How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Posts Tagged ‘tools

How to map: top tips and tools for hyperlocal publishers

Getting to grips with mapping is a fundamental part of running a hyperlocal blog – this is the first part of a post I’ve written for Wannabe Hacks as part of their hyperlocal week – the rest of the post has some helpful tips for using different mapping tools – read it here.

Seany @Flickr

 

Mapping is wrapped up with the very idea of local. It’s no surprise that one of the first things many hyperlocal start-ups do is work out exactly which area the blog aims to cover.

But what’s local to us is bound up with our day-to-day living – how the school is situated to the bank, how long it takes to walk to the nearest park, how close the post office is to the train station – these are all things which make up our private memory map of our local area.

In this way – using ordinance survey map data could pose a problem for hyperlocal publishers – since the reader’s local map is woven into the fabric of daily lives, their emotions and experiences. But if stories and new bits of information can somehow tap into this private map (make it emo-local) – and help the reader better understand, better digest, or give more meaning to something about their community – then the map is a very powerful tool for storytelling indeed.

Part of the reason hyperlocal publishing has often been likened to the news industry is because there are aspects of being a community publisher akin to the traditional patch reporter.

But while local newspaper reporters may struggle to place the story in its emo-local context, hyperlocal publishers not only usually know their area through and through – but also have a number of easy to use online tools at their disposal to help.

There are different types of maps that make up an area – some online tools will work very well for local reporting and some stories, while others will be just too complicated for volunteers working in their spare time to bother with.

This post aims to give a brief overview of some online mapping tools hyperlocal publishers can use – with some practical tips for those getting to grips with maps for news gathering, storytelling and engagement purposes. I also aim to offer a few ideas for when these tools are best applied and what is the best practise for using maps for hyperlocal blogging.

This is by no means an extensive list – and I’m no expert – so I’d very much welcome comments in the section below linking to other good tools, ideas for best mapping practice and links to maps you’ve seen work well on hyperlocal blogs. Read the rest of this entry »

News:rewired – What’s next for ‘niche’?

Tomorrow I’m speaking at News:Rewired – The Nouveau Niche. The panel I’m talking on is called ‘What’s next for niche?’ – essentially it’s going to be a debate about some of the tools journalists can use to help them work online.

The blurb for the afternoon discussion is:

The best minds in online journalism and digital publishing come together to discuss what tools, techniques and platforms specialist journalists should be looking towards.

Other speakers on the panel include Kevin Anderson, Ciaran Norris, Philip Trippenbach and Suzanne Kavanagh. I’m not sure I’d consider myself a ‘best mind’ but I’ll be there to explain a little about some of the tools and technology I use professionally on a day to day basis. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

June 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm