April 18, 2009

Class time: 55 sites in your multimedia toolkit

I love people who share. People like Erica Smith who blogs under Graphic Designr and has been sharing some resources she used in a quick course on visualizing data. She started with the basics of html, and moved on to tables. She also recently posted 55 links to multimedia resources tools. under these topics:
  • Must-reads
  • Social networking and bookmarking, including Ning (Wired Journalists, among others)
  • RSS aggregators
  • Blog platforms
  • Web editors
  • Video
  • Photo storage/sharing
  • Timelines
  • Slideshow
  • Graphics
  • Maps
  • Geocode
  • Misc.
Check out her hard work for leads to online tools that will help you make what you do online more efficient, more attractive and more readable.

April 16, 2009

How would you use a box that once held newspapers?

Recycling is in so 10,000 Words pulled together six ways to use newspaper boxes. There a grill, an aquarium, a digital newsstand, book exchange, holder of a computer network and playpen. Check out the nice photos and links.

But he only got a few of the many suggestions:

A commenter over on a Boing Boing post outlined how he used one as a sideways table, and then a bookcase.

Same blog - Weaponx says try these ideas: bird house, oven, jukebox, or heavy-duty television cabinet

Another commenter says beer cooler, rabbit hutch, aquarium stand, telephone-phonebook organizer, and wet bar.

You'll find more ideas over on this blog post, including a suggestion that perhaps some content from a news web site could be selected to be printed on paper and then stuffed into the boxes. Other ideas were bike racks, toilets, storage units for the homeless and a fund-raising challenge to artists.

The box above was at a Hello Chicago, My Name Is show in 2008. The other one uses LEDs in a mash-up.

Which city will be the first to play off the idea that bought us the Cow Parade in Harrisburg PA and many other cities, the Big Pig Gig in Cincinnati. I can see many mote like the CPD monster in the Hello Chicago, My Name Is exhibit.

A fast-moving community might even consider combining the art idea with a street installation. That way a newspaper could save $$$ and let the artists paint on location.

What would you do with an empty newspaper box?

Bad first quarter for Advance Publications magazines in ad revenue, pages

It's not just newspapers that are suffering. MediaPost and other resources say the Newhouse magazine arm Conde Nast suffered a 31 % drop in advertising pages Jan-March 2009 compared to the same time period a year earlier. Gawker says the magazines lost $200 million and compares numbers for 23 of the magazines.

Only the organization's Golf World magazine improved - up 0.2%, according to the New York Times.

Not that misery improves with company, but the Talking Biz blog reported that all business magazines had an'Incredibly bad first quarter for biz magazines in ad revenue.'

The business blog reported a decrease in first-quarter advertising revenue and advertising pages after looking at data released Wednesday by the Publishers Information Bureau.

Among the largest declines was Wired magazine, which saw a 50.4 percent drop in ad revenue to $10.2 million and a 57.2 percent drop in ad pages to 113.14 during the first three months of the year.

Talking Biz says overall, the magazine industry experienced a 20.6 percent drop in ad revenue and a 26.1 percent decline in ad pages for the quarter.

Conde Nast Portfolio reported a 48.8 percent drop in ad revenue to $4.1 million for the quarter. Its ad pages fell 60 percent to 66.05. But the publication cut the number of issues it's now printing.

(While I am talking about Portfolio, look for its take on "USA Today fights for life" with a blog. It's worth the search.)

See all of the magazine data here

April 15, 2009

Talking Biz News says Advance business magazines cutting salaries

Talking Biz News reports that staff freezes and pay cuts are happening at Advance Publications' American City Business Journals. The cuts were 5%, according to the blog.

As one of the commenters says, the changes are not a surprise in a business that relies on advertising from banks and businesses. Read the post for details and reactions.

April 14, 2009

New executive editor reflects on challenges; starts revealing structure

This post originally appeared in Wired Journalists.

The top editor isn't the only position that will be overseeing three newspapers when Advance Publications begins printing its "daily" newspapers in Saginaw, Flint, and Baby City three times a week.

The new leader,John P. Hiner, reflected online about some of the changes that coming:
"We're taking all that institutional knowledge, all of the equity in these great brands, and building a three-day print product that is as good as anything that's ever rolled off our presses. And we're going to offer online products in news and advertising that, like the newspaper in its heyday, will be the best in their market. It will be a great challenge. And every bit a historic opportunity."
Read the rest online in The view from Fifth and Adams is steeped in community, brimming wit...

