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Seattle Times Columnist Writes Everything By Hand For Two Days

Monica Guzman wrote everything by hand for two days and photographed each piece of writing.

Monica Guzman wrote everything by hand for two days and photographed each piece of writing.

If you haven’t heard of Seattle Times columnist Monica Guzman‘s crazy experiment yet, I’m here to tell you that it’s more important than it may initially seem.

Guzman got to thinking about how much more “writing” humans do than ever before, and especially journalists, what with tweets and Facebook posts to write, reader comments to which to respond, stories, note-taking, transcribing and of course, the dreaded email.

“I wanted to get a more tactile feel for my share of this digital mother lode. So last week, I did something crazy. I wrote everything by hand,” she wrote (or typed?) for the Times.

She says she didn’t do it because she loves writing cramps and cursive.

“I did it to hack my brain. To make it slow down and notice the flurry of digital mutterings it writes and sends so easily, they barely register as mutterings at all.”

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Source Sleuth Looks to Connect Journalists, Bloggers with Quality Sources

source sleuthGood story sources aren’t always easy to come by, as most journalists can attest. And, the stress of deadline pressure can make finding those sources an even more daunting task.

But, while there are several free services out there to help, there are few that take the time to vet those same sources.

Enter Chicago-based Source Sleuth, a free service that seeks to connect journalists, bloggers and other writers with “quality sources.” Read more

RebelMouse Gets A Makeover

RebelMouseI’ve written about RebelMouse here before — it’s always been a pretty useful tool for curating your various social media accounts. But it’s entering new territory now. Publishers will have the chance to not only aggregate all their content but also use the platform to increase the impact of their viral stories and become a vital part of the social conversation.

Brands and media companies alike are constantly trying the crack the Facebook algorithm code plus keep up with the ebbs and flows of various social network popularity. RebelMouse founder Paul Berry (formerly head of technology at the Huffington Post) and his team are giving pubs a place to combine all their social happenings and create original content.

“RebelMouse is now a content management and distribution platform with comprehensive blogging and original authoring tools to make your content creation process as seamless as possible,” Berry wrote on RebelMouse’s blog.

As Capital New York‘s Johana Bhuiyan wrote, this move may make it competitive with blogging and CMS platform Medium. Animal lover website The Dodo was created entirely with RebelMouse, and it has seen incredible traffic figures because of RebelMouse’s capability of linking back to social media.

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A Fashion Blogger Shares Tips on Creating a Successful Blog

Blogging is on the front line of digital media, and while the accessibility of creating your own blog may seem like a lighthearted hobby to do on a Sunday morning Vicki Sullivan, founder of Aspiring Socialite, explains there’s more to it than that.

When done strategically, blogging can be a lucrative career that involves doing what you truly love. In our latest Journalism Advice article, Sullivan explains the steps writers should take when starting their own fashion blog (or any blog for that matter.)

In particular, one of her key points is to not see your fellow bloggers as competition; instead, use this network to your advantage:

“It’s been my experience that collaborating with other bloggers increases your traffic and social media following much more than if you were going at it alone,” Sullivan said.

For more blogging advice, read: The Keys to Starting Your Own Fashion Blog.

 

The Silence at The Intercept Is A Reflection of Startup Newsroom Difficulties

0ca4fbfa-ee45-4a5c-8995-24920f11e534-620x372Just over two months after publishing its first revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program, First Look Media’s The Intercept is taking a break. Well, sort of.

The newest member of the team (that we know of), built around former Guardian journalist and Edward Snowden cohort Glenn Greenwald, is editor-in-chief John Cook of Gawker. And on Monday, April 14, Cook took to the Intercept’s blog to explain why there hasn’t been a whole lot of action from The Intercept’s reporting team.

The main reason for the lack of reporting coming out of the team, which also includes Liliana Segura formerly of The Nation, is that they launched before they were 100 percent ready to launch. That is, they started posting stories detailing the NSA’s surveillance and other government programs before they were fully staffed and had a long-term vision for what The Intercept should be. Wrote Cook:

Until we have completed the work of getting staffed up and conceptually prepared for the launch of a full-bore news operation that will be producing a steady stream of shit-kicking stories, The Intercept will be narrowly focusing on one thing and one thing only: Reporting out stories from the NSA archive as quickly and responsibly as is practicable. We will do so at a tempo that suits the material. When we are prepared to publish those stories, we will publish them. When we are not, we will be silent for a time, unless Glenn Greenwald has some blogging he wants to do, because no one can stop Glenn Greenwald from blogging.

So there you go. The Intercept’s decision to go live was based on a broader obligation to just start reporting, “not based on an assessment that everything that one needs for the successful launch of a news web site — staff, editorial capacity, and answers to questions about the site’s broader focus, operational strategy, structure, and design,” said Cook.

Personally, I appreciate the sentiment that the website and editorial strategy don’t have to be perfect in order to set up shop. Ezra Klein‘s Vox did something similar and dubbed the site’s first iteration “a work in progress,” almost as if to invite criticism. The idea that The Intercept — even with such a specific topic focus — should have hammered out every single detail about what it wanted to be before launching is unfair. But, I can understand the complaints around the Web that The Intercept’s design is boring at best, given the $250 million eBay founder Pierre Omidyar funneled into the project. For all we know, though, part of their silence could be allowing for a total makeover.

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