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Tool of the week for journalists: Geofeedia, to locate real-time photos, videos and tweets

Tool of the week: Geofeedia

What is it? A tool that allows you to search for a location and find geolocated tweets, photos and videos.

How is it of use to journalists? This tool offers potential for journalists faced with verifying a breaking news story. Search for a postcode, country, school or sporting stadium and you can see geolocated social media content posted on Twitter, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr and YouTube.

Imagine hearing reports of a fire. With Geofeedia you could enter the address and see what images, videos and tweets are being shared on social media.

Hat tip: Poynter, which has reported that Geofeedia came out of private beta earlier this week.

Find out more about verification by reading this Journalism.co.uk guide.

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London riots: Five ways journalists used online tools

Since riots started in London on Saturday, 6 August, journalists – and many non-journalists, who may or may not think of themselves as citizen reporters – have been using a variety of online tools to tell the story of the riots and subsequent cleanup operation.

Here are five examples:

1. Maps

James Cridland, who is managing director of Media UK, created a Google Map – which has had more than 25,000 views.

Writing on his blog (which is well worth a read), Cridland explains how and why he verified the locations of riots before manually adding reports of unrest to his map one by one.

I realised that, in order for this map to be useful, every entry needed to be verified, and verifiable for others, too. For every report, I searched Google News, Twitter, and major news sites to try and establish some sort of verification. My criteria was that something had to be reported by an established news organisation (BBC, Sky, local newspapers) or by multiple people on Twitter in different ways.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, he explained there was much rumour and many unsubstantiated reports on Twitter, particularly about Manchester where police responded by repeatedly announcing they had not had reports of copycat riots.

A lot of people don’t know how to check and verify. It just shows that the editor’s job is still a very safe one.

Hannah Waldram, who is community co-ordinator at the Guardian, “used Yahoo Pipes, co-location community tools and Google Maps to create a map showing tweets generated from postcode areas in London during the riots”. A post on the OUseful blog explains exactly how this is done.

Waldram told Journalism.co.uk how the map she created last night works:

The map picks up on geotagged tweets using the #Londonriots hashtag in a five km radium around four post code areas in London where reports of rioting were coming in.

It effectively gives a snapshot of tweets coming from a certain area at a certain time – some of the tweets from people at home watching the news and some appearing to be eyewitness reports of the action unfolding.

2. Video

Between gripping live reporting on Sky News, reporter Mark Stone uploaded footage from riots in Clapham to YouTube (which seems to have inspired a Facebook campaign to make him prime minister).

3. Blogs

Tumblr has been used to report the Birmingham riots, including photos and a statement from West Midlands Police with the ‘ask a question’ function being put to hugely effective use.

4. Curation tools

Curation tools such as Storify, used to great effect here by Joseph Stashko to report on Lewisham; Storyful, used here to tell the story of the cleanup; Bundlr used here to report the Birmingham riots, and Chirpstory, used here to show tweets on the unravelling Tottenham riots, have been used to curate photos, tweets, maps and videos.

5. Timelines

Channel 4 News has this (Flash) timeline, clearly showing when the riots were first reported and how unrest spread. Free tools such as Dipity and Google Fusion Tables (see our how to: use Google Fusion Tables guide) can be used to create linear (rather than mapped) timelines.

If you have seen any impressive interactive and innovative coverage of the riots please add a link to the comments below.

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News sites can remove YouTube logo for embedded video

News sites and blogs no longer have to display YouTube’s logo on embedded videos.

YouTube announced the change on its blog, where it has published a full list of player parameters.

To remove the YouTube logo from the player when displaying a video on your site just add the code ?modestbranding=1 to  the end of the URL. For example:

<iframe width=”425″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/IytNBm8WA1c?modestbranding=1” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

A small YouTube text label will still show up in the upper-right corner of a paused video when you hover over the player.

The video-sharing site has also introduced ‘As Seen On’ YouTube pages. These pages bring together videos from news sites which regularly display YouTube videos, such as the Guardian, which now has its own As Seen On page.

A YouTube blog post explains how it does this:

By crawling web feeds of sites that have embedded videos, we’ve built dedicated pages that highlight your embedded videos. This means that there is now a place on YouTube to find videos mentioned on your favorite blogs & sites. We think these pages provide a way to find new and interesting content while helping you dive deeper into the conversation around a video.

A third recent development is HD preview, the option to add a high-quality placeholder image to a YouTube video in the hope of encouraging more viewers to be tempted to click play.

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TechCrunch: YouTube launches creative commons licence option

It is being widely reported that YouTube has now launched the ability for users to choose how they licence their content through its video editor platform.

The new Creative Commons option will give other people permission to use footage, including for commercial purposes, with attribution, according to TechCrunch.

It is also reported that initially YouTube is working with content partners including C-SPAN and Al Jazeera to offer a starting batch of 10,000 videos under the creative commons license. Al Jazeera already makes some of its content available under a creative commons licence, shown in this repository. TechCrunch reports that it will not take long for YouTube’s 10,000 video store to grow.

That library will rapidly increase as more people switch their content over to Creative Commons, and there’s even a tool that will let you swap the license for a bunch of videos at once.

A request for more information from YouTube has not yet been answered, but details of YouTube’s creative commons policy can be found here.

