Cat News In Briefs

POSTED IN geekery, my projects | TAGS : , , 22 January 2010

The Sun publish News in Briefs, which is simply-written right-wing content supposedly said by topless model. So Jon Hickman thought it would work  with boobs swapped out for kitties…

Friday, January 22nd – HOLLIE, 22, from Manchester

HOLLIE is furious that we?re shelling out for a battery of crackpot laws by Labour. She said: ?Whoever heard of disturbing a box of eggs without permission? It diminishes the authority of basic tenets of English law as laid down in the Magna Carta of 1215.?

via The Kitten Channel :: Cat News In Briefs.

C&binet on the future of local news

POSTED IN Conferences & Talks, future web | TAGS : , , , 29 October 2009

I spent a fascinating couple of days down in that London at an gathering of those interested in the future of local news — organised by Sion Simon (Minister for Creative Industries) at the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, who are hoping to have got some useful ideas for future legislation (the Digital Economy Bill)  It was brilliant to have a range of people from different backgrounds and interest groups to talk to and learn from — too many events are focused around one industry or interest group and end up being (to be clichéd) an echo chamber — with it being particularly good to hear about how things are shaping up in the States. Hannah over at Podnosh gives a good overview of the whats and the whos.

But first the “bad news”, see the decline in regional newspaper circulation from 1993 (as shown in a very impressive set of slides from Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis)

What strikes me is that, while the decline starts to happen consistently with widespread internet adoption, there are huge drops in years before that, including 1993; before the world wide web. Something was up with what the regional press was offering long before people started getting news online —  and local news online provision lagged behind that of national (certainly in Birmingham where it’s only been about a year since the local papers started to publish properly on the web).

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Hyperlocal News Wire

POSTED IN my projects, social media work | TAGS : , , , , , , , , , , , , 9 July 2009

Here’s a pipe I’ve created that attempts to marshal the content from hyperlocal blogging in Birmingham and allow people only to subscribe to feeds that interest them. This is a piece of investigation and experimentation that I’ve been able to find the time to do thanks to Will Perrin and his hyperlocal blogging initiative Talk About Local. Will also helped define the reason why it would be useful to do — for what he called “lazy journalists”.

Lazy here is used in the same way that it might be used — in praise — of a computer programmer; that is, lazy means you’ll work hard at setting yourself up right to make sure you get everything you need easily later on. Will got to the crux of the argument by saying that journalists interested in a subject — let’s say noise abatement issues — could easily find examples of those at a local level outside the areas they physically know.

So this is a run through of the decisions made in building it (and what other options could work), it’s no more than a prototype at this stage so comments and improvements are very welcome. However if you would rather just get stuck into the pipe itself, head on over.

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RSS as legislation

POSTED IN | TAGS : , , , , , , , , , 24 February 2009

Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought reports that the US Government's new Stimulus bill requires that each government agency report the money it gives out in RSS, it's not just unstructured text, but will have to be reusable data. This is a real big deal for standards of data disttibution and re-use. [link]

onBirmingham – let’s try local news on Twitter

POSTED IN my projects, social media, social media work, twitter | TAGS : , , , 19 January 2009

Twitter is now pretty much established as the place where news can break most quickly — when news happens it’s becoming more and more likely a Twitterer will be somewhere nearby, or be one of the first to hear it.

But unless it’s huge World news whether you hear it quickly (or at all) is dependant on who you’re following. If you’re not following the “newsmaker” then you’ll wait until someone you do follow mentions it, or until a blog or even a newspaper picks it up (queue the “Twitter is fast at news” news story). There have been some attempts to use search or trends to help the process along, so you can follow one Twitter account that will notify you when a story reaches a critical mass — thing is for the more niche story that may never happen. Which is where the idea behind onBirmingham comes in.

The onBirmingham Twitter account retweets (with attribution) direct messages sent to it — from people that the account is following. Like this:

Kings Heath ...
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

It rests on building up a network of “newsmakers” around Birmingham, who have a nose for news and an itchy Twitter finger. onBirmingham will only follow those it trusts, and if they use the service to spam, then they’ll be unfollowed — it’s as simple as that.

So follow onBirmingham to get the news, and if you’d like to help make the news send the account an @ message and it’ll follow you back. And we’ll see how well it works.

Rory Cellan-Jones on not being fooled by ‘surveys’

POSTED IN found stuff | TAGS : , , , , , 3 November 2008

Rory rightly dismisses a press release that uses an ‘survey’ and twists the results so as to appear newsworthy. “So, while I’ll admit that I’ve occasionally fallen for this kind of stunt in the past, I’m going to resist it this time. But don’t be surprised if you pick up a paper this week and read “Secrets of the Granny Gamers.”” [link]

When good feeds go bad

POSTED IN | TAGS : , , , , 2 September 2008

An old PA football story somehow finds itself published as new news on This is Croydon – to the ire of commenters. The very funny ire. Read the comments from the bottom-up to get it chronologically. [link]

Tony Blair is Ali G

POSTED IN found stuff | TAGS : , , 3 August 2008

Supposedly shocking “leaked” memo by Tony Blair to some of his New Labour buddies makes the Mail:

blair.JPG (image)
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Shocking, to me, as the fool uses the word “dissed” without apparent irony.

The power of repetition

POSTED IN video | TAGS : , , , , 20 June 2008

Do not watch this youtube clip if you dislike the idea a a comedy sketch featuring the work c— a few hundred times, do watch it if you want a US TV/political satire giggle:

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i can has news?

POSTED IN geekery | TAGS : , , , 14 March 2008

Metroland - I CAN HAS PROSTITOOTZ - 08, MarNew York’s Metroland news weekly knows that it’s lolcats you need to tell a story.

Turns out lolcats are the story.