Will SOPA hurt the Internet?

As of today, the United States legislature is currently working on putting together the Stop Online Privacy Act, a new bill intended to prevent companies from losing business by pirating downloads and software.

The bipartisan bill will make unauthorized streaming of content a felony, will bar ISP's from giving access to the sites, and bar search engines from linking to the sites. It is up to the Department of Justice, in addition to copyright holders, to deem sites blockable.

Supporters for the bill argue that the laws are a natural extension of copyright laws into the 21st century, and that the bill is necessary to prevent companies from losing too much intellectual property.

The bill's opponents say that the government will have too much say as to whether a site can remain operable, and that the security changes will undermine the basic structure of the internet.

Where do you stand on SOPA?

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sopa-hearings-cast-debate-as-old-media-vs-new-media/2011/12/16/gIQAmCD3yO_story.html




Frictionless Sharing

During a recent conversation I had with Time Inc.'s social media editor, Allie Townsend, she mentioned a lot of online publications are turning their attention to frictionless sharing.

If any of you use Spotify (If you don't, I highly recommend it.), you've already experienced it firsthand. In a nutshell, whenever you listen to music using Spotify it shares the information with your Facebook profile. By encouraging users to log into their Facebook profiles while using the music streaming app, Spotify found a great way to market itself on peoples' news feeds.

More recently, many of you have probably noticed the Washington Post Social Reader cropping up on your Facebook news feeds. This too uses frictionless sharing, as everything you read will show up on your profile.

No longer do you have to actively share information because more and more applications are doing it for you. Unfortunately, you also can't control who you share with at this stage in the game.

My question to everyone is how do you think this will change the news industry, if at all?

At the very least, I feel news organizations have found a brand new way market themselves. But this could also prove a great way to disseminate news content without having to manually upload a story link to Facebook every time. The possibilities seem endless.

Also, here's a link that explains frictionless sharing and its pros and cons better than I ever could:



2011's Top Searches for Google and Yahoo

Now that 2011 nears an end, websites are steadily posting those top stories of the year. Here's what ABCNews.com says were Google's and Yahoo's "fastest rising searches" for 2011.


Journalists on Twitter

Many editors and professors encourage (strongly) for their journalists to be active on Twitter. However, at the same time, criticize the under-reported and inaccurate information that is often posted on the social media site, not necessarily by journalists. My question is this, in order to further define the distinction between active citizenship and journalism, would journalists be better served just staying off of Twitter?


So it's not really out with the old, then

This post on Chris Daly's blog reminded me of the brewing feud between the FONers and the FOMers that we discussed today in class. Daly is a journalism professor at Boston University.


Twitter's New Design

Speaking of twitter, the New York Times recently released this article about some design changes the social network is making to attract more users and advertisers.



ESPN Twitter policy

Back in September the Houston Texans starting running back, Arian Foster, tweeted a photo of his injured hamstring. This was not a violaiton of the NFL's twitter policy and therefore no League action was taken. However, the ability of athletes to break their own news poses serious conseuences for the future of journalism. Some fear that one day players, leagues, teams, or colleges will no longer need a middleman to cover them. Will athletes' ability to release their own information seriously cripple journalists' ability to make a living? Does Foster's twitpic of his hamstring portend a bleak future for journalism?


An example of breaking news on an online-only news magazine

News is breaking today about a gunman who killed two people at Virginia Tech's campus.

As an example of how a modern news website combines breaking news, here's Huffington Post's page of coverage on the event.

It has a text story that's been edited throughout the day, links to multiple videos, a live blog, a link to another news source's live news feed, and a Twitter feed.

In such a short time, all this has been added to the story in a practice which is now considered to be standard. Journalism has never been so multimedia-focused.

This afternoon, Dec. 8

This just landed in my inbox:

I wanted to let you know that this afternoon, December 8, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings will be webcasting a forum exploring how mobile technology can ease the everyday lives of Americans. I will moderate a discussion with Chris Dede of Harvard University and my Brookings colleague Allan Friedman. Peggy Johnson, executive vice president and president of Global Market Development at Qualcomm, will provide opening remarks.

