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Sidewiki: some journalistic questions for Google

Sidewiki (noun): a browser sidebar that enables you to contribute and read helpful information alongside any web page (source: Google.com)

or…

Sidewiki (noun): an attempt by our online colonial masters to own all of the comments on our websites (source: Andrew Keen)

On this occasion Jeff Jarvis would not do what Google is doing: the CUNY journalism professor and WWGD? author is worried. He can see some potential dangers for the development of Sidewiki, launched by Google yesterday. His commenters share their thoughts too, in a split conversation between the BuzzMachine comments thread and the Sidewiki (you’ll have to take the plunge and install it if you want to see how that looks). Jarvis says:

“This goes contrary to Google’s other services – search, advertising, embeddable content and functionality – that help advantage the edge. This is Google trying to be the centre. Quite ungoogley, I’d say.”

Sidewiki has the potential to be great for freedom of speech but what about the nastier side? Publishers no longer have control of the look of part of their site. Google has tested the application at news organisations it says – testimonials here – but it’s still developing its technology, and asking for feedback.

Some initial thoughts, then. The main concerns for journalists and news organisations might include:

1) Will it lose money for news sites?

Andrew Keen, writing for the Telegraph, comments:

“Sidewiki is a brazen attempt to own the Internet. What Sidewiki would do is replace/supplement the Telegraph comments section on this page with a Google comments page. So all comments on the internet would, in theory, be owned by Google (which, presumably, they could sell advertisements around – thereby eating into my salary).”

2) What happens about libel?

Google publishes its programme policy here, at this link.

‘Keep it legal,’ it says (and it will report us to the ‘appropriate authorities’ if we don’t).

“If you believe that someone is violating these policies, use the ‘Report Abuse’ button within Sidewiki.  We’ll review your report and take action if appropriate.  Just because you disagree with certain material or find it to be inappropriate doesn’t mean we’ll remove it.  We understand that our users have many different points of view, and we take this into consideration when reviewing reports of abuse.  Although not all reports will result in removal, we do rely on our users to tell us about materials that may be violating our policies.”

Have fun with that Google!

Here are a few questions about the legal aspect from Jo Wadsworth, online editor at the Brighton Argus, for whom comment moderation is part of her job:

“How long does it takes to get abusive comments removed? Where’s moderation criteria? Can site switch it off? Can trolls be banned?”

Meanwhile, SEO consultant and blogger Malcolm Coles is having a play… This morning, he says, he was finding it hard to resist the temptation to be the first to sidewiki the home page of UK newspapers. But someone else got there first.

Please add your own thoughts and questions. In the Google Sidewiki – to your left, via Twitter (@journalismnews) or in the comments…

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#FollowJourn @lgcplus/online editor

September 21st, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#FollowJourn: Robin Latchem

Who? Online editor for Local Government Chronicle.

What? Latchem is responsible for maintaining and developing LGC online. This includes both day-to-day reports and introducing digital content to complement LGC’s magazine offering.

Where? @lgcplus

Contact? robin.latchem [at] emap.com

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura [at] journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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#FollowJourn: @martinstabe/online editor

September 11th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#FollowJourn: Martin Stabe

Who? Online editor at Retail Week

What? Former new media editor at Press Gazette; currently online editor for Retail Week magazine. He tracks developments in digital media on his personal blog.

Where? @martinstabe and www.martinstabe.com/blog

Contact? blog [at] martinstabe.com and martin.stabe [at] emap.com

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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Comment Central: New commenting system for Times Online

The Times has introduced a new commenting system for its website lifting the upper word limit for comments from 300 to 2,000 and introducing a registration system.

“This will enable us to highlight and reward our best commenters, and weed out our least constructive,” writes online editor, Tom Whitwell – though no fixed reward system is mentioned, as yet.

Commenting systems differ between the paper’s blogs and the rest of its editorial content, but there are plans to switch the blogs over to the new platform.

