Remember this article from the New York Times

Snow Fall-800

The New York Times article “Snow Fall:The Avalanche of Tunnel Creek” is being touted, and deserves to be, as a breakthrough in multimedia story-telling. As I am a consistent “linker” to the digital work of the staff, I will add my “wow” to the story, as well. It demonstrates how multimedia can be used to enhance and extend a story — and not merely “because it can be.”

However, there are a few things about the story I haven’t seen mentioned — while not negative, I find them interesting.

On the notable side, it’s the first time I’ve seen a story from a legacy media company (one that existed before the www) that so effectively ignores the metaphor of the page. The page, while a helpful measure of the location one may be while progressing through a physical book or article, is, nonetheless, a measurement that originated with the [tippy title=”printing press” style=”u” header=”off” bgcolor=”#FFF200″]Clay tablets were all one page and scrolls used location markers that weren’t “pages”[/tippy] and which made its way to the internet by that person who first hung the label “web page” on what, if you’ve ever scrolled to the bottom of a page on, you know has nothing to do with physical length.

(Sidenote: One of the reasons I love the app Instapaper is its use of mobile devices’ [tippy title=”accelerometers” reference=”” header=”off” color=”blue”] In this context, I’m referring to the gravity sensors that enable the devices to know “up” from “down” and to measure the velocity of the speed at which you’ve just dropped your iPhone onto a concrete sidewalk. See Wikipedia for more accelerometer info.[/tippy]  to enable “tile scrolling,” the best example I have to demonstrating the complete uselessness of multiple metaphoric “pages” on text content appearing on screens.)

No matter. It’s a great piece of story-telling and a great example of how online and digital media can be used correctly.

Marco Arment’s Master Plan to Revolutionize the Future of Publishing

The MagazineActually, Marco, the developer of Tumblr and creator of Instapaper, says he doesn’t have a plan, nor is his new creation, The Magazine, a model for “how it’s done.”


“A publication’s app should be designed and built with purpose and consideration. The Magazine works because I based decisions not on what everyone else was doing, but on what would be best for this magazine. Every publication has its own unique needs, audience, economics, and style, so their apps should reflect that.”

While Marco Arment may not have a master plan, the things he does without a plan are far more intriguing than are those attempted by people who wear suits and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on what they think are master plans.

Seems like only seven years ago, in blog time

It seems like only seven years ago (September, 2005, to be precise) when, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the journalism flowing from a hastily set up blog at, Jeff Jarvis and I were blogging about what a pity it was the Pulitzer Prize committee didn’t consider online-only content in awarding prizes.

I thought about that when I learned today, the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting was awarded to the Huffington Post and the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning was awarded to Politico.

College journalists embracing new media

Sometimes, great things are going on in your own backyard and you don’t even know about it. Except now I do know about it. For the next couple of days, college student journalists, advisers and faculty members from around the country will be in Nashville to participate in a workshop on using new media tools: audio, video, advanced multimedia, advanced online storytelling. It is being hosted by the Center for Innovation in College Media that is headquartered on the campus of Vanderbilt.

I am very glad such a program has been created to support university journalism programs that are encouraging their students to view themselves as reporters, story-tellers, truth-sharers, analysts — who do not have to limit themselves to words and photos on paper and traditional broadcasting.

A bonus for me: The program is headquartered a few blocks from my office.

I’ll be dropping in and out of today and tomorrow’s workshops and will be posting notes, photos — perhaps some innovative new media — later today.

Later: First, let me send out some major props to Paul Conley, my friend and fellow business media blogger who has been hammering on the topic of j-schools and new media for years. Paul wasn’t actually here at the workshop, but I thought about him so much during the time I was there, that I felt the need to give him a shout-out — Paul, you would have been happy.

The best way I can describe what this workshop is — and a way some of you can replicate it regionally or locally — is to describe it as a Podcamp specifically for college journalists. However, it was highly structured and organized and a little more “officially run” than a true podcamp, the essence of what was covered and how the information flowed was podcamp-like. This workshop — and the incredible new facilities at Vanderbilt where it is being held — may be a little bit more formal than a podcamp, but the idea of using a college facility for a weekend podcamp for student journalists, is an idea that I’m sure someone else must be already doing — if not, why not?

While I’ve met lots of professors and educators through this blog and get a steady stream of email from college students, I haven’t really been on top of this specific topic — college journalism and new media. However, last fall I visiting the City University of New York’s journalism facilities in mid-town where Jeff Jarvis’ interactive journalism program is, and then, today sitting in a half-day with the students and faculty from 40 or so colleges attending this workshop, I can affirm that the evangelism of people like Jeff and Paul and several people I’m now learning about like Bryan Murley at Eastern Illinois University and Ralph Raseth at Ole Miss and an entire community of educators who are very aware of what is taking place — and are now wanting to lead, rather than follow (or worse, merely watch) the parade. I’ll be blogging on this topic more, I’m sure.

Doc is showing off

Doc is showing off: Last night right after sunset, I shot a picture out my Nashville office window and posted it here. This morning, Doc Searls shot an awesome pre-dawn photo (I assume from his home). In my photo, I identified White Bridge road and some car headlights. In his photo, he identifies Venus, the moon, the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. I guess that’s why he’s the A-List blogger and I only have seven readers.