Light posting, see Social Freedom

Last week, I became part of a small team of Freedom Communications employees who will, for 90 days, explore social media and the ways in which the company (which owns over 100 newspapers and eight TV stations) and its employees should participate in social networks.

As part of that experiment, we launched Social Freedom, a blog to track our research and learnings, from each other and other web sites and organizations.

To avoid some redundancy, I will be posting less about social media here on Almighty Link, my personal blog.

Please come join me and my teammates on Social Freedom. The blog is powered by Posterous, so you can “follow” us if you have a Posterous account.

Photo courtesy of Hazarizal Zainodin via Flickr.

How #editorchat inspired storystreaming

My first post about the idea of storystreaming was a response to Daniel Honigman’s post about the end of live-tweeting, but those ideas had been brewing in my head for some time. Some of those thoughts were inspired by a discussion during the June 17  #editorchat session. Since I’ve recently submitted the storystreaming idea to the Knight News Challenge, I thought these excerpts from that chat might be of interest. I’ve added some formatting to help scan the messages.

milehighfool: Last week’s touched a nerve. Tonight, from 8:30-10 pm EDT, we’re back talking about real-time publishing: 5:22 pm

WpgGirl: Is today’s real-time publishing what live, man-on-the-street reporting used to be? 7:54 pm

milehighfool: @WpgGirl I;m not sure, because everyone is an eyewitness. 7:55 pm

WpgGirl: @milehighfool Therefore, everyone is a reporter now. Scary prospect. 7:56 pm

Continue reading

Storystreaming submitted to Knight News Challenge

For those of you following the marriage of storytelling and lifestreaming, I have submitted an application for the 2010 Knight News Challenge. Please visit my submission and rate it when you get a chance. Most importantly, please leave comments.

How can the project be improved?

What tools features need to be covered?

What technologies can help build the platform?

Regardless of the outcome of the challenge, this is a platform that I think today’s journalists sorely need, and I hope to continue refining the idea.

Use MapaTwit to find Rick Sanchez or map any Twitter user

Rick Sanchez on TwitterHave you ever seen a Twitter user with a pair of long numbers listed as his location? The example on the right is from the profile of CNN’s Rick Sanchez. Where and what the heck is ÜT: 41.273614,-72.751469?

Rick is using ÜberTwitter on his Blackberry to update his location from where he is tweeting. The numbers are the longitude and latitude of his location. That might work for computers, but we humans need some help.

I’ve created a little bookmarklet that simply finds a Twitter’s location on Google Maps. If you aren’t using Internet Explorer, all you have to do is drag this little button to the bookmarks/favorites bar on your browser:


If you’re using Explorer, right-click on that button, select “Add to favorites,” click on the “Links” folder and then hit the “OK” button.

Now, just go to a person’s Twitter page. Try Rick Sanchez. Once the page loads, click on your shiny new MapaTwit button and you’ll be magically transported to a Google Map of  Branford, Connecticut (or wherever Rick might be right now).

The tool also works with non-cryptic locations that you might not be familiar with. For example, if you’re looking at Jerry Livesey’s Twitter page, you might want to know where to find Gavilan Hills. Just hit the MapaTwit button to find out.

Keep in mind, anyone can change their Twitter location manually, so make sure to take other steps to verify a tweet if you are planning to use it in a story you are writing.

Also keep in mind, I am not a developer by trade and this tool was something I created for my 140pix project. I can’t provide any guarantee that it will work for every computer on every browser, although it has worked for me on most major browsers.

Developers: feel free to take the code, modify it, make it better, redistribute it, etc.

What bookmarklets do you use on a regular basis? Do you have any tools to help verify tweets? Did my MapaTwit work for you? Share in the comments, please.