Full post at this link…

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Daily Sentinel: How to use Twitter to break news from the field

The Sentinel’s online editor, Matthew Stoff, and lead developer, David Durrett, have compiled a handy ‘how to’ guide on using Twitter to report breaking news and building a Twitter widget for your site. (via Editors Weblog)

Full article at this link…

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Digital editors on Twitter – a list for networking and problem-solving

Since I started using Twitter I’ve always been amazed (and grateful) at how quickly calls for technological help and assistance with ideas and projects are answered. It’s one of the main reasons I’m a fan of Twitter.

There are plenty of media/journalist Twitter databases out there, but below are the beginnings of a list of digital editors on Twitter.

What do I mean by digital editor? In this instance, a journalist working primarily online, on web projects or co-ordinating multimedia output. The web editor of a newspaper site or magazine site, for example. It’s in no particular order, except for being divided by ‘traditional’ industry sectors at the moment, but if this isn’t useful, just let us know – would be great to get more international representatives too.

But the criteria for inclusion on the list are intentionally loose – this is aimed at networking, problem-solving and idea sharing between journalists working in the same space and similar roles. (Feel free to nominate any additions or drop us a tweet @journalismnews)

UPDATE April 16please read blog post two on how to message the group via Twitter

Newspapers

Alison Gow (@alisongow) – executive editor, digital, Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo

Kevin Matthews (@kmatt) – head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Neil MacDonald (@xxnapoleonsolo) – deputy head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Jo Wadsworth (@jowadsworth) – web editor, Brighton Argus

Tom Pegg (@tomatthechad) – digital content manager, Mansfield Chad

James Goffin (@jamesgoffin) – regional web producer, Archant

Sarah Booker (@sarah_booker) – web editor, Worthing Herald

Gustav Svensson (@gustavsvensson) – web editor, entertainment and arts, Sydsvenskan.se

Stephen Emerson (@stephen_emerson) – deputy online editor, Scotsman.com

Sam Shepherd (@SamShepherd) – online journalist, Bournemouth Daily Echo

Joanna Geary (@timesjoanna) – web development editor, business, Times Online

Sarah Hartley (@foodiesarah) – head of online editorial, MEN Media

Iain Hepburn (@iainmhepburn) – online editor, DailyRecord.co.uk

Lucia Adams (@luciatimes) – web development editor, Times Online

Carmen Boles (@carmenb) – online news editor, Gazette.com

Marcus Warren (@MarcusWa) – editor, Telegraph.co.uk

Dan Owen (@danowen) – executive editor online, Trinity Mirror

Steve Nicholls (@steve_nicholls) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Post

Anna Jeys (@ajeys) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Mail

Steve Wollaston (@stevewollaston) – multimedia editor, BPM Media and Sunday Mercury

Julie Martin (@jules_27) – Teesside Evening Gazette

Helen Dalby (@helendalby) – regional multimedia manager, NCJ Media

Nick Turner (@nickincumbria) – head of digital content, CN Group

Christian Dunn (@christiandunn) – digital news editor, NWN Media

Hugh Dixon (@hugh_d) – web editor and production editor, thisisbath/Bath Chronicle

Paul Cockerton (@paulcockerton) – web editor, Lancashire Telegraph

Dan Owens (@hornetdan1979) – deputy news editor, Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Dan Kerins (@dankerins) – web journalist, Southern Daily Echo

Broadcast

Marsha Graham (@marshagoldcoast) – multimedia manager for 102.9FM Hot Tomato, Australia

Rob Winder (@robwinder) – news editor, Al Jazeera website, Washington DC

Tom Thorogood (@TomThorogood) – digital news editor, MTV

Magazines

Martin Stabe (@martinstabe) – online editor, Retail Week

Victoria Thompson (@VicThompson) – assistant online editor, Nursing Times

Neil Durham (@NeilDurham) – deputy editor, GP and Independent Nurse

John Robinson (@PulseToday) – digital content manager, Pulse Today

Peter Houston (@p_houston) – editorial director for Advanstar Communications, Europe

Alex Smith (@alexsmith68) – web editor, Building.co.uk

Keira Daley (@daleyrant) – web editor, Australian print magazine

Lara McNamee (@lovelylara33) – assistant intelligence editor, ICIS

Gabriel Fleming (@gabefleming) – online editor, Nursing Times

Janie Stamford (@janiestamford) – contract catering editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper

