Sarah Hartley

Archive for August, 2008

Going Dipity do da

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Finding a lot of uses for the web tool Dipity - and it seems plenty of others are too. If you haven’t seen it yet, this a neat way to create interactive timelines.

I like it for the following reasons;

1. It’s so easy to use. Both to create content and to interact with. I’ve found it very intuitive.

2. Versatile. Video, pictures and text is easily interchangeable by manually adding content or you can simply plug in a RSS feed and let the content automatically update.

2. Controllable. Can set it to be one editor (i.e. the creator) who controls it or for multiple authors.

3. Easy to share. It integrates well with other platforms. I’ve embedded it into our templated work pages and sent the links below automatically to this blog.  

Just two imperfections I’ve encountered so far. 1. couldn’t get the embed code to work on this blog. A twitter user recommends adding a word, any word, in between the tags to fix that. 2. Every page refresh, addition etc. adds up as a page view – good for the ego maybe but not reliable enough. Hoping these glitches will be sorted in the next promised release.

 I’ve created three timelines, called topics in the Dipity world, which you can see here: http://www.dipity.com/user/sarahhartley

One is fed from my food blog, one is fed by the mutiple users of the MEN Flickr picture group and the other is a mix of newspaper, television and transport authority content to track the progression of Manchester’s proposed Congestion Charge scheme.

So far so good and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more journalistic uses for it in the coming months.

I see that journalists on other newspapers are already well on with the use of this too. Below are great examples from Liverpool and Birmingham.

20/08: Diary of a day in the life of Liverpool

Gun and knife crime in the Birmingham area

Posted using ShareThis

If you’ve been using this tool, please add to a link to your example below – we can build up a map of maps. A Dipity day.

Written by sarahhartley

August 30th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Crowdsourcing help begged for museum project

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I’m using my blog to run a bit of a crowdsourcing project about museums because I think this has some relevance to online journalism thinking too.

The statement below is intended to form part of a funding bid. (Disclosure: yes, of course it’s someone rather close to me, husband the artist/curator Julian Hartley).

But this blogging by proxy does have journalistic relevance. In just the same way news organisations are struggling with engaging audiences, so are museums.

 Feel free to replace the terms “curator” with “editor”, the institution “musem” with another great institution “newspaper” and then let me know whether you think this activity worthwhile, too risky, great, rubbish or whatever.

Btw, @JulianHartley will be tweeting the progress of this project from now on and expect yet another Manchester blogger very soon!

Here’s the description;

Taking its direction from Manchester’s diverse online communities’ search and sharing activity, the Community as Curator project uses these habits as the curatorial frame with which to produce and share digital content specifically created from Museum collections in Manchester. 

 
Online searches and their translation into conversations across social media provides the curatorial context for interpreting the gallery’s collections.
 
As an alternative to the contemporary museological practice of authorial representation, this project situates power in the online constituency.
 
This project recognises that, if a connection can be made between an online users’ interests and Manchester’s cultural heritage, this in turn will facilitate the means for further accessing and engaging in the city’s cultural resources, particularly in those social groups more accustomed to a Flickrstream than a exhibition.   
Community as Curator reflects museums’ concern that the values of their collections are relevant to the diversity of Manchester’s communities – both on and offline. 

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August 29th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

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Blog of the Week: Blood and Treasure

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Having attempted political blogging myself in the past, I know just how hard it is to get the right level of satire injected into your words several times a day to be noticed. Modern UK bloggers are almost akin to “sketch writers” of old, except much, much more vicious.

Read the rest of this entry »

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August 28th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

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Bloggers meet-up all signed up

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We’ve had a fantastic response to the invitation to the bloggers meet-up. Thanks to all of you who contacted myself or Julie.
We’ve now received the maximum number of people we can host at the M.E.N end so the list for places is now closed.
All that remains is for me to say is how much I’m looking forward to meeting you all on Wednesday, September 17 either at the M.E.N building or at the pub afterwards.
Talking of pubs, the voting seems to be going the way of Dukes 92 the last time I looked but the poll remains open here.

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August 28th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

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BT, let your Welsh people go (online)

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In rural north Wales, the arrival of broadband has been a lifeline for many. It’s transformed Tesco from being the greedy out-of-towner into a £5 delivery service for the elderly living in isolated places, it’s provided an affordable form of telecommunications for those whose relatives moved away and it continues to provide entertainment, news and information to places where even radio can be a challenge.

So when it goes wrong it’s serious.

This week it went wrong.

In a small, isolated village (which is two and a half miles on single-lane track from the nearest badly maintained B-road) download times dropped to achingly slow rates. Groceries couldn’t be ordered, emails couldn’t be received and calls couldn’t be made.

The residents got together and all agreed – ring BT. Regardless of which ISP they were with, they all require the BT line and the fault has happened before. They knew what was to blame.

When it’s gone wrong in the past, all the ISPs tell these people to ring BT – that can be after spending £40 plus on holding, transferring and generally being bounced about by ISPs seeking to pass the buck.

Calls were put in. Overseas calls centres were baffled. BT continued to insist they required the appropriate notifications from the individual ISPs. The exchange is a long way from the houses. You don’t say!

The runround continued throughout the Bank Holiday weekend.

