Does this site exist? Travel/food blog idea


Pitch: A site that lets you create your own travel blog or food blog based on geolocation check-ins.

The site connects to your Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places check-ins and allows you to select one to write a blog post about.

Travel bloggers can write about the places they've visited, food bloggers can write about restaurants. There's probably other uses.

The site using Foursquare's API could then post a link to the blogpost in the "Tips" for the location, allowing other users to access the post from the app or site.

Would this work as a platform itself, or would it just make a good WP plug-in?

Just an idea.

*attached mockup

Local news must save itself

As part of the great series of Harris Lectures put on by UCLan’s journalism department, we were honoured yesterday with the words and thoughts of Roy Greenslade.
Roy made every journalism student in the theatre jealous and disheartened with his tales of 1960s Fleet Street through to Wapping and where we are now.
Roy rightly asserted that there’s no one reason why newspapers are seeing sales plummet. It was refreshing to see a hack from the heyday of Fleet Street recognise that the internet isn’t the sole destroyer of the newspaper industry, though many of his peers do.
Having read his critique of the re-design of the Lancashire Telegraph’s front page I asked Roy whether newspapers need to accept more of the blame as to why their sales are declining, especially in respect to locals like the LT who are going increasingly downmarket.
Roy agreed they did. He cited the main problem was that local news has lost itself and lost any idea of what its readers want. 
“Local newspapers will go out and do surveys and find justification for whatever it is the editor wants to do. The problem is readers don’t know what they want.
“But what they don’t want is crime stories dominating the front pages of their local newspapers in large sans fonts. I spend six months of the year in Donegal, a place where six regional newspapers 
are in competition, and every day their issues fly from news stands. The news they report is much more gentler.”
I think he’s right. A local newspaper should be the voice of the community it serves.  One doesn’t foster a community by scaring it on a daily basis with hyped-up shock crime stories. This is a key difference between the national and local press which has been lost on corporatised regional publishers.  People do like reading bad news, as long as it’s not happening on their own street.
Preston was in the news this week for having the most crime-ridden street in the country, based on a map produced by Never mind the story was bollocks, some glitch with the system put all crimes committed in Preston city centre on one street. What did local Preston paper, the Lancashire Evening Post run with as its main story?  Yeah you guessed it. 
Did they contact local police officers to confirm the statistics like the BBC did? No they didn’t, they rehashed press release quotes from Theresa May. Fire all the defences at me “regional news producers are making cuts” “regional journalists are overworked and underpaid”, a five minute phone call would have changed this story.
If regional publishers want to turn their fortunes around, there’s a lot of systematic rot to combat. Blaming external factors doesn’t help anyone.

Entering the Public Domain

After reading this statement by tech evangelist and blogger Robert Scoble, I made the decision to make all my photos on Flickr and the words and images on this blog public domain.  That means I waived the right to assert any copyright on my words or images. But why?

The words on this blog and the images on my Flickr aren't making me any money, and they are not supposed to.  The web was made possible because people put content out there, without charging anyone to see it.  Wikipedia, now in its 10th year, was made possible by people donating their time, donating their knowledge and donating their CreativeCommons or public domain images.

I'm doing it to be a good citizen of the web. I don't claim to be a great photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but if I happen to have a photo useful to anyone, they can use it with or without attribution.  I made the decision to go CC0 (public domain) and not a typical non-commercial Creative Commons licence because I really don't care if I'm attributed or not. People who are good citizens of the web will attribute anyway as they would any CC image or content.  But some people never will, and that's fine, I'm just happy to have been of use.

The web is made better the more we open ourselves, share, and have access to ideas and content.  This is me, doing my bit.

Net neutrality for journalists. Why it matters.

Net neutrality is an issue we should all be paying attention to.  Net neutrality is the proposal that all information on the internet should be free and open, and not subject to control by ISPs, government and content providers.  If the net were not neutral, networks could slow down access to some video sites, while speeding the performance of commercial partners.  Essentially, people in different countries, on different ISPs, get a different internet.

In his draft Bill of Rights in Cyberspace, Jeff Jarvis states:

All bits are created equal

This matters to all citizens of the internet.  But non-net neutrality could have implications for journalists and news media orgs.  If ISPs were allowed to operate in a non-neutral manner, then it’s no stretch to imagine Sky Broadband promoting Sky and News Corp sites over the BBC and commercial rivals.

The chair of the US Federal Communications Commision, effectively their Ofcom, Julis Genachowski, has expressed in far more eloquent words than my own why net neutrality is important, and why the web is under thread.


Net neutrality statement by Julius Genachowski, the FCC chair, on Dec. 21, 2010

Lord Chief Justice’s guidance on twitter and liveblogging in court

The lord chief justice today opened the way for the reporting of some court proceedings by journalists using Twitter, texting and email, but made clear it was unlikely to happen where such use of social mediacould influence witnesses.

Media organisations and journalists can apply for permission to use social media on a case-by-case basis, but Lord Judge said it may be necessary to bar its use by non-journalists to ensure the “proper adminstration of justice”, prevent distractions in court and limit the potential for interference with courts’ own recording equipment.

Is this the death knoll for shorthand?

Full text below.

Media Quotes of 2010 by @jonslattery

TheMediaBriefing have an excellent collection of quotes on the media compiled by freelance journalist Jon Slattery. Every Friday on his blog he picks out the best of the week, and these are his best of the year.  

My particular favourites are: 


Guardian’s Nick Davies at the City University debate on the News of the World and phone-hacking: “I should start off by apologising to the News of the World, in a way I feel sorry for them. It’s sheer fluke and bad luck that particular newspaper is the subject of all this attention. It’s just because one journalist [Royal correspondent] Clive Goodman got caught… All of us know very well that illegal activity was going on in most Fleet Street newsrooms.

followed by

Ex-News of the World journalist Paul McMullan also at the City University debate on phone-hacking: “I remember seeing an episode of Friends where somebody did it to Monica’s phone.


An adult discussion: opting out, not in, to internet porn

The government’s communications minister Ed Vaizey is to introduce plans to block all internet porn unless adults opt out. (Can’t link to the Sunday Times unfortunately)

The move, which is being backed by the NSPCC and a number of psychologists, would force internet service providers to block all pornographic material, unless specifically requested they don’t by the bill-paying adult.

The ISPs will understandably object to these plans; worldwide the internet serves up 420 million pages of porn a day, blocking the UK percentage of that will be a mammoth task.

Never mind the marital relations impact.  Without going into the wrongs and rights of porn, if a wife discovers the home’s internet connection can access porn, questions will be asked of her husband.

The motive behind the proposals is the mental health of children.  The Sunday Times magazine has an eight page report into the affects of porn on teenagers and the results are disturbing.

One teen “Tom”, who watched hardcore porn for 6 years before his first sexual experience recounts an unpleasant first experience with a girl.

We were both a bit drunk.  I was very excited and not very sensitive to the situation.  If I’m honest, I was a bit brusque, a bit rough… maybe even more than a bit.  It didn’t happen in the end, because we were walked in on, but i was incredibly close to taking her virginity in a really rough manner… like almost forcing her.

The article details some similarly disturbing stories.  The studies show that teen boys engage in “blunting” in that they can view hardcore porn with a sense of detachment, knowing it’s wrong and feeling ashamed afterwards. 

It’s a disturbing situation and one that need to be dealt with, but not by blocking porn, which any web savvy teen could get around.  Deal with it with parenting, with sex education, with open attitudes to what loving, consensual sex is.

If you want to have porn blocked, you should have the right to OPT IN. But opting out is crude ineffectual censorship.