Chuck's Q Blog

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I was expecting this to be the toughest part of this week’s assignments, but I think I may have come up with at least a couple of ideas that I’d like to spend time pursuing. Here are some thoughts:

No. 1 — A site that would serve as a clearinghouse and how-to on the tools of interactive communication for journalists, i.e. how to gather and edit audio, how to shoot video, how to set up a Twitter account, the best method of live blogging, etc. I think the best way to achieve this would be to gather information from the top people across various multimedia fields, many of which are providing this kind of information through niche sites now. I’m thinking of this as kind of a Lynda.com for media folks — professional and citizen journalists alike — that could help walk them through the basics as well as give them advanced pointers as they progress. With many media outlets cutting back on training during the economic downturn, this might be a good time for such a site. I think there would also be room for a component that would keep track of innovations in related technology and new practices as well.

No. 2 — A prototype of a media site that could act as a redesign for my current shop — or not, depending on where the idea goes. This might be more of an experiment in the best ways to use some or all of the tools mentioned in the first idea (audio, video, Twitter, live blogging, traditional blogs, etc.) Is it possible to research what works on other sites and build something based on their best features? Is there such a thing as a perfect media site? Would it be ideal for the population of one area as opposed to another? The content management system also might be just as important as how the site looks and functions, but developing that would probably carry the project into much deeper waters.

No. 3 — Develop a smaller site from a project that’s currently being hosted on a ning.com platform: Gameon.Dispatch.com. The ning site has worked pretty well to create an instant community for this gaming site (which was grown by combining a podcast and featured game reviews from two publications in one location). There isn’t really anything wrong with the current approach, but the more I work with third-party sites and tools, the more I can see the benefit of finding a way to incorporate these features in our own CMS. Integrating third-party fixes/tools can be useful, but if a vendor goes under or its network goes down, your site may suddenly lose those elements.

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