Recent posts in my Blogging Category

February 1, 2013

“It’s the end…but the moment has been prepared for…”

After ten years, this is the last blog post on currybetdotnet.

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January 9, 2013

Things you might have missed...

Sadly/luckily* for the rest of the world wide web at large I don’t confine my writing just to here. No, sirree. Here are three things I’ve recently had published on other sites…

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December 18, 2012

Thank you 2012

A thank you post — and list of the most popular items I’ve published this year.

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December 13, 2012

“Live blogging breakfast at the Manchester Evening News” - Seb Ramsay at news:rewired

At news:rewired, Seb Ramsay of the Manchester Evening News explained how a rolling news live blog had brought them closer to their audience. Here are my notes from the session.

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December 12, 2012

“Live blogging the Hillsborough Independent Panel for a city” - Neil Macdonald at news:rewired

Billed as a workshop in live blogging, Neil Macdonald’s talk at news:rewired was an emotional look at how the Liverpool Echo had covered the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report. Here are my notes from the session.

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December 4, 2012

Training courses with Martin Belam for January and February 2013

I’ve confirmed a line-up of four different training courses that I’m teaching or taking part in early next year. All are open for booking now, and they cover a range of topics from blogging to digital journalism to the fundamentals of UX to the nitty-gritty of responsive IA.

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September 27, 2012

What shall I get my blog for its tenth birthday?

What shall I get my blog for its birthday? On December 24 this year currybetdotnet will be ten years old. That’s quite a long time to have been running a site. What shall I do to celebrate?

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August 23, 2012

I’ve nearly used a Raspberry Pi...

In all my time blogging - which is coming up for nearly ten years - I’ve staunchly stuck to the principle that I didn’t accept free gifts in return for editorial. It has been set in stone in my statement of blogging principles. Until today that is. Because when I got offered the chance to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi, I just couldn’t resist. One swift edit of my blogging principles to exclude offers of sexy little electronic kit later, and here we are.

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July 5, 2012

“I think it’s the future of work” - Matt Mullenweg on the company behind Wordpress

One of the star turns at the Guardian’s London Activate Summit was Matt McAlister in conversation with Wordpress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Mullenweg gave a great insight into how the company is run, in one of those talks that makes you think “Oh yeah, why don’t we all do that?”

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May 16, 2012

Improve your blogging course

As well as my day-long training course teaching how to self-publish with Kindle, I’ll also be running an evening training course in June, on “Improving your blogging”.

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April 26, 2012

“Is blogging journalism?” - an FAQ

I have, it seems, acquired something of a reputation for going apoplectic whenever somebody asks if blogging is journalism. So I thought I’d just write a little FAQ for everybody so I can be completely clear on where I stand on this “issue” which has been going on for over ten years.

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March 30, 2012

The question that would not die. A decade of people asking “Are bloggers journalists?”

I thought I’d fallen asleep and been transported back into 1997 today when I saw a tweet from Media Bistro asking “Are bloggers #journalists?” After from issuing a caps lock ranting frenzy on Twitter, I thought I’d try and pull something positive from the experience, so I tried to find the first time anybody asked “Are bloggers journalists?” on the internet.

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January 6, 2012

Blog comments - a pause for thought

Mathew Ingram wrote yet another great post on GigaOm the other day entitled “Yes, blog comments are still worth the effort.” He was responding to what is beginning to seem like a trend for bloggers deciding not to have comments on their site. I’m one of them - and here’s why I need a break from them.

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December 21, 2011

The top 10 currybetdotnet posts of 2011

Christmas Eve, incredibly, marks the ninth anniversary of this blog on the web. Here is my now customary annual round-up of the posts that have proved the most popular in the previous twelve months.

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December 8, 2011

Why I’ve closed comments on my blog

Why I’ve closed comments on my blog

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June 28, 2011

“Just to clarify, as a mere amateur blogger, I never make direct quotes up or deliberately misattribute them”

Pride comes before a fall. In the wake of the Johann Hari affair, I boasted that as an amateur blogger I never misattribute quotes. Only, four hours later, to be notified that I had done just that the previous day...

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June 8, 2011

“UX Workshops - Writing”: Cennydd Bowles on the value of editing

Sitting down to write a blog post about the UX Writing workshop we just had in London is a little intimidating. I feel compelled to follow my own rules about having an SEO-friendly headline and a “grabby” opening paragraph, and demonstrate that Cennydd’s talk has improved my writing style. If you can’t spot the “standalone tweetable quote”, or you see me using the passive voice or convoluted sentences, then shoot me down in the comments below...

