Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Two items in the Technology section of The New York Times today are right down my alley: Internet distractions.

My most recent experiment with avoiding distractions at the computer worked in a way -- being so distracted that you don't pay the phone bill for a couple of months causes Bell South to eliminate the distraction altogether. Ironically, although the company made telemarketing calls to pitch DSL service, it sent the shut-off notice by U.S. mail and I let it sit unopened for a few days.

Oops, I'm getting off topic... Back to the Times:
The two work together nicely -- I've distracted myself in the past by writing or editing Wikipedia entries, including adding to the page about the Hartford Courant.

1:33:43 PM    

I tell journalism students that there's no "one right way" to tell a story, and I've just seen two very different, but excellent, introductions to podcasting, the audio weblog format.

Contrasting these two storytelling approaches might make for an interesting discussion in a "new media" or journalism class.
  • One is a professional newspaper package -- two stories, photo and sidebars, plus online-edition Web links.
  • The other is a four-minute amateur video with narration, slides and screen-capture illustration, distributed as part of a weblog.
The newspaper
Doing it the old-fashioned newspaper way, USA Today sent a reporter and photographer off to the wilds of Wisconsin to capture an image of Dawn Miceli, with headphones, magenta hair, iBook and husband, Drew Domkus, producing their Dawn & Drew Show, a daily half hour characterized as "married-couple banter."

The Lifestyle section piece uses the evening with Dawn and Drew as bookends around a clear intro to the downloadable audio program phenomenon, including an interview with pioneer podcaster Adam Curry, and more.

Another USA Today reporter, writing from Seattle, told the Money section story, including a technical how-to sidebar, examples from local rock bands to NPR talk to musings of "an angry drag queen," and comments on Apple's apparent lack of interest in podcasting, despite the role of its iPod MP3 player in inspiring the form. Additional business-oriented comments come from Microsoft, Curry, blog-savvy PR guy Steve Rubel and others.

The two stories are headlined Podcasting: It's all over the dial (by Marco R. della Cava) and Radio to the MP3 degree: Podcasting (by Byron Acohido).

Multimedia weblog
Weblogger Lisa Williams added podcasting to her meticulous topic headings some time ago, but (judging from the comments) has a hit on her hands with her four minute video about podcasting. Since telling the story in sound and pictures is the point for discussion, I won't summarize the package here. Go watch! (The original version requires Real Media Player, but there was some talk about converting it to other formats. See her weblog for more info.)

Footnote: For more podcasting history and links, see the items I've posted about it here; you might call this a non-linear, episodic approach to telling the same story. Testing my own software setup, today's RSS feed of this page has a Quicktime attachment -- an old unmusical webcam and hair-flipping test that I thought had been deleted from its server long ago. Some other day I'll try to play Arkasas Traveler and read the news at the same time. Or something.

9:12:21 AM    

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