D.C. shooting non-photo used on the cover of two UK newspapers

The Atlantic Wire published an article Tuesday telling the story behind this “citizen journalist” photo from the D.C. shootings this week that turned out to not actually be related to the shootings.


Eric Levenson writes:

There were actually two photos posted to Twitter [Monday] that depicted a man on the ground surrounded by medical personnel in the area near the Washington Navy Yard. Because of the location and timing of the incident, most people, including the person who took them, assumed it was related to the nearby shooting. [Tuesday], both a spokesman for the Associated Press and the tweeter of those images, Tim Hogan, told The Atlantic Wire that the man on the ground was, in fact, unrelated to the shooting. Both expressed remorse at the actions that led to the error being picked up and spread by so many media outlets and Internet users.

Levenson goes on to explain how the pictures were first taken and tweeted by Hogan — a Congressional aide — and how they were picked up by the media. Hogan had urged caution with the photos, admitting he didn’t know the exact circumstances surrounding the man on the ground. But, as Levenson writes, those subsequent tweets didn’t get near as much traction as did the photos themselves.

Levenson notes:

The CVS pharmacy in the background of the photo is a few blocks away from Building 197, where the shooting took place — 0.4 miles to be exact, according to Google Maps. How did a gunshot victim end up there?

The Associated Press distributed the photo at 11:22 a.m. EDT.

At 1:05 p.m., the AP issued a new disclaimer with the photo. “Please be advised that the Associated Press is further investigating the details in these photos … We are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the person’s collapse,” the message read.

It didn’t pull the image until 5:53 p.m. EDT, nearly five hours later.

ELIMINATION US Shooting Military Building

By that time, sadly, it was too late for folks on the other side of the Atlantic. The picture was lead art for the Independent of London…


…as well as the Independent‘s youth-oriented tab, i.


Although one could easily argue that the Independent papers should have seen the 1:05 p.m. EDT warning the AP sent out and simply not used these pictures for the cover. Even at that relatively early point in the story, there were plenty to choose from.

Find the Atlantic Wire‘s report here.

UPDATE – 1:26 P.M. EDT

A colleague points out that (at least) five U.S. papers used this picture on page one today, including a number of GateHouse papers.

‘Our goal is to redefine how college journalists cover football’

Andy Rossback — editor in chief of the Emerald, the student newspaper at the University of Oregon, which went digital-first earlier this year year — is aiming high this year.

He tells us:

Our goal is to redefine how college journalists cover football.

It started back on Dec. 5 with our bowl preview section, which had an exclusive interview with Oregon star Kiko Alonso.

Here’s a look at the section. The cover, of course, featured Alonso.


The picture is by the Emerald‘s photo editor, Alex McDougall.

Click any of these next pages for a much larger look…

Page three featured an overview story about the blow and a “by the numbers” rail.

121231OregonFootball02.jpg   121231OregonFootball03.jpg

Page four contained stories about the entire conference. Page five cited tweets to the coach.

 121231OregonFootball04.jpg   121231OregonFootball05.jpg

Pages six and seven included the bowl game preview.

 121231OregonFootball06.jpg   121231OregonFootball07.jpg

Page eight looked ahead to next year.

 121231OregonFootball08.jpg   121231OregonFootball09.jpg

Page 11 contained another brief game story, staff predictions for BCS bowl games and Oregon team stats…

 121231OregonFootball10.jpg   121231OregonFootball11.jpg

…as well as another outstanding Alex McDougall photo.


The cover story occupies the center spread, pages 12 and 13.

 121231OregonFootball12.jpg   121231OregonFootball13.jpg

Andy notes that Alonso…

…had not done a sit down interview with the media all season. Our sports desk tried relentlessly but, in the end, a freelancer was able to bring him in.

Page 14 is a picture page.

 121231OregonFootball14.jpg   121231OregonFootball15.jpg

Page 16 addresses the rap that Oregon’s fans typically don’t fill bowl stadiums well. Page 17 looks at players who have transferred away from Oregon.

121231OregonFootball16   121231OregonFootball17.jpg

Page 18 is another game preview story.

 121231OregonFootball18.jpg  121231OregonFootball19

Page 19 contained the puzzle and classified ads — remember, this was an issue of the student paper before classes let out for the holidays.

Page 20 looks ahead to next season.

