Linking gets more specific at the New York Times: link to an individual paragraph or sentence

Users can now link to and highlight individual sentences and paragraphs in stories on the New York Times site, notes TNW Media:

“While it could be a tad complicated for an average reader, it’s a great tool for writers and bloggers who frequently link to NYTimes stories.
To simplify things, if you hit your shift key twice on a Times story, small icons appear next to every paragraph. Click on one of them and it’ll place the paragraph linked URL up in the address bar of your browser.

Using the Times’ new hyperlinking system might mean a little more work for the linker, but I like how it adds a new layer of specificity and clarify to a linked post. And it is definitely cool to see that the hyperlink is still evolving.”

Read more here [link]

US guidelines will require bloggers to disclose links with advertisers

Interesting to see how this might work (or not?) — due to come into effect on 1 December. From CJR's The Kicker blog:
"In light of recent scandals involving bloggers, advertisers, and the merging of the two in the ethically precarious practice known as “blogger payola”…the Federal Trade Commission has voted on—and, by a margin of 4 to 0, voted for—new guidelines that will require bloggers to disclose any “material connection” to advertisers, including payments for endorsements and free product samples."

Read more here [link]

Was this the first blog by a professional journalist?

Dan Gillmor’s intro to the blog on Silicon Valley News, posted on 22 October 1999:

“Welcome to my weblog. What follows is a digested version of my column for Tuesday, October 26, 1999, in which I explain why we’re doing this and how I hope it’ll evolve.

Why? I’ve been thinking about the new ways of journalism, namely the ways the Internet is imposing on all of us. Internet Time has compressed the lives of all kinds of people in all kinds of businesses, and journalism is no exception. In fact, it may be one of the businesses most affected in the long run, both in the opportunities the Net creates and the threat it represents.

So I’m trying one of those new forms. It’s called a “weblog” — and it’s a combination of styles that could exist only on the Web. Text, pictures, hyperlinks and, soon, audio and video are all part of this new form, and I can’t wait to start experimenting with it.”

Read more here [link]

Blogging, Double Standards, and Recommendations | Jessica Knows

Jessica Smith responds to the WSJ article referred to by NYT (see previous post):
"Bloggers are being scrutinized for transparency and disclosure issues but the same “traditional” media that’s reporting on it? Pot. Meet. Kettle.

Case in point. I was recently quoted in an article in a major newspaper. While I wasn’t misquoted, what I said was grossly taken out of context.

I have a disclosure policy on my blog that says that I may have been compensated for some reviews. Let’s be clear here. Compensation has many definitions and unless I say the post was “sponsored” by someone? I did not receive cash. I received either a product or service for review. "

Read more here [link]

Blogging for cash (or cars)

Paid-for editorial not an option, says Huffington Post — unlike others?

"But an article in The Wall Street Journal on April 23 made clear that part of that future was already here. According to The Journal, Jessica Smith, who blogs at, has written for and about Wal-Mart Stores and Electronic Arts. In reviewing the Ford Flex crossover, she said, “It was love at first sight. The Flex also proved to make me feel safe and secure while bringing out the exciting and rebellious side of me at the same time.”

That’s just the kind of rebellion Ford can get behind, and they gave Ms. Smith a Flex crossover vehicle for a year and a gas card. If it turns out it’s not as much of a dream as she first thought, don’t look for Ms. Smith to write that up. She told The Journal she does not write negatively about products she is asked to review because “I choose not to be critical.” "

Read more here [link]

NY Times To Launch Local Blogging Initiative (Brownstoner)

NY Times gets into local blogs, it seems, with help from journalism students:

"Look out, local bloggers, the Gray Lady is moving in on your turf. Starting mid-day on Monday, The New York Times will be rolling out a neighborhood blog initiative.[…]

Each site will be helmed by a writer/editor from the paper, a Times official told us, but will draw upon contributors from the neighborhood as well as some free labor from the CUNY journalism program. Readers will be able to post everything from short films to wedding announcements…"

Read more here [link]

School chief's spelling howlers on internet | The Sun |News

At least it suggests that the education minister writes his own blog posts… but doesn't use a spellchecker. It's also another of that genre of news stories based on someone spotting something online (often on Facebook) with the potential to embarrass. How many journalists are now checking MPs' blogs etc. Might boost their site hits a little.

"EDUCATION minister Jim Knight was warned yesterday that he must try harder after his internet blog was found to be littered with spelling mistakes.

The Cambridge-educated Government chief’s website also contains uncorrected typing errors and a grammatical clanger.

But it appears the howlers have gone unnoticed for months because no one reads the minister’s blog."

Read more here [link]

Why I Blog – The Atlantic (November 2008)

Andrew Sullivan on blogging:

"It is accountable in immediate and unavoidable ways to readers and other bloggers, and linked via hypertext to continuously multiplying references and sources. Unlike any single piece of print journalism, its borders are extremely porous and its truth inherently transitory. The consequences of this for the act of writing are still sinking in. […]
No columnist or reporter or novelist will have his minute shifts or constant small contradictions exposed as mercilessly as a blogger’s are. A columnist can ignore or duck a subject less noticeably than a blogger committing thoughts to pixels several times a day. A reporter can wait—must wait—until every source has confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud."

Read more here [link]

Good writing makes the difference — Opinion: The top 10 best-written blogs

On the importance of good writing in blogs, from Computer World's 'top ten' list:
" 'People get bored pretty quickly with sloppy writing and sloppy thinking, and that's true whether you're publishing online or in print,' [Nicholas] Carr told me by e-mail and, as always, he makes a good point.
Stringing together a sentence with a strong noun and verb combination might not seem all that difficult, but many bloggers write like they are on the school bus using a crayon."

Read more here [link]