Monday, April 30, 2007

Web Mashups Turn Citizens Into Watchdogs

This article in Wired discusses how the ease of making mashups allows caring citizens to track and chart special interest money in Washington. The article also references, a website that tracks the California legislature's activities.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

ADOT cameras - see freeway conditions online

We've been doing some work for ADOT (Arizona Deppartment of Transportation) lately and I just noticed their website has some interesting interactive options. You can enter a freeway and access the local traffic camera or this link
( will show you average commute times by Valley feeway.

Great site design (imho)

I don't quite recall how I landed on this page, but I'm glad I did. I love the site layout and the content too.

Spark Online lays claims to "exploring electronic consciousness since nineteen.ninety.nine."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Maps, rent & Web Devil

"Rent tops $800 a month" is the hed for a story that uses a mash map to help report the story in the Web Devil. It got a mention in the blog for Innovation in College Media. The blog refers to two other publications' maps as well -- one shows places to eat, the other violations on a frat row.

Helpful Dreamweaver Tutorials

Here some links for some free Dreamweaver Tutorials I found helpful when working on my resume:
(This one is video)

Morissette satire busts a 'Hump'

Did any of you see the Alanis Morissette YouTube video that has been all the talk?
This is a really great article talking about virul online marketing.

You can see the video at:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Journalistopia tutorials

Just checked Mindy McAdam's blog and thank her for this lead. Check out the tutorials section of Journalistopia, Danny Sanchez' blog. There's one on easy mapping, 360-degree photos, color palettes.... On the main page there's an entry on comparing fonts online (literally posted as I was writing this) as well as -- well, check it out. I hadn't visited for awhile and I'm newly impressed with the depth of what's offered.

Really good Webcam aimed at Cronkite site

Sunday, April 22, 2007


This site offers some nifty tools for creating color palettes from uploaded pictures. I'm the worst at matching up colors for web pages, so I find this very handy.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Web 2.0 Directory allows the user to browse hundreds of sites that are all vying to be the next YouTube or MySpace. These startups range from social networking to media-rich web apps. More than a few could be useful in finding new ways to report news and the directory is an easy way to keep up on which way the Web may be heading.

Ridiculously Easy Mash-Upping

I played around with Google's new mapping tools that were mentioned on the blog last week. I made a quick map of favorite downtown spots. It took me about 15 minutes, but I could've easily created it in 5. Incredibly simple overall and definitely worth trying out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greetings from Miami

The pic is from my morning session, "Intro to online editing," which was blogged. Seems to have gone over well enough. I get to do it again tomorrow. Today, there were about 100 copy editors in the room, roughly one-fourth of the conference attendance. Online editing is the HOT topic this year, from what I can gather. More anon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Multimedia Manifesto

I've always found it interesting when the media becomes a part of the story. I don't have any answers, but are we giving people like this exactly what they want when we cover them to the extent that we do?

I'm not sure it really adds to our understanding to broadcast exactly what this guy wanted us to hear. In a way aren't we just rewarding his actions?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The power of poets (and audio clips)

Poet Nikki Giovanni spoke at a convocation at Virginia Tech earlier today, one attended by tens of thousands. If you go to this page and follow the right rail (column) down to a link with her name on it and listen to the audio clip that comes up, you will hear an incredibly moving address.

Blogs To Be Printed In Newspapers

I caught this on NPR...

"Beginning this month with Boston as the pilot market, Icelandic publishing company Dagsbrun plans to launch free dailies in 10 U.S. cities. The papers will run blogs alongside the usual newspaper fare. .."

Do you think this will work? I do find it interesting that a newspaper would hope to garner print ads this way..since the paper's free.

VTech coverage collected at Poynter site

Resources include a podcast interview with Carol Tarrant of the Roanoke Times about how the paper covered the story. She talks about the message board they took down when it became a fighting forum over gun control. There's also a link to the I-casts we looked at last night (CNN's new cit-j initiative). BigLickU, a social networking site founded by the Roanoke Times, also offers coverage. Here's the transcript of an interview with the exec. editor of Planet Blacksburg, a campus news Web site.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech - The Myspace Connection

I meant to post this along with my previous post. But I was rummaging around on ABC 2's website (Baltimore, MD) and thought it interesting they would list this Myspace link on their general page of links to news stories, videos and reactions about the shooting.

ABC 15 - "In Their Eyes"

If you happened to catch the ABC 15 news at 10 tonight, they had a special segment dedicated to how "new" media sources helped to break the Virginia Tech shooting story. As expected, they identified the cellphone video we saw in class as one such source. They also said various pictures taken by students on campus and in lockdown are being used to tell the Va. Tech story from another angle. I just thought it interesting that ABC 15 felt it significant enough to devote the time to talk specifically about how cellphones changed the coverage of this story. They stressed that this wasn't the first or last time breaking news will be delivered via a cellphone. But they did stress it was the first time a cellphone had captured video of the situation as it unfolded--long before the professional journalists arrived. Other pictures showed how students inside classrooms were reacting and copying with the situation, a story very different from the professional photos taken as students and the dead/wounded were taken out of the classroom.

Embedding video

Some sites offer a "snag it" option whereby you're given the code that embeds the video, as I've done here.

Campus Radio from Virginia Tech

Listening for the station, I heard a DJ during a break from jazz confirm 31 dead on campus. Their station didn't interrupt the music for updates regarding the killings. Working on the campus radio station at ASU I was interested to see what the news department would do.
I'm going to listen in the coming days to see if they devote more time to the shootings.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Couric's 'Notebook' shares similarities with WSJ column

"An entry from the CBS's anchor's video 'Notebook' shares some uncomfortable similarities with a Wall Street Journal column..."

