Blogs > Ivan Lajara

Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to make a live blog with a Google Doc

Before doing this. Check out Digital First media colleague Mandy Jenkins' compendium of alternatives to CoverItLive and Elana Zak's 3 alternatives via 10,000 Words.
This is but one method.

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Life chat test

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DFM chat on the future of the article

Good morning! Journalists, members of Digital First Media and pretty much everyone else who wants to - are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat at noon, Eastern Time.

Today we're talking about how to improve your stories, story-telling and the future of the article.

The live feed is posted below. But you can also follow the chat here or here or also here. And you can also check out past chats over here.

If you want to chime in, just post a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

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God bless Amercia

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to make an automatic map of phone photos with Picasa

Picasa is Google's photo sharing service. If you have a Google account, you have this already.

The idea, again, is to take photos with your phone and have a map automatically created from them.

1. Take photo.
2. Share to Picasa (native on Android; or via email on iPhone or through apps) in an album of your choice. Don't forget to have geolocation turned on.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.
4. Visit https://picasaweb.google.com. Login with your Google account. Your photos should be in an album. Click on your album. Noticed all your photos are already mapped. Similar to Flickr, you can view it in a map, or as a slideshow. But what if you want to embed the map?



4.Click "View in Google Earth." Don't worry if you don't have the program. Click "save File" instead and make sure the file has the extension KML (example: "freeman.kml")

5. Visit http://maps.google.com and hit "My Places" and "Create map."
6. Hit "Import" and upload your kml file. BOOM!


7. Hit "done" and the link icon to get your embed in however shape you want it.

8. Paste in your site and do a silly dance, because you're done.

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Troubleshooting: Every now and then you'll get a "this map cannot be embedded."


HAHAHA. Funny Google, you.

Just get the URL and paste it in your browser. Then get your embed code.


View Freeman test in a larger map

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to make a map of geotagged photos with Flickr

The following is a 10-step process to take photos with your phone and make a map with the photos for your site.

You're going to need a Flickr account (You can sign in with Facebook or Google, and if you have a Yahoo! account you already have one).

1. Take photo with phone.
2. Share to Flickr (preferably in the same album) IPhone? You can email photos to Flickr (thanks to Siobhan Connally for the tip) or use the Flickr app. Make sure geolocation is on.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.
4. Go to Flickr, your photos should be there.

5. Click on a photo and 'Add to map'

6. Your photoset (album) should have all your photos in a single map. Click on the map link.

You should see something like this.  But you want to embed your map to your site, right? Of course!

7. Visit iMapFlickr.com and hit 'Create a map.'
8.Add your user URL, which is http://www.flickr.com/photos/YOURNAME/


9. Pick your album and hit 'Create a map.'
You can geotag your photos later too. Find out how to do this.
10. Grab the embed code and paste in your site. You can change the look and settings if you want.

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My desk, and yours

I'm going to be crowdsourcing journalists desks photos. Use #journodesk and tweet your photo. Here's mine. Get Adobe Flash player

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DFM chat on saving time and improving journalism

Image via Spare room
Good morning! Journalists, members of Digital First Media and pretty much everyone else who wants to - are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat at noon, Eastern Time.

Today we're talking about how to save time while improving your digital offerings and your journalism.

The live feed is posted below. But you can also follow the chat here or here or also here. And you can also check out past chats over here.

If you want to chime in, just post a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

How to make a slideshow with Pinterest with Storify under 2 minutes

Here's a slideshow I did in one minute:

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A discussion about the nature of news

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Livestreaming when everything goes wrong

The image above is actual criticism we received during the livestream community media lab event which featured Healthalliance leaders. We did, indeed, suffered a smorgasbord of difficulties.


I was using the Freeman's wireless connection, which is fairly strong. Testing went well. Everything was perfect.
Wrong.
For whatever reason, the connection kept going in and out once the livestream started, which I noticed on a different device, so I knew it wasn't the computer. This happened early enough during the livestream, so I switched to a wireless carrier. This most surely would solve the problem, I thought.
Wrong.
The connection went from one bar to none, then two bars, then none. So the stream kept going in and out. I had a phone with a second carrier, but I was using CoveritLive to monitor comments and THAT connection failed as well.

No problem, then. Let's hardwire.
I grabbed an ethernet cord and plugged the computer (this had to be done as the forum continued, since it was being recorded anyway, or so I thought). The reason I didn't hardwire in the first place was that the connection is in the other side of the room and I didn't want to have a long cable going all over the place, since I'm not a fan of people falling down. And I wanted to set the camera on the other side.

