Last blog standing, “last guy dancing”: How Jason Kottke is thinking about kottke.org at 20


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


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In 2013, Jason Kottke wrote a prediction for Nieman Lab’s year-end roundup: “The blog is dead, long live the blog.” Kottke was then (and still is) owner of one of the longest continuously running blogs on the web: kottke.org, founded in 1998. “Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice,” he wrote. “Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.” Kottke.org, however, is decidedly still a blog. It also celebrates its twentieth birthday this year. I spoke with Kottke about the Continue reading "Last blog standing, “last guy dancing”: How Jason Kottke is thinking about kottke.org at 20"

Ivanka Trump Tweets About Tooth Whitening and You Know What Happens Next


This post is by Lindsey Ellefson from Mediaite


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You know, Ivanka Trump isn’t really a political person. She’s a businesswoman first and foremost. Sure, she’ll make a speech or two for her father, who happens to be running for President and loves her dearly, but she maintains a lifestyle brand online and can’t afford to lose sight of that during this election. Of course, she has been promoting her real job, which requires her to get clicks on her website to generate ad revenue. Look: That links to her latest blog post, “Weekly Clicks: Beauty Food.” It is subtitled, “It (literally) starts from within.” It’s benign. It’s exactly what blogs are for. People love to click links and learn that they should eat more fruit. Some people, however, don’t think that Trump has the right to tweet about healthy foods and Continue reading "Ivanka Trump Tweets About Tooth Whitening and You Know What Happens Next"

5 Powerful Ways to Write Content That Connects


This post is by Fauzia Burke from MediaShift


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The following piece is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication. Read more about MediaShift guest posts here. As authors and thought leaders, writing builds our platform, connects us with our unique audience and shows our expertise. You may have things you’d love to write about, but first ask yourself, “Is this a topic that my audience would want to read and would be happy to share?” While it’s important to generate regular content, it’s more important to write content that connects. Let your audience and the data from their behavior be the driving factor for your content. Ask yourself: Does this content help my readers? Does it solve a problem in my niche? Is it creating value or is it entertaining? More importantly, let data show you the type of content that works. Be flexible. Over the years, I have discovered that
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HuffPo blogger pulls down post claiming Palin is trying to spread “retardation”


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After Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she would step down the news made front page headlines and quickly spread online. But another story concerning Palin also cropped up: A Huffington Post blogger named Erik Nelson, whose bio states that he has “written for several comedy websites and published short fiction while living in the deep South,” published a “satirical” post claiming that Palin was trying to spread “retardation” …

Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


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So one move is in the direction of quality. Alex Blumberg, the public radio reporter who left to start Gimlet Media in 2014, describes what he’s trying to build as the “HBO of podcasting.” “We take more time, we spend more money, and we try to hone and craft more than 95 percent of the podcasts out there,” he said earlier this year. “I think podcasting still has an association with something that two dudes make in their basement. There’s a Wayne’s World connotation to it. But I think of them as shows: sleek, produced, where you have people who are good at it doing it.” Gimlet has built up an acclaimed lineup of podcasts that now regularly land on most-downloaded lists and which have smart integration of advertising. Other companies like Panoply (from the people at Slate) and Midroll (now owned by Scripps) are doing something Continue reading "Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents"

Ed Silverman of Pharmalot on building longevity — and audience loyalty — in blogging


This post is by Justin Ellis from Nieman Lab


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It’s only fitting that a blog about pharmaceutical companies would be adept at staving off death. For almost a decade, Ed Silverman has gained a reputation for his encyclopedic knowledge of the world of drug manufacturers and his ability to keep Pharmalot, his one-man blog dedicated to that subject alive. But it’s been a long journey. Pharmalot started life as an early example of newspaper blogging by the Newark Star-Ledger. “The editor was looking for ideas of some sort, to create new sites. I wasn’t sure if he was looking for a full website or something else. But I suggested something about the pharmaceutical industry,” Silverman told me. In 2007, Pharmalot officially launched; a year later, as newspapers reeled from the financial crisis, Silverman took a buyout. The story could have ended there. But over the years, Silverman (and Pharmalot) have had many homes and sponsors — as an Continue reading "Ed Silverman of Pharmalot on building longevity — and audience loyalty — in blogging"

