Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Take a 360-degree ride inside the Trolley in Kingston

The Kingston Trolley Museum offers rides in Downtown Kingston from the bottom of Broadway to Rotary Park (by Kingston Point) from noon to 5 on weekends through Oct. 10. It makes a stop at the museum (though passengers seem puzzled at the stop on a recent visit, because the museum doesn't look like a museum) and a 10 minute stop at the park. Rides are $6 for adults and $4 for children (ages up to 5 ride for free). Fun for kids and a nice break if you're about town. There was a bit of a smell during a small part of the ride on this particular visit, but 360 videos don't have smell-o-vision. 


Side note for journo-types looking for freebie audio files: Song is "Respira" by Jacopo Tore, used under Creative Commons license 4.0, shortened for length. You can get that for use (even commercially) and others where it came from at the Free Music Archive site.

DFM chat on how to write for the web in the mobile age

Digital First Media friends and other journalists, members of the community and fans of journalism are invited to take part in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

You can only add so much to a phone experience.
Today we're talking about writing for the web with a focus on the ever-growing mobile audience. Increasingly, especially during breaking news, most users will come directly into articles from social media and search via mobile devices and while within apps. What things can journalists do to maximize the value of their stories in such an environment? Even if the reporters are not the ones behind the presentation, what can they bring in to enhance those stories to keep people informed? But also, are there things that just don't work well in mobile (I'm looking at you PDFs)? What things are best left behind when we take into consideration screen sizes (and data plans). Bring your ideas, links and don't hesitate to bring a healthy dose of criticism.

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, September 27, 2016

Facebook Live Test

A simple post to test the feasibility of including a Facebook live feed with a Twitter stream.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to incorporate 360-degree imagery into your stories, and why

How many times have you read a story where something happens at an address and you're like, "I have no idea where that is, but, OK, sure, guy, if you say so"?


When a less-than-familiar address is available, reporters generally use a mapping tool to get a general sense of where the story happened and/or to go there.

If the reporter is mapping the place to better understand the story, why aren't those maps added to the stories?

Reporters craft stories, and whatever tools the reporter used to help craft her story could be part of them.

It's easy!

Furthermore, I would argue that reporters already did the work, only that the work is not being added to the story.

Maps are one of the easiest multimedia features that can be added to stories, Maps can make a story go from "ok whatevs" to "OMG THAT PLACE!"

Put an address in your, uh, address bar, or simply google an address like, say, "79 Hurley Ave., Kingston" and Google will return a map. Click on the map image so the full map comes in and hit share on the left. That link (or embed) can be added to stories. If you click on the little yellow guy at bottom right, you can get the Streetview image, which in Google can be older, so you'd have to be careful if you want to embed those.

Enter "Streetview" app. With a smartphone, you can take a 360-degree image (it's easier with a tethered 360-degree camera but you can also do it from a phone) and upload it to Google Maps. The rest is the same as embedding a map.

Like this:

Any police story with an address, accidents where traffic is affected, etc, can be improved with this. Further, like in the image above, If you take your own Streetview images, you can go inside places or take current images, like restaurant or travel stories, for instance, or anything that could benefit from a 'virtual tour.' We've been playing with some of these for a while, and I'm planning to start implementing these to the general workflow, whenever they help and whenever it makes sense to use them.

TL;DR: If you googled an address when working on a story, your readers would also like to know. Add that map to your story by hitting share on the map and adding the link or embedding the map, in 360-degrees when appropriate.

But you tell me, what kinds of stories can immediately benefit from a 360-degree image?

Extra: There's a way to add 360-degree images natively, but I'm focusing on Streetview here because it's extremely easy that way. The other way looks like this:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Watch a drone video of the Viking ship Draken leaving Kingston

Pete Kennedy shared another video from a drone focusing on the Viking ship Draken, which had been docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum on the Rondout in Kingston since Friday. The boat was open for tours on Friday, Saturday and Monday, and on a Saturday visit, many people could be seen taking tours (along with the John J. Harvey 1930s-era fireboat, which came back on service on 9/11).

Kennedy had previously posted a drone video on Friday, when the ship arrived.

"The crew of the Draken Harald HÃ¥rfagre left Kingston this morning to begin their trip down to New York City," Kennedy wrote. "The weather was beautiful and cool, a perfect fall day for the trip. I wish them good luck on their voyage and thank you for making us a part of it."

The ship was a sight. I hope you had a chance to see it.

A photo posted by Daily Freeman (@dailyfreeman) on

I didn't take the tour myself on Saturday. We had other priorities.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

DFM chat: What to prioritize during breaking news when you have to 'do it all'

Digital First Media friends and other journalists, members of the community and fans of journalism are invited to take part in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are going to talk about what to prioritize when covering breaking news, when you have to 'do it all' (and it's ridiculously obvious that such a thing is not really realistic). What are the right tools to bring to such a story, when there's only one person to cover it, with a smartphone and a notepad? What's a proper workflow? What things become optional ('nice to have' but not really necessary). Bring your tools, ideas 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.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Drone captures Viking ship in Kingston

Pete Kennedy shared this video of the Viking ship Draken docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Downtown Kingston today, shot from a drone.

The ship will be open for tours this weekend at the museum, except for Sunday (9/11) and on Monday. It will be docked in Kingston until Thursday, when it will resume its world voyage, ending in New York City.

The Maritime Museum's Lanna Chassman told the Freeman that people are very excited about the visit, and that sounds about right, if all your shares on Facebook on the stories we've done are any

Deck tours take place today, from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Monday from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Tours are $10, $5 for children.