Sarah Booker

19/11/2010

Great people for journalists to follow on Twitter #ff

Alan Rusbridger‘s article today, Why Twitter matters for media organisations listed a great many reasons for using Twitter.

During my years on Twitter I have found it is a great way to learn and I continue to learn a great deal by following other digital journalists, educators and developers.

In an effort to help journalists stepping into the Twittersphere for the first time I have compiled a list of really useful people to follow and learn from.

Teaching and learning

Paul Bradshaw – Lecturer and social media consultant Online journalism blog – great tips  Twitter.com/ojblog

BBC Journalism College

Clay Shirky – Influential future media blogger

Glynn Mottershead – Journalism lecturer

Andy Dickinson – Online journalism lecturer and links; twitter.com/linkydickinson

Jeff Jarvis – The Buzz Machine blogger and journalism professor

Sue Llewellyn – BBC social media trainer and TV journo

Steve Yelvington – Newsroom trainer

Jay Rosen – Journalism lecturer at NYU

Roy Greenslade – City University, media commentator

Journalists

Alison Gow – Executive Editor, digital, for the Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo

Marc Reeves – The Business Desk, West Midlands

Richard Kendall – Web editor Peterborough Evening Telegraph

David Higgerson – Head of Multimedia, Trinity Mirror

Sam Shepherd – Bournemouth Echo digital projects

Jo WadsworthBrighton Argus web editor

Matt Cornish – journalist and author of Monkeys and Typewriters

Louise Bolotin – Journalist and hyperlocal blogger

Sarah Booker (me because I try to be useful)

Joanna Geary – Guardian digital development editor twitter.com/joannageary and  twitter.com/joannaslinks

Adam Tinworth –  Consultant and ex-Reed Business Information editorial development manager

Adam Westbrook – Lecturer and multimedia journalist

Patrick Smith – The Media Briefing

Shane Richmond – Telegraph Head of technology

Edward Roussel – Telegraph digital editor

Damian Thompson – Telegraph blogs editor

Kate Day – Telegraph communities editor

Ilicco Elia – Former Head of mobile Reuters

Sarah Hartley– Guardian local

Jemima Kiss – Guardian media/tech reporter

Kate Bevan – Guardian media/tech reporter

Josh Halliday – Media Guardian

Jessica Reid – Guardian Comment is Free

Charles Arthur – Tech Guardian editor

Heather Brooke – Investigative journalist, FOI campaigner

Kevin Anderson – Journalist, ex BBC, ex Guardian

Wannabehacks – Journalism students and trainees

Simon Rogers – Guardian data journalist and editor of the datastore

Jon Slattery – Journalist

Laura Oliver – Journalism.co.uk

Johann Hari – Journalist, The Independent (personal)

Guy Clapperton – Journalist and writer

Alan Rusbridger – Guardian editor

Specialists

George Hopkin – Seo evangelist

Nieman Journalism Lab – Harvard

Martin Belam – Guardian internet advisor

Tony Hirst – OU lecturer and data mash up artist

Christian Payne – Photography, video, mobile media

David Allen Green – Lawyer and writer

Judith Townend – Meeja Law & From the Online

Richard Pope – Scraperwiki director

Suw Charman-Anderson – social software consultant and writer

Scraperwiki – Data scraping and information

Chris Taggart – Founder of Openly Local and They Work for You

Suzanne Kavanagh – Publishing sector manager at Skillset, personal account

Greg Hadfield – Director of strategic projects at Cogapp, ex Fleet Streets

Francis Irving – Scraperwiki

Ben Goldacre – Bad Science

Philip John – Journal Local, Litchfield Blog,  twitter.com/hyperaboutlocal

David McCandless – Information is Beautiful

Flying Binary – Cloud computing and visual analytics

Rick Waghorn – Journalist and founder of Addiply

News sources

Journalism news

Journalism blogs

Mike ButcherTech Crunch UK

Richard MacManus – Read Write Web

The Media Blog

Press Gazette

Hold the Front Page

Mashable – Social media blog

Media Guardian

Guardian tech weekly

Paid Content

The Media Brief

BBC news

Channel4 news

Channel4 newsroom blogger

Sky News

House of Twits –  Houses of Parliament

Telegraph Technology

07/02/2010

Making the headlines work

Late on Friday afternoon (February 5, 2010) I had an interesting discussion with a member of senior management about the difference between web news and the newspapers.

It’s no secret that Johnston Press is changing its operating systems, and part of that includes a redesigned website. The Grantham Journal already has its beta site up for feedback.

Tomorrow I am going to Grantham to see how it all works, hence the discussion with the senior manager. I explained I particularly wanted to know how the web edits and headlines are separated from print, as the system is integrated.

This was something he couldn’t get his head around. Why the difference? Writers, and sub editors in particulars are aware of the need for expressive, concise and witty headlines necessary for print.

However, those of us working with news websites are well aware of the need to simplify headlines for search engine optimisation (SEO).