DigitalEd: Basics of Publishing with WordPress


This post is by Aleszu Bajak from MediaShift


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Title: Basics of Publishing with WordPress
Instructor: Aleszu Bajak, Innovator in Residence, Northeastern University How to build your own website and get a crash course in HTML and CSS
This training will introduce the fundamentals of building your own website on WordPress, how to run a blog, and how to design and publish digital elements to complement and enhance your stories. We will learn the basics of HTML and CSS as they pertain to WordPress and how to add plugins and use themes. What you’ll learn from this training:
  1. How to start up a WordPress site from hosting to install
  2. How to publish a post, a page, a photo, a video
  3. How to “hack” CSS and HTML to design your story
  4. How to add plug-ins and themes
Handouts:
  • WordPress for beginners tipsheet
Who should take this training:

Press Publish 15: Matt Thompson on The Atlantic’s attempt to breathe some life into classic blogging


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


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It’s Episode 15 of Press Publish, the Nieman Lab podcast! press-publish-2-1400pxMy guest today is Matt Thompson. Since earlier this year, Matt has been deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, But you might know him from some of his previous career stops. He spent a few years at NPR, heading up some of its most interesting digital initiatives, like Project Argo. Maybe you know him from Snarkmarket, the influential group blog he led with fellow smart guys Robin Sloan and Tim Carmody. Or you may just know him as a provocative thinker on the shape of modern media. Matt’s one of the key people behind Notes, a new section The Atlantic launched last month that promises to bring blogging back to The Atlantic. It’s an interesting attempt to recapture some of the looser, voicier, more conversational
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Daily Must Reads, September 4, 2015


This post is by Julie Keck from MediaShift


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




1. Can ‘mommy bloggers’ still make a living? (Olga Khazan / The Atlantic)

  1. Data Docs tool marries data with video storytelling (Vignesh Ramachandran / Knight Foundation)

  2. Spotify updates privacy policy with clearer language after backlash (Jake Kastrenakes / The Verge)

  3. Apple rumor tracker: What will be revealed at the September 9 event (Jared Newman / Fast Company)

  4. Case of Vice reporters underlines Turkish crackdown on Internet freedom (Michael Pizzi / Al Jazeera America)

  5. Teens face criminal charges for taking, keeping naked photos of themselves (Danielle Wiener-Bronner / Fusion)

  6. Local TV creates hurdle to streaming (Keach Hagey / Wall Street Journal)

 

We’ll be taking Monday, September 7th off; see you Tuesday, September 8th.

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As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Editor’s note: The new issue of our sister publication Nieman Reports is out and ready for you to read. I write a column for the print edition of the magazine; here’s my depressing one from the new issue.

This has not been a good year for local news. nieman-reports-summer-2015That’s a sentence I could have written any year for the past decade, for a host of reasons now numbingly familiar. But 2015 has felt like a turning point for the most threatened sector of the American news ecosystem. And I’m worried that some of what hopefulness remains in the system is being wrung out by changes in the larger digital world. There will still be success stories, sure. But the most important job that local news has done for decades — providing a degree of accountability to thousands of local communities across the country — is increasingly going undone. And

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The Atlantic is returning to blogging


This post is by Joseph Lichterman from Nieman Lab


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Blogging is back at The Atlantic. Last night, the magazine launched Notes, a new section on its site that’s harkens back to the site’s earliest days when blogs featuring writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Andrew Sullivan, and Jeffery Goldberg were among its main draws. With an emphasis on shorter takes, quick-hit news, and reader engagement, The Atlantic is promoting Notes as its return to blogging, but 2015 style. “In terms of our work, and what we do, and how we like to engage people, the forms in which we’ve done digital journalism have evolved, and we’ve come to miss a kind of older form — we missed blogging,” J.J. Gould, The Atlantic’s web editor told me this afternoon. “We missed the kind of writing it represents. We missed the kind of audience engagement it represents,” he said. “In the meantime, I thought it sort of was
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Reward or Punishment? What Happens to Online Influencers in the Gulf