 121231OregonFootball20.jpg   121231OregonFootball21.jpg

Page 22 holds rosters and more “by the numbers” material.

 121231OregonFootball22.jpg   121231OregonFootball23.jpg

The final two pages were ads.


Andy continues:

Here are more of the weekly GameDay sections with some great work from design editor Jake Crump, art director Nate Makuch and their teams.

I’m posting just four covers here.


121231OregonFootballCoverNov21 121231OregonFootballCoverNov08 121231OregonFootballCoverNov15

You can download the entire PDF edtions here.

Andy tells us:

Our sports editor Matt Walks developed a six page editorial plan [digital first, of course] for how the game will be covered. The lead up consists of two countdown posts per day — one photo and one matchup — from Dec. 19 until the game on Jan. 3.


Find Sunday’s matchup post here and Sunday’s photo post here.

Six Emerald staffers — three photogs and three writers — all traveling from their home states (and Instagramming each of their journeys) landed in Glendale [Monday]. Additionally, an offsite editor is providing daily social media roundups, link aggregation and other help.

Over the next six days, they will produce an unprecedented amount of pre-game, live, quarterly and post game content. Our motto is “speed and frequency.” The coverage will culminate on Jan. 7 — the first day students are back on campus — with a big special section.

The Fiesta Bowl itself, of course, is this Thursday, Jan. 3.

Andy has more, though:

But … that’s not even my favorite part. Right now, we’re in a friendly social media competition with Kansas State’s student newspaper. The paper that gets the most new likes and follows on social media by kickoff wins. The editor in chief of the losing paper has to do something horribly embarassing on video and post it.

It’s just one of the ways both papers are trying to get more people excited about our stories.

I encourage folks to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook so they can keep up with the incredible work of these student journalists — and if nothing else, they might get to see me sing Kansas State’s fight song on the busiest street of campus.

Among the amusing items tweeted by the team in Arizona today: This great shot of a Kansas State player admiring the infamous Oregon football helmet.


Yeah, dude, I know. They have the same effect on me, too.

Find the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald here.

Read more about the Daily Emerald‘s change from a daily newspaper to a digital-first, biweekly print format here and here.

SND Cleveland: About that amazing presentation by Amy Webb…

It sure was interesting following along with this year’s Society for News Design conference via Twitter today. Seems like each speaker had wonderful points to make and wonderful insights to share on the ever-changing field of news presentation.

What really sent everyone into overdrive this afternoon, however, was the closing keynote address by Amy Webb, founder of the Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy and training consultancy based in Baltimore.

Oh, PLEASE tell me this presentation wasn’t as

sparsely attended as this picture suggests.

Photo by Satoshi Toyoshima.

No one had to tweet Amy talking points. She tweeted her own speech as she went along.

Tory Hargro of USA Today explained:

I had never heard of this. I use Powerpoint, myself. Bu, wow. This is impressive.

Here’s the text from the page Tory cited:

This simple piece provides the capacity for speaker or presenter to to participate in the backchannel of a talk or conference session by integrating live ‘tweets’ into an Apple Keynote presentation. Simply add text inside the tags [twitter] and [/twitter] in the presenter notes section of a slide and when that slide comes up in the presentation the script will grab that text and send it to Twitter on your behalf.

Here are the details:

The software works with Keynote (on a Mac) but not with Powerpoint. It’s written in Applescript so it’s easy to customize — it’s compiled as a ‘stay open’ application but you can open it in Script Editor to modify as you wish. Out of the box it will ask you if you want to add any #hashtags or @mentions to all the tweets (e.g. for a conference #hashtag), and will watch your presenter notes for tweettweet this[/tweet] while in presentation mode only.

The catch, if you want to call it that: You have to be logged into Twitter via your keychain. This might be an issue for folks who use third-party Twitter substitutes. But one that’s easily solved.

And that was just the presentation of Amy’s presentation. The content of her presentation was pretty amazing as well.

(The following tweets, in fact, went out during her presentation on her own Twitter feed. I’m not necessarily showing them here in the correct order, however.)

Amy started out with statements aimed at getting the attention of the SND crowd.

And, of course, she’s spot-on. And boy, I’ll bet this sound byte ruffled a few feathers today.

She dove into the basic format of news web pages. Which are archaic at best. Unusable at worst.

Folks in the audience began to shift nervously in their seats.

