Tag Archives: Wordpress

Asking “Who’s a journalist?” is so 2007

Dan Gillmor asks in a Salon piece, “Who’s a journalist?” Commenters are weighing in.

But Dan, please pardon me for this reaction.

This question is so 2007.

Howard Weaver raised it in his old blog, Etaoin Shrdlu, that year. I wrote a paper that year for a UNC class that addressed the question.

Why are we still dealing with it?

Perhaps the question still draws reaction because many journalists are finding that others are co-opting the name, or they’re unsure whether they can still use the label for themselves if they’re not getting paid by organizations anymore to do journalism.

Either way, the question resembles discussion of how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, and I’d love to see us move on to other questions.

How should society pay for journalism? What can we learn from history and current experiments like Spot.Us?

How can individuals finance their journalism? Which old ethical rules should we keep?

How can experienced journalists spread the ethics, values and ideals that are worth keeping to the new creators who call themselves journalists?

Is a sports marketing company that solicits and broadcasts high school football scores through text and Twitter a journalism company? Not unless they build a system that adds verification of the information, making it bulletproof from spammers and bots who will no doubt find it.

Is a site that scrapes content from local newspapers and repurposes it without attribution on “hyperlocal” WordPress blogs journalism? No, but how do you teach small local advertisers and readers to tell the difference?

Those are the questions that matter now. People describing themselves as journalists will be best judged by what they produce. Librarians and others working with academic papers are polishing systems that assign rankings to people based on their published works. Others like Spot.Us and Publish2 are experimenting with new funding models.

How can we make new forms work? Let’s get to it.

Move beyond 2007.


Tags generate traffic

Traffic jumped at this small class blog recently, mostly because of a post I tagged with “Google ads.”

More details at Leslie Wilkinson’s class blog, including WordPress screenshots. Many thanks to her for helping me figure out what the heck was going on. And more details and visuals at Innovate This, our shared work blog. As traditional media looks for answers, we need to find ways to use new tools just as we would hone our skills in writing headlines.

Much has been written about the value of “microcontent,” including great tips from Jakob Nielsen. and an ode to fait divers from McClatchy’s Howard Weaver. Tags and headlines both fall into that category (or tag?) and help us all find order.

The power of tags and site metering

I used these tags in my post about “The five best and worst sites, Part I:”
Apple, blogs, chuck, nerd herd, software, technology.
Between 2:57 p.m.  and 5 p.m. on Saturday, I received hits from Los Angeles; Jid Hafs, Bahrain; San Francisco; Dumbravita, Timis, in Romania; and Falkirk, Caldercruix in the United Kingdom.
In the initials of the younger folks, OMG.
So now I’m puzzling, and just might have to experiment later. Was it the tags that drew hits through WordPress? I’m new to the software, and I’m wondering whether Chuck from the Nerd Herd is that popular, or perhaps the draw was the word “Apple.”
Or did web crawlers (otherwise called “spiders”) go and seek the content that used the word “stock” right after the word “Apple?”
Either way, I recommend anyone experimenting with WordPress in the class to try the power of tags, in addition to categories, if you’re not using them already.

And if anyone has recommendations for site-metering software that works well with WordPress, please share. I’m using Site Meter now, and I don’t get lots of details.