MonthJune 2015

’10 Tips for Keeping a Squeaky Clean WordPress (and Multisite!) Database’

I really need to do some of this stuff.

Here are some tips on how to revitalize your blog

Go read Ten 2-minute tweeks to instantly revitalize your blog.

Hat tip to Tammy Finch at Web Services Inc.

Google steps up its support for citizen journalists

From NBC:

Google on Monday introduced its newest site, News Lab, aimed at helping journalists craft and share their stories using the most relevant media and technology.

Google’s accessibility, global reach and popularity as an internet information source has made it the most used search engine in the world, according to Digital Trends.

With this new program, News Lab has introduced a variety of tools to make sure quality journalism is improved, not lost, in the digital age. As explained in Google’s blog post Monday, this new initiative offers tutorials that teaches journalists how to use online tools such as Google Alerts and Google News.

Google Trends is another tool that helps to find trends across the web.

Google News Lab is also focusing on eyewitness citizen journalism through news outlets such as First Draft, YouTube Newswire and WITNESS Media Lab.

YouTube ramps up its role in promoting citizen journalism

From TV Week:

YouTube appears to be going all in on citizen journalism. The company today announced three new initiatives “designed to expand the video-sharing site’s role in new media journalism, including eyewitness news,” TechCrunch reports. “Most notably, the company is launching a service called YouTube Newswire in partnership with social news agency Storyful, which will introduce a curated and verified feed of the day’s most newsworthy events being published to YouTube.”

YouTube’s Storyful partnership dates back to the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011, the report notes, with previous joint efforts including CitizenTube, YouTube Politics and YouTube Human Rights Channel.

Ask an Astronaut Live at Riverfront Museum’s giant screen theater June 18

Event:  Ask An Astronaut with NASA’s Col. Michael S. Hopkins
Date & Time:  Thu., June 18, 2-3 p.m.
Location:  Giant Screen Theater, Peoria Riverfront Museum, 222 S.W. Washington St. Peoria
Cost:  FREE & Open to the Public

The public is invited to “Ask an Astronaut,” live at Riverfront Museum’s Giant Screen Theater, Thurs. June 18, 2-3 p.m. NASA astronaut Col. Michael S. “Mike” Hopkins will field questions from museum Space Explorers summer camp students and the general public during this live web-based Q&A. The event, sponsored by NASA and the museum, is free and open to all.

Col. Hopkins, an aerospace engineer, spent 161 days on the International Space Station (ISS), from Sept. 2013 through Mar. 2014, with crew members from the U.S. (including Karen Nyberg, the 50th woman in space), Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency. During the expedition, the crew completed 2,656 orbits of Earth and traveled more than 70 million miles.

The Missouri native is a University of Illinois alumnus (BS, 1991) and former Illini football team captain with strong ties to the Peoria area – he is married to Peoria native Julie Stutz Hopkins. For more information on Col. Hopkins, visit:

The museum recommends reserving a seat at the front desk (main lobby) or by calling 309-686-7000.

Citizen journalism sheds light on subsidies that are destroying the Colorado River

Here’s a very interesting citizen journalism piece from Pro Publica about how the cotton-growing industry Arizona — probably the most Tea Party states in America — thrives thanks to the generosity of American taxpayers:

Wuertz could plant any number of crops that use far less water than cotton and fill grocery store shelves from Maine to Minnesota. But along with hundreds of farmers across Arizona, he has kept planting his fields with cotton instead. He says he has done it out of habit, pride, practicality, and even a self-deprecating sense that he wouldn’t be good at anything else. But in truth, one reason outweighs all the others: The federal government has long offered him so many financial incentives to do it that he can’t afford not to.

Citizen journalsim is sexually, racially more diverse than corporate journalism

From PBS’s Mediashift:

Jama Abdirahman is a 22-year-old student at Seattle Central College. He loves photography and the Seahawks. His parents, who are from Somalia, hope he’ll become an engineer.

It’s unlikely that Jama would become a journalist. Journalism is dying, right? Plus, people of color made up just 13.34% of US newsrooms in 2014 . That’s less than half the percentage racial and ethnic minorities make up of the US population overall.

The Seattle Globalist , a non-profit news organization of which I’m a co-founder and the executive director, wants to see that number change dramatically. Our own newsroom is the petri dish: our writers are 40% people of color and 20% foreign-born. Two of our three editors are women of color. Our board includes people who identify as a range of races, ethnicities, nationalities, and sexual identities.