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Archives: September 2011

How ESPN and The New York Times Build A Second Screen For Readers

Above, Patrick Stiegman of ESPN speaks, accompanied by Brian Hamman (center) and Tyson Evans, both of The New York Times.

BOSTON — At the Online News Association Saturday morning, Brian Hamman and Tyson Evans of The New York Times and Patrick Stiegman of ESPN hosted a session about how to dominate the “second screen” experience (you can follow the discussion from conference attendees here).

The second screen is literally what it sounds like — the screen readers look at in addition to the TV. This could be an iPad, a laptop or a phone.

According to Stiegman’s stats about Internet consumers, 85 million Americans consume both TV and the web simultaneously. This provides a huge opportunity for news organizations to serve fans in real time, alongside live events.

For an organization like ESPN, “owning the second screen” means getting readers’ eyes online and on the web for the same events. For The New York Times, this means competing with coverage primarily dominated by TV networks to provide additional engagement and information. Read more

Google News Releases Standout, A Way To Flag Your Best Work

BOSTON — Google News unveiled a major new feature at the Online News Association Conference on Saturday, which will allow publishers to mark their top content as well as give credit to others who have a major scoop.

The new feature is called standout, and it’s a tag that goes into the “head” element of a website’s HTML code. The basic syntax is:
<link rel="standout" href="LINK TO STORY" />
Read more

How To Find And Create An Awesome Web Apps Team And Be A Rockstar Data Developer

BOSTON — You don’t need to hire prodigies to build award-winning, traffic-generating news apps according to Matt Waite (professor of journalism at UNL), Jeremy Bowers (senior developer at The Washington Post) and Shazna Nessa (director of interactive at The AP), who spoke on a panel Friday afternoon at The Online News Association about how to build an awesome data team with a few people.

Finding the right team

When looking for talent within your newsroom to recruit for the web, Matt Waite said to look for the following types of people: Those who are angry, passionate and willing.

“Finding people who are being sorely underused — people with skills that will go to waste … convince their bosses they are being wasted, and magic will happen,” Waite said. Read more

How Do You Detect B.S. On Social Networks?

BOSTON — The Times Square subway station suffered from severe flooding during Hurricane Irene. Steve Jobs died. The London Eye is on fire.

What does all this have in common? They’re all pieces of false information that were spread over Twitter. With lots of real news spreading like wildfire over social media, it is inevitable that false news spreads over Twitter too, and it does.

The Huffington Post‘s Mandy Jenkins and Regret the Error‘s Craig Silverman held a session at the Online News Association Conference here on Friday afternoon with the goal of preventing the participants from falling into a trap. (Slides from the presentation are available here.) Read more

Once Upon A Datum: How To Create Visual Interactives In News Time

BOSTON — This afternoon at the Online News Association conference, Associated Press interactives producer Michelle Minkoff and WNYC’s data news director John Keefe held a hands-on, learn-by-doing session about creating quick data visualizations on a newsroom deadline.

Using free, open source tools and data sets, the barrier to entry for creating usable visualizations is lower than ever.

Michelle showed the audience how to make an interactive chart that graphs crime data using Google Chart Tools. She posted a full tutorial on her website and the downloadable source code for the visualization. Here are the key links you need to build a chart yourself:

Read more

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