You can view the webcast LIVE at:


The webcast will run from 2:00 - 3:30pm EST today.

You can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CTIMobile.

I also have published a new paper, "Ten Facts about Mobile Broadband," showing how the mobile economy, which generates $1.3 trillion in annual revenues, is reshaping the global landscape. There are major opportunities to create jobs, and create social and economic connections in both developed and emerging markets.

Thanks again for your support and I hope you enjoy the webcast. The archived video and related material will be available at this link in the days and weeks ahead.

Darrell West
Vice President and Director, Governance Studies

Most Kids Want an IPAD for Christmas

I saw this story on WUSA-TV this morning and thought about you, Chris! According to Nielson.com, the iPad tops Santa's wish list, followed by the iPod Touch.


What the Frack Is Going On?

How would you explain a complicated environmental issue like fracking?

Check out how students at NYU did it, with this video, selected by Time Magazine as one of the most creative of the year.


Maybe USA Today isn't the Evil Empire!

OK, I admit it. I had a bias going in on this trip. Having done work in the 90's for Channel 9, also owned by Gannett, I had heard lots of bad stuff about the newspaper side of the company. How it sucked up money from everything else. When I saw the new building I could believe it. But I came away from this visit really impressed.

It seems to me that USA Today in terms of the digital space is doing a ton of things right. Frankly, they are doing stuff I wish we at NPR were doing. The fact they now have the print and digital folks together is not unique. Everyone is trying the same thing, but it appears they have done a better job of making it work. I also like the fact they appear to have a true employee mentoring and development program. Believe me not everyone does these days!

So, anyway..I liked what I saw. I also like that upper level folks are giving journalists and others the chance to play with the new technology. Here are a few shots from our trip, since you probably noticed I was taking lots of iPhone pictures.


Google Maps

I ran across this interesting article about new innovations in Google Maps. Basically, Google is making this new feature just for Android phones right now, but people will be able to use Google Maps to get directions for inside locations like shopping malls and airports. They just introduced this news this week, so it could be adapted for the future.

I think this is interesting in that it just shows how vital features like using Google Maps to get directions are in this day and age. By making it only available on Android, it also promotes how important smart phones are as tools for things not just for entertainment and communication.

You don't usually think to get directions to inside locations, but a map of a place like a airport could be really useful if you're in an unfamiliar city.


Cool Graphic Online

Check out this cool graphic on The Economist magazine website.

It compares American states to other countries with similar populations and similarly sized economies (measured by GDP).

Vermont has the nation's smallest economy. It is the size of Yemen.

California's is the size of Italy. If it were a country it would be one the world's ten largest economies!

Everyone knows that the United States has a large economy (by far the word's largest), but it's weird to think of the fact that it is larger than the aggregate economy of 50 different countries.

Besides helping the reader conceptualize economy and populations sizes in new ways, the graph is very interactive.

You can click on the individual states for more details.

There is also a similar graph for Chinese, Indian and Brazilian states or provinces. I like the layout of the international graphics better because the graphs are on the side of, rather than below, the map.



USA Today Trip on Monday

Class, a reminder: We'll be meeting with editors at USA Today at 10:55 a.m. next Monday, in lieu of class. We'll likely stay till 12:30, for a tour and chat with social media editors and others. You'll need to car pool. I can comfortably fit three additional bodies into my car, and will be coming and going from campus. (Four would be a squish, but I'll do it if necessary.) Since I need to beat the rest of you there, I'll likely leave the building no later than 9:30 a.m. Let me know if you'd like to ride with me. For the rest of you, I'll start a thread on our blog so you can arrange carpools. Normally, it takes about an hour and 15 minutes in rush hour to get there, and about 45 minutes in non-rush hour to return. The address is:
7950 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, Va. 22108
The main switchboard is phone: 703-854-3400.
I put driving directions, from google, on our Blackboard site.

Note: Just before you get to the building, you'll see a guard's shack on your right. You need to pull up to it, and tell the guard (or the intercom button) your name. I'm emailing over all your names today. Tell them you're with the group from UMD, and you're meeting with staffers Desair Brown Shaw and Mary Hartney. You'll be directed to a parking lot and/or garage adjacent to the building. We'll meet in the lobby no later than 10:55 a.m. I will give you a sheet of questions to answer afterward, as a class assignment. Please take a deep look at the site before Monday, so you can ask good questions.