But since there was no choice, I got the cable and plugged it in.

Connection problem solved. Wrong.

After about 20 minutes, I lost the connection to the livestream again. I checked the third-party service on a different device, and a third one. This time I was at their mercy.

Facing this problem, the only thing to do was to completely set up the livestream with a different service, and even though it would have taken about 10 minutes to set up and embed it all, I stuck it out with Ustream because the connection came back.

Ten minutes later, I lost the connection again. So I started setting up a separate livestream service while trying to get the connection back, which I did. I was 5 minutes until the schedule end of the event, however, so I didn't bother.

LESSONS:

1. Hardwire. Always. I never thought a wireless connection and two carriers all would fail me. They did.
2. Expect the unexpected. Have a plan B setup, at the ready. A good test doesn't mean things will always be fine. Develop contingency measures and have them ready. .If Ustream fails, have Livestream ready to go (or the other way around). This would take you too long to set up (long by web standards, anyway), so have your embeds and browsers on standby. I've been testing G+ Hangouts on Air and that's also possibility. Quality is better and there are no running ads, so I'm moving in that direction. Here's a test screenshot from today:


Credit where credit's due. Meme generated by Melissa Weiss.

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DFM chat on social video in journalism

socialcam.com
Good morning! Journalists, members of Digital First Media and pretty much everyone else who wants to - are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat at noon, Eastern Time.

Today we're talking about social video and how it can be used in journalism.

The live feed is posted below. But you can also follow the chat here or here or also here. And you can also check out past chats over here.

If you want to chime in, just post a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.



Read more »

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to make a slideshow with Pinterest and Instagram images with Storify

This is something I've been asked here and there, and I've been tinkering and I think I've found a solution.

Ideally, Pinterest would/could offer the possibility of displaying a board or a search term in slideshow format, but there is no such function (yet? guys?)

So here's a nifty way of turning anything you find in Pinterest into a slideshow, using Storify.

For metaness, Let's say you have a board with a whole bunch of Instagrams (I do) and you want to display the photos as a slideshow.

1. Visit your board (or Pinterest search term).


2. Use the Storify bookmarklet and add each image to your Storypad.

 3.Log in to Storify and check out your Storypad! You can add all of it with "add them all" (this will add everything on your Storypad, so you might have to erase some things).

4. Move the images in the order that you want (this also helps because you can't do that with pins in Pinterest) and hit publish.

5. The best part: Get the embed code in slideshow form.

BOOM:


Storify has an Instagram function, but it doesn't allow you (yet? guys?) to search for users. And you can't do slideshows with Instagram, so this doubles up as a tutorial for making a slideshow for your Instagrams.
NOTE: The links go to Pinterest, you'll have to click again to go to the link where the pin came from. But, regardless, if you want to change the order and make a slideshow of your pins, this is what I would do, until the Pinterest and Storify and Instagram guys figure it out.

Another note: You probably know this, but it's worth repeating. Adding '/slideshow' to any storify will make a slideshow of your post. The last slide is the embed code. Here's the FULLSCREENSIES!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Kingston may lose one of its two hospitals, a timeline

What follows is a timeline since the announcement that Kingston may lose one of its two hospitals.
Read more »

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

New York Post offices new hours map

The U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday it's aiming to keep hundreds of rural post offices open, but with shorter hours of operation.
What follows is a map of the affected post offices in the entire state of New York, sectioned by county (and by zip code) and including the proposed hours.
RIDICULOUSLY BIG MAP OVER HERE.

A tip of the hat to the ladies at the Watershed Post for piling up the data, which I shamelessly stole with their permission to mush with other data sets into this map.
Anyway, mouse over to your town and see if you are affected. Click on the dots to check the hours.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do you agree with President Barack Obama's support of gay marriage?

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President Obama Expresses Support For Same-Sex Marriage

DFM chat on third-party platforms and social readers

Ugh.
Good morning! Journalists, members of Digital First Media and pretty much everyone else who wants to - are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat at noon, Eastern Time.

Today we're talking about using third-party social media platforms, social readers and media dependency dangers.

The live feed is posted below. But you can also follow the chat here or here or also here. And you can also check out past chats over here.