Until, fed up with it all, an 80 something year old woman got in her car, drove half an hour plus to the nearest BT exchange and banged on the door.

Normal service is back on the way now.

Perhaps there’s a better way?

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August 26th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

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Obeying the search terms

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Looking at the search terms people use to find this blog (most use ‘Sarah Hartley’) it would seem users will be feeling a sense of satisfaction at having arrived right here.

Then most go onto the “about” page.

So I thought I’d better provide some slightly more useful infromation there in case they are actually looking for Sarah Hartley the “dramatically funny” New Yorker, Sarah Hartley the travel blogger known as Saz, Sarah Hartley the author of Mrs P’s Journey or Sarah Hartley the deputy property editor for the Daily Mail.

Sorry if your journey has been wasted due to the search ranking this page has ensured!

If you’re looking for the Sarah Hartley who is employed by The Guardian, lives in northern England, likes cats, food, (no, not cat food) and everything online – your search is over. Welcome!

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August 26th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

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Multi-media training sessions

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With my training hat on, I’ve recently been planning some sessions. Looking back over them I thought these notes might prove useful to a  wider audience – perhaps for those attempting to arrange such things themselves.
If you’d be interested in hosting sessions similar to this for your organisation, please feel free to contact me.
 
1. Digital Away Day
Duration: Six hours.
Who’s it for?
Heads of departments and senior managers.
What’s the objective?
Bring management to a level of understanding of digital development in the newspaper sector.
What will be covered?
How the industry is moving with case studies from other newspaper groups.
An introduction to the new tools of journalism.
Challenges facing the organisation digitally. 
 
2. Video for reporters
Duration: One week.
Who’s it for?
Print reporters starting out in video.
What’s the objective?
To equip print reporters with the skills to shoot and edit “made-for-web” video packages.
What will be covered?
Camera skills; composition, audio, lighting, exposure, focus, tripod.
Content skills: differences with TV , what makes good web.
Editing skills: creating packages, using PremierPro.
 
3. Tools for newsgathering
Duration: 2-3 hours.
Who’s it for?
Newsdesk and reporters.
What’s the objective?
To educate newsgatherers in the host of digital tools at their disposal to track breaking news and generate story leads.
What will be covered?
Setting up personal RSS feeds to bring the news to you.
Tracking breaking news across social media.
Crowdsourcing.
Building your online contacts.
 
4. Better blogging
Duration: 2-3 hours.
Who’s it for?
Existing and wannabe bloggers.
What’s the objective?
Introduce some new skills to improve quality and quantity of output and grow audiences.
What will be covered?
The currency of linking.
Micro-blogging to extend reach.
Using social media.
Creating and distributing feeds of blog content.
Mo-blogging and live coverage.
 

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August 26th, 2008 at 7:50 pm

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Plenty of Pride pix!

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pride.jpg
There’s plenty of pictures from this weekend’s Pride Festival already making their way to the M.E.N Flickr group.
Have a look or share your own here.

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August 24th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

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Invitation for bloggers meet-up at the M.E.N

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When Julie Delvaux recently called for a Manchester Bloggers’ meet-up , here at Mancunian Way we heard the call.
Some emails, some tweets and some blog comments later we’ve hatched a plan – the M.E.N will be delighted to host the next get together in September.
So, I’d like to extend this invitation to the city’s bloggers. Drop me an email if you’d like to come along to the MEN building in Scott Place on Wednesday, September 17 at 6pm for a look at our multi-media newsroom and the chance to put any burning questions to one of the senior editors here.
After that, we’ll all retire to a suitable drinking establishment.
We will have to restrict numbers due to space and security issues so there’ll be a first-come-first-served basis. (Those who already left their names with Julie don’t need to re-send).
If anyone can’t make it then rest assured – it will be blogged!
Send an email with your name (and the name of your blog) to me, sarahhartley2004@yahoo.co.uk and mark the subject line meet-up.
I look forward to putting faces to blogs! Just one thing left to do – please vote for your pub of choice or add your own option.
Which pub should Manchester bloggers go to?
( surveys)

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August 22nd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

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Blog of the week

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bus.jpg
If transport issues are the zeitgeist of Manchester’s commuters then Manchester Bus should be the must-read blog of our time.
Blogger Martin Bryant has been following the ongoing saga of the city’s buses since last November and, far from being the preserve of the vehicular equivalent of trainspotters, it’s an entertaining, useful and often humorous read.
Called simply, a look at what’s happening with buses in Greater Manchester, England, there’s news about route and fare changes, there’s also informed commentary about those who run the services and an inspired “caught on camera” shaming of travelling troublemakers in the “readers’ contributions” section.
This week the blog takes a sideways glance at the current anti-vandalism campaign running in bus shelters and reveals some fare decreases and some alterations to the city’s (ironically?) named Magic Bus (pictured) fleet.
Martin has already come to the attention of BBC Radio for his activities and is getting a following from bus enthusiasts, GMPTE and bus service employees.
Check it out for yourself at http://manchesterbus.typepad.com

Myself and Paul will be hunting around for blogs or websites to feature here and also in the e-view page of the M.E.N on Saturday so if you’ve got one to nominate, send an email or submit the details below. The only criteria is that they have some connection with Manchester.

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August 21st, 2008 at 11:25 am

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