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Posts Tagged ‘The Guardian’

The Guardian Already Has An In-House Tool for “Attention Analytics.” Do You?

orphanWhile Upworthy was busy writing their “down with the pageview” manifesto yesterday, it turns out that the Guardian’s been using attention analytics it since an in-house hack day, when web architect Graham Tackley and digital audience manager Chris Moran decided that they wanted to see real time data to help manage the SEO for The Guardian’s ”400 pieces of content” a day, according to this piece by Ciara Byrne on Fast Company.

Here’s how it evolved from a took on one man’s desktop, to a newsroom-wide tool called Orphan, according to Byrne’s piece:

[Tackley] tailed the logs on to a couple of servers, pushed it to a messaging queue, and created a Scala Play Framework app to consume and display the data on a dashboard…Word got around and more and more Guardian employees started to use Tackley’s dashboard, now named Ophan. Tackley decided to upgrade it to capture the Guardian’s entire click stream, which generates between 15 million and 25 million events a day and store the data for seven days. This meant moving from his desktop to Amazon Web Services…A JavaScript hidden pixel on the website now records every event instead of retrieving it from the logs and places it in a message queue. Since there were now too many events to hold in-memory, an app called Serf takes the message queue, extracts what was needed, and inserts it into an ElasticSearch cluster. The dashboard asks the same questions of ElasticSearch, a real-time search and analytics engine, that it had previously posed to the in-memory event list

There are a few lessons to be gleaned from this: Read more

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

3 Takeaways From Emma & Bill Kellers’ Recent Missteps

66g8uCriticism surrounding a profile of stage 4 breast cancer patient Lisa Bonchek Adams has been mounting since Guardian writer Emma Keller published a controversial piece Jan. 8, and her husband, New York Times columnist and former executive editor Bill Keller seemed to sympathize with her position in a follow-up.

Adams has been chronicling musings and insights about her illness, sometimes painfully honest, through her personal blog and Twitter for some time now. Keller’s story about Adams, in which she wonders aloud about the “ethics” of tweeting about an incurable, aggressive sickness, as well as Bill Keller’s column, are in poor taste. So much so that the Guardian has removed the original story and begun an “investigation.”

In thinking about this whole unfortunate debacle, I’d like to consider some potential lessons:

1. Just because you can editorialize doesn’t mean you should.

Read more

New WikiLeaks Doc We Steal Secrets Examines the ‘Transparency Machine’

The saga of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning presents many questions for digital journalists. We Steal Secrets, a documentary directed by Alex Gibney and set for release  this May, deals with them all. You can watch a trailer here.

You should see the film — even if you think you’ve already heard all you need to know about Wikileaks, even if you’ve already made up your mind. It not only covers the creation of Wikileaks, the fall of Julian Assange as a hacker-god, but includes new interviews with Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and the woman who accused Assange of rape, among many other inside players. However, the most compelling part of the documentary is that it finally puts Bradley Manning in center stage and presents new questions about digital security, sources, and how we protect them.

I used to champion WikiLeaks, and I cringe to admit it, its founder. In a far off graduate school classroom, I even considered the idea that it was a sort of ‘journalistic’ enterprise. But now that Manning has been serving time as an enemy of the state and his trial approaches, I’m finding it hard to focus on anything but him, and the responsibilities publishers assume online, with information and with their sources. Read more

MATTER: Returning to Long-Form Journalism

Earlier this month, I talked about three enterprising Kickstarter campaignsOuter Voices Podcast, Radio Ambulante, and The Independent Voice Project. Recently, another great journalism-focused project has started making news, and it’s called MATTER.

MATTER is the brain child of Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson, two experienced reporters with a passion for making journalism better. Giles and Johnson have lined up a team of writers and editors to help push this vision forward, and according to the Kickstarter project page, MATTER will be for readers, not advertisers.

MATTER logo

The “return to long-form journalism” is a phrase that has been bandied about for a few years now, and several websites currently exist around this premise (Longreads, The Atavist, Byliner, Longform, etc.) MATTER won’t be a curation service; rather, it will include original investigative reporting from their team of writers, some of which have contributed to publications such as The New YorkerThe Atlantic, The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times, National Geographic, Nature and Wired.

“The thing about long-form, in-depth journalism is that it’s expensive. There used to be many more newspapers and magazines that produced that sort of content, but journalism is in financial trouble and those outlets have cut back,” said Giles.

The Kickstarter campaign will help raise funds for MATTER to produce their first three pieces. By pledging at the $25 level, you can join their editorial board (powered by All Our Ideas) and lend your voice to the kind of reporting MATTER covers.

As of this article, the project is over 60% funded, but you can pledge until the campaign ends on March 24, 2012. For more information about MATTER, you can visit their website at readmatter.com. You can also follow the progress of MATTER on Facebook and Twitter.

GigaOM and paidContent: Going Global

GigaOM, which announced its purchase of ContentNext Media yesterday, reportedly paid less than the $6.5 million Guardian News & Media spent on its 2008 acquisition of the company. The terms of the deal are undisclosed, but GigaOM is acquiring its flagship brand, paidContent, along with its other assets: mocoNews.net, contentSutra.com, and paidContent:UK.

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