With the Internet, it's really crazy how people think they can get away with such blatant plagiarism....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Webby awards nominations are in. Vote for your favs!


The beeb and TMZ are BOTH nominated in their respective categories! I think being online media students, it's our DUTY to vote :-)

Interestingly, the webby awards speeches are restricted to 5 words. Al Gore, when he won, said, "Please do not recount THIS vote!"

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hero's tale is 'too positive' for the BBC

Supposedly, the BBC dropped this story of truly heroic actions because they thought it would alienate viewers who were against the war. It seems to me that the idea of "Supporting the Troops" goes right out the window if this is true.

A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs

I'm not sure how I feel about this... interesting idea.

New Yorker animated cartoons

I had no idea the Web site had animated cartoons inspired from their comic strip. Simple, not always subtle, but classic. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Is this an example of flash?

How do you get the underwater effect? I do like it a lot!

Digital Journalist -- online magazine

If you have an interest in multimedia photojournalism, you owe it to yourself to take a look at look at this monthly online journal.

Best of Multimedia Photojournalism: Era of the Ear

New on Poynter online: Listen to Keith Jenkins and the judges of the Best of Photojournalism's Best of the Web contest discuss audio slideshows, the ethics of using certain kinds of audio and the future of online video. Keith Jenkins begins the discussion. Joining him are Josh Meltzer of The Roanoke (Va.) Times, Regina McCombs of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Richard Koci Hernandez of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Andrew Devigal of The New York Times and Heather Powazek Champ of Flikr.

Monday with the Mojos

Here's the invitation: The ASU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is hosting a session for students and faculty and anyone else interested in the mojo (mobile journalist) experiment the Republic is trying out. Three of the new mojos - Mike Ferraresi, Sarah Muench and JJ Hensley, all Republic reporters - will be on campus to talk about reporting, shooting photos and video – all on the same stories. This is cutting-edge journalism, so be sure to drop by A132 this Monday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. Mike and Sarah are both ASU grads. Here's the game plan: We're going to head over to see them during class. Anyone who needs needs needs extra time in the lab, though, is welcome to keep working on class projects until we return. I'm trying to get a good fix on exactly when the presentation part of the program begins and ends. We've got lots to cover in class!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Journalist or Activist?

Josh Wolf is released after 7 1/2 months in prison.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

New! Easier! Google Mashups!

This just in from Professor Steve Doig who was kind enough to show us the Google mashup technique recently:

Colleagues: Some of you were interested in the Google Maps mashup I made a couple weeks ago showing faculty/staff addresses. But doing that requires some familiarity with html, databases and geocoding.

However, Google has just created a new easy way of doing those, if you're willing to enter your points of interest individually. You can play with it yourself at Click on the "My Maps" tab on the left rail, and go to "create a new map." After that, it's just point and click.

Also, take a look at some of the examples under "Featured Maps", like the locations of all the major league baseball parks. A nicely academic use is the "America's Highway: Oral Histories of Route 66" link. There you see not only the route but also photos and interviews and videos along the way. I can see lots of application for things like that.


4,000 flash mob dancers startle commuters at Victoria

I just thought this was interesting! Europe is way ahead of the US in terms of actually using their cell phones as a multi-media platform.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Covered storm damage with cell phone

This just came through on one of my listservs: I am a television news producer and thought I'd share something that I recently did with you. I have two lives (TV news producer, while I work on my academic work.)
We had severe weather that came through last night.
We were out of crews. I saw storm damage and covered it with my cell phone.
It's the first time a station has done this.
I followed up with stories today. I produce in Louisville. Market 45.
Victoria Bemker

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Ban on blogging

This year's Pan American Games, which will be held in Brazil this summer, is banning athletes, doctors and coaches from blogging during the games. Game organizers say the ban, which will impact about 7,000 people, is being done in order to protect "online use of game information and photographs" and be able to control the images projected from the event. It's an interesting article, especially in light of last night's discussion on censorship.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Odd Todd

In case you want to visit Odd Todd again, or see the sequel, here's the link. A Wikipedia entry chronicles his rise to "fame" and his run-in with the tax people. Here's an NPR interview with him.

DRM-free music on EMI

Here's the link I mentioned about downloading music that's free of digital rights management. That means you pay an extra 30 cents for a song but can copy it multiple times once bought.

Kathy Sierra Blog Threats

Sierra's blog was supposedly too cheerful for some users and they wanted to do something about it. They posted some graphic death threats and she went to the police.

This story emphasizes the fact that you shouldn't write any kind of email or blog entry that you wouldn't want everyone to see. Simply because you're not saying anything offensive doesn't mean that you're safe.

The way I've been seeing this story is "The dark side of blogging" "Is blogging safe?".There are risks with everything and ways to fight back.

You can read her blog for the latest information.

Interview with Cisco's New Media Manager

I found this interview through a press release and the content ended up being really good. Jeanette Gibson moved from a job in PR with Cisco to managing their new media team. Cisco's press page incorporates a lot of the media features we've seen on other good news sites. In the interview, Gibson discusses how they helped people move forward internally and how they track which features drive traffic.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Swamp Thing

Check out this eyewitness account of an encounter with a strange creature in the Dismal Swamp (yes, that's a real name) of Virginia.

When Do People Watch Online Video?

Here's an interesting post from Mark Cuban's blog, discussing whether people's viewing habits for online video have changed much in the last few years. He was wondering if people are more likely to watch online videos at home now, in lieu of television since they're becoming more and more popular. It turns out that the most popular hours to watch online video are still Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, which is the same as in the past. For anyone who isn't familiar with Mark Cuban, he's the owner of the Suns big rival, the Dallas Mavericks. But he made his fortune in the Internet and blogs about technology a lot more than sports.