biofuels to California.

This is the first project submitted to Spot.us, which was set up by David Cohn in May with the help of a grant of $340,000 from the Knight News Challenge.

The brief is asking for a 1,500-2,000 word feature with photos and has been submitted by Alexis Madrigal, a staff writer at Wired.com.

So far $50 has been pledged out of a required $250 with two contributions (one anonymous and one from Cohn himself) of $25.

The site is not-for-profit so the donations will be used to fund the journalism and get articles wider distribution through local media outlets.

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YouTomb: where YouTube videos go when they die

May 21st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia

Ever wondered where the videos that have fallen off YouTube – or been pushed – end up?

Enter YouTomb – the elephant’s graveyard of clips that have been removed from the video sharing site for copyright infringements and other offences.

Speaking to Wired.com, YouTomb’s creators – a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – say the site isn’t about reshowing illegal material, but is for tracking cases where remixed and satirical clips have been removed for alleged copyright infringements.

“MIT Free Culture became especially interested in the issue after YouTube announced that it would begin using filtering technology to scan users’ video and audio for near-matches with copyrighted material. While automating the takedown process may make enforcement easier, it also means that content falling under fair-use exceptions and even totally innocuous videos may receive some of the collateral damage,” a mission statement on the site reads.

As such the videos on YouTomb are represented by stills and are not available to play, but show stats on how many views they attracted before being pulled.

Despite YouTube’s recent efforts to step up copyright policing and create an automate removal process, removed videos live on in some form through YouTomb, which takes on the mantle of a video watchdog.

According to the site, it is currently monitoring 223834 videos and has identified 4428 videos taken down for alleged copyright violation and 13522 videos taken down for other reasons.

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