Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday update

Most of you have been doing a good job of updating your blogs. You should make an extra effort to get people's names spelled properly, and to adhere to the tenets of AP style. Please note that the word "Internet" should begin with a capital "I." You may have noticed that British publications tend to lowercase it.

I've updated our class Web site a bit, building in a link to this blog and adding some of the sites we talked about in our discussion of Web-based computer-assisted reporting. You should give yourself 15 minutes or so to play with TheyRule.net, which demonstrates the power of social-network analysis. Imagine what a student newspaper could do if college or university trustees could be analyzed in such a way.

I've also "subscribed" to all of your blogs with an RSS aggregator called NewsFire. It's Mac-only, but there are many similar programs for Windows-based machines. Now, every time you post, I hear a "ding" go off on my iBook and I can instantly read what you've written.

If you're not sure what RSS ("Really Simple Syndication") is all about, I recommend this article, published in Slate. If you'd like to give RSS a whirl, try Bloglines, a free, Web-based aggregator. Updating with Bloglines tends to be slower than it should be, but it's easy to use and reliable, and the price is right.

Please check out what your classmates are doing. Here are a few highlights from my reading today (links to all blogs at right):
  • Adam Marschilok notes that ESPN is giving up on a tech idea it had introduced with great fanfare not too long ago.
  • Blythe Simmons looks at free, online magazines for college students.
  • Celia Soudry has some thoughts on Cardinal Se├ín O'Malley's blog, and posits a relationship between amateur media and amateur porn.
  • Chelsea Petersen ponders the rise of MySpace and the decline of Friendster.
  • Chris Estrada analyzes several different flavors of citizen journalism.
  • Evan Brunell hails the Web for making pajama-clad sportswriting possible.
  • Glenn Yoder writes about blogging in Africa, and how network television is discovering services such as YouTube.
  • Jane Mackay tracks Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and his growing interest in citizen journalism.
  • Jessica Harding is less than thrilled with a fee-based Web service that will help you find new friends.
  • Lisa Panora is dubious about a prediction that English will become the only language left on the Internet.
  • Mike Naughton wonders whether the explosion of blogs in China can be controlled by that country's repressive government.
  • Rachel Slajda notes that you don't necessarily need the Internet to practice citizen journalism.
  • Rajashree Joshi thinks Google's problems in Belgium raise some troubling issues about content and copyright.
  • Ricky Thompson points to a story on how Newsweek is using the Internet to offer college degrees online.
  • Thomas Chen offers some examples of how sports can ease the pain of a collective tragedy such as 9/11 or the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.