When I was handed the newspaper websites I knew nothing of SEO, but as a web user of 12 years standing at that point, I had an instinctive understanding of how the headlines and stories needed to be written.

It seems obvious to me that journalists need to put themselves in the position of someone searching for a particular news story.

On Friday I had uploaded a video of fans queuing to see Peter Andre at the Holmbush Centre Tesco in Shoreham-by-sea.

My chosen headline was Peter Andre thrills fans at Holmbush Centre signing and the picture caption included the words Tesco, and Shoreham.

The Shoreham Herald version of the story topped Google on Friday afternoon, and the story was the most popular on the three websites it appeared on. My work was done.

However, the senior member of management couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t use that headline in the print edition. It’s not dreadful, but it’s hardly the sort of pithy eye-catching stuff you might expect.

I suggested the print headline “Fans scream for six-pack star”, and pointed out it wouldn’t work on the web, but had an element of fun for the paper.

Unfortunately the senior manager couldn’t understand why it would work in the paper and not on the web, and vice versa.

When I checked the web analytics I found “Peter Andre” was the top search term and high in the rankings were the phrases “Peter Andre at Holmbush”, “Peter Andre in Shoreham” and “Peter Andre signing at Tesco”.

It may not seem like rocket science but I have tried to explain this to a number of reporters who still don’t get it, and use print style headlines instead.

An example I use during the online journalism workshops I host at Brighton City College, is The Sun’s Gotcha headline.

I’ve read variations on the Gotcha isn’t good for the web theme, but the best is Shane Richmond’s post for British Journalism Review.

The “Gotcha” headline on a Sun front-page splash about the sinking of the General Belgrano is one of the most famous, or infamous depending on your taste, in the history of British journalism.

Yet no web producer with any experience would consider a headline like that today. The reason is search engine optimisation (SEO).

SEO has been around almost as long as search engines themselves, but journalists were quite late to cotton on.  It didn’t really reach newsrooms until a couple of years ago.

The concept is simple.  It’s about ensuring that your content is found by the millions of people every day who use search engines as their first filter for news and those who don’t search at all but trust an automated aggregator, such as Google News, to filter stories for them.

These people are essentially asking a computer to tell them the news.

If you want your story to be read, you’d better make sure the computer knows what you’re writing about.

It’s logical and simple, it’s strange how some people just can’t get it.

18/11/2009

Useful people to follow on Twitter – Part one

This week I am hosting my first online journalism lecture/workshop/seminar for NCTJ news and magazine journalism students at Brighton City College.

During the session I’ll be looking at Twitter as an information source. I have found stories for the newspapers I work for, and discovered a host of useful information to help me with my work.
Here is the first batch of journalism and social media folk I  would recommend for a #followfriday dedicated to journalists new to Twitter, but without the 140 limit.

George Hopkin – Johnston Press seo evangelist.

Mashable – Social media blog . The latest tricks, toys and gossip in the world of social media and a few handy guides, too.

Paul Bradshaw – Lecturer and social media consultant.

Online Journalism Blog – great tips from Paul Bradshaw and co

Joanna Geary – Times web development editor.  Also follow her professional account and her bookmarks @timesjoanna and @joannaslinks

Alison Gow – Executive Editor, digital, for the Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo.

Jo Wadsworth – Brighton Argus web editor @brightonargusjo

Glenn Mottershead – Journalism lecturer.

Andy Dickinson – Online journalism lecturer. See his bookmarks @linkydickinson

Sarah Hartley – Guardian local launch editor.

Clay Shirky – Influential future media blogger.

Journalism news Tips, news and a whole host of useful information.

Judith Townend – From Journalism News.

Media Guardian – Updated throughout the week. More than Monday’s weekly supplement.

Shane Richmond – Telegraph Head of technology.

Kate Day – Telegraph communities editor.

Martin Belam – Guardian internet advisor: Currybet.

Charles Arthur – Tech Guardian editor.

Ilicco Elia –  Head of mobile Reuters.

Channel4 newsroom blogger – follow the newsroom process before the bulletin.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy – Channel4 news.

Jemima Kiss – Guardian media/tech journalist and UK Twitter queen.

Patrick Smith – PaidContent UK .

Damian Thompson – Telegraph blogs editor.

Jeff Jarvis – The Buzz Machine blogger and journalism professor.
David Higgerson – Head of Multimedia, Trinity Mirror; Exec Editor, Bham Post and Mail.

Louise Bolotin – Journalist and blogger.

Richard Kendall – Web editor Peterborough Evening Telegraph.

Documentally – Mobile media maker.

Tech Crunch UK – Tech news and information.

Mike Butcher – Tech Crunch UK.

Neiman Journalism Lab – Harvard.

Richard MacManus – Read Write Web.

Daren Forsyth – Ex-BBC, now 140characters.co.uk

Josh Halliday – Journalism student and social media user.

Matt Cornish – Newspaper editor.

And to end part one, why not add me, too – Sarah Booker.

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