Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What do news consumers really want?

A metaphor, or, sometimes a cat in a sea of hotdogs in space
is just a cat in a sea of hotdogs in space.
Journalists, Digital First Media peeps, anyone who wants to are going to participate in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are talking about news consumers! What do users (really) want from the news organizations in their communities?
Let's take this beyond the known platitudes and get down to the real answers, using what we know users actually consume, balanced with what journalists want to produce and what market forces want. Is there a middle ground? And how can news organizations achieve these  goals and fulfill this mission with limited resources? Can it really be done?

If you want to be in the post chat archive, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Journalism's mad world

*Obligatory starting song*

It was a pretty hectic day yesterday manning the Freeman fort, thanks to the one Donald named Trump, not to mention The Chelsea Of The Clintons, plus your random police blotter acts of mayhem insanity, and only today I've been able to get some of the 360-degree stuff up.

I'm playing with those formats and presentation, still, trying to figure out the best way to deliver virtual reality and 360-degree content, considering that most of us don't yet have virtual reality devices, or good ones, anyway, secretly wondering if I'm trying to solve a problem nobody asked for.

But the wheels of disruption care not for professional existential anxieties, and just today, YouTube announced that it will support 360-degree video live-streaming, and that opens the possibilities tenfold, including hyperbolic "Matrix" references, even though nobody has figured out how to make this work in a sustainable business model, which is fine for us journalists, I guess, until we're all unemployed and wondering why everything crumbled around our overlong run-on sentences.

And we do all this while ducking charges of "This isn't journalism" and "how come you aren't covering x or y or this news or that?" while at the same time, another study of the obvious points out that "People hate hard news, but love pretending otherwise."

And so we must resurface another truth, that the light content partially subsidizes the harder things, by relieving it from market pressures to perform or fill random goals, and just let the journalism stand on its own.

And so it was Pulitzer Day today and the journalism was fierce, as was Congrats Media Twitter. So congrats to you if you don't know what Congrats Media Twitter is.

There's, of course, a proper essay hidden in all these thoughts, with accompanying gifs and assorted multimedia, neatly packaged in a monetized Facebook Instant article.
But not today.
Today we fight the Content Management System —I do have a day job — until the beast dies of stubborn obsolescence or it brings us down into the pits of darkness like a fire demon with nothing to lose.

It's a mad journalism world out there.
And I'm glad I get to try to shape it, if only a tiny bit.

P.S. I'm breaking form from the regular newsletter convention you all love (that's what I tell myself, anyway), but there's definitely a cat in one of those links. I guess you're going to have to click.

Yesterday's Internet, Today! also plays with forms of distribution and hopes you don't mind.

6 moments from the Donald Trump rally at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, in 360

What's like to be inside a Trump rally?

Let's take a more immersive look at Sunday's Donald Trump rally at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. This is, of, course, on top of the gargantuan efforts our staff did on Sunday.

1. That time when members of the press were ridiculously limited and/or properly designated to a confined space and told not to leave, because they might bite and have cuties.

2. That time whUSA! USA!

3. That time there were cameras. Cameras everywhere.

4.  That time Trump touted his ownership of property in the area.

5. That time Tania was not in the press pen, because of course c'mon now.

6. That time Dutchess County Sheriff "Butch" Anderson tried to read a poem.

*I read a poem in public once and I'm glad there is no video of it.*

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

10 moments from the Bernie Sanders rally at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, in 360 degrees

On top the many dispatches that Freeman staffers Patricia Doxsey and Tania Barricklo posted from the Bernie Sanders rally on Tuesday, I had them test the 360-degree camera. I'm just starting to get the videos up, but here's a listicle, for lack of a better format.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Meet the pets

We're starting a new feature at the Freeman, not necessarily a new idea, but a good one nonetheless.
Starting Sunday, we'll feature a furry resident of the Ulster County SPCA that needs a home.
We'll give you a little story and some details, along with photos and a video.
It was AriƩl's suggestion so she gets all the credit.
Atomic Tangerine is kicking off the effort. We're planning some surprises later on.
Let's find some homes for these guys.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DFM chat on Twitter and journalism

Journalists, Digital First Media peeps, anyone who wants to are going to be taking part on our Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are going back to basics and upgrading our practices. Let's talk Twitter and journalism. From live-tweeting to polls and gifs, what are the best ways to tweet as a journalist. How do you know those are the best approaches? What is your goal for using Twitter? Let's be honest, you're not getting any meaningful traffic out of it, so what's your goal, then? Bring in your tips, tweets and #realtalk.

If you want to be in the post chat archive, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Another (360) view

The recent release of Google's VR view has made it possible to display VR content in a much easier way and have it compatible in web, mobile and apps.
Having been experimenting and waiting for something like this to happen, I became pretty excited.

For the tech inclined, you basically need an iframe and have your 360 image uploaded somewhere. If you don't have your own hosting site (though you should, etc.), you can just upload your 360 image to a blog or even Google+ (make it useful).

This is the image that I used yesterday, which was hosted in this very blog.

Above, the non-controversial proposed site for a shooting range on Prince St. in Midtown Kingston. Yes, sir, not controversial at all.

I'm still playing with height and everything. But this method simplifies things tremendously.
You no longer need an app to embed your content. It just flows.

This makes so easy that you can technically produce content in the field and share it on social media, and if you're crazy enough to do things on deadline, an editor could simply grab the images and start posting the images in VR in a story really quickly.

This is an image that I uploaded from my phone using the StreetView app, with a Ricoh Theta S camera tethered to an iPhone.

Above, the corner of Wall and John Streets in Uptown Kingston. Those canopies are controversial for some reason. Please explain. 

I'm just starting and I still have to figure out video. But the Kingston Classic is just around the corner.
Let's play!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Have you hugged a newsperson today?

It's National Hug A Newsperson Day, another one in an never-ending line of totally irrelevant hashtags that are incredibly pointless until one gets to be remotely related to you.
So hug your nearby newsperson. They likely need it.
But be careful, some of them bite.
The more you know.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tree falls on Kingston mayor's house

Source: The mayor himself.

This is not how I want to wake up on a Sunday morning. All are okay, just a little shaken up.

Posted by Steve Noble on Sunday, April 3, 2016