Tag Archives: social tools

#media140 – Impure visual data tool to tell the story

There has been a range of session formats at #media140, from in-depth keynote speeches and discussion roundtables, to more jam-packed workshops showcasing some of the latest tools in social technology.

Today I attended one of the latter, a session on visualising data by Spanish design house Bestiario.

While it was, in a way, a whirlwind tour of the company’s information processing platform Impure, delegates managed to get a great overview of what it can produce (on my part only with thanks to my translator!)

The focus of the session was not about the written story, but simply visualisation, telling the story with infographics using, in essence, a drag and drop technique.

Just today the Guardian published a visualisation by Bestiario looking at who the UK gives aid to and how it has changed.

For a more detailed explanation of how to use the tool you can visit the site itself, but in simple terms the platform enables journalists to create data visualisation projects.

Users can import data files (csv), convert into a table, pull out specific fields, create different data structures and also select from a range of visualisation formats, based on the data you’re working with.

The final visualisations are publicly published on Impure, and users can also embed the infographics on their own site.

At the moment the application is free to use, and the company says there will always be “an open version”, in order to build and maintain a community.

Nieman Journalism Lab: NYTimes appoints Jennifer Preston as social media editor

An internal memo from the New York Times, obtained by Nieman Journalism Lab, confirms the appointment of Jennifer Preston as the title’s first social media editor.

“Jennifer will work closely with editors, reporters, bloggers and others to use social tools to find sources, track trends, and break news as well as to gather it. She will help us get comfortable with the techniques, share best practices and guide us on how to more effectively engage a larger share of the audience on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Digg, and beyond,” says the memo to employees.

While Preston will work on developing best practice procedures for social media use at the Times, the memo is clear that this is a progressive issue: “[W]e all need to figure this out together,” it states.

Full memo at this link…

Social Media Journalist: “BBC journalists are increasingly using Del.icio.us to collaborate and turn research into content” Robin Hamman, BBC Senior Broadcast Journalist

Journalism.co.uk talks to journalists across the globe about social media and how they see it changing their industry. This week, Robin Hamman of the BBC.

Image of Robin Hamman, senior broadcast journalist BBC

1) Who are you and what do you do?
Robin Hamman, I’m a Senior Broadcast Journalist at the BBC where I spend much of my time showing people how to use social media and blogging as part of their ordinary programme and content making processes.

2) Which web or mobile-based social media tools do you use on a daily basis and why?
Most of them! My day starts with a visit to my web-based RSS reader that pulls in all the new content from around 90 blogs and other sources I subscribe to.

Some of those feeds are also things like Technorati, Icerocket and Google blog searches on various keywords. This means I very rarely have to proactively seek out content on the web anymore.

As I read through my RSS feeds I use Del.icio.us to bookmark and share the interesting content I find. This, in turn, publishes into my blog automatically at lunchtime – again, creating content out of something I’d do anyway.

If I’m out and about I’ll use Zonetag on my mobile to tag, location stamp and upload photos to Flickr. I also use Twitter to stay in touch with my friends and contacts, something via mobile, other times online.

If I’m planning to go out of town for work or a conference I put the details into Dopplr so I can see if any of my contacts are also going to be in town. I’m also a big user of Facebook – it, along with Twitter, has pretty much taken the place of email for me recently. I’m also experimenting with a few other social media tools such as qik, which broadcasts live video from my phone to the web, and some RSS aggregation tools like Yahoo Pipes.

3) Of the thousands of social media tools available could you single one out as having the most potential for news either as a publishing or news-gathering tool?
If the question had been simply about online tools, then RSS would be my choice, but as you’ve asked about social tools, Del.icio.us is the one I’d highlight as having a lot of potential.

Get over to the CommonCraft video about it and you’ll soon understand. BBC Journalists and production teams are increasingly discovering and using this great tool to collaborate more easily whilst researching and to turn their research process into content.

4) And the most overrated in your opinion?
Anything to do with video online – I just don’t get it. The only reason I shoot and post video online, aside from when I’m demonstrating how to do it, is to save my hands from having to transcribe a conference presentation that I’m live blogging.