Thursday, 22 September 2011

Visualisation tools: How to create a map using Batch Geo

You might be thinking 'Oh no, not another mapping tool'. But this one might be worth a look.

Thanks to Ruth Smith at professional social care title Community Care for pointing me at BatchGeo. This tool provides some simple ways of turning data into maps, as this intro video shows.

Manyeyes is another visualisation tool that some of you may already be aware of. It's mentioned in a handy list of 10 free collaboration tools for journalists over at NewsRewired.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Johann Hari apology: A brief round-up of views

Johann Hari has finally issued an apology in the Independent web site after being caught up in a plagiarism row over sections of his work.

It's been all over Twitter etc but, in case you missed it, he originally issued an apology on his own blog back in June.  This story gives all the background.

Alongside yesterday's apology he's also returned his 2008 Orwell Prize for Journalism and will not go back to the Independent until he's taken some journalism training.

Some commentators, of course, have their own opinions about this latest apology:
  • It's no surprise that Toby Young has a view.
  • And several tweeters link to Jeremy Dunn's blog where he's also taken a closer look at some of Hari's past work.
  • Press Gazette links the Hari case to press regulation and the culture of British journalism.
  • Meanwhile while Love and Garbage has its own Impersonal apology.
  • Fleet Street Blues, on the other hand, finds a tip on using quotes courtesy of The Wire.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Using Twitter more effectively

 I ran a short session on 'using Twitter more effectively' with a B2B editorial team recently. Here are some of the the ideas and thoughts we shared on everything from Twitter basics and what to tweet about, to filtering columns in Tweetdeck.

Where can I find how to carry out various functions using Twitter?

         Have a look at the Mashable Twitter guidebook to find out more about making the most of Twitter.

          Or just Google what you're looking for...

          Or look at Youtube to see how to do something using Twitter, Tweetdeck etc.

For example, here’s a video showing how to set up lists in Tweetdeck  

Here’s a general Tweetdeck tutoria

 How can I search more effectively?

          Search on keywords, people or keywords preceded by a ‘hashtag’ eg #medialaw.

 has its own search function. However, ‘clients’ such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite allow you to open a search in a separate column on a specific term or hashtag. 

      You can keep that column visible or delete it then return to it later from your list of recent searches.

How can I filter the 'noise' so I can find stuff I'm really interested in?

          Set up columns on specific subjects in Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

          Build lists of users you follow on individual subjects.

          Use the ‘filter column’ button in Tweetdeck to filter keywords or names

          Use the search tips and tutorials above.

How can I find more people to follow?

          Find a Twitter user who’s important to you – or an active Twitter user in your team. Look at who they’re following and follow some of them yourself.

          If someone gets re-tweeted and they look interesting to you, follow them.

          Search using subject-related hashtags eg #journalism and follow interesting people who’ve used that hashtag recently

          Look at Twitter lists built by influential Twitter users in your area(s) of interest. You can click on individual people in lists to follow them.

Or, in Tweetdeck, for example, you can go to user's profile, open a list they've made and copy and save the whole thing. You can also edit the list.

          Use Twitter directories such as: 

How can I build my own following?

          Follow others, sometimes they follow back.

          Post interesting links. If they get re-tweeted you will probably get some new followers.

          Engage in conversations with other users. Active and interesting Twitter users get better quality followings.

          Ask a question or request an opinion.

          Put re-tweet buttons on your blog or site, put your twitter username in your e-mail signature and on other published print and online material where relevant.

What should I tweet about?
  • Post links to interesting stuff

          Look at some examples of Twitter streams in your areas of interest eg for online journalism, see what @paulbradshaw does.

          Tweet about things related to your 'beat' or the subjects you write about. Even if much of your own material is behind some form of paywall you don’t have to give away exclusive information or essential data:

- link to a ’what’s new’ item on the free part of your site

- mention a story and say ‘have you seen our site's view on this?’ with a link.

- re-tweet a national news story or blogpost that’s relevant to your area, perhaps with a 

- tweet links to your blog/other blogs from your team

- re-tweet other tweeters in your team

- build interest in some of your material by briefly mentioning that it’s coming out a week or so before publication

- click on the ‘re-tweet’ button on blogs and stories of interest to those in your sector

- Set up a Google Reader account to request info on subjects that interest you from around the web. Link to interesting articles and use topic-specific hashtags.  

What if I want to allow more than one person to Tweet under the same username?

          Investigate setting up team accounts. You can do this in the Pro version of Hootsuite.