This post is by Hiba Zayadin from Mediashift


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Abdullah Al-Maglooth and Raif Badawi are both Saudi bloggers. They both enjoy a massive online following. But while one of them was honored at the Arab Social Media Awards for employing social media channels to promote positivity and tolerance, the other is serving a ten-year prison sentence, and the very reason for his incarceration is the Saudi government’s intolerance for the blog he maintained. When United Arab Emirates Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Arab Social Media Awards in June 2014 to celebrate and promote the use of social media in the region, Badawi had already been in jail in Saudi Arabia for two years on multiple charges, including “founding a liberal website” and “insulting Islam.” “We want this prize to add real value to existing efforts to develop all channels and sectors of the Arab media. By honoring online influencers, we stress the great value that an innovative and effective social media presence can bring,” said Sheikh Mohammed at the time. The awards were presented at the first-ever Arab Social Media Influencers Summit on March 17-18, 2015, attended by over 15,000 social media influencers, enthusiasts and professionals alike. Among those invited to speak were Brandon Stanton, author of the blog “Humans of New York,” and Chris Messina, inventor of the Hashtag. The “Humans of New York” blog has over 12 million followers on Facebook, and Messina has a following of more than 73,800 people on Twitter.
Photo by Ayman Itani and reused here with Creative Commons license.

Photo by Ayman Itani and reused here with Creative Commons license.

Prominent Arab online influencers, including Ali Jaber, director of MBC Group and Dean of the Mohammad Bin Rashid School of Communication, and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, an independent journalist and former host of HuffPost Live, also spoke at the summit. Raif Badawi too is considered an online influencer, as his 40,000 Twitter followers would surely agree. His website, now closed down, was set up to promote debate about religion in the Saudi kingdom, where freedom of expression is not guaranteed in the constitution. Badawi’s sentence also included 1000 lashes, to be given over 20 weeks. He received the first 50 lashes on January 9, 2015, and since then his case has received an outpouring of international support, as governments and organizations around the world, including Amnesty International, have called for his release.

Not just a Saudi problem

Many others across the Arab world, and more specifically the Gulf States, have been targeted and harassed for their online dissent. Some, like Badawi, have been jailed, and some have had their citizenships revoked. Since November 2012, when UAE president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a vaguely worded cybercrimes decree, at least six people in the Emirates have been sent to prison for comments made on Twitter. In Bahrain, where the government has been attempting to smother an uprising demanding reforms since 2011, protesters turned to Twitter en masse to express dissent — but it wasn’t long before the authorities caught up with the
Photo by mkhmarketing on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.
Photo by Robert S. Donovan on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.
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Medium, known for going long, wants to go shorter


This post is by Caroline O'Donovan from Nieman Lab


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Medium announced some new updates to its publishing platform today. They include a tagging system (which means more structured data), a redesign of post presentation called The Stream, and an inline editor that’s supposed to make it easier to start writing. This last feature has received the most attention so far, with the general consensus being that Medium is getting “bloggier” (or is it Bloggerier?) and “more like Twitter.” When I met with Evan Hansen at Medium headquarters in October, he talked about how the site had grown a reputation as a home for longform writing. While Medium loves longform, Hansen said, they were also actively looking for ways to lower the barrier of entry for writers, trying to compel more writers to write more stuff more casually. That’s why, for example, they introduced a commenting format that encouraged readers with something to say to “write a response” in the form of a Medium post. Here’s how Medium (and Twitter) founder Ev Williams put it:
It was not our intention, however, to create a platform just for “long-form” content or where people feel intimidated to publish if they’re not a professional writer or a famous person (something we’ve heard many times). We know that length is not a measure of thoughtfulness. The quality of an idea is not determined by the polish of the writing. And production value does not determine worthiness of time investment on the web any more than it does at the movie theater. We also know that sometimes you need to get a thought out in an incomplete form in order for it to grow — by bumping into other brains and breathing in fresh air. That’s why, today, we’re making some pretty big changes to how Medium works and feels.
Venture-backed sites like Medium need lots of content and lots of users.
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Daily Must Reads, February 3, 2015


