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Neat idea from Daniel Sicar tonight: non-technical journalists should learn enough HTML/CSS (and maybe JavaScript) to build a single-serving website for one of their stories. Originally it was pitched as a skill to learn in 30 days, but it could be great one-day workshop material as well.

The two defining talks of Webstock

Now a few days later, I’ve realized there were two talks at Webstock that made it for me. The first was Clay Johnson’s “Industrialized Ignorance,” a look at the current state of the media. Clay argues that, much like how industrial food production gives us food that tastes good, but isn’t necessarily good for us, […]

#AANDigital: WordPress in the Newsroom

Since I’ve been involved in the news industry, I’ve been a huge proponent of open source software. In particular, this selling point: open source makes for much easier cross-institution collaboration. Open source software provides a legal framework for companies to pool development resources, and build mutually-beneficial products. However, as I learned the hard way, news organizations need […]

Related posts via a quiz

Many news sites display related content at the end of an article that’s often based on textual analysis or visitor traffic. Articles often assume a baseline of knowledge on a story, regardless of whether the visitor knows anything about the topic or not.

It would be neat if you could include a quiz widget within the article. The reader could take the quiz which would test their knowledge and then suggest content based on their responses. The news organization would collect useful demographic data to refine their editorial planning.

Fortunately, whether or not Google makes a commenting widget isn’t that big a deal on its own. Maybe they will or maybe they won’t, and maybe it’ll fail again or maybe it won’t. But the key lesson to take away here is that we know a few things are wrong with the trade press in the technology world:

  • In tech financial coverage, there is a focus on valuation, deals and funding instead of markets, costs, profits, losses, revenues and sustainability.
  • In tech executive coverage, there is a focus on personalities and drama instead of capabilities and execution.
  • In tech product coverage, there is a focus on features and announcements instead of evaluating whether a product is meaningful and worthwhile.
  • Technology trade press doesn’t treat our industry as a business, so much as a “scene”; If our industry had magazines, we’d have a lot of People but no Variety, a Rolling Stone, but no Billboard.

There are many more examples of the flaws, but these are obvious ones. What we may not know, though is that there’s another flaw:

  • For all but the biggest tech stories, any individual article likely lacks enough information to make a decision about the topic of that article.

Anil Dash — Why you can’t trust tech press can’t teach you about the tech industry

#techrakingcir: The Future of the CMS

Today, I’m down at Google in Mountain View at Techraking, a gathering of technologists and investigative journalists. It’s been super inspiring because of the fresh to me perspectives — I’d love to help Portland media outlets with projects like those I’ve heard about. At lunch, I learnt I was to lead a small group breakout […]

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Daniel Bachhuber

Proud father and husband. Principal, Hand Built. Maintainer, WP-CLI. Sales, rtCamp.