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May 31, 2011

5 reasons news organisations prefer in-house web publishing tools

Outside of the news industry, it sometimes seems insane that we insist on reinventing the wheel and rebuilding tools when there are free alternatives out on the web. Here are five reasons I think we do that.

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May 30, 2011

“A uniquely digital media” - Live blogging discussion at news:rewired

The final session at news:rewired on Friday was a panel discussing the medium of live blogging, expertly hosted by Marcus Warren from the Telegraph, and featuring my colleague Guardian Blog’s Editor Matt Wells, Anna Doble of Channel 4, and Paul Gallagher of the Manchester Evening News. It was a really good session, with some good natured rivalry between the Telegraph and Guardian on display, and it really felt like the conversation has moved on from “What is live blogging and should we be doing it?” to “How can we use this new uniquely digital media to its best advantage and develop it further”.

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April 15, 2011

Swapping "output" for "input" - taking a blogging holiday

I’ve had some great feedback in recent weeks from people on how much they’ve been enjoying the currybetdotnet blog, and lots of questions about how I manage to keep it up. Well, one of the ways I keep up my enthusiasm for blogging is to periodically take a break from it - and I’m well overdue one of my “blogging holidays”, so you can expect this to be the last post for a while.

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Blogging and the dying art of conversation

There was a lovely blog post by Khoi Vinh this week, about the way he thinks blogging and commenting on blogs has changed over recent years. He rightly points out that you can’t extrapolate behaviour across the web from one set of anecdotal evidence. However, his main points, that long-form blogging increasingly feels like a niche activity, and that there seems to be less conversation in the comments on his blog, are how I feel too.

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March 28, 2011

"How live blogging has transformed journalism" piece in Media Guardian

A rare foray into print for me today, where I’m quoted in a Media Guardian article looking at live blogging news on the web. Guardian Blogs Editor Matt Wells wrote the piece, and he asked me a few questions about my views on live blogging to get those quotes. Here they are.

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February 25, 2011

The iPad, iA Writer, and prolific blogging

A few people recently have asked me “the secret” of my prolific blogging output, and a recent factor has been using the iA Writer app on my iPad which is enabling me to blog through my commute.

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February 24, 2011

When did the word "weblog" first appear in The Guardian?

Over the last couple of days I’ve been posting my notes from a couple of sessions at The Guardian where Matt Wells and Andrew Sparrow were talking about how we do blogging on the site. There was some debate about unearthing the first live blogs, where the Edinburgh G8 summit, the 7/7 London bombings, and the fate of Shambo were touted as candidates. Matt also pointed to Leo Hickman’s claim to have been the first blogger on Guardian Unlimited. It prompted me to delve into our digital archive to find the first reference to “weblogs” in print in either The Guardian or The Observer.

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February 23, 2011

"Live blogging at The Guardian" - Andrew Sparrow

At the Guardian we've been having a series of talks looking at digital products and services. Two sessions have had a focus on the way that we use blogs on Yesterday I posted some of my notes from a talk given by blogs editor Matt Wells, and today my notes are from another session, which featured our key political live blogger Andrew Sparrow.

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February 22, 2011

Is Guardian live blogging really the "death of journalism"?

The louse & the flea blog had a post today entitled “The Guardian Newsblog and the Death of Journalism” which, somewhat naturally, rather caught my eye.

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"Blogging at The Guardian" - Matt Wells

In recent weeks at the Guardian there have been a series of talks looking at digital products and services. I've given one myself, and also blogged about a talk on software engineering and datajournalism by my colleague Daithí Ó Crualaoich, and the visit of Dr Sue Black to talk about Bletchley Park. Two sessions have had a focus on the way that we use blogs on, given by blogs editor Matt Wells, and political live blogger Andrew Sparrow.

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January 31, 2011

What should blogging web designers learn from journalism?

If the main shtick of this blog can crudely be reduced to "stuff news organisations and journalists can learn from digital design", then here is the complete opposite, an article about what web designers can learn from journalism.

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January 21, 2011

My favourite comment spam

As I mentioned in my post about comment spam yesterday, offering 'dofollow' links in my blog comments attracts a lot of comment spam. And some of it is amusingly inept. Here is a gallery of some of my favourites...

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January 19, 2011

Why comment spam still exists - and why I'll stay 'dofollow'

If you've been running a blog for any length of time, you'll be sure to have come across the phenomena of comment spam. People pimping sex products and pr0n are easy to spot, but there is a whole breed of spammer out there who are rather more subtle. They particularly target blogs which allow them to post links which aren't marked as 'nofollow', making them valuable in the eyes of search engines.

