A traffic mashup

Submitted by yelvington on February 24, 2006 - 10:41am

Back in the last century when I was at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, we built one of the first online traffic maps. It definitely wasn't the first even in the local market -- a local tech development firm had already built one as a demonstration. We considered using theirs, didn't like their terms, and assigned a programmer to create our own. It took some time, some socket-level Perl programming, some artwork and some creative uses of ImageMagick. MNDOT was happy to provide the data. A few weeks later we had it online.

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Fear -- and hope -- in Moscow

Submitted by yelvington on February 23, 2006 - 9:36am

Looking over the agenda for the 13th World Editors Forum, which will be held this summer in Moscow, Jeff Jarvis reacts: "I smell fear." Well, I do too. Not everywhere, but in many newsrooms there's a real fear of citizen journalism, ranging from a concern that it will somehow undermine quality and credibility to a paycheck-centered fear that publishers are conspiring to lay off reporters in favor of unpaid citizen labor.

Connections 2006, Orlando

Submitted by yelvington on February 17, 2006 - 7:25pm

Some weeks you're the windshield, other weeks you're the bug. I feel like I've had one of those weeks. Tomorrow morning I'm heading to Orlando for the Connections conference, the annual get-together of the Newspaper Association of America New Media Federation. Here's hoping it'll be a windshield week. I'll be saying goodbye to the NMF board (my last term is up), handing out some awards, and moderating the "buzz session" in which the attendees are the program.

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In the tank with the hungry fish

Submitted by yelvington on February 13, 2006 - 4:43pm

Several of our folks from Morris DigitalWorks went up to Vancouver last week for the Open-Source CMS Summit and some stayed for Northern Voice, the Canadian blogging conference. It may seem bizarre for a big U.S. media company from the South that creates and sells closed-source software to be in that particular situation, but it makes sense to us.

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Frank Leslie's citizen journalism

Submitted by yelvington on February 8, 2006 - 1:24pm

At the National Press Club in Washington there's a framed copy of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper covering the Dred Scott case in the middle of the 19th Century.

Right at the top of Column 1 are these words:

"We shall be happy to receive personal narratives, including adventures and incidents, for every person who pleases to correspond with our paper.

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