The foot/mouth reference is to a plea Billy Kulpa of Lee Enterprises had just made for more folks to come into the session.

In fact, Amy picked on a number of news outlets, including CNN and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The latter reference was particularly interesting: She pulled up crime data from the paper’s web site and then from the city of Milwaukee Police Department web site. The MPD kicked the paper’s ass.

Ouch. But point made. In spectacular fashion.

Here’s another sound byte that nearly made me stand up — here at home in Virginia Beach — and applaud.

I use newspaper web site search engines all the time. I’m amazed at how poorly they work. As a test once, I ran a search for the lead story on the home page. The search engine couldn’t find it.

Amy didn’t just speak in general terms. She gave specifics.

Just amazing stuff. I really wish I could have been there for this. This sounds like just the kind of session we all need to give us a swift kick in the ass.

Amy also inserted little nuggets that seem to run counter to what some of us preach about “content-driven design.”

Naturally, I’d argue that the design of a web site — just like the design of a printed page — must support or accentuate that content. If it doesn’t, then it’s bad design.

And Amy’s correct here. What we’re doing with most of our news sites is taking content from one platform — print — and pouring it into a second platform — online — where the fit isn’t necessarily a good one.

Go back to the egg. Disrupt the packaging. Rather than let the content drive the design, perhaps we should change the way we deal with the content. The way we write it, the way we edit it, the way we put it out there for our readers.

Kind of like Mario Garcia‘s old WED philosophy — writing, editing and design — but updated.

Not updated…. constantly evolving.

Yeah. I’m liking this presentation. And then there was this shocker:

Stunning stuff. I’m hungry for more. And really, really ill I couldn’t be there this week.

In addition, Amy has a book coming out in January, in time for Valentine’s Day. She tweets:

Here’s the blurb from Amazon. Which sounds fascinating:

After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasn’t evaluating the right data in suitors’ profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didn’t want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).

Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition—so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of women’s messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel.

Then began the deluge—dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child.

Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.

The book hits shelves on Jan. 31. Preorder a hard copy from Amazon for $15.18. Find the book’s web site here and its Twitter feed here.

Find Amy’s Webbmedia web site here and her Twitter feed here.

For more on Amy…

Previous blog posts about SND Cleveland:

And a couple more sites to keep handy:

After he’s fired by the Village Voice, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow melts down on Twitter

Cartoonist Dan Perkins — who works under the pen name Tom Tomorrow — is perhaps the best-known cartoonist in the world of alternative weeklies. His editorial strip, This Modern World, began in 1990 in SF Weekly and was eventually carried by as many as 80 papers — most notably, the Village Voice of New York.

His work has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Mother Jones, Esquire, U.S. News and World Report, the Daily Kos and Spin. He’s published nine volumes of collected strips; the most recent: 2011’s Too Much Crazy.

But in 2005, a new corporate owner based in Phoenix bought Perkins’ flagship client, the Village Voice. The latest casualty in the recent company-wide faceplant at New Times Media — now named Village Voice Media — was the popular Modern World strip.

When Perkins was informed Friday evening his strip would no longer run in the Voice, he took to Twitter for a very public, revenge-driven, obscenity-laced meltdown that indeed illustrates this modern world.

Perkins took the opportunity to plug Sparky’s List, his new project to deliver cartoons directly to readers before they appear in print.

His business priorities addressed, Perkins launched into his tirade.

He made the first of several references to understanding he really shouldn’t be doing this so publicly.

He also made a cryptic reference to something he will announce soon.

Perkins later admitted he was a little off: This Modern World started its run in the Village Voice in 1997.

He said he was done on Twitter for the night…

…But not quite. The target was simply too inviting.

Eventually, he did take a couple of hours off to watch a DVD with his son…

…but once Earth was saved, Perkins picked up his rant where he left off.

Perkins tossed kudos to Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos.

And he found himself encouraged by the folks signing up for his paid list.

Despite his grievances — don’t get me wrong, he seems perfectly justified — Perkins sounded like a jilted lover, getting smackered at a bar and drunk-texting his ex.

However, he did show awareness that he was causing a scene.

Some of his followers admitted they were enjoying the spectacle.

At that point, Perkins switched to a more reflective bent.

By this time, the New York media had picked up the story. The Observer reported it couldn’t reach Perkins for comment. Which sent him off on another rant.

The Observer reporter quickly acknowledged his error…

…and the story was amended.

