Pete Piringer’s removal is not only a loss for D.C. residents, but also the local journalism community. Under his watch, @DCFireEMS was a valuable news source and public safety utility other cities should have copied.
The account kept news organizations informed of what was going on at a scene without us having to call them every five minutes.
As a resident, I love that when you saw a bunch of police cars in you neighborhood, you could just say, “I’ll check @DCfireEMS and see what’s up.”
“Piringer was prolific in his tweeting of breaking news and information, but sources inside the mayor’s office say there was blowback from other agencies that Piringer’s tweets were making them look slow and unresponsive.”
Sorry, Pete, you were way too good at your job to get to keep it, you were making the rest of the DC Government, well, look like it is.
There are a lot of good PIOs in this town - DDOT’s John Lisle, and DCRA’s Helder Gil to name two who kick more ass than Chuck Norris at an Occupy Wall Street protest, but so many other’s, especially the Mayor’s office, and elsewhere in the DC Government, who just don’t nearly as good a job. Very disappointed.
Yesterday I posted a map that used proportional symbols to visualize the home cities of Online News Association conference attendees. Today’s version uses great circles to map the routes attendees took to Boston (assuming they had direct flights, of course). Red lines represent more attendees from a location:
Inspired by Nathan Yau’s great tutorial. (Thanks also, Nathan, for the generous help today).
A full hour before the formal announcement of Bin-Laden’s death, Keith Urbahn posted his speculation on the emergency presidential address. Little did he know that this Tweet would trigger an avalanche of reactions, Retweets and conversations that would beat mainstream media as well as the White…
This is an excellent and unconventional use of onsite analytics and search terms. Though a lot of traditional reporters don’t generally get ready access to this kind of info, they can make contact with their analytics geniuses to regularly get a peep at it. I could see where bloggers and independent journalists who control their own sites could really find this helpful.
I’ve written before on writing from analytics, but what happened today was just such a good example, I think it’s worth sharing. Briefly: checking out my site analytics, and taking clues from them led me to an unreported homicide.
I originally wrote this in December of 2005 on my old, super-hateful pop culture blog of yore. I was re-reading it and found this post on what had been one of my favorite movies as a high schooler. It made me want to re-re-watch Reality Bites as a much younger person again.
It’s very strange how much a movie can change for you as you grow older. Tonight, I watched Reality Bites for the first time since my freshman year of college and found that I no longer like it at all.
When I was about 19, that movie was my favorite because I thought the characters were like my friends and me. It embodied the Generation X ideal that I so wanted to be a part of.
I saw myself as the main character Lelaina (Winona Ryder), a woman of vision who had just graduated college and was out to change the world. She and her friends were dead-set on not “selling out” or becoming yuppies. They’d rather be poor and live off her dad’s gas station credit card then take work that compromises their lofty ideals.
When she meets young executive Michael (Ben Stiller), he seems like the Enemy. He is “the man” (though he claims to not be materialistic) and I at 19 wondered what there was to like about him. I mean, he was cute enough, but he wore ties and had a desk job and a cell phone. What a square.
At 19, I rooted for Lelaina’s best friend Troy, a perpetual slacker who can’t hold down the most menial of work or even graduate college - but he has the soul of a poet and he sees himself setting the world afire through his music. He’s well read and intelligent, but he rejects the notion that people Michael could ever be more than just hapless, pop-culture-driven zombies.
The movie sets up Lelaina to choose between longhaired pretty-boy Troy and the sweet, patient, youthful success of Michael. We’re supposed to believe that because Michael can’t pull together a witty comeback that he’s somehow a lesser person in the grand scope of the world than Troy’s deep, intelligent brooding Troy’s constant irresponsible and standoffish behavior is supposed to belie a heart of gold and Michael’s obvious heart of gold is just a useless token of materialism.
When I was 19, I thought Troy was the answer. Even though he’s a complete dick for the entire movie, I wanted Lelaina to end up with him because he just refuses to conform. How daring. How admirable.
At 25, I see this movie and think, “What the hell are you doing?”
