A great city development game designed by KQED, San Francisco's public television station, complements a Bay Area gentrification program and gives users five different decisions to make about how to develop their city. At the end of the game, it explains the impact of each choice and it scores players on how well planned their cities are. The Pew Center for Civic Journalism discusses how online sites are using games and reports that the Seattle firm that built HeraldNet's Waterfront Renaissance project, Smashing Ideas Inc., is designing another city planning gaming that will soon debut on the Myrtle Beach Sun News' site. "[Games] are a great way to get information to people in a way that helps them understand the impact of their choices," Smashing Ideas' founder Glenn Thomas said.
Newspaper sites are increasingly offering free MP3 downloads of local bands -- it's legal, a great service to readers and great free publicity for the groups. Among the sites offering this service are Washingtonpost.com, Boston.com, Projo.com, OnlineAthens.com, CapeCodOnline.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal's RockKansas.com.
Tribune Interactive rolls out a new "proprietary standards-based content management and publishing platform that speeds delivery of breaking news to users across Tribune's national network of news and information Web sites." The platform, known internally as Oxygen, delivers content to Tribune Interactive's 11 daily newspaper Web sites (including chicagotribune.com, latimes.com and newsday.com), automates content sharing among all the sites, and creates standard advertising placements for national advertisers throughout the network.
Columbia University's Computer Science Department has developed an experimental tool called the Columbia Newsblaster that automatically tracks news events. Using "natural-language processing" technology, it summarizes reports from twelve news sources daily, including Reuters, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, CNN.com, FOXNews.com, WashingtonPost.com and USATODAY.com -- and conveniently offers links to each site's stories. Yahoo's Full Coverage still seems more useful, but it's an intriguing concept and it will be interesting to see how the project develops. Check it out. Is this the future of online news?
The AIM Group, in conjunction with the Newspaper Association of America, has compiled this list of 60 great ideas -- covering revenue, promotion, circulation, multimedia and content -- to newspapers and other media companies improve their interactive-media businesses.
After the 2000 election, washingtonpost.com built a Virtual Voting Booth that enabled users to decide for themselves what standards they would use to count a vote in the 2000 presidential election. The coolest part of this interactive is that after your selections, the Virtual Voting Booth tells you which candidate would have won!
Poynter Institute visiting faculty member Jonathan Dube shared these online writing tips with participants of the institute's first "Writing Online News" seminar. (Also published on Poynter.org and in the book "Shop Talk and War Stories.") (more…)