If you need to carpool, please put a note into comments below to make arrangements with classmates.


Commission in EU Turns Spotlight on Facebook over Privacy Concerns

A battle is brewing in the European Union over privacy concerns with Facebook.

The Telegraph reports on the European Commission's concerns over the social media giant's use of users' personal info by advertisers.

Have you personally found the targeted ads on Facebook off-putting?



Both of these headlines are from the Washington Post

Good Headline: ‘Al-Qaida sympathizer’ accused of NYC bomb plots; defense says he’s no conspirator

Very descriptive headline that gets straight to the point. I almost feel like I don't need to read the rest of the article with headlines like these.

Bad Headline: Peyton Manning to start at QB for Redskins in 2012

Note: This article has been altered since I found it a few days ago.

Blatant example of a misleading headline. The opinion article headline was followed by the phrase: "How's that for a headline? Got your attention, didn't it?" and explained that this was only a hypothetical situation and there are about eight different factors that need to fall in place in order for this to happen.

Drew Grossman: Headlines


When Wenzhou Sneezes

This is a cute headline but it doesn't really tell the reader what the story is about. If you have been keeping up with the story then you will get it, but this will go over the head of the average reader.

Winners and Losers of the Deficit Supercommittee Deadlock

This is a good headline because it tells the readers exactly what the story will be about. The headline is clear and easy to understand.


CNN Layoffs

CNN recently announced it would lay off about 50 workers, stating an "evolution allows more people in more places to edit and publish than ever before."

Just goes to show, how important it is to keep those multi-media skills up to date. Read more on Mediaite.com:


The Evolution of the News Cycle

What does the breaking news cycle look like today on the multiple platforms where it's published? And how might it look in the future--if we move onto an all-digital platform?

A smart analysis from Lauren Rabaino of the confusing, and often dead-end, threads that now greet readers trying to follow a story as it develops: http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/the-new-convoluted-life-cycle-of-a-newspaper-story_b8552.

How could the publishing platform(s) be improved?


Strong and Not-so-Strong Headlines

Class, a reminder to please post a comment to this thread before the next class on good and bad headlines. Here are the instructions from your class schedule:

Please find a good and not-so-adept headline on one or more news Web sites, and explain why you think so. Please be sure to give the full URL and headline for each. Include a sentence or two of constructive comments. Please be sure your criticism is tactful: Our class blog is online for the world to see (although only the class can comment to it.) Please don't write anything you'd be embarrassed by if strangers see.

To refresh your memory on what makes a good and bad headline, please read the headline area of this Web writing handout: http://www.newsline.umd.edu/italy/writing.htm

And please review the headline sections of this handout: http://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/seo-search-engine-optimization-basics/seo-newsroom/


A Must-Read on Aggregation

Jack Shafer writes a thoughtful piece about best practices for aggregation, while offering a defense for Jim Romenesko, who stepped down after a dozen years from his post at Poynter.


On becoming a student entrepreneur

Amy Reinink, who is an SPJ-DC member and friend, just wrote a great piece for the Washington Post Magazine on college students who are either skipping college to become entrepreneurs or graduating from school as their own boss. While the University of Maryland probably does not want us to skip out on our graduate studies, there are some valuable lessons from this story that I think our professors would urge us to use and apply. I think that to a large extent, digital and online media give us an opportunity as journalists to think in new and exciting ways.

Read the article:


Listen to the NPR interview:



Join us to discuss media diversity in Brazil, South Africa, US with 3 guest speakers

I thought you might be interested in a seminar a colleague and I are moderating this Friday at 1.30pm. Paulo Rogerio is from Brazil, and he will be talking about media diversity in Brazil and I will be giving the perspective from South Africa. There will also be three guest speakers from leading agencies in the U.S.