Meanwhile, Perkins had signed up so many new list members that his economic loss from the Village Voice was nearly covered.

And that made him awfully reflective about the events of the evening.

So Perkins’ evening ended on a high note.

So after a very public meltdown like that, how does one respond the next morning? The only way you can, of course: With humor.

Yeah, maybe a couple. Plus, Perkins wrote:


While all this was very amusing — painful, but still amusing — to watch as it unfolded, let me make this clear: Dan Perkins is Tom Tomorrow. He’s a very famous, internationally-known cartoonist. You and I are not.

So when you or I get laid off, we should not attempt anything like this on Twitter or Facebook. What might be endearing for a famously iconoclastic left-wing alt-weekly cartoonist might not be so damned cute coming from a mid-level print designer or copy editor or graphic artist or photographer.

And hiring editors would really dislike finding something like this on your Twitter feed if they happen to Google the name they find at the top of your resumé.

So be advised: Take care with what you say or post. Or tweet.

For further reading…

Why you don’t get cute with an official Twitter account

Those of you who have amusing Twitter profiles for your professional accounts, take note…

Here is the profile for the official Major League Baseball Twitter feed, as screencapped earlier this evening by Seattle Times baseball writer Larry Stone.

You see the funny reference to the infield fly rule? Cute, right?

There was an incident in the eighth inning of tonight’s Wild Card game in Atlanta in which that very same infield fly rule was invoked. Seriously.

The ruling may have cost Atlanta a playoff spot: The Atlanta Braves lost, 6-3, to the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans at Turner Field were not pleased, to say the least.

The folks at Major League Baseball then decided, all of a sudden, that the little joke wasn’t so damned cute after all. Here is my own screencap of that same profile, moments ago.

The lesson here? It’s OK to be flip and edgy. Just take care not to fall over that edge. A worse example from earlier this week: KitchenAid, just after Wednesday night’s debate.

Find the MLB Twitter feed here.

Read more about tonight’s onfield incident here.

Actor Bob Denver dies. Again, evidently.

Joshua O’Connell — director of operations at Pixafy and a copy editor and designer for the Connecticut Post-– alerts us:

It looks like a 2005 obit of Bob Denver is making the rounds on Twitter like it happened today/yesterday. A friend of mine heavy into social media didn’t catch it; look at the Twitter search results.

Oh, wow. No offense, but can’t those old 1960s sitcom actors stay dead?

Radio stations in particular, have leaped on this bandwidth wagon this morning:

Helping this story along today is this post at the Today show web site, via MSNBC:

The story appears to be accurate. Just undated. There’s nothing here to suggest this happened in 2005.

My take: There’s a special place in hell for web site designers who post stories from the Associated Press but don’t date them.

UPDATE – 11:45 a.m.

Jon Fisch — an editor at MSN.com — points out the story is dated. But down beneath the AP logo/byline. (Note the old version of the AP logo.)

In other words, the embedded AP part of this page is dated. But not the MSNBC/Today show part.

I’d argue a more prominent date — somewhere up around the main headline, for example — would be helpful.

Back to the original post…

Folks are directed to this story, they think: Awwww! And they tweet about it.

In the meantime, I did my part:

If you see anyone tweeting or retweeting the sad news about everyone’s “Li’l Buddy,” feel free to tamp it down. Please.

Because the interwebs need a copy editor. Several of them, evidently.

An unfortunate acronym. And an opportunity for political silliness.

There are times I wish I worked for the Republican party. Because Democrats make it so easy to slam themselves with silly stuff, often by simply not using common sense.

Like this, for example. Here’s a tweet by the city of Charlotte, N.C., which is understandably excited about hosting the Democratic National Convention in September.

It’s a fairly innocuous message: Yeah, the city is going to be packed. But they’ll be open for business. The Charlotte Center City Partners will be overseeing food vendors.

But look more closely at that acronym: CCCP. If you’re of a certain age, you might recognize that as something you saw on old Soviet spaceships…

…and the hockey teams from the old Soviet Union.

CCCP, you see, is how you spell out “USSR” — or, to be precise, the Soyuz Socialistichestik Sovietskik Respublic, as a reader points out in the comments below — in the Cyrillic alphabet. Which is what they use in Russia.

Now, what kind of fun do you suppose the Republicans might have with that?

Damn those leftist pinkos meeting in Charlotte! What’s wrong with eating good, ol’ American food?