If you want to chime in, just post a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak

Friday, May 4, 2012

Community Media Lab 2.0



At the Daily Freeman, we are excited and eager to be part of the expansion of Digital First Media's Community Media Lab initiative.
Our community encompasses a vast geographical area which showcases different and peculiar needs. We intend to continue our efforts to become the hub for information, discussion and engagement for the communities we serve.
To that end, we’ve assessed the community needs and those of our newsroom in crafting our Community Media Lab plans for 2012.
These include:
·         Soft opening of a small-scale Community Media Lab in the Freeman's conference room on selected dates, to feature public availability of computers and wifi, with public tutorials to accommodate access to microfilm and archives elsewhere in the building. We believe that with a little creativity and adjustment, we can begin to provide these services to continue fostering our relationship with the community.
·           Continued recruitment of local blogger network and subsequent regular informal and informational meet-ups at an outside location.
·          The development of classes geared toward better communication between community, government and police agencies and the Freeman..
·         Expansion of livestreaming sessions and political debates with live public questions and with physical public participation at an outside location. These sessions are also scheduled to include a post debate discussion with the community, as to further the Citizens Agenda project as well.

·         Establishment of an occasional ‘mobile bureau,’ where once a month, a reporter sets up ‘camp’ at different locations to gather story ideas, get community tips and feedback and develop sources.
·         Resume newsroom tours.
·         Continued use of the (small) conference room for events, and the implementation of livestreamed newsroom discussions and training sessions. 



What else do you think we should do?

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bruce Springsteen pays tribute to Levon Helm

NJ.com reports that Bruce Springsteen played 'The Weight' in honor of Levon Helm at a concert in Newark  on Wednesday.

"Bruce saw a fan with a sign asking for something to be played for Levon and he and the E Street Band performed an absolutely stunning version of "The Weight" that had the entire soldout crowd singing along."
There's more:

Before the song, Bruce said Levon was "one of the greatest voices in country rockabilly and rock and roll. Just staggering while playing the drums! When I auditioned Max I actually made him sing..
"But Levin (yes he called him Levin) both his voice and his drumming was so incredibly personal, it had a feeling on the drums, comes out of a certain place in the past,  can't replicate it"
Check out Stan Goldstein's review of the concert and check out the photo of the boss with the Levon sign.

Update: Now there's video:

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'Doomsdays' in Saugerties

Passing along:


"Doomsdays," a feature film by Eddie Mullins starring Justin Rice and Leo Fitzpatrick, needs 15 to 20 extras on Saturday. Filmmakers are looking for people in their 20s, but say they will take people in their 30s.

Filming will take place at a private home in Elka Park, which is just up Platte Clove Road in West Saugerties (10 miles from Woodstock)

Email Melissa Mugavero if you can make it or with questions at melissamugs@gmail.com

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to make a crowdsourced map, fast!

Here's a nice way of making a map in just a few steps.
We'll use Batchgeo.com, though there are other tools that can do the same.
The mapping tool allows you to map spreadsheets instantaneously.
As easy as it sounds, most times problems arise in mapping like this because the information you have is all over the place and needs to be refined.
So why not follow the Batchgeo template from the very first steps?
The template (xls) has to have these fields separated, Address, City,  Zip Code, State. All other fields are up to you.

1. Set up a Google form. (it's really easy). Break out the questions like the fields you want in Batchgeo. Have users fill up the form for, say, polling problems or flooding.

The results come up in a spreadsheet.


2. Edit your spreadsheet. Clean up the information in case a troll decides to spoil your map.

3. Copy the information in the spreadsheet, including the fields (you don't need to copy the time-stamp, if it's not relevant)

4. Paste in batchgeo.com and hit map.


You won't need to validate any fields because your spreadsheet is accurate.
5. Hit 'Save and Continue.'
6. Give your map and name and enter your email. You'll get an embed code and a link to edit the map further and a link to the fullscreen map.
7. Copy and paste into your site.

I did this today while I was hosting a Twitter chat from noon to 1 p.m. I set up the form at 11:50 a.m. and embedded it in my blog post. Then I hosted the chat until 1 p.m. Then I copy-pasted the info in the spreadsheet into batchgeo at 1:05 p.m.. and I had the post updated with the map at 1:10 p.m.only because I was interrupted and the email from batchgeo went into my spam folder.


View #dfmchat insta map in a full screen map

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DFM chat on geolocation in journalism

Good morning! Journalists, members of Digital First Media and pretty much everyone else who wants to - are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat at noon, Eastern Time.

Today we're talking about the geolocation and how can it be used in journalism. Check in!

The live feed is posted below. But you can also follow the chat here or here or also here. And you can also check out past chats over here.

If you want to chime in, just post a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Also! Help me map where you are from (not required but for fun).

I'll show you how to map this in two clicks.

Update! Here's the map!

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