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December 24, 2010

The top 10 currybetdotnet posts of 2010

Today is the eighth anniversary of the first currybetdotnet blog post, and in what has become a tradition, here is a list of the ten most popular posts this year.

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December 14, 2010

Noises off

Not much activity on the blog for the last couple of days as I've been in action elsewhere, posting a couple of articles to the Guardian's website about the top search terms of the year, and a review of the linked data sessions at Online Information.

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September 15, 2010

If there is one thing I've learned about design, it is that you can't please everybody

Earlier in the week I wrote a post about how I ended up with the current stripped down design for the blog. The first comment left underneath suggested the choice isn't universally popular.

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September 8, 2010

Optimising blog design for the reading experience

Last week Adam Tinworth cited currybetdotnet as an example of a trend he was noticing in stripped down blog design. Here is how I ended up with such a stark and simplistic layout for my articles.

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August 20, 2010

The top 12 currybetdotnet posts of the year so far

Whilst I am off-grid in a field in Wales at the Green Man Festival, if you are stuck for your regular fix of bloggage, here are the top 12 media and journalism focused posts I've written this year.

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June 11, 2010

See you when the World Cup is over...

I'm going to be taking a blogging holiday during the course of this summer's World Cup in order to finish some presentations, develop a couple of training courses, and make some back-end fixes to the currybetdotnet site. See you after the final...

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June 10, 2010

Student journalist bloggers - The good, the scheduled and the risky - Part 3: The risky

In the final part of this series looking at the blogging habits of our current crop of journalism students, I look at some trends I identified as being risky or posing ethical questions - blogging about personal faith, and blogging about the business of becoming a reporter.

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June 9, 2010

Student journalist bloggers - The good, the scheduled and the risky - Part 2: The scheduled

In the second post of this series looking at blogs written by current journalism students, I examine how choosing a topic that runs to a schedule can help someone to blog regularly.

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June 8, 2010

Student journalist bloggers - The good, the scheduled and the risky - Part 1: The good

The first part of a series looking at some of the issues and trends in blogs being written by current journalism students. This post looks at how domain expertise, a good choice of niche topic, commercial potential and a natural blogging voice make a student journalist blogger stand out.

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April 25, 2010

Labour regrets the copyright error? Not so much.

Labour may have said they 'regret' stealing a blogger's photograph in Walthamstow, but that hasn't stopped them having it on prominent display in Stella Creasy's E17 campaign office.

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April 22, 2010

Labour will legislate to protect BPI copyright, but not respect the copyright of a Walthamstow blogger

Despite legislating against digital copyright theft recently in the Digital Economy Act, it seems that The Labour Party is not worried about pilfering their election leaflet images from a local Walthamstow blogger.

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March 12, 2010

On holiday...

I went on holiday yesterday, and, with the exception of my commitment to write a blogpost for Ada Lovelace Day, I'm also going to be taking a long overdue holiday from blogging. currybetdotnet will be back in April. In the meantime, here are some dates for your diary, of things I'm speaking at or attending over the next few weeks. March 30th: I'll be chairing "London IA 2010 on Innovation" which features speakers Richard Rutter, Glenn Jones, Claire Rowland and...
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February 16, 2010

'Identity' at The Wellcome Colection

A visit to the Identity exhibition at The Wellcome Collection was the first time I've seen 'blog comments' appear as part of an exhibition.

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February 12, 2010

Implementing hNews on a blog - what does 'Value Added News' mean for a blogger?

As part of the recent redesign process on the currybetdotnet blog, I implemented the 'Value Added News' hNews microformat to provide additional metadata on my articles. Doing so raised some questions that were not just practical about how to implement the format, but philosophical about the nature of the blog itself.

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February 11, 2010

Fixing the IA of an IA's blog: Part 4

In the final part of this series about my recent blog redesign, I look at how I set the criteria for success, and use the Venn diagram in the top right-hand corner of the banner area to set my content strategy.

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February 10, 2010

Fixing the IA of an IA's blog: Part 3

In part three of this series looking at the currybetdotnet redesign, I talk about the new 'hub' and 'theme' pages, and what I hope they will achieve.

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February 9, 2010

Fixing the IA of an IA's blog: Part 2

In the second part of this series looking at the how and why of the recent changes I've made to the site, I'm focusing on the homepage and the demotion of the linklog.

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February 8, 2010

Fixing the IA of an IA's blog: Part 1

At the beginning of the year I changed the design and information architecture of this blog. This series of posts examines how and why I finally fixed the IA of an IA's blog.

