Crowdsourcing

The New York Times now has ads from the ’20s on ‘Madison’

Screen shot, Madison

Screen shot, Madison

On Monday, The New York Times R&D Lab added a new decade to its online crowdsourcing ad archives project — the 1920s.

There’s also now a gallery to see the advertisements that have already been ID’d, tagged and/or transcribed in “Madison,” Abbe Serphos, executive director of corporate communications at The New York Times, said via email. “You can also now download data in JSON format that will contain all metadata collected so far.”

Here’s how the Times R&D Lab explains what it’s building with “Madison”, which launched last October with ads from the ’60s:

The New York Times’s century-and-a-half news archive is a rich and under-utilized resource, not only for news events but also as a reflection of cultural history. While news events and reporting give us a glimpse of one aspect of our past, the advertisements that ran alongside those news articles allow us a very different view.

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Facebook page aims to help find journalists who’ve dropped off the map

Sean Howe traces the start of his Committee to Detect Journalists page to his quest to locate Tom Burke, who once wrote for Rolling Stone, Esquire and other publications. He and Grantland writer Alex Pappademas bought Burke’s book and spent two or three years “trying to figure out what happened to him,” Howe said in a phone call with Poynter.

“It’s really surprising that people whose names are out there and Google-able, how hard it can be to find out what happened to them.” Howe’s new Facebook page aims to solve that problem through crowdsourcing: Surely someone knows what happened to some of these folks, he reckons. But for it to work, he’ll need a lot more people to join — currently 35 people have liked the page. Read more

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Columbia Journalism School professor wants to crowdsource longform journalism publishing

Capital New York | Folio
The resurgence of longform publishing has a new ally in a Kickstarter-based project spearheaded by Columbia Journalism School professor Michael Shapiro. The big difference in Shapiro’s model? No editors.

The Big Roundtable, which is more than halfway to its startup goal of $5,000 only two days into its campaign, promises to provide digital distribution to story pitches that can’t find outlets via traditional print publishers. The project plans to provide 1,000-word excerpts to a committee of readers, which will then read the story and decide if it’s worthy of being distributed via email. The stories will be sent to another group of readers, repeating the process to determine if it’s a successful selection. The story will then be sold to readers for $1 a copy. Read more

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Tips on social media verification and online corrections

Earlier this week I had a great chat about online verification and corrections with of Journalism.co.uk. You can listen to our talk in this podcast published today. McAthy also interviewed four other people to gather insight:

  • Claire Wardle, director of development and integration, Storyful
  • Malachy Browne, news editor, Storyful
  • Fergus Bell, senior producer and UGC lead, Associated Press
  • Paul Bradshaw, course leader of online journalism MA at Birmingham City University, visiting professor at City University London and publisher of Online Journalism Blog and HelpMeInvestigate

The podcast, which you can play below, offers an excellent collection of tips and advice for social media verification and online corrections. You can also listen to the second podcast on this page to hear me talk a bit more about crowdsourced verification. Read more

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Stumped New York Times reporter crowdsources ID of a rare bomb

The New York Times
Senior writer C.J. Chivers (a former Marine) knows his way around battlefield munitions, but for six months he and other experts have been stumped trying to identify an unusual cluster bomb found in Libya. So he posted photos and a backstory on the “At War” blog, asking, “Can you help?” Chivers is not worried about losing a scoop:

“As for competition from any other news organizations or Web sites, well, in this case there is none. This is about trying to get it right, so that the world will know more about who provided the Qaddafi government its arms, and when, and so that those who have to clear these DPICM’s will know more of their technical characteristics. At War is collegial.

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Want to be a source? Sign up here, says Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald
Digital engagement editor Tom Babin introduces a new system — called Be a Source — that enables potential sources to register with the newspaper. Think of it as “metacrowdsourcing,” applying crowdsourcing to sourcing itself rather than an individual reporting project.

We’re asking Calgarians to tell us about the ideas and issues for which they have special insight, knowledge or passion. Then, when the issues come up in the news, we will be better able to present those perspectives in our news stories.

You don’t need a Ph.D to make a contribution. Your area of expertise could be as simple as life in your neighbourhood. Perhaps you have a hobby that you think offers a unique perspective. Maybe your job makes you an expert in a specific field, or you know first-hand the challenges of the elderly-care system, or you struggle with a little-known heath condition, or are the victim of a crime.

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Spot.Us becomes part of Public Insight Network

DigiDave | American Public Media
American Public Media has acquired Spot.Us and will integrate it with its crowdsourcing platform Public Insight Network. The two operations “create a media that is more responsive and responsible to the public’s needs,” writes Spot.Us founder David Cohn on his blog.

Cohn tells me by email that at some point, journalists working on a single story could utilize both the crowdfunding and crowdsourcing parts of the operation:

Some people prefer to donate talent, others prefer to donate funds. If a single organization used both PIN/Spot (which will become easier as the two merge at a technical level) they could do create a relationship with the audience that includes both possibilities. We did one early example of this at Spot.Us. We raised funds for an Oakland Tribune reporter to cover potholes in oakland.

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ProPublica’s DocDiver helps users collaborate in document-based investigations

A ProPublica reporting project published today turns primary source documents into a platform for crowdsourcing and reader collaboration.

Readers’ findings are displayed in a sidebar next to the relevant portion of the document.

The investigative reporting nonprofit built a tool called DocDiver, a plugin for DocumentCloud that creates an annotation layer on top of document pages. Readers can make notes on the document, and journalists and other readers can see those notes threaded in a sidebar.

“The tool enables much closer collaboration between journalists and their readers in real time,” said Amanda Michel, ProPublica’s director of distributed reporting (and a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board). In this case, it supplements reporter Paul Kiel’s latest report on the failed oversight of mortgage lenders by inviting people to annotate three government audits of GMAC. Read more

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Earthquake sent millions to social networks, where news orgs were ready to meet them

When a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled the east coast on Tuesday, Americans flooded social networks with updates and major news organizations were there to meet them with crowdsourcing efforts.


[View the story "The earthquake on social networks" on Storify] Read more

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