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  • seandodson 12:03 pm on May 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blogging, graeme Archer, , political blogging   

    Graeme Archer wins the Orwell Prize for Political Blogging 

    Few days away from the internet, so I missed the announcement of the Orwell Prize. Just to say congratulations to Graeme Archer of Conservative Home for winning the gong for political blogging. You can judge his work for yourself by reading his posts here.

  • seandodson 2:27 pm on May 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blogging, Caitlin Moran, , , hilary alexander, jack schofield, , , linked-in, mike butcher, peer index, rory cellan-jones, top uk journalists,   

    Top 100 journalists in the UK according to online authority 

    Now this is interesting. Peer Index has rated the top 100 UK journalists in terms of their reach on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In. Top of the pile, surprisingly, is Hilary Alexander, the New Zealand-born fashion “director” of The Daily Telegraph. But before we get too snooty about a fashion journalist having more clout online than any of her peers, it is also reassuring to learn that Ben Goldacre, the scourge of bad science journalism, is number two on the list; Guardian editor Alan “big brain” Rusbridger is number seven and Tim Hartford, the FT’s undercover economist is at 10. It suggests that the public sphere and quality journalism are doing very nicely online, in the UK at least

    As you might expect with such a list, it is the tech journalists that are making the running online: The Guardian’s Jemima Kiss (#3); TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher (#4); The Guardian’s technology editor, Charles “Charlie Charles” Arthur (#5); The Beeb’s Rory Cellan-Jones (#6); online journalism blogger and highest placed hackademic Paul Bradshaw (#8) and great uncle Jack Schofield (#9).

    The highest rated sports reporter is Henry Winter (#10) and the top-rated, behind-the-paywall, Murdoch subaltern is Caitlin Moran of The Times. The tabloids don’t get a look in.

    Incidentally, my Peer Index ( a modest 29) is here, but enough to place me 132nd on the list (four behind the Observer’s political editor no less) You could always help me IMPROVE it by retweeting, linking to, befriending me or doing any other nice thing to me online.

    (via journalism.co.uk)

  • seandodson 3:24 pm on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blogging, , , press gazette   

    If you want to get ahead in journalism then get a blog. Useful article by Dominic Ponsford of Press Gazette on how setting up on your own often the first step towards a future career.

  • seandodson 2:01 pm on May 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blogging, , , , monoculture, mountain view, netflix, recommender systems, , tom slee   

    Google is the mountain and we are staring at the peak 

    castles1I’ve been thinking a lot about this essay by Tom Slee. He writes about how the very tools that help us navigate the web are the very things that drive everyone towards the same locations. He uses a useful topological analogy, stating that the recommender systems, like Digg and Netflix and Amazon, allow everyone to see the most popular material out there: “customers can see further,” he argues “but they are all looking at the same hilltop.”

     “Online merchants such as Amazon, iTunes and Netflix may stock more items than your local book, CD, or video store, but they are no friend to “niche culture”. Internet sharing mechanisms such as YouTube and Google PageRank, which distill the clicks of millions of people into recommendations, may also be promoting an online monoculture. Even word of mouth recommendations such as blogging links may exert a homogenizing pressure and lead to an online culture that is less democratic and less equitable, than offline culture.”

    The trouble he argues is that in staring at the peak we often miss material that is nearer to us.

    But for me this paradox extends beyond recommender systems, reaching right into the heart of the internet itself. For what is a list of Google search results other than a mountain of indexed content with the first page or results representing the peak? The point being that although Google does try to weave a degree of immediacy into its search results, most people just bother to look at the summit of the search, ignoring the other material located further down the slope.

    Of course nobody want to return to the days before Google made the mountain scalable in the first place. But we should be aware that the more successful it becomes the more monocultural the internet is likely to become. There may be more content out there, but increasingly most of us are seeing the same things which creates the opposite of diversity.

    This monoculture of content then re-inforces itself as the material that finds its way to the top of Googles list and on to the likes of Digg and Facebook and Delicious et al, like successful football teams, the longer they stay at the top of the league, the more powerful and rich they become.

    There are of course different ways to scale the mountain. Google’s advanced search option, for instance, allows you to filter your searches so that you can search for content uploaded only today, or only this week or only this month. Searching this way at least makes it easier to find content that is less established, but potentially more interesting.

    I love its software and much of my life is in some way governed by it. But it has become so successful, so powerful, that its difficult to see over it. Maybe that’s why they set up office in hills northwest of San Francisco. In a little place called Mountain View.


    * The image above is by Jon Klassen. You can buy a print here

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  • seandodson 5:31 pm on February 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blogging, , , , , , , , ,   

    Orwell Prize targets political bloggers 

    1984Glad to see that the Orwell Prize for political writing has been extended to included blogging. Heard Jean Seaton on the Today Programme this morning saying that if Orwell were alive today, he would have been a blogger. She added: “He was always absolutely avid about whatever was the contemporary form of media.”

    “He would have been interested in the democratic possibilities of it – anyone can do it as long as they’ve got access to a machine,” said DJ Taylor, Orwell’s biographer. “[But], the misuses to which blogging has been put … would have appalled him. There would, in all probability, have been an essay on Blogging and the English Language.”

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  • seandodson 10:46 am on March 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , blogging, , encyclopedia of life, eol, , , wiki,   

    Is everyone here? Good, then we’ll begin 

    Clay Shirky

    Originally uploaded by Joi

    NYU’s Clay Shirky was in London this week to promote his new book Here Come’s Everybody. I was lucky enough to interview him on Monday and my efforts published in today’s Technology Guardian.

    Shirky talks about how the nature of organisation is evolving because of cheap access to communications technology. I also mention the launch of the Encyclopedia of Life, a thoroughly ambitious attempt to document the 1.8m species on the planet using a similar organistational structre to Wikipedia

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