" Why Johnny Can't Search"

This the title of an article in this months edition of " Wired." I think it sums up quite succinctly the reason why we as journalists need to be highly suspect of Internet search results. As the article by clive@clivethompson.net points out, " kids know how to Google- they just can't tell when the results are crap." (pg.062)

In his piece Thompson cites a study done by College of Charleston business professor Bing Pan. Pan and his team gathered a group of students and asked them to search. Not surprisingly students often relied on top results on a Google page. He then switched around the order of the results and students still used the top rated results. And in almost every case the students, most of whom are " digital natives", failed to do the most basic things, like checking an authors credentials or examining where the item came from.

The bottom line of the piece is students aren't being given the most basic instruction on how to separate the " wheat from the chaff" on the Internet.The article suggests by the time students are in college most professors expect them to know this, but why? Its not as though this is a skill that's taught in most schools. And the article goes on to say it's not just the URL but also the tone of the piece that should be looked at.

Not unlike what we were asked to do on our recent mid-term. In the world of online reporting perhaps " crap detection" is one of the most important skills we can have.
The author notes that's especially true at a time that the lines between news and infotainment are becoming quite blurred.


Status updates

Use this handy guide to decide where to post a status update.


Twitter, Facebook to star in 2012 election

I was referred to this survey, conducted by Digitas and Harris Interactive, by this story. There I was, reading through it, when I hit paragraph two, which said that :

"A recent survey of adults found that a majority of respondents — 61 percent – said they expect candidates in the 2012 U.S. presidential election to have a social media presence. And 38 percent of respondents in the survey, which polled adults on behalf of brand agency Digitas, said that information found on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook will help determine their voting choices just as much as TV or newspapers."

Well, no. That's not what the survey says. Look in the box on the top left of the graphic. It says that six out of 10 social media users think presidential candidates should increase their presence on things like Twitter and Facebook. The box next to it says that 82 percent of American grown-ups use social media. If you do the math, we end up with 50 percent of the population saying they want presidential hopefuls to up their presence on social media. That's still a sizeable percentage and number, but it's also wrong to say that six in 10 Americans think a presence on Twitter and Facebook are key to how they'll vote next year.

Who does it surprise to learn that social media users think the next president should use social media? Not me. I mean, look at the role that Twitter and Facebook played in the Arab Spring uprisings, that social media is playing in Syria, and that it played in President Obama's successful election campaign in 2008.

The real news in this survey was spotted by Matt Carmichael, who wrote about it on the AdAgeStat blog.

"Perhaps the surprising thing... is the stat that 40% of social-media users don't expect candidates to have a social-media presence."

Carmichael goes on to say that the politician who does not use social media is as backwards as -- and he lets us fill in the blanks. Maybe he's too young to remember the rotary phone and the time when party lines had nothing to do with how politicos voted but referred to someone you shared a phone line with, but that would be a good one to fill in the blanks with.

In any case, I found the original story to be a good example of why you should always go back to the original source of a story to double-check facts. In this case, that meant going back to the survey.

I am not saying that Twitter and Facebook are not key tools that candidates for the White House have to master. They are. As Digitas senior vice president Jordan Bitterman, who is also the agency's social marketing practice director (that has to be in the running for job title of the year), said in a release posted on PR Newswire:

"JFK is considered the first television President. Next year's victor may well be determined by the impact of Facebook and Twitter."


Will there be a future for social media editors?

I attended the Journalism Interactive conference on Friday, and I really enjoyed the Friday morning session on journalism and social media use. New York Times social media editor, Liz Heron was on the panel and said that she thought her job might not be around in five years. You can see more of what she said here: http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/10/heron-i-think-my-job-will-probably-not-exist-in-five-years/ (source: Nieman Lab).

I thought it was a pretty bold statement, given that many journalists still do not use social media or are hesitant to sign-up. What do you think? Given that there is a heightened focus on social media, will jobs like Heron's still be around in five years? Or do you think there will always be a need for a social media editors within the newsroom?


Introducing Visual.ly

Hello Everyone,

I came across Visual.ly - a new infographics start-up - a few weeks ago and since I wanted to share it with you. This video tells who they are and what they do very effectively. It's just another source that shows the power of infographics and data visualizations today.

This one was one of my favorites.