As a post-college adult, I wonder who would ever pick a guy like Troy over Michael. I respect a guy with passion for his career, one who would do anything for me and bare his soul whenever I asked. I like a guy with his heart on his sleeve, even if that sleeve has French cuffs. I see employment as a sign of maturity and slackerism as a sign of childish indulgence. I know that book smarts mean nothing if you can’t apply it.
I see Lelaina struggling to find a job and to make her documentary and I say, “Get over yourself! You’re not too good for the world! Get a job already!”
And now, when she chooses Troy, I think she’s a witless little girl, following her sexual instincts instead of her brains. What reasons does she have to turn to Troy? He has proven himself to be unreliable and unwilling to grow up…yet he’s the romantic hero? What? Michael’s the one who sold her documentary and saved her from poverty. Michael’s the one who played her Peter Frampton and has “Planet of the Apes” toys. Michael’s the good guy.
I realized Generation X was a generation of lazy frauds. They talked big about how they were going to change the world, but they were so busy avoiding sell-out jobs that they never even got a foothold in the adult world. In fact, my generation, the generation after, is already head-and-shoulders above them.
I have grown up to learn that having a career doesn’t automatically negate one’s dreams of making a difference. I know that I could make just as positive an impact in the boardroom as I could toting a sign outside it. And I know that all of the heart and talent in the world doesn’t make for a good life or a good person without work.
Call me a sell-out. But I can’t believe I ever identified with this sort of mindset. But I hear adulthood is funny that way.
“Aggregation” can mean smart people sharing their reading lists, plugging one another into the bounty of the information universe. It kind of describes what I do as an editor. But too often it amounts to taking words written by other people, packaging them on your own Web site and harvesting revenue that might otherwise be directed to the originators of the material. In Somalia this would be called piracy. In the mediasphere, it is a respected business model.”—All the Aggregation That’s Fit to Aggregate - NYTimes.com (via tiffanyb)
Because it seems I can’t leave comments on the actual post below, I figure I’ll reblog and respond.
This Xtranormal video was but a first experiment in what I think could be a bright future for animation recreations in news. We had this phone transcript (not an audio file, or else we’d have just used that) and wanted to do something that would present it in a non-textual way. It could be done in a more serious fashion, if one has the time, desire and credits to do so.
I went with the bears because 1. It was free, I’d have to pay for people. Eventually we may buy credits there, but for an experiment, I wanted to stay free. 2. The ship had long since sailed at local media making light of this transcript.
The added sound effects stem directly from what is being said in the transcript, nothing was added for editorial effect.
TBD Social Media Producer Mandy Jenkins tried out the xtranormal video production method to recreate a conversation between a couple before they were arrested by the FBI. While interesting, I’m not sure I like it for a few reasons:
1) Teddy bears are not serious, and this is a serious topic. It’d be like recreating a crime scene with Legos, even if it was properly built to scale, etc.
2) Added sound effects. I don’t know the story behind the knocking (how she knew when to add it, or the doorbell), but I think enhancing content in such a way could be dangerous. Maybe she added too many knocks, and maybe she didn’t pay it enough justice at all, adding far too few.
3) Sure, it’s no iPhone 4 video, but still it’s a bit too close to pure entertainment. It’d be like if I watched the Colbert Report and took everything he said literally — it’s based in reality, but the context makes it seem humorous. Then again, is it that different from when shows like America’s Most Wanted re-enact stuff? I don’t know.
At the same time, I like the direction. Voice software is not far from being able to replicate this in even more impressive fashion. And, it’s clearly a benefit to have some sort of non-text transcript for the internet user who likes to listen and browse other tabs. Multimedia, especially interesting stuff, is a good way of enhancing stories, and this makes that clear.
I guess I would have just preferred an audiofile (though I do like the computer voice in some ways — it can’t really be overdramatized).
I’d like to go back in time and tell a younger me, “Someday, you will attend networking events just for the cheese platter. Your ability to small talk will only be surpassed by the amount of wine you can absentmindedly drink while listening to someone whose name you forgot talk about whatever it is that they do.”