The Inquisitr sounds like our sort of site :
Welcome to the Inquisitr, a site I haven’t quite come up with a tag line for, but I’ve got Tech, Pop and Penguins on the short list.
With people barely having a thought we don’t in some way publish to the interweb there’s continuous chatter about information overload. I’ve always been of the opinion that I’d rather have all the information there was, leaving it up to me to pick what I wanted and what to ignore. It’s this that leads me to never ever getting my feed reader down to less than 2000+ unread items (most of these are flickr photos tagged “cat” or various vanity searches for my projects).
So, given that the background noise is of my own making, why would I complain about too much information?
Well I’m not complaining as such, I just think there needs to be a solution to the problem of getting the same information twice from different places. A technical one may do, but I’d rather a sort of moral code.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, with people pushing their blog posts through their tumblr or twitter accounts, or into their Facebook posted items – this is information that I want, but I’ve subscribed to the blog I’ll find it there. It would be fine if the sources were just different ways of receiving the same content, but there’s other unique stuff mixed in – I like my contacts personal tweets, or their randomly tumbl’d web content, so I get the blog posts again. You end up skim reading everything, so I’m sure I miss things I’d like to have known.
I signed up for FriendFeed this week, more to claim my online identity there that through any desire to use it at the moment, but is it just another way to push the same content? ReadWriteWeb listed 35 ways to stream your life, albeit that some of them are rather hazy, I’m just thinking that I’d rather cherry pick what I care about from different people.
I was pleased to be asked, and am now one of the Birmingham Post‘s bloggers on its newly relaunched website. Despite the hallowed environs of the mainstream press it’s not a paid gig – so why am I doing it? And more to the point what am I doing in the Lifestyle section?
Adding another blog to write for wasn’t really the aim, hell I could start another in a second on any topic I wanted. there was, however, something exciting about writing for a different audience. The Post as a local broadsheet is quite an odd beast, one that I’ve admired but never really engaged with because of how poor their web-outing was (a man can only read so many papers without a commute). I’m guessing that the new site will introduce a fair number of people to blogs, people who– rightly – aren’t excited by the “a kind of online diary” thing that sections of the media still use.
So, Lifestyle? Well, I won’t be writing about alternative medicine, or shoes (except maybe the odd fantastic pair of pumps), I’m currently thinking that my aim here is to write more informed pieces about the stuff I normally go on about. Something halfway between here and BiNS, intelligent, modern, culture stuff with an interweb slant. I don’t intend to modify my style, or re-hash other stuff. The first post was a odd one, as it had to be written before the site was live, I’m not sure how reading the other blogs on the site will affect future stuff.
It’s also exciting that the people working on the Post, and the site, have really taken the internet to be something different to the paper. Joanna Geary was terrified of blogging only a couple of months ago, but she’s recruited and started off a whole host of bloggers for the section.
Oh, and they use Movable Type, something I’ve never had a go of before, which is nice.
I’ve just posted most of this over on BiNS – as it’s a response to the question of what a new Birmingham Post website should be like – but I thought there were enough good, more general points (for any news organisation, or blog, even) to hack a version here too. There are people that do this sort of consultancy for a living of course, and if you’re so inclined you should seek them out.
I rarely read much news offline – I get most of my news online – I don’t have a train/bus commute to work, or a tea break, when a paper paper is what I want. I visit the website, but I won’t if the content is too hard to find, and by the time lots of it is up I’ve got the story elsewhere.
Two things stand out for me as absolute must haves to make having the site worthwhile:
There are some other points to consider:
And them there is the geek within me that thinks, if you’re building a newspaper website from scratch in this day and age, then you may as well build room at least for the biggest things just around the corner:
So far so, geek nonsense – but what if you combined the two. Let’s just say I live in Moseley, am a music lover, like arts, but I’m not bothered for politics or health news (not true, btw, but bear with me) – now a story about a doctors surgery in Great Barr wouldn’t interest me much, but I would care about news of a new practice in Kings Heath. Having geodata and attention data and combining the two would mean the most interesting an relevant news for the user – a customised paper for all, automatically.
A lot of news gets more relavent to you the nearer it is…