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Editorsweblog: AFP launches YouTube channel for election coverage

International news wire Agence France-Presse (AFP) has launched a YouTube channel which will be dedicated to covering next year’s French presidential elections, the Editorsweblog reports.

The new channel has been launched in conjunction with Twitter and the CFJ journalism school (Centre de Formation des Journalistes), the report adds.

The channel hosts videos posted by political parties and tracks candidate popularity, but its main feature is an interface in which viewers can submit questions to candidates. The questions are then posed in interviews held by journalism students from CFJ.

Read more here…

See the YouTube channel here…

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YouTube founders buy Twitter and Facebook analytics client

Two of the founders of YouTube who bought social bookmarking site Delicious less than a fortnight ago have announced that they have now acquired Tap11, a service that measures what is being said about a brand or business on Facebook and Twitter.

AVOS is a new internet company set up Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who started YouTube, selling it to Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and it appears its two acquisitions will complement one another as they see “strong synergy” between the two platforms.

“Our vision is to create the world’s best platform for users to save, share, and discover new content,” said Hurley in a statement. “With the acquisition of Tap11, we will be able to provide consumer and enterprise users with powerful tools to publish and analyse their links’ impact in real-time.”

So what is Tap11?

Tap11 has a similar layout to other third-party Twitter and Facebook clients, such as TweetDeck. When users post messages using the platform Tap11 analyses the reaction. You can monitor your brand, competing brands, plus individual campaigns and tweets and sort those reading your tweets by Klout score, a measure of online influence.

It is currently free for a trial period but your are required to register and users will later have to pay a monthly subscription.

According to AVOS, Tap11 currently works with more than 500 major brands, media companies, and agencies. Twitter selected Tap11 as a top six app at their Chirp conference. The platform is also a Webby Award winner.

How is it useful to journalists?

News websites could use Tap11 as a way of measuring what is being said about them on Twitter and Facebook, how many click-throughs, retweets and mentions each story gets and per-tweet analytics shown in easy to read graphs and charts.

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Delicious users have until July to transfer to new owners

Users of the web-based social bookmarking site Delicious are being asked to transfer their accounts to AVOS, the social bookmarking and sharing platform’s new owners – the founders of YouTube.

Delicious transfer message

Users who do not to transfer to the new service will be able to access their accounts for approximately two months, after which time they will be closed.

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who set up YouTube and sold it to Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, said their “first hand expertise enabling millions of consumers to share their experiences with the world” will be used in developing Delicious.

“We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” Hurley said in a press release. “We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web.”

In December, Yahoo stated Delicious “was not a strategic fit” within the company and then announced it was seeking a buyer.

The sale to AVOS was announced yesterday for an undisclosed sum.

What is Delicious and why is it useful to journalists?

When it appeared that Delicious was to be shut down, Paul Bradshaw wrote an article on his Online Journalism Blog of its importance to journalists.

I am hugely sad about [the closure] – Delicious is possibly the most useful tool I use as a journalist, academic and writer.

Not just because of the way it makes it possible for me to share, store and retrieve information very easily – but because of the network of other users doing just the same whose overlapping fields of information I can share.

Delicious is a social bookmarking service for saving, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks.

It was started in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005.

Instead of having different bookmarks saved on every computer, Delicious allows you to save and tag news articles or interesting sites and share with others.

The Delicious logo is often displayed on the share option of a news story.

Users build their own network to follow or have their bookmarks followed by other users.

By tagging saved bookmarks Delicious users can keep track of areas of interest.

delicious screenshot

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Beet.tv: The role of YouTube as a platform for citizen reporters

April 27th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

The interesting video below, from Beet.tv, features an interview with Olivia Ma, manager of news at YouTube, who talks about the site’s role as a platform for raw video of newsworthy events, such as the Middle East uprisings, both to the general public and news organisations.

YouTube doesn’t actually do any vetting of this material, we simply provide a distribution platform for people to get the word out and to upload their videos so the world can see them … Everyone can be a reporter, everyone has the power to bear witness to the events that are happening around them and document that and share it with the world.

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Guardian: Royal Channel to cover wedding from all angles

Next week’s royal wedding is to be live streamed via YouTube, the Guardian reports, to accompany coverage on the official wedding website, on Facebook and on Flickr.

According to the Guardian Prince William’s press office will also be producing a live blog with commentary offering historical information, additional photographs and video footage, along the live stream on the Royal Channel on YouTube. See more on this on the official royal wedding website.

Besides the four-hour live web coverage, including the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, route to Buckingham Palace, and the newlyweds’ balcony appearance, there will be a video wedding book “for the public to sign”.

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lostremote: Newspaper pulls viral ‘homeless voice’ clip from YouTube

January 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Multimedia

The latest online viral video of Ted Williams – the homeless man with the ‘golden voice’ – has been pulled from YouTube today “due to a copyright claim by The Dispatch”.

However, as lostremote.com comments, the original Dispatch-filmed video may not have received such attention had it not reached YouTube:

What’s fascinating about this story is the role YouTube played in making this story viral in the first place. Nearly all of the social media links pointed to the YouTube clip, not to Dispatch.com, and YouTube’s own social community helped amplify the volume. While the content was compelling, the social distribution made it explode. Without it, we wonder if Ted Williams would still be roaming the roadside.

Today Ted Williams was re-united with his 90 year-old mother, The Dispatch reports.

Watch the original video on The Dispatch here.

Read the full post from lostremote.com here.

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