The beginning of the end of Facebook’s traffic engine » Nieman Journalism Lab

In 2015, then, the winners of the Facebook attention lottery are going to be more videos, as well as genuinely native, in-app content from advertisers. The losers are going to be external websites who have become reliant on the Facebook traffic firehose. That traffic is going to start falling, in 2015, for the first time. And the repercussions are likely to be huge.

via The beginning of the end of Facebook’s traffic engine » Nieman Journalism Lab.

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The Magic Starts Here: Kenji’s Workshop of Camera Wizardry | PROOF

Kenji Yamaguchi’s shop could be mistaken for Sid’s workbench from Toy Story, a place where mangled lenses and broken shutters crowd out bare areas of his workspace. His office is tucked away in the basement of National Geographic, behind a grease-covered floor filled with drill presses and electric saws. Surrounded by robotic motors, modified macro lenses, and custom flashes, Kenji builds contraptions that can’t be bought. When a photographer needs to fasten a camera onto a thirty-foot pole to capture a bird in her nest, or build a wide-angle macro lense to identify pollen on a flower with mountains in the background, he’ll call Kenji.

 

The Magic Starts Here: Kenji’s Workshop of Camera Wizardry | PROOF.

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Outside Magazine’s Rape Story is Journalism Done Right

I spent some quality time with one of my very favorite publications this weekend, Outside Magazine. In their December issue, the same month Rolling Stone published their UVA story, they published this incredible piece of powerful journalism, done well and done right. It goes after a powerful organization with a culture of silence and shame.

The central figure in the narrative not only gives her full name, she’s photographed. And the story’s narrative clearly discusses how her story came out over years, and how it changed as she came to terms with the psychological affects of her experience. How she rationalized it, how she changed it into different scenarios to make it more acceptable, and how she finally came to terms with the whole gory thing, came forward, and began her pursuit of justice to protect others like herself. And how the establishment is fighting her in that pursuit.

As far as I can tell, the story has gotten virtually no attention by other media, scholars and critics of Rolling Stone, and the wider public.

I share it for all those who joined in our discussions here and elsewhere. Journalists, pass it on.

The Sex-Abuse Scandal Plaguing USA Swimming | Swimming | OutsideOnline.com.

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H.P. Lovecraft Gives Five Tips for Writing a Horror Story, or Any Piece of “Weird Fiction” | Open Culture

Prepare a synopsis or scenario of events in the order of their absolute occurrence—not the order of their narrations.

This is a practice adhered to by writers from J.K. Rowling and William Faulkner to Norman Mailer. It seems a an excellent general piece of advice for any kind of fiction.

Prepare a second synopsis or scenario of events—this one in order of narration (not actual occurrence), with ample fullness and detail, and with notes as to changing perspective, stresses, and climax.

Write out the story—rapidly, fluently, and not too critically—following the second or narrative-order synopsis. Change incidents and plot whenever the developing process seems to suggest such change, never being bound by any previous design.

It may be that the second rule is made just to be broken, but it provides the weird fiction practitioner with a beginning. The third stage here brings us back to a process every writer on writing, such as Stephen King, will highlight as key—free, unfettered drafting, followed by…

Revise the entire text, paying attention to vocabulary, syntax, rhythm of prose, proportioning of parts, niceties of tone, grace and convincingness of transitions…

And finally….

Prepare a neatly typed copy—not hesitating to add final revisory touches where they seem in order.

via H.P. Lovecraft Gives Five Tips for Writing a Horror Story, or Any Piece of “Weird Fiction” | Open Culture.

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As Start-Up Strategies Evolve, So Does Role of a Business Plan – NYTimes.com

“You may not need a business plan if you’re six Stanford engineers in Silicon Valley who have an app that’s got a million followers, because you’re going to be acquired so you can be hired,” said Ms. Abrams, author of “Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies.” “But if you’re starting a cafe in Des Moines or a graphic design business in Phoenix, you really want to plan. It doesn’t have to be a big document, but you get to make your mistakes on paper, rather than in real life.”

via As Start-Up Strategies Evolve, So Does Role of a Business Plan – NYTimes.com.

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rolling stone’s uva rape story: do no harm

the first rule in the society of professional journalists’ code of ethics is “do no harm.” yes, rolling stone is guilty of shoddy editing of the uva rape story. but they are guilty of an even worse crime: they blamed the victim. and the point of the story was to illustrate how the victims of rape are shamed and shunned into silence by the university and the wide culture. and now they have brought down the entire court of public opinion on her as they scramble to cover their own asses. they have done her irreparable harm.

the washington post is being praised for its week of reporting that surfaced the holes in the story and the lapses in fairness and balance in rolling stone’s journalism about contacting the accused and checking the facts and their selection of the narrative subject and setting. they too have shamed and shunned the victim. they have done her irreparable harm.

these are both established, legacy journalism brands with powerful reputations and records for courageous journalism and also innovation in the digital age. the linked article is from vox – a new journalism startup – not only different because they understand the technology of digital news, but also understand how the digital space is also a digital culture. the ethics of the practice of writing and reporting have changed, grown and evolved. what old journalism knows as the view from nowhere, robotic objectivity, the unjust application of balance and fairness, the traditional lens of a culture built on white male power has all changed. it isn’t just print and pixels – it is people.

vox alone offers this _absolutely critically_ important detail that the post’s reporting has missed:

victims of violent trauma suffer cognitive blocks as their minds deal with the events. they mix up details of their stories.

they frequently don’t remember the names or faces of their assailants. they tell themselves lies to cope. reality is absolutely bent. and there is a massive compendium of research and knowledge on this and hundreds of easily available credible sources who could have provided quotes that should have been placed right in context with the attacks on the credibility of the victim – because it would have been fair and accurate.

truth and fact often collide, this has happened in journalism before. it happens all the time. chinese labor abuses _are_ massive, but mike daisy and this american life botched it. bush _was_ awol, but dan rather and cbs botched it. they all got off on technicalities. the post once gave back a pulitizer over a fictionalized account of a heroin addicted child.

rapes in fraternities are real. jackie was raped. there is no doubt she was horribly assaulted. and now she is being called a liar by rolling stone and the post and it is echoing through the entire mainstream media and their audiences – the entire culture that reinforces that power structure that is rooted in the sexual dimorphism of our animalistic origins. this is not a crime of journalism, it is the absolute shame of society.

it is incredibly important to note that the editors of rolling stone and the washington post are men, and the post reporter who debunked the female reporter’s story is also a man. while the mission of journalism is to speak truth to power, in this day and age of media layoffs and carnage, very few of us will level a blast at the men in media power who give jobs to media folk.

vox’s co-editor is melissa bell.

the post should not stop here with their tear down job and rest on their laurels that sound local reporting and old school shoe leather rule. no one in the media should. there is much, much more to this story. because the facts may be messed up, dates and names and faces and strange greek letters may be confused, but the truth is real – horribly real. a girl was raped, she stopped the silence and came forward to tell her story – the one she remembers – and now she is being raped again and shamed. the next chapter of this story will most likely be her attempted suicide, as we saw in stuebenville and in so many other cases. and if she is successful, her blood will be on all of our hands.

http://www.vox.com/…/12/5/7341973/trauma-rape-allegation-uva

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David Andrew Johnson