Some coverage of the citizen journalism coverage in the Boston bombings”:
Archive for the ‘Citizen Journalism’ Category
Excessive Colors (at least, I think that’s the name, I can barely decipher the name on the sign) has moved out of its basement location next door to Peking Restaurant (home of Peoria’s best pho Chinese soup). It has taken root in the former cell phone/hip-hop clothing store next door to Pitches karaoke bar on West Main.
The best hyperlocal journalism is just sticking your head out your window and reporting what you see, hear and smell.
That really doesn’t take a lot of money. Good luck to this guy:
A few days ago I wrote about Mike Fourcher, a new-media trailblazer in Chicago who’s still looking for a formula for success. Fourcher established a couple of hyperlocal news sites,centersquarejournal.com and roscoeviewjournal.com, that he’d decided to stop maintaining because he couldn’t figure out how to support himself by running them.
Hard as it was to build an audience, selling ads was even harder. What he’d discovered, I wrote, was that “the competition for the ad dollars of local merchants is overwhelming; but confounding all the ad sellers is the spreading perception among merchants that they don’t need to be spending ad dollars at all. As long as they have on staff or on call someone adept in social media, they can promote themselves for a relative song.”
But where does that leave us? What is the state of the ordinary gadget toting, Internet aware citizen? They have the tools, and yet don’t know it. They know what they can do, but do not know why they shouldn’t do it. There is a disconnect between knowing how to use the tools that they have and responsible use.
On the other side of the fence, anyone who ventures out in public, or where there are a lot of people, has to be on their best behavior. If they do anything out of the ordinary, there will be a chance of a video of it uploaded on the Internet, and shared on social media. There is no difference between becoming an instant singing sensation, and the butt of jokes and derision.
Oh well, on the Internet, the only metrics that matter to many are hits, likes, dislikes, shares, tweets, retweets and reblogs – which can make you a victor or a victim – your choice!
Connecting citizens in a country where ‘more people have a mobile phone than have electricity’, with editors and the online world. On Saturday Sierra Leone went to the polls. The story of the elections was covered by a group of newly-trained citizen journalists posting updates by SMS, most using basic ‘green screen’ Nokia mobile phones.
Those text reports, giving details such as the number of people waiting at a polling station, quotes from voters, and colour such as “no electricity at Femi Turner station Godrich as it is an unfinished building, NEC agents using lamps to count”, were sent for the price of a local text and received to a Gmail account in London, from where they were verified, curated and manually posted to Twitter.
From the East Bay Express:
Last year the Oakland chapter of League of Women Voters gave out awards to six bloggers, who, the organization argued, were “helping make democracy work.” The prize was small (it consisted of a plaque with a framed image of a quilt); the accolades were sure and sweeping. The winners — Aimee Allison, Debby Richman, Echa Schneider, Jonathan Bair, Rebecca Saltzman, and Zennie Abraham — were credited with providing up-to-date local news coverage, some of it in-depth. They were part of a nationwide blogging movement carried out by autonomous citizen-journalists, who mostly blogged for no pay. With all the slashing of editorial budgets and shrinking of mastheads at so-called “mainstream” press outlets, the conventional wisdom was that citizen bloggers providing free content on the Internet would fill the gaps. By April of 2011 (the month the awards were distributed), web publications like Allison’s OaklandSeen and Schneider’s A Better Oakland really seemed like the wave of the future.
But shortly after being recognized, half the blogs fizzled out. Schneider, a city library employee who wrote under the handle VSmoothe, published her last entry on November 7, 2011, and it was written by a guest commentator. OaklandSeen quietly ceased operations in May, although the domain remains active. As of late last week, Saltzman’s Living in the O hadn’t posted anything since early January, and entries were sporadic in prior months. The blogs that remain, meanwhile, tend more toward civic boosterism (like Bair’s TheDTO blog or Richman’s Today in Montclair), or foreground pop culture coverage that’s unrelated to Oakland, as is the case with Abraham’s deceptively named Oakland Focus. In short, political blogging in Oakland, once touted as the future of journalism, disappeared almost as quickly as it had arrived.
Blogging is like everything else that is worthwhile. Energy levels drop. Real-world problems like job and family get in the way. You get sick of trying to roll boulders uphill.
So bloggers quit.
