The year is almost over and I have the need to put things into some perspective. So, despite considering it as one of the worst years I had in my life, I’m going to look at the things I did, and try to prove myself it wasn’t really that bad.
Professionally, the first half was good, I was teaching in a training program created by Porto University, instructing journalists from Cofina, one of the biggest portuguese media groups. I worked with over 200 journalists and editors and it was a really rewarding experience. I think I changed some minds and helped many improve their skills. The rest is not up to me.
I also worked as an instructor with the team of P3, a new youth oriented news website, which was a different challenge because they were online only, thus with a whole another approach to content production. And my teaching days were then over.
I had to go back to be a student and finish my overdue MA final project. It wasn’t that good, and I could make all the excuses in the world because I really have a few good ones for not doing better and they would all be true, but the fact is I could have done better. Still, I had a commendation over it and I got an upgrade in my degree. So far it hasn’t impressed anyone.
I wanted to develop a few projects but with all the problems I had this year some were postponed and I had to give up on others. I wanted to open my own business as a multimedia journalism producer/ consultant, but there’s a crisis going on, and people around here weren’t very impressed with my credentials. I have far better recognition abroad than in my own country, which kinda pisses me off. The fact is, I didn’t create my own job, nor I have one to complain about.
Meanwhile, I invested in video content, using a HDSLR, all my efforts can be seen here (only those uploaded in the last 3 months count). I did a short doc about a cultural association I work with, and most of the stuff I made is based on the events we have there, like concerts and exhibitions. It’s a good testing ground and I’m planning to use what I’ve learned to create more journalistic stuff.
O ano está quase a acabar e tenho a necessidade de pôr as coisas em perspectiva. Apesar de achar que este foi um dos piores anos da minha vida, vou olhar para o que fiz e tentar provar que afinal não foi assim tão mau.
Profissionalmente, os primeiros meses foram bons, fui formador num programa criado pela Universidade do Porto para a Cofina, onde trabalhei com mais de 200 jornalistas e editores das várias publicações do grupo e foi uma experiência fantástica. Acho que mudei algumas mentalidades e ajudei muitos a melhorar as suas capacidades. O resto não é comigo.
Também dei formação à equipa do P3, o que foi um desafio especial porque eles estão exclusivamente online, logo com uma aproximação completamente diferente na criação de conteúdos. E a seguir acabaram-se os dias como professor.
Tive que voltar a ser estudante e acabar o meu projecto final de mestrado. Não correu lá muito bem e podia dar todas as desculpas – e até tenho algumas muito boas e que são verdade – para isso, mas sei que podia ter feito melhor. Mesmo assim, passei com louvor e tenho agora um grau académico melhor. Até agora ninguém ficou lá muito impressionado com isso.
Quis desenvolver alguns projectos mas com todos os problemas que tive este ano alguns foram adiados outros esquecidos. Queria abrir o meu próprio negócio como jornalista multimédia / formador /consultor, mas há uma crise lá fora e as pessoas não parecem muito impressionadas com as minhas credenciais. Tenho melhor reconhecimento noutros países do que aqui, o que me deixa um bocado lixado. A verdade é que falhei em criar o meu emprego ou a arranjar um de que me possa queixar.
Entretanto investi na produção de vídeo com uma HDSLR, podem ver aqui alguns dos resultados (só os dos últimos 3 meses contam). Fiz um pequeno trabalho sobre a associação de que faço parte, e muitos dos videos são sobre coisas que por lá vão passando como concertos e exposições. É um bom tubo de ensaio (!), e estou a planear usar o que aprendi para fazer conteúdos mais jornalísticos.
This was one of the longest, strenuous years I have ever experienced. Even though I was able to accomplish some goals, they look meaningless in the overall outcome. I’m broke, unemployed, I have no perspectives. It has always been one step forward and three behind. I had to give up on a lot of things, and basically I feel like it’s 2001 for me (another bad year) but with a heavier burden. I wasn’t expecting this.
My projects are moving slowly, there is no money or time to devote myself fully to them. I’m starting 2012 on basic survival mode, but that’s the outlook for millions of Portuguese people this year. Going abroad is a possibility, I understand Nando’s is always hiring. There’s a lot to decide in the upcoming weeks.
2011 won’t be missed, too many bad things have happened, but such is life. I’m finishing way worse than I started, and I’m considering other options for my future, because life is unstoppable in its motion and either you roll with or get crushed. I’m a roller.
Death to 2011, I’ll look back on it with a bitter taste in my mouth.
Ponto de situação
Este foi um dos anos mais longos e extenuantes que vivi. Apesar de ter atingido alguns objectivos, tudo parece inútil no balanço geral. Estou basicamente falido, desempregado, sem grandes perspectivas. Foi sempre um passo para a frente e três para trás. Tive que desistir de muita coisa, e sinto-me de volta a 2001 (outro ano péssimo) mas apenas com um fardo ainda mais pesado. Não estava mesmo à espera disto.
