Archive for June, 2009

Michael Jackson

Here’s a needless error I see all the time when flicking through sites. And, to be honest, I’ve done it myself several times in the middle of a busy day of throwing up content and connecting it with good, old-fashioned hyperlinks…

>> Listen to the Michael Jackson 911 call – click here.

It’s great search engine optimisation, if you want to capture people looking for content about ‘clicking here’. Not so good if you want eyes seeking content about the deceased King of Pop.

>> Michael Jackson 911 call

Ah, that’s better.


Ok, so it was a no-brainer. Who cares?Steven Taylor models Newcastle United's new change strip which has been dubbed 'Toongerine orange'

Newcastle United’s change strip was unveiled and it looked like something an Oompa Loompa would use to wipe his backside. I work for the Sunderland Echo. What could we do other than mercilessly take the proverbial? Continue Reading »

They’re hardly new, but the power of live web chats for connecting with audiences, driving interaction and pulling in traffic should make them a staple for any digital newsroom. Best of all, with CoverItLive they are incredibly easy to set up – just log on to their site, register for a free account and place the embed code they provide on a blank custom page… You even get a chance to practice with the tool before going live.

At the Sunderland Echo we’ve used live text chats before to cover the Budget, for instance – with limited success in terms of participation. Near the climax of the 2008/09 football season we took the plunge with a footy chat, despite uncorroborated tales of dead air during similar offerings from rival titles in the north ea

Sunderland Echo live chat

Sunderland Echo live chat

st. The results suprised everyone in the office… Continue Reading »

In the mid- to late-19th century there were over 1,000 daily newspapers in England. Information was scarce and people were as hungry then as they are now for grisly tales of murder and titillating stories from behind the doors of respectable Victorian villas. (Murders in The Times archive 1850-1899 – requires subscription to see full articles)

At the same time Madame Toussauds was doing a roaring trade, and for much the same reason papers were selling like hot-cakes. Information – be that the likeness of great figures such as 18th century naval hero Horatio Nelson reproduced in waxwork, or news of the British Army’s escapades thousands of miles from home – was scarce. Continue Reading »

As part of a much longer Q&A, Sunderland Uni student Josh Halliday (editor of asked for my thoughts on the newsroom of the future. Here are my note-form musings on changing roles and job titles. 

You’ve said before you want to move to a fully-integrated newsroom. How will job roles change here then? (Content curator) And how might this affect the requirements of new recruits? Might they need to have knowledge of publishing and consuming in all media, for example?

In terms of roles there are two things going on, and those companies yet to shake up their job titles/roles  will almost all do so soon… Continue Reading »

Back in England

I’m back in the UK, so expect normal blogging service to resume as soon as I have unpacked my swimming trunks.