Hi folks. I’ve put this site on hold while I work on a paid project.
A nice problem to have, I hope you’ll agree. I’ll link to it once it’s done. It’s to do with travel and interactive mapping.

Meantime, check out ThingLink. It’s a way of telling stories by customising an image with links and multimedia. As far as I can tell it’s pretty new.

This recent post about Bestival is the only example that I can find of ThingLink in action on a news site.

Does it work? Feel free to add your thoughts by commenting below.

Meantime, I’d better crack on. Thanks for your understanding. More soon.


Hi folks. Just transfering all the content so far onto a new site. It’s going to look and work better, with embedded multimedia storytelling goodness. Lots of posts to bring us up to date tomorrow (Friday 9 September).

Following on from yesterday’s post on getting/letting someone else do the work, I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to a good example of collaboration with site users to generate content.

According to this post, letting cyclists become ‘ambassadors’ for their areas is a buzz… thing. Who cares if it is. It’s a great concept both from a good citizen point of view and for news.

The Innertube Map is an Edinburgh-based project that generates local news by letting people who care about their areas write about them. Armed with a 3G phone and training, the volunteers aim to keep local cycle routes in good condition. They also blog about life on and around each route, posting sounds, images, videos and interviews. Meet them at this link.

It was developed by Tom Allan, Edinburgh’s The Bike Station and the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust.

In the Audioboo at this link you can hear Tom and I discussing it (while out on our bikes) while he was recruiting ambassadors for each line on the map.

Now the map is very much up and running and each ambassador is generating heaps of multimedia content. If I were still doing the Guardian Local project, this site would be a first stop every morning.

Do you know of any similar news-generating collaborative sites? Please share links in the comments below.

Or should that be, ‘let someone else do it’? On the social media cynic’s bingo card, see ‘collaboration.’

It depends what kind of news operation you’re going for, but often someone else’s writing can bring fresh eyes to a topic. Newspapers have done this for hundreds of years, with opinion pieces, guest editors and celebrity columnists. Some of the time, they can pay people. But right now (two or three months into freelancing) I’m only just paying the bills off my own back, so paying someone else ain’t going to happen for a while. So…

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Newspapers aren’t dead. But whether weekly or daily, they’re often out of date before they’ve hit the newsstands. The Guardian recently announced its plans to go ‘digital first‘, meaning the website will continue to feature breaking news, while the paper will lean more towards in-depth analysis and maybe even long-form journalism. I’m not certain, but I reckon they’ll start using online story-telling tools in their reporting.
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