You’ll be glad to know that I’m real

Stop the presses, everybody. I’ve been declared a real, live human being and not a machine.

I, for one, am relieved. I turn 50 in April. I think that’s when my Applecare warranty runs out.

Judgment on my metallic fleshy ass has been passed by today’s cool online toy: Bot or Not, created by journalism students at the New School in New York.

Poynter’s Julie Moos reports:

Assistant journalism professor Heather Chaplin enlisted The New York TimesAron Pilhofer and WYNC’s John Keefe to work with students on analyzing the “botfestation of the Web” by isolating criteria that would predict whether Twitter accounts are automated or hand-curated. They tracked 179 stories from Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and TechCrunch, tweeted across the Web over 79,000 times by more than 18,000 distinct Twitter users.

Naturally, I had to try it out using my own Twitter account.

The verdict: I’m real. Probably.

The site cites these clues that I’m flesh-and-blood:

  • This account does retweet other users.
  • This account does use dot at replies, which only humans do.
  • This account does reply to other users.
  • This account does use hashtags.
  • This account does not follow a ridiculously large number of accounts.


But it also cites this one possibility that I may be an evil robot after all:

  • This account posts a suspiciously high number of links.

Yeah, well. That’s what I do. Besides making typos and things.

Frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with posting a lot of links. I think most of m0y r1ad01ers 11ike 01 1011 11001 101101 11010.

00111 01001 11011 1011 11001 101101 11010 00111 01001.

11011 1011 11001 101101 11010 00111 01001 11011 101101 11010 00111 01001 11011 1011 11001 101101 11010 00111 01001 11011 1011 11001 101101 11010 00111 01001 11011.


Find Bot or Not here. Read the Poynter story here.

‘Trust us’? Why would we NOT trust the Washington Post?

The folks at the Washington Post tweeted a few minutes ago:

Wow. That certainly is an incredible photo of the Capitol, shot by Angela Pan — a reader, evidently.

But that tweet sure seems like an odd choice of words. I mean, why would we not trust the post?

Oh. Right.

Refresh your memory of that little episode here.

in cred i ble (adjective) – Impossible to believe

UPDATE – 2:15 p.m.

Comments are confirming that the Capitol building picture is probably a High Dynamic Range photo. Angela Pan specializes in the technique. Find prints for sale here of her D.C.-area work.

Find the Post‘s gallery of sunrise and sunset pictures — each of which we’ll have to question from now on — here.

New use for Twitter: Pleading for mercy from Bostonians

You just have to feel sorry for Nestlé tonight.

Earlier today, the Associated Press reports, thousands of Butterfinger candy bars — 900 lbs. of them — were dumped in Copley Square in Boston. With a giant note:

Photo: Pawngo.com

Wes Welker is a receiver for the New England Patriots. He led the league in receptions this year. But he dropped a pass from Tom Brady in the closing moments of Sunday’s Super Bowl.

A couple of hours ago, Nestlé took to Twitter to clear its name:

In fact, the culprit was an online pawnbroker, the AP reports.

But we all know: Patriots fans won’t remember the pawnbroker. But they’ll remember the Butterfingers forever.


An inside view of today’s Super Bowl from the Indianapolis Star

Scott Goldman — director of digital and visuals at the Indianapolis Star — is on duty at the Super Bowl today. And he’s tweeting like mad.

Around 3 p.m. EST, he tweeted:

An hour later, he had found the Star‘s seats. He tweeted:

Here is the view from those seats:

Scott refers to Star sportswriter Phillip Wilson, who’s livechatting from the game via CoverItLive. Find that here.

Phil’s opinion of the seats differs just a tad from Scott’s. He writes:


Meanwhile, down in the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium, the teams are getting ready…

…and spaces have been prepared for the victors.

The Star‘s picture-editing crew is ready for the game to begin. Scott tweets:

[Here is] where the @indystarvisuals team will edit photos tonight for Super Bowl XLVI.

And that’s just a start. The game itself is about an hour away.

My favorite has been the Star‘s SuperBuzz blog. Find that here.

Find a directory of all the Star‘s Super Bowl coverage here.

Inside the special Super Bowl section wrapped around today’s Indianapolis Star

Earlier today, we took a look at great Super Bowl advance pages from Luke Knox of the Boston Globe.