Os meus projectos pessoais estão a andar devagar ou parados, não há dinheiro ou tempo para me dedicar a eles. Vou começar 2012 em modo de sobrevivência, mas sou e mais uns milhões de concidadãos. Ir para fora é uma possibilidade, também se lavam pratos lá fora. Há muito para decidir nas próximas semanas.
Não vou ter saudades de 2011, aconteceram demasiadas coisas más, mas é a vida. Termino o ano bem pior do que quando comecei e estou a ponderar outras opções para o meu futuro, porque a vida não pára, ou a acompanhamos ou somos esmagados pelo movimento.
Morte a 2011, vou-me lembrar deste ano com amargos de boca.
Ao ver este vídeo do DN tenho duas reacções: uma de admiração e respeito pelo investimento feito na evolução e na criação de melhores condições de trabalho numa redacção nacional, outra de estupefacção. Onde é que está a estratégia para o online?
O espaço de trabalho define a forma e os resultados desse trabalho e, pelo que percebi da descrição feita, o DN vai-se lançar como canal de televisão. A lista de inovações centra-se principalmente no hardware, no cenário, nas funcionalidades, mas zero na filosofia de conteúdos online e na estratégia de relação com os utilizadores, com a utilização da interactividade e do multimédia, na utilização das redes sociais. O que falta ali é o futuro dos conteúdos digitais.
Não vou falar mais especificamente do DN, já tive chatices que cheguem por causa de críticas a outros projectos e até agora ninguém me provou que estava errado, só me dificultou a vida profissional e animosidades mais ou menos veladas. Eu sei que não sou um génio, mas percebo disto.
Isto é um problema transversal aos grandes jornais (e jornalistas do papel?) portugueses que parecem morrer de inveja das televisões e querem ser uma, o que até é bem claro nas movimentações de investimentos dos grupos de media nacionais. O que querem perpetuar é a comunicação unidireccional que estão habituados a fazer desde sempre. É um problema de mentalidade, não de capacidade ou qualidade na informação.
As direcções dos jornais não percebem o online. Isso é ponto assente senão não faziam certos (des)investimentos.
Por isso, acho que a única coisa que posso fazer em vez de dar os meus bitaites de borla – se os quiserem vão ter que pagar – posso partilhar com vocês algumas ideias de outros sobre o que é ter uma filosofia dirigida para o online e conteúdos multimédia e interactivos:
Digital platforms are first in the processes and priorities of the Digital First journalist. We publish newspapers as well, but newspapers cannot drive our work. Newspapers are a shrinking audience and revenue stream and our digital community and revenue stream are growing. Our survival demands a digital focus.
Digital journalists produce content initially for multiple digital platforms: our news websites, blogs, social media, text alerts, email alerts and newsletters (and whatever comes next or whatever I’ve overlooked). Editors responsible for print products will assemble them primarily from content produced originally for digital platforms.
Whatever your job, you need to make high priorities to:
Work and think first for digital platforms.
Experiment and take risks.
Try new tools & techniques.
Cover news live.
Join, stimulate, curate and lead the community conversation.
7. Focus on what works – do less to do more. No news organisation however well resourced can achieve everything. Work out what works and strive for excellence in that area.Sometimes you need to take a step back to see where your priorities should lie. You may realise it is better to write one original feature than chase five stories already in the public domain.
E no que toca ao valor da marca, ela passa por isto:
Did I need a newspaper to write precisely the same story days after I read it for the first time? How much do we care about the race for ‘first’ when first is now measured in seconds or perhaps minutes?
We want people who will cut through the spin and tell us what’s going on, how it will affect us and what can we do about it. We want transparent news. We want news that, while it may not always achieve that goal, honestly strives to be objective.We want to trust journalism. And to do so, we need to trust journalists.And bypassing the blogger-vs-tweeter-vs-media company-vs-journalist debate, it is going to come down to one thing: Credibility.
No, this is not about news over an invasion of braindead flesh eaters. It’s about stories that were supposedly dead in the archives but somehow managed to get back to life via social networking and bookmarking.
Ad for the Best Horror Movie Festival in Portugal that suits this post perfectly
I already wrote about this subject here, but I want to share a situation that happened in Portugal last week. There was an article from Público going around Facebook that seemed awkwardly familiar, about the superior intellectual skills of those who stayed up late. Since I became an early bird and found out I’m more productive this way, the comments of those who felt their undisciplined sleeping habits were an advantage kind of pissed me off. That’s why it got stuck in my memory.
The article was first published over a year ago, but it had a huge come back, with hundreds of shares on Facebook, and there was a flurry of blog posts about it. And then there were funny things happening: the title on Facebook wasn’t the same as the original article (it seems someone decided to add “and drunk” to the original “Smarter people go later to bed”) and everyone had an opinion about the study results the article was based on, although they only had access to a short lead, because the full article is behind a paywall.
