The next generation of news sites are here… Are we ready?
When Fox 6 debuted their new website, MyFoxAL.com, during the final weeks of American Idol, it provided a glimpse into the potential future of news sites for the metro Birmingham region. It also provided a snapshot of what is happening across the country as traditional newspapers try to capitalize on the growth of the blogosphere and the social networking boom best represented by MySpace in an attempt to expand their pool for potential advertisers. This is not like organizations and corporations are not taking advantage of the buzz right now, including HBO. (HBO Creates MySpace Entourage, Advertising Age, 5.30.2006)
One section that fans are anxiously awaiting on the Fox site is the activation of the Community Section. Viewers will be allowed to take part in the reporting of the news, (posting their opinions on stories reported, posting images that may be spotlighted by the paper, etc.). Efforts have already been tried by several other papers, most notably the New York Times, though it’s My Times section has not launched yet, and the Savannah Morning News, which is already allowing registered users to begin to create pages on their beta site. The Hostess City is definitely living up to its newer nickname, the Creative Coast, with this site. The Times has however included the most blogged category to the sidebar of most stories, enabling readers to know which articles are being linked to the most from its site, driving additional traffic to the stories, and eventually the monetary archive wall.
While the distinction between the journalist and the blogger is quite clear in the minds of those that participate in those realms there are many that blur the line as observers. This has been pointed out extensively throughout the web, including recently on one of my fellow Birmingham Combloggerator sites, Accentuate the Positive 2.0. Do we bloggers still keep our own sites, offering our own style of commentary free from excessive oversight, or do we begin to conform within the guidelines of the major news companies as they begin to modify the MySpace model to the newsroom? Do we need to set standards, or is that why we get read anyway? Will we ever see this model exist here in Birmingham with our newspaper? Do we want it? These are definitely interesting questions to consider as we begin to see the current transformation of the 24-hour newsroom occur before our eyes.
Will getting the reader more involved in the process make them care about the news more? While that may not necessarily be one of the first things that come to mind of the online sales managers, it is something to think about. Knowing that people may read your comments on a story and view pictures that you may have on a topic may be just the thing that is needed to engage a new generation in the news and paying attention to what’s going on around them. It seems to be a good model on several fronts, including the new music television site talked about in yesterday’s post.
It just keeps on getting interesting out there. We’ll just have to keep an eye on it.
Let me know what you think,
The Ramble: Local team could bring it home; a return to basics for music videos
UPDATE! Here’s the link to the Montevallo game.
I’m blaming the meds for the error…
Sometime around noon Tuesday it dawned on me that the first image that I talked about in Monday’s post was not there. I’ve placed the image there now, so if you didn’t visit the Smugmug site you can at least enjoy that one.
The Falcons face elimination from the Spring Dance
The University of Montevallo Falcons baseball team is facing elimination from the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship tonight (Wednesday); not that you’d even know they were playing (except for Rick Karle’s shoutouts). They lost to the University of Tampa Monday after opening their series play with a classic 12-inning victory over West Chester University, the team that they’re scheduled to play and beat tomorrow evening to survive. Check the site for the tournament for previous game details. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. If I can find the online feed, I’ll post it here close to game time. It’s a great opportunity to support one of our local teams as they try to bring a championship home to the region.
Music television is back
Sort of. The Tube Music Network was launched by one of the original co-founders of MTV and VH1, Les Garland. A recent multicasting broadcast contract signed with Sinclair Broadcasting, owners of WB21 and UPN68, allows for the new music only television network to be broadcast digitally as it waits for cable companies to pick it up. What’s the difference between this and the other music networks? It takes more of a Jack radio station concept and currently only has music. This also means no VJs at all, making the music the star of the station. We took a chance buying our digital TV (only reason we did; it was a closeout & open box buy – read dirt cheap). I can tell you I’m getting to the point where I don’t miss cable that much. Though I’m wondering how long they can really go without the VJs… I guess we’ll see. Will it really replace our current MTV? Only time will tell, though there are many that may turn to it as an alternative when they tire of the countless reality and specialty shows on the station nowadays. Oh for the days of Club MTV, Remote Control and Sifl & Olly (a simpler time ).