Now it’s time to check out a bit of the 24-page special section wrapping today’s Indianapolis Star.

Director of digital and visuals Scott Goldman tells us:

Design director Phil Mahoney gets the kudos for the cover design and most of the inside pages as well. Today was the visitor’s guide to Indy, as we welcome the Giants and Patriots fans to our town.

While a cartoon-driven front-page presentation last week told locals what to expect from their guests from New York and New England, this section focused on bringing the game crowd up-to-date on Indianapolis and the Midwest.

Page one contains brief promo snippets and a look at the things that make Indiana.. you know, Indiana.

Click any of these pages for a larger look.

Here is page four, with tips on what to do while in town.

Page 11 keeps readers up to date on the latest buzz making the rounds of the Super Bowl crowd.

This ties in with the Star‘s Super Buzz blog. Find that here.

Scott tells us:

Former Star graphic artist Arnel Reynon drew the special map presentation [on page 13].

I don’t mean to rub in the terrible season the Colts had this year, but that ad at the bottom of the page just cracks me up.

Page 17 looks at some of the changes Indianapolis made for the benefit of Super Bowl guests.

This is the first of several special section wraps the Star will be running over the next several days. And, because they’re wraps — the “offical” page A1 is inside — you probably won’t see even the front of these sections in the Newseum.

Scott promises to send more as the week goes on.

In the meantime, check out some of the Star‘s online coverage. Scott writes:

I love these 360-degree panoramas from Lucas Oil Stadium, the Super Bowl Village and the NFL Experience.

Mike Heinz from the Lafayette Journal and Courier shot these and Adam Yates, from our digital team, produced them for the site.

Currently, there are seven of these posted. Find them here.

I’ve been enjoying the aforementioned Super Buzz blog. Find that here.

Find all the Star‘s Super Bowl coverage here.

As we noted in the Poynter chat on Tuesday, the Star is all over social media with its Super Bowl coverage. Find the IndyStar Twitter feed here and the IndyStar‘s Visuals Twitter feed here.

All of the Star‘s Super Bowl Twitter traffic is going out with the hashtag #SuperIndy

Average daily circulation for the Indianapolis Star is 171,662.

Find my earlier post here about the Boston Globe sports fronts.

A recap of the Poynter chat today with Scott Goldman

The live chat I hosted this afternoon at Poytner.orgwith guest Scott Goldman, director of digital and visuals at the Indianapolis Star — went over pretty well.

I was worried that we might not get enough great questions. I needn’t have worried. The crowd had fabulous questions. And Scott provided terrific answers.

Poynter has asked me to contribute to its site more regularly. Either via articles — such as the couple I wrote the week of the Iowa Caucus (one and two) — or with live chats like we had today.

So here’s my question for you: What topics would you like to see covered? What guests would you like us to bring in? Let me know in either the comments of this post or via email:

chuckapple [at] cox.net

Back to today’s chat: Scott talked about what the Indy Star is doing to attract more readers via social media channels and what they’re doing, specifically, with the Super Bowl in town this week. We also touched upon ethics in a new media world and how cool it is to have a talented editorial cartoonist contribute his time for page one illustrations.

Oh, and we found out that Scott — who’s originally from the western suburbs of Boston — thinks the Patriots might win Sunday. How about that?

It was a great conversation. Replay it here:

For your consideration…

So, what does a frontrunning presidential candidate do on primary day in South Carolina?

Laundry, evidently.

That’s Mitt and Ann Romney doing a load of clothes this afternoon. It was tweeted by their son, Tagg Romney.

Within five minutes of polls closing, about half of the major networks had declared Newt Gingrich the winner of the state’s Republican primary.

The best two comments I’ve seen tonight: This one from Bill Kuchman of Politico

…and this one by Brian White of the Boston Globe.

Let me know if you take Brian’s advice. I wouldn’t mind posting that here in the blog tomorrow.


A little TOO much information, perhaps, about Twitter users

Gavin Sheridan, innovation director of Storiful, blogs today about his attempts to put geocoded Twitter info to use in finding patterns that could be turned into stories.

He ran searches on Twitter and fed the results into Datasift. What you’re seeing in the map below are 135,000 tweets over this past weekend from users who mentioned GOP candidates by name. Green dots denote generally positive tweets. Red, negative.

That’s just a screen cap. The Google map itself is zoomable, of course.