It's Never Too Late

It is my belief that learning is life-long. Just consider how quickly technology changes from year to year. For this reason, and many others, more and more "older" students are returning to the classroom. Take a look at this clip.

58-Year-Old Proves It's Never Too late, by Post University


Oh well... too late now

This is especially for Kathy, Jack and me. Here's how it starts: "Let’s say you’ve been a journalist for a while but you feel a bit out of the loop when it comes to using social media and multimedia... Should you go to grad school?

'Lord, no,' says Jen Lee Reeves of KOMU-TV, who’s on the faculty at the University of Missouri. 'You can teach yourself anything. You just need a little quiet time.'"

Aye, and there's the rub. Where do you find 'quiet time'?

You can read the whole story here. If you have trouble following all of the logic in it, please let me know.

The dangers of tweeting

A few high profile slip-ups on Twitter illustrate why we have to think twice before cooing or clucking on the 140-character communication medium. In defense of the French minister, he was sending a message to his wife. He just messed up and, instead of pushing just her buttons, pushed one that tweeted the message to her and 14,000 followers.


Links for Clips Pages

Please add your link to your clips page in the comments below!


Using Augmented Reality Animation to Make Sense of the World

When I first learned about Hans Rosling and saw several of his presentations, I realized the strong bond between the editorial and the “interactively technical.” More than ever before. In the industry that uses vast amount of public data to provide context and explain larger socio-economic, political and medical developments, it is becoming increasingly important to present that data in a way anyone, anywhere, anytime could understand.

Rosling has pioneered an “out of the box” creative phenomenon of explaining data using augmented reality animations - so that we can make sense of the world. The software the Gapminder team developed – Trendalyzer – turned numbers into a meaningful, enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics. Even Google liked it. It bought the software and hired Gapminder developers in 2007.

The BBC documented Rosling’s love for the statistics in an hour-long program The Joy of Stats in which Rosling proved that statistics could be fun too.

This section of the BBC program particularly demonstrates Rosling’s creative approach of understanding data. In four minutes, Rosling tells the world story in 200 countries over 200 years by using 120,000 numbers.

For those of us who end up covering business or medical beat or any other beat that uses an excessive amount of numbers to explain concepts, hopefully Rosling would inspire you to think outside of the box when using new tools to make sense of the world. Enjoy!


Adapting in the News Business

After our discussions about the pressures journalists are under for deadlines and my research over the past week about my newspaper that I'm following, the Los Angeles Times, I thought that this article was especially relevant about the decline in newspapers and the shift to a need for multi-platform journalism. This article by the AJR is rather large, but it sum it up, it really gets into the pressures that the newspaper business and publications as a whole are under as well as just individual reporters. When I was researching the Los Angeles Times, there were article by other publications that talked about how the circulation has been down in numbers over the past few years. Newspapers were traditionally just for print, but with new websites, this basically requires them to step up their game and add more multimedia elements. I think that it's interesting because, now, it seems like it's more important to have multiple elements for each story and continue updating it on the web as soon as new information comes in. Reporters are under pressure to report quickly but so are newspapers in general in order to survive.

Post up your links in the comments area of this post

Class, please post your About, Resume and Blog links in the comments area of this post. Thanks!


For social-networking job-seekers

I include myself in that number. Here's a cautionary tale that you probably knew about already anyway.

Huffington Post's latest acquisition

An interesting story in the Boston Globe. Maybe we should launch a start-up and create our own jobs.


Deadline for Resume Pushed Back One Week to Oct. 10

Class, just wanted to underscore what I said verbally in class on Monday: I'm pushing back the deadline on the Wordpress resume by one week -- so that we can do a bit more work in class next week with your Wordpress sites before the resume is due. That means now that both the resume and the first blog post will be due on Oct. 10.

The first blog post -- and the other nine -- will be analyses of the professional site you chose at the start of class. Here is the question to answer for blog 1, due Oct. 10: Introduce us to this site: Its history, audience, ownership, mission and staff. Has it radically changed direction (in content, staffing or business plans) in recent years? Please consult previously written stories and site "about us" or media kit pages, and link and attribute information appropriately.