And new bloggers start.
And old bloggers get their second wind.
Of course, this newfangled thing called Facebook can suck the time right out of your life. Tell ya what, though. You can use Facebook and Twitter to send visitors to your blog.
The role and rights of the press involved in Occupy Wall Street coverage have once again become the cause of controversy. This time, it’s not the nature of the coverage and whether it may or may not be biased for/against the Occupy movement, but rather, whether the press have the right to even cover the evictions from Zuccotti Park at all.The New York Mayor’s office attempted to justify keeping journalists away from the action in Zuccotti Park, a ban that came into place on November 15 on the basis that reporters needed to be kept away from ongoing arrests and evictions for their own protection.This raises certain questions about where reporters can go and when. Usually journalists who have been issued a press pass by the NYPD can cross police lines in the event of a breaking news story.
From a letter to the editor:
Thank you for Paul Beebe’s article “Winder-Deseret Connect mess casts shadow on citizen journalism model” (Tribune, Nov. 20). The problem at the Deseret News is that it does not really use many citizen “journalists”; it uses mommy-bloggers and aspiring writers willing to work for free to get their names in the paper.
Sadly, dozens of experienced, competent reporters lost their careers and livelihoods when the News’ new management replaced them with ambitious amateur contributors. There are some excellent News contributors who are former staff members, but others just want the free publicity.
I don’t like the scare quotes this writer tosses around the phrase citizen “journalists,” but she has a point. Newspapers are cuytting staff, then augmenting staffs with unpaid reporters. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
Bob Woodward’s tips for investigative reporting:
It’s good advice for citizen journalists, too.
Cross posted to TellPeoria.com. There’s an advertisement at the beginning.
Via Tech Flash:
The Internet’s influence on journalism was on display in the Pulitzer Prize announcements today as the Seattle Times won one of the prestigious awards for its breaking news coverage of the Lakewood police shootings last year. Also notable, as a sign of the new era, was the award of a Pulitzer Prize to ProPublica, a non-profit investigative journalism service that publishes online and in partnership with traditional print outlets.
We are going to see more of this. But I would recommend the online and citizen journalism community develop prizes of their own
As the mainstream media collapses in an orgy of freed and mismanagement, citizen journalism stepping up to the place. Via TechCrunch:
AllVoices, a fast-growing citizen journalism platform, is announcing significant expansion today. The startup is launching global news desks in 30 different cities around the world, where both professional and citizen journalists will provide regular in-country reports from the ground. With the news desks, citizen reporters will be able to receive assignments from professional journalists. Cities with news desks include Baghdad, Beijing, Islamabad, London, Nairobi, and Shanghai.
I’m pretty sure Peoria isn”t on the list of communities with a news desk from these fine folks. We are going to have to content ourselves with Blog Peoria and Tell Peoria.
I’m not a huge fan of the iPhone, but I am a fan of more and better tools for citizen journalists. Via Online Journalism Blog:
“An entire category of content called real-time sports doesn’t exist for what is the enormous majority of athletic events happening everyday, whether that is organized sports from the small college level or high school and youth sports,” says Sullivan.
Having not only played the sport, but also having coached at a downtown little league in Manhattan, Sullivan understood the challenges of scoring baseball manually. Earlier this year, along with co-founder Kiril Savino, he launched GameChanger, an iPhone application that transmits data in real time from the field. Using the tool, scores and stats, as they happen, can be tapped into an iPhone by coaches, fans and parents. This is translated into a “gamestream” that appears on the Gamechanger site instantaneously so fans can access live updates, box scores, and play by plays.
Balls, strikes and hits are recorded using the tool’s menu options, and players are tracked by dragging and dropping names. In addition, a coach or scorekeeper can create a team’s schedule, roster and lineup. There is also a provision for fans to add to the stream by posting comments or uploading photos and video.
NOTE: I posted this press release on Peoria Pundit and just now realized I never posted it on Blog Peoria. I’m reposting because it makes perfect sense for BPP members to get involved with TellPeoria Online Media. As the administrator of both sites, it’s very easy for me to ad the appropriate ad code once a site is accepted as an advertiser.
And there are a few bloggers here who would make good money because of their popularity with readers.
Here is the rest of the release:
TellPeoria, an exciting new business that links local business with local websites, is open for business and is accepting clients.