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January 20, 2010

'The curation gap' - what journalism can learn from "Citizen History"

My post yesterday, inspired by some of the fallout from the news:rewired event, generated some healthy debate on the blog and on Twitter. Scott Dougal suggested I was being a little unfair holding that article from that paper up as an example of professionalism journalism, and David Higgerson on Twitter said he just wished the debate 'would move beyond pointing out faults'. I promised him that I'd post how I thought everybody could live together happily ever after instead. In...
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December 23, 2009

Top ten currybetdotnet posts of 2009

My annual round-up of the posts on currybetdotnet which have attracted the most attention and page views this year.

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November 27, 2009

London IA Mini 4: Max Gadney - "The glass-bottomed boat"

Early in November we held the fourth London IA Mini conference evening. Zebra People sponsored the night, which was hosted by EMC Conchango. In the first part of my round-up of the evening, I had some notes and a video clip of Max Gadney's opening talk. BBC History archive - 'What is the way in?' Max was talking about how information design needs to be really useful for the audience, and not just about 'designing for ourselves'. As a commissioner...
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October 16, 2009

Thank you - currybetdotnet survey results

I wanted to thank everyone who took part in my recent survey about the blog. I had nearly 100 responses, over half of which were from people who said they had read the blog for two years or more. The bottom line was that most of you enjoyed most things most of the time. Only my infrequent and incongruent write-ups of ghost walks proved really unpopular. Video and the linklog entries were the Marmite issues. The majority of people who...
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October 9, 2009

Tweeting a link or a picture? Don't forget to blog it as well...

Over the last few weeks I've had three tweets receive a lot of retweeting action. I thought it worth sharing what I'd learned from it about the relative values of tweeting a link, and blogging about something. Celtic fans at Kings Cross On the afternoon of the Arsenal - Celtic Champions League match at the Emirates, some Celtic fans posted unofficial notices around Kings Cross Underground Station. I thought they were pretty funny, snapped a picture on my phone, and...
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October 5, 2009

Take the currybetdotnet survey

Take the currybetdotnet survey
Help shape the future of this blog

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September 18, 2009

'Learn to blog smart' training in October

There will be another chance to take part in my "Learn to blog smart: join the conversation" training day in October. The course will run on Friday October 30th at The Frontline Club in London. The day long course is aimed at "new and aspiring bloggers, or companies just beginning to dip their toes into the daunting 'blogosphere'". It is ideal if you are in a position where you need to get a blog up and running, but are a...
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June 30, 2009

How major publishers are using social media to drive traffic - Part 5

This is the fifth of a series of posts based on a talk I gave during May 2009 at WebCertain's "International Social Media Summit" in London. You can find the first part here, and view the original presentation slides on SlideShare. Blogging With the rise of social bookmarking and the media championing Twitter, blogging has begun to seem distinctly old hat. It does look, however, to have survived the early predictions of it being CB Radio for the 2000s,...
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June 5, 2009

Spector Twitter hoax shows online honesty gap between bloggers and newspapers

Earlier this week Joanna Geary blogged about the Birmingham Mail's decision to hold a story about ex-Villa player Gareth Barry back from the web in order to maximise exposure in print. That story is interesting enough in itself, but I wanted to look at something about the culture of blogging that was revealed. Joanna initially got her facts wrong.She'd got the time the web version of the story had been published wrong, and in a great display of social media...
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May 12, 2009

Upcoming Martin Belam presentation and blog training day

I wanted to briefly mention a couple of speaking and training events that I've got coming up. International Social Media Summit On Thursday I will be at the British Library, and for once I won't be skulking around trying to use it as an office, or be filming people for 'ambush' user testing. Instead I'll be speaking at WebCertain's International Social Media Summit. My presentation is called "'Teenager finds bat asleep in bra' or How major publishers are using social...
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March 23, 2009

How not to approach a blogger for PR

One question I often get asked is 'How should PR people go about pitching things to bloggers'. I always suggest that it is important to build a relationship with a blogger, and that is better to approach 10 small blogs who are passionate about your niche, than 100 popular blogs on the off-chance. If you do it badly, you expose yourself to potential brand damage - just like the PR person who sent me an astonishingly poor pitch the other...
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March 3, 2009

3 key moments when the NUJ 'effing blogs' dust-up might have been avoided

Last week I ran a training day at The Frontline Club in conjunction with about blogging, and towards the end of it I included a session loosely known as "101 things that will go wrong with your blog". As part of it, I used the recent NUJ vs Adam Tinworth 'effing' blogstorm as an example of how situations can quickly get inflamed. As an outsider, it strikes me that there are three very clear moments where the personal elements...
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