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Why the US and UK are leading the way on semantic web

Following his involvement in the first Datajournalism meetup in Berlin earlier this week, Martin Belam, the Guardian’s information architect, looks at why the US and UK may have taken the lead in semantic web, as one audience member suggested on the day.

In an attempt to try and answer the question, he puts forward four themes on his currybet.net blog that he feels may play a part. In summary, they are:

  • The sharing of a common language which helps both nations access the same resources and be included in comparative datasets.
  • Competition across both sides of the pond driving innovation.
  • Successful business models already being used by the BBC and even more valuably being explained on their internet blogs.
  • Open data and a history of freedom of information court cases which makes official information more likely to be made available.

On his full post here he also has tips for how to follow the UK’s lead, such as getting involved in hacks and hackers type events.

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Currybet: BBC News redesign demotes external linking

August 20th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Online Journalism

Following a series of posts looking at external linking on news sites, Guardian information architect Martin Belam uses the BBC as a case study for outlining how the company has experimented with linking over the years.

In an earlier post, he outlined cases in which news publishers should ensure links are included:

There are several clear use cases where additional links on news stories should be added as a matter of course, though – stories that reference medical or scientific reports, stories that reference published consultation papers, stories where quotes and pictures are sourced directly from the web, and stories specifically about websites.

In the latest post on the topic, he discusses how links on the BBC’s news website today appear a low priority.

So far, with the recent BBC News redesign, it remains the fact that external links are kept away from the body of an article. Actually, arguably they have been demoted, since whereas they used to appear in the side panel of a story, they now appear at the foot of the page.

Earlier this month, director of BBC Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers pledged to double the amount of external linking by BBC News Online.

See his full post here…

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Journalism Daily: Q&A with Growthspur, no Guardian pay walls and tools for news numeracy

August 11th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism Daily

Journalism.co.uk is trialling a new service via the Editors’ Blog: a daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site.

We hope you’ll find it useful as a quick digest of what’s gone on during the day (similar to our e-newsletter) and to check that you haven’t missed a posting.

We’ll be testing it out for a couple of weeks, so you can subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

Let us know what you think – all feedback much appreciated.

News and features:

Ed’s picks of the day:

Tip of the day:

#FollowJourn:

On the Editors’ Blog:

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Currybet.net: The issue of scarcity and news

August 11th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Martin Belam neatly illustrates the scarceness of scarcity when it comes to news online.

If in the charging for online news debate an ‘iTunes for news’ model is introduced, what are the factors that will push up the price and make people pay, he asks.

Full post at this link…

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Currybet.net: On the media burying its own bad news

July 20th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Martin Belam picks up on a blog post from No Rock And Roll Fun, which comments on the case of the BBC’s recent £45,000 payout in damages plus costs to the Muslim Council of Britain for comments made by a ‘panelist’ on Question Time.

The panelist was not named in the Telegraph’s report (nor the BBC’s) of the payout – despite being named elsewhere as the title’s ex-editor Charles Moore.

“With the impact of digital distribution, and the effect of the economic downturn, we have more than enough reasons to think that the news industry is dying. Treating our remaining paying customers like children who haven’t learnt to use Google yet makes us look like we have a collective death wish,” writes Belam.

Full post at this link…

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Currybet.net. ‘How major publishers are using social media to drive traffic – Part Six’

It’s worth taking a look at all Belam’s post in this series, links to which are below:

Part one – ‘A new frontier’

Part two – ‘Social bookmarking’

Part three – ‘The social bookmarking feedback loop’

Part four – ‘Twitter’

Part five – ‘Blogging’

Part six – ‘What about when it all goes wrong?’

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Currybet.net: Phil Spector Twitter hoax proof of ‘online honesty gap’ between bloggers and newspapers

Joanna Geary’s overt self-correction of a blog post about the Birmingham Mail and the ex-Villa player, Gareth Barry, in contrast with the mainstream media’s handling of the Phil Spector Twitter hoax, was evidence for blogger and information architect Martin Belam of the ‘online honesty gap’ between bloggers and newspapers.

Belam asks:

“Can you remember the last time you heard a newspaper executive stand up and say that ‘One of the problems our businesses face in the digital era is that we have repeatedly been caught publishing completely untrue things on the internet, and in the face of that, we then neither correct nor retract them, or apologise to our audience’?”

Jem Stone, communities executive for the BBC Audio and Music department, raises another point in the comments below Belam’s post: not all bloggers might follow Geary’s lead, he says. “Joanna is an excellent journalist who deploys blogs, tweets, social media in her work. So making those corrections comes naturally to her. But not all bloggers do this do they?”

Full post at this link…

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Currybet.net: Regulation, news media and election coverage

June 5th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Martin Belam highlights an interesting comparison in yesterday’s UK media coverage of polling day: while the BBC suspended news blog comments entirely; the Sun touted its radio station as one of the only places that would be talking about politics on the day of the elections.

The BBC must adhere to its editorial guidelines on balance/political debate (see section 4.1), while SunTalk is self-regulated by the PCC.

“[W]hat does this tell us about our regulatory framework in a converged digital media landscape?” writes Belam.

“Can it be right that ‘a newspaper with a website broadcasting radio’ can behave differently on election day from ” radio station with a website publishing text’? And come the next General Election, will we be talking about how ‘It’s SunTalk Wot Won It’?

Full post at this link…

More from Journalism.co.uk on UK media regulation in the digital age:

UK media regulation – what’s the future?

Ofcom: Where does it stand on internet regulation?

BeatBlogging.Org: ‘UK news regulation stands in the way of newsroom convergence’

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Currybet.net: Google News not silenced by Alfie Patten restrictions

March 27th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

More brilliance from Martin Belam on the Mirror’s coverage of Alfie Patten and why, when you take down a story, you need to check the keyword stuffed headlines.

Despite silence from the UK press on developments in the case, a quick search for ‘Alfie Patten’ on Google News brings up a plethora of international stories too.

Full post at this link…

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Currybet.net: Mail Online comment rating is powerful tool

February 6th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Mail Online’s introduction of a rating system for comments left on articles in December gives the paper an insight into the audience’s depth of feeling for an issue, Belam writes.

Full story at this link…

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