People who own and operate Websites — anything from personal blogs to commerce sites to online news organizations — can sign up to run ads. Likewise, anyone eager to promote their product, services or ideas can sign up as an advertiser.
TellPeoria also offers a business directory for advertisers without any official Website, making it possible to be found by customers who should in the Internet. We also offer free WorkPress blogs for anyone who wants to get paid to blog
There are other online ad networks (like Google AdSense) and free blog platforms (like Blogger). But TellPeoria is local. Our clients are those who live in the Peoria area and surrounding counties. The owners are Debbie Adlof, owner of the Community Word newspaper, and Billy Dennis, owner of the Peoria Pundit and Blog Peoria Network. Adlof and Dennis have commitments to community-based journalism and both have life-long family and professional ties to the community.
And no one from Google is going to call you at home and walk you through the registration process.
Now is the time.
Very few media experts think that 100 years from now, we’ll be getting our news and information from printing presses. But few will name a date when they think the last newspaper will be printed on paper, or the last newscast will go out on an antenna.
It’s time to pull the trigger.
TellPeoria is founded on the proposition that the end of print and air-wave journalism is a good thing, and we need to bring it about sooner rather than later. The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is money. Newspapers still make money by selling print ads. Potential advertisers are scared away from online ads because they don’t understand it or because it costs too much (as do print ads).
We want to make it easier for advertisers to place ads on specific blogs and Websites. We want to make it easier for blogs and other Websites to run ads. Think of TellPeoria in this way: We want be YOUR advertising department so that you can grow your blog or Website.
In an era in which newspapers are closing, firing workers and shrinking the number of pages per issue because of declining ad sales, more and more advertising is going to online media. The Interactive Advertising Bureau  says that online advertising grew 1.7 percent from the second to third quarter in 2009. Advertisers now spend $5.6 billion in the third quarter. That’s compared to the $2 billion in the first quarter of 2000.<
According to Wikipedia,  there are more than 112,000,000 blogs. Some of these blogs were made by people who live in central Illinois. And according to Technorati,  52 percent of all blogs carry some sort of advertising, and 28 percent using three or more advertising platforms. The report states that the mean average annual revenue for U.S. bloggers is $1,800. This figure is scewed by a handful of high-traffic, high-earning blogs. The median average annual revenue for all bloggers who chose to advertise is $200.
Peoria is part of this evolution, Dennis said.
"There are at least hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs that are owned by people who live in Peoria alone. Most of these blogs aren't updated often. But many are. And they get read by thousands of people every day."
Advertising: We use the fully secure and supported AdQuick adserver platform to sell ads to visitors, and to publish ads on Websites and blogs. Advertisers can run ads across the entire network or target specific sites. Advertisers can control how much they want to spend and change their ads at will. Our publishers earn 75 percent of the revenue from every ad that runs on their site. TellPeoria focuses on central Illinois, so local Web sites will carry ads from local businesses.
People used to use the yellow pages. These days, they use Google Search. This leaves business that don't have a Web site on the outside looking in. The TellPeoria Business Directory gives your business a presence on the Web that will direct customers to you by giving you a basic Web site that is full of useful information. There are other business directories out there. We’re different. Our listings get visitors from links placed on popular Peoria-area news sites, citizen journalism sites and blogs.
TellPeoria offers blog site hosting through WordPress, a very popular blogging platform. Smart businesses realize the importance of communicating directly to their Internet-savvy customers. Clients also can set up your blog as a static Website, giving potential customers a way to learn about their businesses. Citizen journalist can also blog on TellPeoria by creating a brand new site, or by moving their posts and comments to TellPeoria.
This is an exciting time, but more is to come. Our long-range goal is to hire full-time ad representatives. We're going to expand out news offerings by encourage new citizens journalists in communities all over central Illinois. We are also going to work with educational institutions by offering Internships.
Ad website: http://tellpeoria.com/ads
Directory Website: http://tellpeoria.com/directory
Phone number: Bill Dennis: (309) 863-5748. Debbie Adlof: (309) 692-0644
About the owners
There are more than a dozen platforms out there that promise to let you buy and sell ad space on blogs and other Websites. But how many of them are owned and operated by someone who just might live in your neighborhood? Tell Peoria Online Media (http://tellpeoria.com) is operated for and by people who live your community. It's our business philosophy to operate in a transparent manner, and we'll openly discuss our rates, our policies and our associations. If you have a question or a concern, you can reach us in person. We aren't taking your ad dollars out of the community. Instead, we are promoting local businesses and promoting a healthy environment for community-based journalism.
