The social impact of Bin Laden’s recent death has been incredible and it also became an incredible force across blogs and other Web sites. Countless bloggers, even those who usually don’t cover news-related topics, felt the need to peak out on the breaking story and, along the way, dip their toes into news and political blogging.
But with so much attention being focused on how blogging and social media is changing journalism, there are still scant few resources that give bloggers and other webmasters access to the media used by mainstream outlets.
The problem is that, while there are countless great sites on the Web for stock photos and other images, they are more targeted at providing attractive, but generic images for a blog post. If you need a photo to indicate friendship or represent something being locked down, these sites are great. However, if you need a photo of a recent rally in Washington D.C. or of a particular celebrity, they are virtually useless as most of the photos they have are not timely and not related to current events.
However, there are a few sites that offer news-related images for free on your site. All you have to know is where to look and how to search them correctly.
Here are some of the options to consider. read more
Google recently introduced a new add-on to search results called +1. It’s not groundbreaking but it’s relevant and it’s not complicated but it’s too simple. Google +1 has its problems.
The problem with Google +1 is the entire implementation. Search and social have had an odd relationship: sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. This is one of the cases where Google’s treading the social waters with a tool that’s useful for a small subset of users.
It’s not the first time that a news organisation has called for Google’s index to be purged of its stories, but Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, has a definite financial motive for his recently publicised stance.
Calling Google a “parasite”, and questioning whether its use of excerpts constitutes fair use, he said that when News Corporation had found a way of making money from its arsenal of news sites.
In his tirade against other established corporations, he said that they merely “stole” stories from newspapers and that News Corporation would be suing them for copyright.
I’m sure the BBC will be glad to hear that they’ll actually have to “spend a lot more money on a lot more reporters to cover the world” when in fact they already do. read more
There are plenty of news discovery services online, but over the weekend Thoora announced the public launch of its own service which is supposed to “tear down silos between social and traditional media”.
The free service, which has been in private beta for about a month, delivers its perspective on breaking news based on Twitter, over 81 million blogs, and over 4,500 traditional media sources.
Features include over 25 news subcategories, social media sharing and internal commenting. read more
Save the Turtles – A 24-hour blogathon is scheduled for Sunday to help raise funds for the newly-established Turtle Conservation Centre in Setiu, Malaysia. A new blog post about freshwater and marine turtles will be written every hour. If you have a question on the matter, here’s your chance to get answers from the trained conservationists.
The Biggest Loser – Blogger Stacy Woltmann is on the road to lose 100lbs, but rather than do it in the privacy of home, she is chronicling her progress on Am Skinny Jeans. Root her on!
The Verdict Is In! – Australian courts will allow court cases to be covered live via Twitter on a case-by-case basis. The decision on if Tweeting is OK is up to the presiding judge.
Blogging From the Toilet – Someone in New York can earn up to $10,000 from toilet paper manufacturer Charmin this holiday season. The job? “Greet and entertain bathroom guests. Then blog about the experience. All candidates must really, really enjoy going to the bathroom.”
Aimed at business professionals who aren’t used to writing for the web, a new “Building the Buzz that Builds Your Business” twice-weekly webinar provides story ideas and links designed to offer a springboard for blogging.
The half-hourly webinars cost $10 each and run on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1pm EST from GetInFrontBlogging.com. Each provides a list of 25 categories, each with one or more links to current news events, a discussion on ten story ideas, social media and PR tips, and a Q&A section. read more
Retweet.com is set to tackle TweetMeme as well as news overall. At least that is the goal for Mesiab Labs, who’ll roll out the site, well, sometime. This from their presentation blog post:
Retweet.com – Data is acquired from multiple sources (primarily twitter) and fed into our database. Data is analyzed and supplemented, then ranked and presented in common news formats. Rt.nu – Secondary data regarding story quality and real time popularity (interest rating) is gathered using our popular link shortening system, which is based on our link analytics platform (over 100k link redirections since release). CheckRetweet.com – Secondary data regarding user quality (story breakers) is gathered here using custom algorithms that measure a users reach and influence.
Sounds good in theory, and the name, Retweet.com, is certainly a good one, but will it carry? We’ll see when there’s more information available, I’m just glad the old one got scrapped… And my hat’s off for the RT.nu URL shortener, great name, although I have yet to see it used widely.
March is WordPress month with more WordCamps and WordPress Meetups than ever. Will April beat it? Lester Chan makes a WordPress PowerPoint Template for presentations. WordPress wins the Best Irish Blogs Awards. FeedBurner transfer deadline is this weekend. Adobe Flash security vulnerability found, impacting many Plugins and WordPress blogs. And a lot more WordPress news coming your way.
WordPress PowerPoint Presentation Template: In anticipation of presenting a WordPress program at Blogout’09 in Singapore, Lester Chan went looking for a WordPress style template for Powerpoint. He couldn’t find one. So he created the WordPress PowerPoint Template that uses the official WordPress Logos and Graphics and looks very WordPress 2.7. He offers it free for anyone else searching as he did. Thanks, Lester! read more
Can you spot a WordPress blog? Are you sure? WordPress 2.7.1 released. Improvements on the WordPress Plugin Directory search functions. Help for those transferring from LiveJournal to WordPress.com, and WordPress in the future. WordPress 2.8 development on track. WordPress iPhone app in testing for next release. WordPress.com gets a new data center. More WordPress Tattoo news. WordCamps in Miami and India this weekend, Denver next. Singapore starts its first blogger meetup, including WordPress fans. WordPress jobs, and tips for WordPress Plugin and Theme authors.
WordPress 2.7.1 Released:WordPress 2.7.1, a maintenance release, is out. If you are using WordPress 2.7, take advantage of the automatic built-in upgrade. If you are not, then consider upgrading to WordPress 2.7. Sixty-five files were modified with 68 bug and feature fixes and improvements, and I covered more details about the release on my blog.
Improved LiveJournal Migration: For those looking to migrate from LiveJournal to WordPress.com, there is now an even easier LiveJournal migration process that the WordPress.com team has come up with to help the ever increasing number of people moving to WordPress.com from one of the oldest blogging platforms in the world. The new technique is a step by step approach that improves the importing from importing by the month without comments to now include comments, handle “friends only” posts, private posts, improvements in tagging, link back to LiveJournal blogs, and connection to the LiveJournal API to download all posts and comments in one pass. One LiveJournal users helped test the importer which handled over 3,700 posts and nearly 200,000 comments. The new importer will be included in the next major release of the full version of WordPress. read more