This post is by Julie Keck from Mediashift


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




  1. 7 things to love about reddit’s first transparency report (Rainey Reitman / Electronic Frontier Foundation)

  2. Report: Google, Amazon, others fork out for AdBlock Plus ‘unblock’ (Kat Hall / The Register)

  3. Guardian digital chief: Killing off comments ‘a monumental mistake’ (Paul McNally / News:Rewired)

  4. Ben Thompson: The one-man blog isn’t dead, it’s better than ever (Mathew Ingram / GigaOm)

  5. New York Times Co. profit falls as company makes strides in digital ads (Ravi Somaiya / New York Times)

  6. Application period for Round 3 of INNovation Fund grants now open (via Investigative News Network)

  7. Melody Kramer: WNYC is helping people learn to be bored again (via Poynter)

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Daily Must Reads, January 29, 2015


This post is by Julie Keck from Mediashift


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




  1. Emily Bell’s 2015 Hugh Cudlipp lecture (via Guardian)

  2. Andrew Sullivan is quitting blogging (Joshua Benton / NiemanLab)

  3. Future of news: News vs. noise (James Harding / BBC News)

  4. Tumblr takes on Medium with upgrades to its writing interface and more (Sarah Perez / TechCrunch)

  5. Super Bowl halftime: Katy Perry to pitch merch on YouTube, Twitter, Roku and connected TVs (Todd Spangler /Variety)

  6. How one of the best films at Sundance was shot using an iPhone 5S (Casey Newton / The Verge)

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Andrew Sullivan is quitting blogging


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


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Andrew Sullivan — perhaps the archetypal news blogger, one of the earliest traditional-media journalists to embrace the then-new form — is calling it quits. The reasons: burnout, stress, health issues, and a general desire to do something else.
…I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.
Sullivan, editor of The New Republic back in the 1990s, blogged on his own, for The Daily Beast, Time, and The Atlantic, and most recently under the independent brand of The Dish, launched two years ago as a test of his anti-advertising, pro-paid-content ideas for supporting online journalism. He got about 30,000 people to pay up, which generated around $1 million a year in revenue. To understand Sullivan’s place in the blogging firmament, you should check out the lengthy interview he gave the team behind Riptide in 2013, in which he dove deep into his history with the medium, his views of its strengths, and why he (at least at that time) was still doing it. There’s a transcript on the Riptide site; I’m embedding the two-part videos below.
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Using Medium Can Super-Charge Your Class Blog


This post is by Molly Wright Steenson from Mediashift


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It was the final stretch before the new semester, the week when I shuffle course materials into digital and paper readers. It was also the week in which I launch my course blogs. That day, a tweet from Steven Levy caught my eye. Epic indeed. David Carr is a media reporter at the New York Times and now was also teaching at Boston University, using Medium for his syllabus. Medium describes itself as a “networked publishing” company. Part blog platform, part content and publication hub, it combines simplified writing tools with good typography and design, and an easy ability to add images and video. The images and videos that unfurled as I scrolled through David Carr’s text gave the feeling he was leading a journey, not just teaching a class  —  and for as clichéd as that may sound, it’s true. He told the syllabus as a story. And how many syllabi do that? I was excited. I immediately started working on my own on Medium.
Screenshot from the Information Landscapes & Data Cultures collection
How commenting works at the level of a word or phrase, with my comments on a design fiction piece by Abigail Fisher.
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