Posts Tagged 'Preston'

Back to Preston…

Preston Skyline

Well first of all, apologies. One thing that seems to happen when you launch a network of over 30 blogs (here, here and here, if you’re wondering) is that, at the end of the day, you are not overly keen on blogging for yourself.

That is, however, remiss of me as I have got so much from this blog and it is very unfair to turn my back on it when the going gets a little busier.

So today, the day I arrive for the latest installment of the Journalism Leaders Course in Preston, I thought I’d give this little corner of cyberspace a little bit of TLC.

So I am sitting in my hotel room admiring the now infamous view of the Preston bus station/car park. I will, however, refrain from taking another picture to avoid the indignance of one of my north-west colleagues. (I have, instead, posted a luverly pic of the Preston skyline. In’t it nice!)

This is the last time I will see most of fellow coursemates. Ben and I (the Birmingham contingent) joined the course mid-way through. I imagine (although I’m not sure) that we will have one more module to go through around September time. But for the others, this will be it. It’s a shame – the group is so bright and I’ve learnt so much from them.

This part of the course is going to be on marketing. I’m not sure exactly how it will progress but, from the online seminars that we’ve had so far, I’m assuming it will question how well journalists know their readers and whether our infamous misrust of the marketing department may actually be to the detriment of our newspapers.

On Tuesday we will also have the Journalism Leaders Forum which will ask why isn’t the explosion of digital media translating into increased revenues for mainstream media companies. I suspect the answer has something to do with not owning the platforms by which the media is distributed and dilution of the market. But I will be interested to hear what others think.

Speakers include Chris Anderson of ‘The Long Tail’, Anton Grutzmacher of Hitwise, Peter Kirwan of the Press Gazette’s Media Money and Rick Waghorn of www.myfootballwriter.com.

As always I will try (and probably fail) to blog about it all as I go along.

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Preston: Day 3

So after last night’s technology melt down, I’m back up online tonight but I don’t have much time to blog.

I’m off out in a few minutes with the Nokia N95 to record interviews with sports fans about how and when they access information on sports. Yes, this means I’m off to roam the pubs of Preston waving a £300 phone about the place.

Luckily, I am in a group of six others. The “field project” is supposed to give us experience of using multimedia for journalism and also to understand how people get the information they want (and, crucially, at what time).

The last two days have gone by in a bit of a blur with so many ideas flying about I feel simultaneously wired and exhausted. Yesterday was particularly intense with a forum of Digital Editors. Some really interesting stuff came up about Flickr which I will blog more about later when I have more time. There’s also some fantastic stuff to say about the launch of the website EveryBlock. Suffice to say, I have a lot of catching up to do!

One way of tracking some of the stuff I’ve been looking at is my del.icio.us account, which I’ve been trying to update whenever possible. Also I’ve been tweeting a lot but, as the way I have used it has varied from a repository for thoughts to a tool for classroom gossip, I’m not sure how useful it is (there’s another post in that too!).

Today we have been messing around with video and looking at basic video editing packages. The laptops we are provided are capable of running Avid and I’d love to get a chance to play with that at some point (I had a brief lesson on Media100 a long time ago), but we haven’t really had time on this course.

I’ve also been thinking about the application of bug-tracking wikis to newly launched newspaper websites. More to come on that too…

Right, I’m off to face the pub-going, sport-watching folk of Preston!

Preston: Day 1

Phew! The first day of the residential is over. So, before a large glass of wine helps me to forget everything we’ve learnt today, I thought I better write a few quick notes.

The biggest thing for me was how much technology is out there that journalists should and could be using right now.

I remember being very impressed when playing with Google Earth on a friend’s iPhone – the GPS functions was stunning (Any rich person got an iPhone going spare btw? I’d love one, but can’t afford it!). It was brought home to us today that in just a few months everyone will have mobile GPS on their phones and will start expecting information to be geotagged. We should be doing that now!

Another one was mobile video. Here is another view of Preston (can’t get it to embed) and our lecturer Mark streaming video from his Nokia N95, which is now part of the mobile kit for all Reuters journalists.

Mark’s using Bambuser, which streams driectly to the web. It is still in alpha so, as with Seesmic, I’m going to have to put it on the list to play with later. But it made my head spin to think how easy it is to capture breaking news on mobile video and have it online instantly.

Other good sites to play with: Jaiku and ShoZu.

Right, off to the bar…

Preston

PrestonWell, I’m here at the Holiday Inn, Preston. Just thought I’d share the view from my room. Great, huh?

To be fair, I’ve seen some very lovely buildings while getting lost in the one-way systems coming into the city. I don’t know much about Preston, but it seems ok.

I think the view from the hotel is just…well…unfortunate.


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