This Very BIG Year In Pictures

The Boston Globe’s high resolution photo blog The Big Picture has been one of the highlights of photojournalism on the web in 2008. It seemed to have kicked off a slew of similar sites willing to post high resolution news imagery on the web so that we at home can really appreciate the work of photojournalists around the world.

Not just first, but The Big Picture has seemed to be best when it comes to the tireless curation of the editor Alan Taylor and use of multiple images to really provide impact and lend life to a story in the news. That theme cannot be illustrated better then with their 1st part of a 3 part series The year 2008 in photographs.

2008 has been an eventful year to say the least – it is difficult to sum up the thousands of stories in just a handful of photographs. That said, I will try to do what I’ve done with other photo narratives here, and tell a story of 2008 in photographs. It’s not the story of 2008, it’s certainly not all stories, but as a collection it does show a good portion of what life has been like over the past 12 months.

I recommend that everyone take a few minutes over the next few days to really dive into the 120 stunning photographs being posted over the course of the next 3 days.

TV Jersey Shining Through The Clouds And Floods

Aside from the typical case of the blues that follows a few days without sun I wasn’t hit by the flooding rains the latest storms in the area. But many areas around me were, and new style media and news site launched a few months ago by some staff members at the Star-Ledger, TV Jersey has gathered up a number of videos [mostly from youtube ] from flooded areas around the state.

Go Ahead. Blame The Webmaster

Filed under the headline “UPDATE: Streisand: The Webmaster Did It…” like almost all things that appear on Drudge the news item can be shrugged off as overblown and misrepresented for maximum dramatic effect. Its another “why do I care” tabloid bit about Celebrity Dems, but the linked coverage at the Daily News of Misspelling-Gate was worth pointing out anyway.

Yesterday, a couple of hours after Lowdown alerted the Streisand camp to Drudge’s spelling feint, her online polemic was corrected. And Streisand’s PR rep, Dick Guttman, sheepishly explained: “The errors — are regrettable and have resulted in a change in how the actress’ own contributions to the blog will be posted.” He blamed the mistakes on the company that operates Streisand’s Web site: “The errors occurred in that entity’s typing of the original dictated material. Henceforth, Ms. Streisand’s office will post her essays directly.”

Drudge quipped: “Ah, the perils of Internet journalism!”

Ah, indeed.

But isn’t it great to have some anonymous intern somewhere at an anonymous company that helps “operate a web site” to blame when things go south. So much easier then having to take any responsibility for anything.

Newsvine Impressions

Informed last night that I was one of the invitees to the closed beta for the new news site Newsvine I signed up for my account and have been poking around in my free time today.

Its clean, its nice, its easy to use, but I’m not sure I’m sold on it being an indispensable news source just yet. Like everything else in the “web 2.0” genre it requires participation and a critical mass of users for it to hit its stride, and I’m just not seeing that yet. Once it gets going I’m sure it will offer more—but that begs the question more of what? There’s a danger I see of it becoming too close to other offerings out there be it technorati,, digg, fark or even a yahoo news most popular.

There’s a lot there to work with, so I’m not going to write it off yet, and if the participation and discussion grows—if if they add a few features like pages built on the fly based on all the items that get brought in with your various watch lists it’ll be able to make its mark.

For more info, including screen shots, Solution Watch has a good rundown up.

Ooops! Regret The Error's Crunks '05

Its the end of the year which means lots of best of the web, or site of the year type lists popping up, but this is one not to miss…

Regret the Error, a blog that covers the every day corrections or other follies in media, has posted its annual year end review and awards post: Crunks ‘05

You’ll laugh as you recall errors like Typo of the Year award winner Beef Panties or the Best Use of Photoshop winner the demonic Condi Rice. And those aren’t nearly the strangest

Kill Them With Freebies

Got my most recent order from bookpool yesterday containing lots of good solid reading for the next few weeks. What I saw in the box made me cringe (and wonder if maybe I need some help, heh).

Bookpool Bookmark

Once I got past the awful blurring which I can kinda deal with coming from a freebie from a tech book distributor, I noticed the aged and ugly markup being used! Its almost as bad as programming tutorials that ‘teach’ you the language by having you explicitly code for bad & embedded markup.

As for the books, the reason for the box arriving in the first place, all was good there:

PHP 5: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content by an old friend Toby Joe.

Agile Web Development with Rails was in there too, and though I don’t have an immediate need to leave PHP development for Rails the idea of using a good MVC architecture for web applications has always been one I’ve been fond of – even if my first exposure to it was with Java.

And, at the bottom of the box was We The Media, Dan Gilmor’s tome on grassroots journalism.

Which Headline Doesn't Fit?

Lets take a page from Sesame Street and try and point out which one of these is not like the other (AP top headlines as seen on my custom MyYahoo! news page a minute ago):

  • Ga. Courthouse Reopens Amid Tight Security – one hour ago

  • Thousands March Against Syria in Beirut – 20 minutes ago

  • Michael Jackson Arrives on Time for Trial – 4 minutes ago

  • China Law Authorizes Force Against Taiwan – 23 minutes ago

  • Former NAACP Leader to Run for Senate – 8 minutes ago

  • China Testing AIDS Vaccine on Humans – 2 hours ago

Some Podcasting Thoughts & 'Casts

Seems lots of folks are talking about podcasting again, and I have to say the personal radio show style broadcast that people are still raving about hasn’t won me over. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a big fan of what is going on – or of content that now is being made available.

The Sony Chill

I hate reading stories like that of Jason Kottke’s problems with Sony this week. While I do not know much about the legal positions on either side I do have an initial visceral reaction related to the so called chilling effects of lawsuits directed towards individual, independant writers.

Make your own news cycle

Sure, Google News isn’t exactly new on the scene or revolutionary in its coverage, and I’ve had a tailored page via MyYahoo! for a fwe years, but from time to time I think its important to step back and show appreciation for these tools and what they let us do.