If you get your resume copyediting tweaks done before next week, we may be able to start it on Wordpress in class.

Best, Chris Harvey


Launching Your Hosting and Your Wordpress Platform

This picks up from the previous post:

STEP 2: Launching Hosting:

Go to manage/hosting/launch

Enter domain:

Enter Password:

You will get an email when this step is complete.

STEP 3: Launch Wordpress (from the Wordpress site):

* Log in to your Account Manager.
* From the Products section, click Hosting.
* Next to the hosting account you want to use, click Launch.
* Complete the following fields, and then click Finish:
* Enter domain — Enter the domain name you want to use.
* FTP user name — Use the automatically generated user name.
* Password & Confirm password — Enter the password you want to use to access your hosting account with FTP.
* Enter your email address.
* Blog title — Enter the title you want to use.

The estimated wait time for your hosting account to become accessible displays. When your account is set up, the Wordpress team will email you all of your basic account-management information.

To set up your pages, go to your domainname/wordpress

Then log in with user name and password.

Or click on “Your Applications” from the hosting control center, then “My Applications.”


Buying a Web Hosting Account with godaddy.com

For those of you in class who have not yet taken the first steps for buying a Web hosting account through godaddy.com, please spend about 45 minutes this weekend following the steps below to set up the framework for your godaddy/Wordpress account. This way we'll all be starting from the same approximate point on Monday morning:

  • Search for promo codes (coupons) for godaddy on the Internet: I found gdz952z for a 30 percent discount at checkout. Feel free to use that code, or another you find, at checkout.
  • Go to godaddy.com in your browser: Do a domain name search to see if the combination you want for your Web site address is available. I bought chrisharvey.info for $1.99 for the year. You might also check out .com, .org, .me or us. If you click on the code on the selection page, it will explain each domain name.
  • Complete the Domain Registration Information. IMPORTANT: I used a work address and phone number, because this information will show up on the WHOIS listing, which is public information. I used a work email and left the company box blank. See more info on privacy two bullets down.
  • I registered for 1 year, and clicked “unCertified” Domain. (Godaddy charges $4.99 a year to assure consumers you are who you purport to be. You can choose to pay this extra fee if you'd like.)
  • Privacy and Domain Protection: If you don’t have a work address, you may have to pay between $11.99 and $24.99 for varying levels of privacy protection on step 3 of the registration process. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU’RE ALSO ASKED AT CHECKOUT IF YOU’D LIKE A PRIVATE REGISTRATION; AT THIS STEP, YOU CAN BUY IT FOR $6.99 A YEAR. It also asks you at checkout if you’d like to buy .mobi (a mobile account) for $6.99 a year for those interested. I did not do this.
  • Choose hosting type. I chose Economy, for 10 gig of space, at $5.19 a month. It unfortunately at this step doesn't ask you for how long; it assumes a year. This can be changed at checkout to shorter periods. You'll see in steps to come.
  • At CHECKOUT, be sure to enter your promo code, gdz952z (or another you've found). If this doesn’t work for you, simply search for another coupon on the Internet. Search for godaddy.com promo codes.
  • Check your address and password info. I left off my home phone number.
  • Be sure to jot down your login info and keep it in a safe place!
  • While checking over your info in your cart, you can change your hosting term from 1 year to monthly (3 months or 6 months, for instance), if you'd like to shorten. Click on hosting in the green navigation bar, add 3 months or 6 months of hosting, and then click on your shopping cart to delete the longer option you initially started with (for one year). This cut my order price in half – from about $44 to $26 -- when I chose 6 months.
  • Type in your credit card info, click on the terms of agreement, and order.

When done, you may click on Go Directly to My Account to get to your account manager.

We'll pick up at this step on Monday.


9/11 Multimedia

Class, please add a link to the 9/11 special report you found for your website.


Welcome Fall Class!

I'm looking forward to engaging with you electronically as well as verbally in class. Please use this class blog to post thoughtful comments on new-media topics in the news. Please attribute your information, and provide links to sources.

You're required to start at least one discussion thread on this blog, as well as to comment on others' posts.

Posts to this blog are in addition to those you will be writing on your personal Wordpress blogs, created in class.