Hopefully what will be an interesting piece later,
Random Shots: Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy the views…
May 29, 2006, 7:10 pm
Filed under: Birmingham Links
, Birmingham, AL
, Farmer's Markets
, other cities
, Random shots
, The Rambles
, urban issues
, urban parks
This is one of the pictures I took Saturday at the Pepper Place Farmer’s Market (see Friday’s post for a link to the farmer’s market). They exist on the Smugmug site now under Public Markets. This summer I’ve learned I’ll be visiting several markets around the country; it’s a great excuse to take pictures and post them, so stay tuned to the Markets gallery.
On this Memorial Day, I’d invite you to take a look at a couple of Random Shots. One’s from Birmingham; the other is from outside the metropolitan area:
This Statue of Liberty is not in New York Harbor but Liberty Park, a mixed-use community in Vestavia Hills, a city in metro Birmingham. (N.B. the first link in the sentence is to the official site for the original statue) Here is a link to the history of the statue, courtesy of Endex.com. It is located near the local headquarters for the Boy Scouts of America and the Federal Reserve Bank. The statue was originally located atop the Liberty National Life Insurance building on the city’s Southside, moving to its current location in 1989.
The Random Shot: Symbolic Freedom in D.C.
FYI – I’ve also finally started a del.icio.us page. Now you can see just how crazy the links have become (there’s a link on the side – I’m not saying what side since I’m investigating changing themes soon )
Have a great evening.
Dre’s 101 in 1001: An update on the challenge so far
For those of you new to this blog, click here to learn about this project and the influences for it. I began this filled with anticipation of completing the tasks, exploring new things and taking it all on full steam ahead. Well, that has shifted in the last two weeks. As you’ve probably noticed if you’ve seen the list, many of the things that I set out to do were dependent on my being healthy.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I had injured my knee but wasn’t sure of what I did to it while out on what was up to that point one of the better outings I’d had running in some time. Well, I’ve since learned that I have what is called a severe strain of the iliotibial ligament. Here’s a link to the simplest explanation I’ve been able to find on this injury. It means those words that I hate to hear when it comes to accomplishing a task have to at least be considered: Slow down. I can slow down to take a moment and stand back, as I said very early on in the existence of this blog. The moment it becomes an obstacle to accomplishing goals, it becomes extremely difficult.
It gets better. Two ridiculously stressful breathing attacks later and there is now talk of a case of sleep apnea in my life. Not being able to catch your breathe is very scary, especially when they occur in a 24-hour period. Enter ER trip #2 to UAB and the diagnosis. I’ll find out more about that diagnosis soon and let you know how it’s going. Both of these surprises have effectively slowed my efforts on many of my 101 in 1001 activities. Luckily, there has been some progress:
7. Create a wireless home network – Well, not exactly wireless. A wired network has been established in the loft, making life at work and home a little easier. Plus I learned that the last piece of equipment necessary for my plan can be used with a wired system as well.
16 & 39. – Unless something crazy happens, I’m scheduled to be attending the National Trust Main Street Center’s annual conference in New Orleans next week. The trip is being made via Amtrak. Seven hours should lead to some interesting stories.
24. Create a photoblog – Enter the Dre’s Ramblings Smugmug site. (http://dresramblings.smugmug.com) It’s definitely been a lot of fun. I’ve considered moving some of the Flickr pictures to it. There are some really cool features too, allowing for private galleries for family and friends so they can keep up with me (though it will probably be easy to do that in the coming months).
92. Play Scrabble once a week for 12 months – The games began two weeks ago. It helps when you’re able to slow down to enjoy them. We may have to invite some people over for these things too.
I’m also realizing that as I try to organize these efforts online that the development of another blog solely for that purpose may rear its head. So far, there has been one post on the trip to Chattanooga, but I’m getting ready to increase the updates as we move on. I’ll keep you posted. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend.
Random shots: Something old, something new for the News …
This week’s photo shows the past and future home of daily reporting in Birmingham, AL. Both buildings shown can claim to be the home of The Birmingham News [Wikipedia]. The older building, located to the rear of the image, currently serves as the home of the daily newspaper and has since 1917. The building in the foreground will soon be the new home of the only daily newspaper serving the Magic City. It will serve as one of the new monuments to the world of journalism in the Southeast, joining buildings in Savannah (2004) and Athens, GA (1991), among others.
The future of the current structure is the subject of several rumors, some being kinder to the older structure than others. The building has reported on the best and scandalous moments in Birmingham’s history. I was taught in school that the building is a vessel that holds the story. One wonders what stories the new building will keep within its walls…