One of the things Gavin learned, he says:

When it came to Rick Santorum, we found that more females appeared to be discussing him, while the opposite was the case with Ron Paul.

I think what Gavin means is that the 3.2 percent difference in these two red pie chart slices may be significant. Or not.

Now, perhaps this data is good and perhaps it’s not. The actual number of tweets he’s looking at is only 3,196. The reason, Gavin says, is because not everyone on Twitter uses geo-tagging.

Gavin writes:

The result was relatively small: only about 2.4 percent of those tweeting geo-tagged their tweets

And that’s the rub. It’s been way too long since I calculated margin of error. But I’d imagine the margin of error for 3,196 — if you’re hoping to have Twitter users stand in for, say, “likely voters in the U.S.” — might be more than 3.2 percent.

[In fact, if want our sample to stand in for, say, 200 million voters in the U.S., the margin of error would be only 1.73 percentage points. So I stand corrected. Go knock yourself out playing with this new toy.]

In addition, the set of Twitter users nationwide who happen to geo-tag is not a random sample. So whatever data you get from this would not necessarily be a fair representative of, again, “likely voters.” Or any other group. Including run-of-the-mill Twitter users, for that matter.

The worst thing about using data like this, though: It identifies the tweeters. A little too closely for my tastes.

Those little green and red dots? If you zoom in close and click on an individual dot, you’ll be able to read each tweet in your database.

Not just see the tweet. But the identity of the user as well. (I’ve redacted this screencap, but you get the idea.)

Now, we all know Twitter is open to the public. Assuming you’ve not locked your tweets, anyone can read what you’re broadcasting. And, yes, other users can pull data on your and put it to various uses.

But what will your readers think when they find a story on your new web site, they zoom in close on their neighborhood and find you’ve quoted them, identified them by name and then mapped their home addresses?

Quite a difference from the old days, when a reporter would stop someone at the mall and ask for their name and their opinion. At least those folks had a choice whether or not their opinion showed up in the newspaper. And we never ran maps guiding loons from the opposing political party to their doorstep.

If nothing else, Gavin’s idea of mixing geocoded Twitter data with Datasift is a powerful, powerful case for not using geo-tagging with Twitter.

So before you use a tool like this, stop and think. If there’s a chance your readers might not be amused to find themselves identified so prominently, then consider not posting a map like this.

We’re supposed to be the good guys, remember?

Find Gavin’s blog post here.

Thanks to Niketa Patel of CNNMoney for retweeting Gavin’s blog post this afternoon.

Tim Tebow’s heroics rack up amazing stats… on Twitter

Sometimes, Twitter is such an amazing tool for journalists and for anyone interested in keeping up with news.

At other times, however, it still seems downright silly.

This is one of those times. Darren Rovell of CNBC spotted Twitter‘s announcement about the amazing load of tweets during yesterday’s overtime win by the Denver Broncos and put those numbers into perspective for us:

The graphics editor in me can’t let it go at that, however. Numbers like those just have to be charted.

Again, these are the number of tweets per second:

Granted, Rovell cherry-picked those numbers. Tom Weir of USA Today reports, for example:

The previous [Twitter] record was held by Beyonce, at 8,868 tweets per second, when she announced on the MTV Music Awards that she was pregnant.

But still. You know something odd is happening when you see tweets like this one:

Thanks to Kyle Ellis of the Las Vegas Sun for passing that one along last night.

Tony Manfred of the Business Insider has compiled a collection of the 15 funniest Tebow tweets from last night’s frenzy. That one by Lady Gaga was one. Here are three more:

Find Manfred’s collection here. Read his story here.

In case you’re wondering: Yes, I joined the din myself last night:

That’s about as witty as I get on a Sunday evening.

A new marketing slogan for Twitter could be yours to discover

No doubt you’ve heard about the new Twitter site redesign that’s coming soon to a browser near you.

What you might not have heard: There’s a new marketing campaign that goes along with it.

The problem is: The province of Ontario, Canada, also uses that same slogan. It’s even on license plates there.

Kenyon Wallace of the Toronto Star reports:

The Star’s efforts to contact Twitter to find out where the company got its inspiration for the new slogan have so far been unsuccessful.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture said the government was “flattered” by the new Twitter slogan, but could not say if the province had any plans to take legal action against the social media company.

Hey, it could have been worse, y’know:

Find the Toronto Star story here.