Carnival talk: News sources? We’ve got your sources!

So, it’s Carnival of Journalism time of the month again, and ringmaster David Cohn this time has posed the question, “Considering your unique circumstances, what steps can be taken to increase the number of news sources?” OK, that’s an easy one when I apply my “unique circumstances,” which is that I live in Boulder, Colorado,…

One city’s blossoming digital media landscape

Over on the website of the Digital Media Test Kitchen (I’m director of that program at CU-Boulder), I’ve posted an update on one of our projects, called “Slices of Boulder,” which we’re working on with a technology partner, Toronto-based Eqentia, using its semantic publishing and distribution platform. Work is happening over the summer, including building…

Bay Citizen: No anonymous comments

To continue on my recent commenting theme, I noticed that the new Bay Citizen non-profit online news venture edited by Jonathan Weber is taking a no-anonymity line with its user comments. Here’s Weber in his editor’s blog yesterday: “There are a number of ways in which people can be part of The Bay Citizen, and…

Response to @jny2: Single comment solution does not fit all

Civility (and lack thereof) on many news websites, the topic of my previous blog post, is clearly worth more discussion. A bit of brow-beating of me by Josh Young, social news editor for HuffingtonPost.com, today on Twitter gives me the opportunity to continue the conversation … and fight back: @jny2 Seriously, @steveouting, what do you…

Your comments are starting to stink (moderate ‘em!)

When comments come into this blog, I moderate them before they are published. Like most blogs (or any web publishing platform that accepts user comments), this one receives far more comment spam than legitimate comments. Comment anti-spam program Askimet catches, I’d guess, more than 99% of my incoming comment spam. In the last few months,…

The power of Craigslist: bringing people together

Last night I was reminded of the power that digital media have of bringing people together. My wife and I attended a birthday party for our friend, Bud, who chose the occasion to hold the debut public concert for his basement band, tentatively called “Doc Hollywood.” He rented the Altona Grange Hall north of Boulder…

It’s not the liberal bias, stupid!

Egads. It was painful reading through the reader comments on this column by Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News, bemoaning the impending doom of his newspaper. (It seems highly unlikely that there’s a white knight in the Rocky’s future, which means it will probably shut down in early 2009, after 150 years of serving…

Staff responses belong in comment threads

Even though most news websites now allow user comments, it still bugs me to see so little editorial staff participation in comment threads. Having editors and reporters take part and respond to reader comments is a powerful way to keep the discussion more focused and civil. Of course, it’s no guarantee of preventing things from…

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…