This is all that was available to read.It's in Portuguese, FYI.
Three questions come to my mind:
- How does an article return to life in the social networks?
-Do people even read what they share?
-How can news media make the best of this resurrection?
Well,the first answer is: it needs to be timeless and address strong feelings in the crowd. It’s hard to know what makes content viral, especially with such a lapse in time, but I’d bet on content that empowers user’s beliefs (or defies them) and generates discussion.
The second answer raises a scary possibility which is that people don’t really read the articles they share, but have strong opinions about the issues they cover, so they act uninformed.
Question number three is all about archive management and social network strategies: how can this accidental engagement of the community be used? Should the article be pulled behind of the paywall and be given eyeball opportunity again? Should the journalist do a follow up on the subject, ask the readers for their opinion, do a poll? Stay up late to assess the veracity of the story by asking intelligent questions or do IQ tests relating them to users sleeping habits?
Articles online are perennial, or they can come back more easily than their paper version. So their zombiefication can be promoted or, at least, be better defended. There are risks in having zombie articles out there, especially if the crowd doesn’t read them or notice the publish date: rumors based on misleading out of time titles can wreak havoc and, in some way, eat our brains.
And a funny fact for you: the vast majority of those who shared the article supported the theory that staying up late was a sign of being smarter. Wishful thinking, I guess.
What do you think about this? Have you shared any zombie articles lately?
I usually don’t post tutorials, but I’ve been asked by so many people to explain how to share stuff from Google Reader to their social networks that I’m doing this one. I already posted a negative rant last week, so this time I’ll be more constructive.I’m a heavy Reader user, with almost 500 feed sources and I usually go through a 1000 items each day , so this disruption was more than inconvenient for me.
Before the changes imposed by Google, all you had to do was to go through your feed item list on Reader, click on share, then had the feed of the shared articles folder connected to a service like dlvr.it and that was it, they would be automagically posted to Twitter and sorts. But since sharing is no more, we have to be a bit more creative. I started using Feedly, a better looking alternative to Google’s interface, but I used it mostly because it was simple and it kept the sharing option even after the “share” button disappeared from Reader. But as of last Friday, that is no longer possible. If you don’t know Feedly, take a look at this video.
If This Then That
I started looking for alternative solutions that didn’t imply changing to another feed reader – I got used to Feedly and I’ve been enjoying the experience so far – and that weren’t too complicated. My goal was to send items that I wanted to share from my feed list to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. The best and the most simple solution was IFTTT.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That, and it is based on recipes (I’m sharing mine below). The recipe I wanted was something like: If shared on Reader, Than post to social network. But since sharing is no longer possible we have to use something else, like the Starred items.
Feedly doesn’t have a “star item” option, but it will do that if you press the “save for later” button. So, either you’re still using GReader’s interface or you moved to Feedly just like me, that’s the way it works.
Then I created my recipes on IFTTT (you can use them and change the settings – all you have to do is click on the icons and login to the services). I tweaked them so the articles appeared in my Twitter timeline like this: [FEED] item title + item url.
For Facebook I chose to use the text of the article too, but you can remove that.
But there are other articles I want to keep for future reference. Delicious was my first choice for social bookmarking, but when there was a real chance it might shut down, I started using Diigo as a backup. Still, since Delicious is still active and Diigo has extra features, including one that pushes all the bookmarked content to Delicious, I use them both.
First I installed the Diigo addon to Firefox, then connected both accounts. Here’s when dlvr.it steps in. I added my Delicious account to the sources and then picked the channels to which I wanted my bookmarked contents distributed. In the source settings I chose to use the [Delicious] prefix so those links would stand out from the Google Reader shares.
Feed delivery routes from Delicious to Social Networks via dlvr.it
So, in a nutshell, here’s my feed flow, I hope it was useful for you. There are other alternatives but this was the simplest way to get around the sharing block. If you have suggestions let me know.
Since Google Reader shut down labs my internet experience has been degraded to a point I keep insulting Google executives to the future and previous 4th generations.
First it was the sharing ability that made Google Reader so great, I could press a button and share great content with my networks. It was part of my professional strategy, and a daily routine. They lost that so I changed to Feedly, where I could keep sharing my stuff as long as I used dlvr.it. That was ok, Feedly had a better looking interface. Today I can’t do that anymore.
Other Google features that were amazing for niche groups of users were cancelled along the way too. Google stopped being a really innovative, experimental company to become a bland, corporate, windows-like company. They mess with search results, they are conforming experience to what they want and not to what users need, and the worst of it all, people aren’t even noticing.
I understand changes happen regularly, but give me alternatives, or at least allow alternatives to work.
I had a totally different image from Google: big, yet with a anarchic spirit, and eager for experimenting. Now it looks like a pack of services for corporate twats. Maybe people running the company are just that: a bunch of twats, from the previous to the future 4th generation.