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Posts Tagged ‘User-Generated Content’

The News, in 100 Words or Less

abridgemeUh, oh, the sky is falling.

This month, AbridgeME.com launched as the first user-generated summation tool for news articles. Weird timing, right? At a moment when everyone is dedicated to  providing stacks of digital flashcards and explainers for the news, founder Eric Rems wants to cut to the chase.

His reasoning? Everyone explains and comments — just look at your Twitter feed right now and count the links to opinions on the news — and he wants to provide readers with fact based summaries of the news. This way, you can start to delve into the topic with the facts and only the facts. Then you can create your reading adventure across the web and decide for yourself as you dig in rather than start with the editorial and have them choose sides for you.  Read more

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EJC Releases Free Verification Handbook for Newsrooms

verificationhandbookNo one likes to make mistakes. Especially during a crisis and in a digital world like ours when it’s easier to make them and easier to find yourself in serious ethical trouble for it.

There’s finally a guide for all of that. This week, the Emergency Journalism Centre released their Verification Handbook, available for free on the web and soon in downloadable form. The Handbook was edited by Poynter’s ‘Regret the Error’ editor Craig Silverman, and compiled by a team of working journalists and media industry thought leaders, like Steve Buttry, Mathew Ingram, Anthony De Rosa, among many others.

The Handbook is useful for everyone (did you retweet that story about Elan Gale on a plane?). But it’s tailored for journalists reporting on emergencies or disasters, when information flows faster than usual, making it hard to triple check your work and get it posted. Think about the Boston Marathon bombing last year and how we were glued to our Twitter accounts for information. There are chapters on verifying, yes, social media accounts, but also images, video and user generated content.  There’re also a ‘Verification Checklist’ for newsrooms and chapters specific to preparing and implementing disaster coverage. My favorite part? The chapter on how to best ‘use the crowd’. Everyone throws ‘crowdsourcing’ around very easily, but it’s a skill and if it’s done improperly, your newsroom will be sorry for it.

You can read the handbook here and follow the EJC at @EJC.

BBC.com and Quora Partner Up For New Column

BBC.com LogoBBC.com and Quora announced a partnership this week. It’s called the Quora Column, and BBC.com contributors will write columns based on popular discussions on the Q&A site.

They launched a trial column this summer on the travel pages, where it’s been a success. Other news sites also feature Quora columns — such as Slate. Unlike Slate, however, the BBC.com version won’t just be reprinted popular answers. David Allen, managing editor of BBC.com’s features section told me over email that Quora will be used for fodder and answers:

We work with Quora to help seed questions in key topic areas for a subject that we’re looking to cover and they’ll also help us identify key contributors and topics that have already been covered and fit within the subject we’re interested in. Both Quora and BBC.com are rooted in knowledge – each reader/user base has a lot of crossover. We’re not just reprinting popular answers.

I have never really known what to make of Quora, and seem to stumble upon it more often as I persuse and search the web. The partnership is interesting — it’s great to know what readers are already thinking about and expanding upon it. And it’s a great way to leverage user generated content. BBC.com is also working with Quora to “seed out” key contributors and topics to cover. The column launched on the BBC.com Auto pages and BBC.com’s Capital vertical. What do you think about Quora columns? Do you ask or answer questions on the site?

AP Stylebook Updates Detail How To Handle User-Generated Content

AP StylebookThe Associated Press Stylebook is on a tech kick with its latest updates. Among the new additions, according to a note to online stylebook subscribers: Android, circles (as in Google Plus groups), flash mob, Google Hangout, hashtag, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, retweet, Skype and tablet. The User-Generated Content entry has also been expanded.

The updates were added to the online stylebook and emailed to subscribers on Friday. Since so much of online journalism these days relies on references or links to user-generated/citizen journalism pieces (photos/video taken at the scene by non-journalists or accounts of events shared on social media, for example), I wanted to highlight this addition in particular:
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