Billy Dennis is a former reporter and editor at small daily and weekly newspapers in Illinois and Missouri. Born and raised in Peoria, IL, he graduated from Woodruff High School in 1981. He attended Illinois Central College and later graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1987. He began publishing Websites in the mid 1990s and discovered blogging in 2002, when he created the blog that would evolve into PeoriaPundit.com, where he comments on media, news and politics. He soon concluded that free-to-use blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress.com effectively gives anyone with access to the Internet the same freedom of the press that once belonged exclusively to those who own printing presses. So he created The Blog Peoria Project, which promotes community-based citizen journalism in his hometown. Realizing that if citizen journalism is to grow to fill the void left by an increasingly shrinking mainstream media, then community-based citizen journalism would have to be monetized. He and Debbie Adlof then created Tell Peoria Online Media to connect bloggers and Website publishers with those who want to advertise on their sites. He lives in the Randolph-Roanoke neighborhood on Peoria's West Bluff.
"My experiences have ranged from being a cashier, a bookkeeper, an artistic administrative assistant, a virtual assistant, a reporter, and now as a newspaper owner. I served as a reporter for the Community Word for five years before becoming its owner/editor. For the past nine years, I’ve worn all the various hats necessary to keep growing/nurturing the paper. I embraced the Internet whole-heartedly and became one of the first papers in Peoria to have a web presence with all the news stories online and started a blog site for the newspaper. I’m convinced print media needs to embrace and incorporate the Internet with their publications, or they might not survive. It was my strong desire for such new ideas and uses for the newspaper that lead to becoming one of the co-owners of TellPeoria.com!" Debbie lives on North Foxpoint Drive in North Peoria.
Contact us with any questions: email@example.com or call us at (309) 863-5748 or (309) 692-0644
It has come to my attention that people attend conferences about blogging. The whole thing reminds me of journalism conventions and conferences, which are mostly about getting away from the wife for the purpose of doing things you don’t want you wife to know about.
In addition to the fees necessary to attend the damn things, there are consultants who set up booths selling their services as consultants. For a fee — sometimes THOUSANDS of dollars — these con artists promise to attract readers to their blogs. Or to help them gets “followers” in Twitter or “friends” on Facebook.
I’ve been known to do consulting, basically to help folks set up their blogs. My fee is no where near thousands of dollars and I don’t promise to lure hundreds of thousands of readers to your site. But i do have some advice on how to attract readers who keep coming back. It applies blogs and social networking sites:
1. Your content must be of interest. I cannot do this for you.
2. Learn to write well. How to learn to write well? Write a lot.
3. Post regularly. There are sites like FARK and TMZ that I visit many times a day because they UPDATE ALL THE TIME.
4. Don’t talk to your readers like you are trying to get them to sign up for a vacation time share.
5. Post links to your posts on Facebook and Twitter. Remember, FB and Twitter might be tomorrow’s Technorati. Or worse, USENET.
6. Moderate your comments with a gentle hand. But then it comes time to delete, ban and block, do it ruthlessly.
7. Blog mostly about your site’s chosen subject matter. Occasionally post a funny story about your cat, or how bad traffic is. OCCASIONALLY.
8. Send condolences. Send congratulations. If you are not a sociopath, you should already be doing this.
9. You can make money from blogging. But unless you post pics of pantie-less starlets, you won’t make a lot, But you will keep you dignity.
10. If a commenter disagrees with you, you really ought to entertain the possibility, however slight, that it might be YOU who is wrong. In other words, try to be humble, no matter how smart you think you are.
11. Do NOT plagiarize.
12. Before USENET (aka “newsgroups”) was taken over by spammers, it was a place to give & receive help. Make your site like USENET used to be.
13. But down the Doritos and Mountain Dew Red and go outside and go for a walk once in a while.
14. Talk to a pretty girl once in a while with no ulterior motive other than it will put a smile on your face.
15. Numbers 13 and 14 have NOTHING to do with blogging or social networks, by the way.