Robin Latchem (@lgcplus) – online editor, Local Government Chronicle

Keely Stocker (@keelystocker) – digital content manager, Drapers Online

Scott Matthewman (@scottm) – assistant manager, The Stage

Specialist website

Michael Hubbard (@michaelomh) – founder and music editor, MusicOmh

Krystal Sim (@krystalsim) – web editor for sustainability magazine BSD – bsdlive.co.uk

Arun Marsh (@ArunMarsh) – content producer/editor, Local Gov

Rick Waghorn (@MrRickWaghorn) – publisher, MyFootbalWriter

Emma Waddingham (@emmawad) online editor, Legal-Medical.co.uk

Michael McCarthy (@HealthGuide) online editor, LocalHealthGuide

Steve Gooding (@rmtimestech)- Romney Marsh Times

Manoj Solanki (@ManojSolanki) – SeekBroadband.com

Graham Holliday (@noodlepie) – digital editor, Frontline Club

Craig McGinty (@craigmcginty) – publisher, ThisFrenchLife

Mark Crail (@markcrail) – managing editor, XpertHR

Freelance

Adam Oxford (@adamoxford)

Rachel Colling (@rachcolling)

Ashanti Omkar (@ashantiomkar)

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US Elections: Guardian rolls out special homepage

November 5th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

To complement its liveblogged coverage of election day, which is still going at time of writing, Guardian.co.uk has changed its homepage design to the below:

This is a template that could be used for other major news events. As BBC News online editor Steve Herrmann told Journalism.co.uk earlier this week the election has been a great opportunity for news sites to experiment with coverage and layout, developing features for future use.

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NMK: ‘What happens to newspapers?’ – place your bets, please

October 29th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Rounding off last night’s discussion panel hosted by New Media Knowledge on the future of the newspaper industry, panelists were asked what or who they would put their money on for success and survival over the next few years.

Martin Stabe, media blogger, former new media editor of Press Gazette and online editor of Retail Week, plumped for niche and expert content:

“I would bet on anyone who can create unique, high quality content. I’d bet on the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal – those corners of more generalist publications that become more expert,” he said.

Newspapers need to have ‘the ability to compete with all the freely produced expert content that is sometimes better than what is produced by the professionals’, he added.

Neil McIntosh, head of editorial development at Guardian.co.uk, agreed that niche coverage could help newspapers compete with the blogosphere.

“In areas where blogs are working really well, mainstream media has two options: to raise its game and start covering those niches better; or it can get out and as Jeff Jarvis says, ‘do what you do best, and link to the rest’,” said McIntosh

“Those are two areas where mainstream media can move forward but it’s about acknowledging that this world exists.”

Assistant editor at Telegraph Media Group, Justin Williams said trusted brands and content areas such as finance, politics and certain sports are best placed to survive.

“Brands that are trusted and valued no matter how they are produced, those brands will still be here in 10 years time. You’re looking at areas like finance, politics, certain kinds of sport, where we still thrive. During the financial crisis most of us have turned to established news outlets,” said Williams.

“We’re positioned in those markets already, if we can hone in on what’s important to our readers and deliver it in a smart way, then we [newspapers] can be here in 10 years time.”

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‘A significant challenge’ over at New Jersey’s Exploding Newsroom

October 10th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Multimedia, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Wednesday’s edition of the Exploding Newsroom: Jim Willse, the editor of the New Jersey based newspaper, the Star-Ledger, talks about the future of the newsroom now that the conditions have been met to avoid a sale or closure of the paper.

“We face a significant challenge,” he says.

You can follow the online editor John Hassell’s Exploding Newsroom on Facebook, at the blog, and over at Kyte TV.

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Images from a newsroom: the Star-Ledger gets webcast ready

June 11th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Newspapers

John Hassell, online editor at the Star-Ledger newspaper, has posted pictures of the Ledger’s newsroom as it prepares for its new webcast news show.

The noon bulletin, which will be launched this summer, is being developed with help from Michael Rosenblum, who helped build Current.tv.

Check out Hassell’s pics on Flickr.

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