Some of that historic opportunity started Monday, when he announced the top editors for The Flint Journal, The Bay City Times and The Saginaw News. Women will lead the three newspapers for the first time ever in the top role now called community editor.

The other positions are:
  • Jodi McFarland, 34, is the community editor in Saginaw.
  • Marjory Raymer, 35, is the community editor in Flint
  • Kelly Adrian Frick, 39, is the community editor in Bay City.
  • Bernie Eng, 42, of Saginaw Township is content strategist, who also will do the visual piece for the newspapers and online operations.
  • Paul Neumeyer, 50, becomes the sports topic editor.
  • Carol Zedaker, 42, is the features topic editor for the three newspapers.
  • Clark Hughes, 51, will serve as community voices topic editor for the papers.
You'll find more details on Saginaw here and on Flint here.

Flint's editor, John Foren, is leaving to pursue new adventures on June 1.

The new publisher of the three newspapers is Matt Sharp, son of Flint's retiring publisher Dave Sharp. Paul Chaffee, who had been publisher and editor in Saginaw, will become a consultant under the new plan. Retiring Bay City publisher C. Kevin Dykema will serve as a consultant with Dave Sharp.

By the way, Chaffee and Dykema talked about a lot of the changes in an interview broken into two recordings.
Listen to part one and part two.

Hotel, Gannett dropping newspapers, but Advance keeping one

Editor & Publisher shared more evidence that newspapers are on the way out. The Marriott says demand is down so it will no longer automatically deliver free newspapers to patrons.

I'm sure it was unplanned, but I liked that the same E&P page linked to a piece over about retro-language scaring away young readers. Ralph Keyes 'splains it all in Eddie Haskell and Howard Beale -- Go Home! Journos Are Alienating Readers With 'Retro' References

It's a good reminder why we need to check lists like this one that reminds us GenNexters have never lived without cellphones, wireless Internet or Starbucks.

I read this this next piece elsewhere on the web, but E&P really deserves the credit for reporting out that the Jersey Journal will remain open for now. The publisher said the Advance Publication met its financial goals and will keep publishing.

The new executive editor of FlintSagBay news organization announced three women will fill the top editor position at each of the original publications. A community editor will lead the troops at the Bay City Times, the Flint Journal and The Saginaw News.

The director of the journalism program at the University of Michigan-Flint comments on the coming changes in Flint in the Michigan Daily. Surprisingly, he doesn't mention what a lousy year the university chose to start the new program.

One last journalism note and then off to bed as I have a long day lined up Tuesday. Five more newspapers in Michigan are closing. That will lead to 44 layoffs. There are plans, however, for a new Sunday-only newspaper in southeastern Michigan.

April 13, 2009

Why eye am quiet for now

The image you see may explain why I'm quiet right now and likely to remain so for awhile. It's not my eye. It is my daughter's eye and she says it doesn't hurt.

I don't totally agree with her version of events - seems like her mom's nagging had a bit more to do with the decisions then it might sound like it here. But she did see a doctor on Friday; she did go to the emergency room on Saturday, and she bought some facemasks. So, I don't have to be right on the way things came together :)

On Friday, her dad learned why you can't just wait in the waiting room when someone with "chemo brain" sees the doctor.

On Saturday, my daughter and I stayed in touch throughout the 22 hours she and her dad spent at the University of Michigan. Service for his phone was intermittant. But my daughter and I exchanged 150 or so txt messages before her battery died Saturday night. The txting kept me informed and gave me the chance to ask questions or remind her what to tell the doctor from a nice, safe distance. (I had the fever on Saturday, not Katie.)

An observant nurse noticed her trying to avoid germs in the hall, got her a face mask and arranged a private space with a door so that helped a lot.

UM also has set up part of its emergency room as a mini hospital, where patients can stay for up to 24 hours. It's an area for folks that are not sick enough for the hospital, but need observation or some care that can't be done outside the place. In Katie's case, that was four IVs of antibiotics.

I'll return with her to the University of Michigan on Tuesday to see the oncologist, maybe chemo and another ophthalmology exam.

The good news is:
  • It is merely an eye infection and not the version of cellulitis I had.
  • I've got a few more quotes for my "What doctors should never say" presentation
  • She's actually got facemasks in the house and vows to wear them in crowds.
There's also a chance that both my husband and her will learn to be prepared, taking chargers, granola bars and a few other items the next time they head for a "quick trip" to the ER.

Other posts about the cancer trip: