Author Archives: ruth morgan

BBC uses Ordinance Survey maps for traffic jam mashup

jamcamgrab.jpg

The BBC is using Ordinance Survey maps to display traffic hotspots based on info from its Jam Cams.

Clicking through the flash-generated map takes you through to a live Jam Cam video feed which is updated every 10 minutes. The bigger the circles on the map, the more cameras are available in that area.

The BBC formerly used Google maps for the project, but has switched to the new format

Backpacker.com joins Web 2.0

Backpacker magazine has relaunched its website, which now contains new multimedia and GPS supported content.

The site features an interactive map containing more than 1200 GPS-supported hikes, expert blogs and on-the-scene video.

Screenshot of the Backpacker website

“Our primary focus was to create the ultimate outdoor adventure renaissance experience on the web” said editor Anthony Cerretani in a press release.

“We wanted users not only to get the most up-to-date information from the site, but also to be able to participate in the site’s evolution, utilising Web 2.0 applications to post trips, gear reviews, comments and more.”

The American site was rebuilt from the ‘bottom up’ responding to readers’ ideas for the new look.

The site will now update its content daily and make use of social media tools including RSS feeds, del.icio.us and Facebook.

Velocix launches free multimedia content delivery systerm

A digital delivery service for sites looking to host video, music or games online has been launched today with the creators claiming its as the first free service of its king.

The Velocix Accelerator delivery service provides can support the same media as current systems costing around £5,000 per year, the firm claims.

“Velocix is committed to disrupting the traditional CDN [Content Delivery Network] marketplace with breakthrough delivery performance, economics and control,” said Phill Robinson, CEO at Velocix.

The new offering includes a 500GB per month delivery allowance for file download and video streaming and is already being used by sites Fifzine and Uploaded.TV.

Thomson Reuters: Internal blogging ban for staff

Thomson Reuters employees are banned from using blogs for internal communication or for airing differences with colleagues or the company itself.

The new code of ethics for the merged company was unveiled last week (thanks to PaidContentUK for the link), and ruled that: ‘[I]t’s OK to mention Thomson Reuters in a personal blog’, but not to blog about non-public company information, customers or clients.

The document continues:

“Personal blogs should never be used for internal communications among fellow employees and you should not use a personal blog to air any differences with co-workers, Thomson Reuters or people or companies that we do business with.”

Blogging was just one of the many subjects covered by the 36-page document, which also banned workers from discussing Thomson Reuters stock or competitors in online chat rooms and from receiving client gifts.

The code also has a dedicated section on preventing laptop data theft, including point 5: “If you need to put your laptop down, try to put it in front of you, and not behind you or to your side.”

Yahoo! and CNET enter partnership to reach new audiences

Yahoo And CNET Networks have entered into a three-year partnership covering content, advertising and search marketing.

The partnership will extend the reach of both companies, as they give each other access to a huge new audience.

CNET Networks, with brands including Download.com, GameSpot, TV.com and CHOW, will provide Yahoo with technology content for Yahoo Tech and Yahoo News, including news stories, reviews and video.

CNET expects to increase its ‘brand reach’ by tens of millions of people in this way on US Yahoo sites alone.

“This announcement builds on our strategy to be the partner of choice for leading internet publishers looking to maximize their revenue potential and audience engagement,” said Todd Teresi, senior vice president of the Yahoo Publisher Channel, in a press release.

CNET advertisers will be able to target CNET users while they are on the Yahoo network, and the company can offer its marketers advertising options on the video content it provides to Yahoo.

Twitter service soars to new heights in Japan

Last week’s launch of Twitter in Japan is showing early signs of success, reports ReadWriteWeb.

The new version was born when it was noticed that a significant percentage of Twitter usage was originating from Japan, despite the service being in English.

Now the dedicated Japanese version has been launched many sites are predicting an explosion of Twitter in the country.

Twitterlocal shows that Tokyo already has the highest usage of any city – almost three-times higher than second place location San Francisco.

Google Trends supports Twitterlocal statistics, as its stats show: Japan as the region with the highest overall usage, Japanese cities make up the top three globally and the Japanese language is the most prevalent across the service.

An interesting difference in the new version was the inclusion of ‘some commercial experimentation’ by Twitter. The Japanese service carries advertising media from two clients. The move has been interpreted by many of a sign of things to come for the rest of the service.

ONA 2008 Awards: new categories reflect developments in online news

The Online News Association has made changes to the 2008 Online Journalism Awards, including the introduction of two new categories.

General Excellence in Online Journalism – Non English and Online Video Presentation have been introduced as award categories in response to the many developments within online news since 2000, when the awards began.

The former applies to non-English sites anywhere in the world to expand the scope of the awards, and the latter rewards excellence in video journalism original to the web.

There is now be a total of 12 awards covering a wide range of categories from niche sites to investigative journalism.

The deadline for all entries is May 31.

Digital Journal launches revenue sharing for its citizen journalists

Digital Journal has relaunched its citizen journalism site, which now includes a revenue sharing initiative for citizen journalists.

Regular contributors to the site can now qualify for a share of the ‘moneypot’ made up from advertising revenue and the site has reportedly already paid out $38,000 to citizen journalists.

The initiative applies to news stories, rather than blogs, journals, groups, photos or video, and is calculated on the number of news stories each citizen journalist uploads rather than purely on the popularity of individual posts.

Citizen journalists who would like to be paid for their contributions must first have their work approved by the Digital Journal board to ensure they ‘have a solid understanding of spelling and grammar, and can show an ability to find and research relevant news.’

The move distinguishes the social news site from competitors such as Newsvine and Norg as the first online community to share a portion of revenue, albeit to a small percentage of its total users.

Ohio’s leading newspapers to share stories across web

Eight of the largest newspapers in the US state of Ohio have forged an alliance to share their top stories.

The Columbus Dispatch, The Toledo Blade, the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Akron Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer are amongst newspapers making up the membership of the newly formed Ohio News Organisation (with the unfortunate acronym, OHNO).

Rather than relying to the Associated Press to decide at the end of each news day whether or not to distribute their stories, the papers will now post content to private website – accessible only to those eight newsrooms – from which partner organisations will be able to select pieces to use.

Ted Diadiun, readers representative for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote in his blog that readerships of individual paper would not be threatened as each covers a distinct city, and that story pooling would help them provide a better news service for readers.

“In today’s world, breaking news is measured in minutes, not days,” he wrote.

“It’s important that we provide our readers with the best news reports we can, as soon as we can, on our website and in the best and most current newspaper possible each day.”

All involved are adamant that the move doesn’t signal the end of journalistic competition.

However, no mention has been made on whether any money changes hands for the use of stories or whether AP will still syndicate the stories that are being placed in the new system.

It could just be a neat way to bypass the wire service and cut the cost of using its copy for local news.

Newspaper Awards winners – Timesonline.co.uk named eNews Site of the Year

Timesonline.co.uk was named Electronic News Site of the Year at last night’s Newspaper Awards held at the London Hilton.

The Best Use of New Media prize went to local newspaper Hull Daily Mail’s site thisisyourmail.co.uk.

The Financial Times, fresh from wins at this months British Press Awards, won its third National Newspaper of the Year award of 2008 and the award for National Colour Supplement of the Year for the seventh year running.

The Guardian was highly commended in four out of its five nominated categories, but left without a win.