Posts Tagged 'Marc Reeves'

The Birmingham Post’s Twittevolution

I’m wondering if this is the first time a UK newspaper – or indeed any UK business – has decided and debated a policy entirely online and on a public platform? Please let me know!

It started with a tweet. This one:

First tweet

And then the whole thing snowballed, with my editor, Marc Reeves, publicly stating that he wanted The Birmingham Post to be the first UK newsroom fully signed up to Twitter:

first reactions

Of course, such a statement wasn’t going to be ignored by those with an interest in online journalism: namely Paul Bradshaw from Birmingham City University and author of the Online Journalism Blog and Martin Stabe from the Press Gazette. There were two other tweets that I couldn’t find. One was Paul Bradshaw saying: “@marcreeves, can I quote you on that?” and another was a response from Marc: “@paulbradshaw gulp. go on then”:

follow up reactions

So… from one tweet from me, The Birmingham Post has developed a policy to be the first UK newspaper to have all its journalists sign up to Twitter and decided to embark on a training programme for its journalists.

Then… after a little while… the policy was signed off by Editorial Director of Trinity Mirror’s regionals, Neil Benson (who, it appears, was also having a spot of bother with his iPhone):

Neil Benson's reaction

From tweet to twittevolution. All in a day’s work off sick!!

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Guten tag

As the countdown to the website launch begins, I don’t expect to be getting much opportunity to blog over the next few days.

Yesterday was spent tagging up some of the stories that have been imported over from the old CMS. It’s a funny job – my instinct is to just tag everything and anything that is mentioned in the story. But, when you remember that these will appear in the “related stories” box on the page, you have to be a bit more tactical with your tags.

Steve (our multimedia editor) and I have been building up a few internal rules as we go along. As, when the website launches, journalists or sub-editors will tag the story, I imagine we’ll develop a stronger set of tagging conventions. Apprently this, according to people wiser than I, is called a folksonomy. But, of course, it’s a folksonomy that will be created only by the content creators, rather than the users.

I am curious to know if this will effect the way things are tagged and, if it does, whether that is a bad thing or not? Should there be a way for readers to submit tags? Would they even want to? And, if they do, how would you stop that creating a tag cloud as large as the moon?

This ties in to a conversation Marc (my editor) and I were having the other day about the transparent newsroom. He’s written about it on his blog. I have been really taken with what the Spokesman Review is doing in the US (see right hand column on their homepage). They have been experimenting with a variety of different techniques to open up the process of newsgathering and writing, with varying degrees of success. [found via the World Editors’ Forum weblog]

I love the idea that I am not only directly answerable to the people who sign my pay check, but also to the people I purport to be writing for and, if we would make any of the things the Spokesman Review is doing work on our paper, I’d love to try them.

But, as with the tags, would anyone really be interested in taking part? If so, how?

YouTube star!

Well… hardly. But still. Aargh!

Not a fan of being captured on camera, this came as a bit of a shock. While googling “Birmingham Post“, I came across this clip from something called Business and Learning Connections: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bl_Y7r2-y7Y (embedding disabled for some reason).

Mostly it’s our editor Marc Reeves but check out the girl with the dangly earrings! I almost choked on my lunch! That be lil’ ol’ me before I dyed my hair (which means it must be over a year old). And yes, my desk is ALWAYS that messy.


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