User comments sway a trial’s change of venue

A long-running soap opera legal case here in Boulder involves the Midyettes, a couple whose 10-week-old baby died. Molly Midyette is serving a jail term for not preventing the death of her son, while Alex Midyette is set to stand trial for child abuse resulting in death. This week, Alex Midyette was granted a change…

Joining the TimesPeople

TimesPeople, the new “social” feature of NYTimes.com, is intriguing. It’s early beta (Firefox extension), so I’ll forgive it for being a little awkward to figure out. Here’s a CNET interview with the developers: A key element is finding your online friends also on it and sharing recommendations. I tried letting it look for people in…

User comments: good, bad and ugly

Like most newspaper websites these days, the Boulder Daily Camera‘s allows users to comment on stories. Staff monitors the comments and responds to user reports of abusive comments by removing offensive posts. It’s all good … well, some good, some not so. When you read bad comments, rememberthe good The Camera is my main local…

Those ‘sly’ marketers

We had a power outage in parts of Boulder County yesterday, and the Boulder Daily Camera covered it in a news story (if a bit late, since the Sunday crew apparently hasn’t been trained in web publishing). The very first user comment about the story appears to be from a sly marketer for a company…

Are you blogging less, tweeting more?

I have a few projects going right now, and I find that I’m remembering to post to this blog less often than I usually do. It’s not just that I’m busy, though; I’ve always been busy. No, I think that in part I’m blogging a bit less because I’m tweeting more. (To “tweet” is slang…

Your tweets are not private communication

I was a bit taken aback this evening when I saw that Derek Willis quoted one of my Twitter posts from earlier today on his blog, The Scoop. (That’s an insightful item, by the way, about the behind-the-scenes situation at the Washington Post where interactive star Rob Curley and his team are departing.) Now, I…

Distributed acts of media

I encourage you to take a 6-minute break and listen to this Seesmic video essay by Paul Bradshaw, senior lecturer in online journalism at Birmingham City University (UK), as he talks about new distribution models for news. It’s important stuff. Y’know, in the decade and a half that I’ve been involved in new media/online journalism…

Twittering reporters

WCNC-TV (Charlotte, North Carolina) web gal Kayla Castille wrote in today to report on a journalistic success with using Twitter: “I just wanted to update you on our Twitter coverage at WCNC. We did it for the primary yesterday, and it was incredibly successful. It was the 3rd most-viewed page on our site, right behind…

Recruit ‘citizen reporters’ or leverage who’s out there already?

When some news people think about “citizen journalism,” the inclination is to think of encouraging (and perhaps teaching) non-journalists to act like journalists. For example, my hometown paper features something called MyTown, which announces: “Post news, events and photos. Blog, create your own groups, set up RSS feeds, and build your own communities and web…

Opportunity: Create a ‘localpedia’

I encourage you you to check out the American Press Institute’s new report: “Newspaper Next 2.0: Making the Leap Beyond ‘Newspaper Companies’.” There’s some great advice in this free publication, and this week I’ll be pulling out a few tips and featuring them here. Principal author Stephen T. Gray’s primary message is that newspaper companies…

Put celebrity power to work by getting them to talk

Does your news organization have some celebrities on staff? Perhaps a star columnist, a sports reporter who’s well known, celebrity stringers (athletes, politicians), etc. Maybe the editor or publisher is a “star” in the community. Today’s tip will put those people in what may be an uncomfortable position: Have them dive in to discussion areas…

Put the people (pics) on your website

Have you thought about why social networks (aka, social utilities) like Facebook and MySpace quickly attracted tens of millions of users, and got them addicted? No need to think too hard. It’s because 1) people like to talk about themselves, and 2) people like to talk to their friends and know what’s going on in…