What NOT to do online

I was looking for a subject for a good, solid, and great written… Ok, an article. Just that, no more bragging. Then I read this article, from machable.com. I like that angle, so I decided start from there. So here it goes: What NOT to do online.

Quote from the article I mentioned previously: “Ethics rules vary from newsroom to newsroom and country to country” End quote.
I think this is true. When I read this, I realized that indeed every country has these rules for their media. But the internet isn’t bound by the borders of the land. It’s endless, infinite and will continue to exist for as long as our servers keep working. This means bloggers have a massive responsibility. And maybe we don’t always appreciate that responsibility.


My first point when we don’t appreciate the responsibility and ignore all good manners, is found on youtube. I now look to all those youtube-comments that are just there to piss you off. I’ll give you an example. I’m ShanghaiForever by the way.

It was a great improvised song from the Tv show Improv A Ganza. I commented this:
Schermafbeelding 2013-12-14 om 11.17.53

It’s a funny song! And some stupid Emma-person replies:
Schermafbeelding 2013-12-14 om 11.17.20

It’s rude, I don’t know her, the comment is pointless and doesn’t make sense. Good thing I don’t know how to reply back yet, otherwise this might have become some stupid argument. Good thing… So internet-users, don’t forget your good manners!


Next thing bloggers need to remember, double-check your sources. There’s a great example of this in Belgium and The Netherlands. A Dutch journalist had created the Twitter-account @Monarchie.be, when our prince was about to become king. He then sold this account to our Royal Palace. Very smart move, he made some easy money. Our Royal Palace tweeted away, but the journalist was still able to tweet with this account! The Royals hadn’t changed the password and such. The journalist even tweeted this, in the name of our King:
Twitter Koning
It says: I feel good as your King! God Bless Belgium!

This tweet has now been deleted, and the journalist has closed off the account for himself. There is proof in the form of video footage for that. So, double check even your most reliable sources, such as our Royals. Hackers are everywhere…


Also, my last point of advice. Things get outdated on the web. So be sure to check the date of when this article was written. You don’t want to copy some information that matches your opinion, but is completely outdated. Makes you look like a fool, like a fool! (Sorry, a little Phoebe from Friends came through there… Been watching it to much. See what I mean here, @3:15)

Anyway, so, things get outdated, beware! Here is a great example, Nelson Maldela (God Bless His Soul) has recently passed away. Now, this should appear on his wikipedia-page, right? It does, don’t you worry. But you can see at the very bottom of the page when a page was modified, can be very useful to see how up to date a page is.
Schermafbeelding 2013-12-14 om 10.51.36

That is the latest date it was modified up to today, the 14th of december of 2013. Wow! It’s been modified today! Just realized 😀 Nice!

So, summary:

  • Never forget your good manners. My youtube-example.
  • Always double check your sources, even the reliable ones! Our King’s mysterious Tweet-example.
  • Always make sure the page you watch is up to date. Be sure to see when it was modified for the last time. Mandela-example.

Now, blog away and be nice!


Wearables, are they gonna kill us?

First, I may have to explain what a wearable is. It’s a watch that you use like a smartphone. There are a few manufacturers, but I wouldn’t buy it just yet.

1. Firstly, they’re gonna kill us! Yess precious, kill us! (sorry, that was a little Gollum there…) If people are scared about their smartphones being close to them in their sleep, why are they not worried about a small smarthphone/watch right near their pulse? If there is something like radiation coming from your smartphone, why would you wear it on your pulse? 

So, it will kill you!

2. Ok, another reason why not to buy a watch like that. It is ugly, and big, and just doesn’t appeal. Smartphones are getting bigger, like tablets you can use for calling. Ridicules if you ask me. You can hardly hold them in your hand anymore! Now watches are also being affected! This shouldn’t happen, people. There was a time when watches where used to simply show the time. Then the date was added. Ok, I can do that. But now watches are becoming grander, and it’s wrong! 

So, it’s ugly…

3. The big plus of a watch. The longevity. These little batteries go on for ages! The won’t let you down. … Then we got phones. These batteries were ok, lasting for about a week? That’s good! Now we have smartphones. Mine lasts for 2 days, if I don’t use it so very much. These watches only work for about a day… Then the battery goes down. Now, if your phone goes down, it’s a bitch, but all right. Use a friend’s. If your watch goes down, you’ll have no phone and no way to tell the time. And I’ve forgotten to plug in my smartphone at night so many times already. I don’t want to also have to plug in my watch. To much radiation (see point 1) and I’ll certainly trip on the cables at night. 

So, it will go flat and leave you all alone! Lost! Lost! The precious is lost!

Gollum can make anything great!

Please don’t buy a ‘smartwatch’. Please! Just stick to the phone, and then leave it alone. Human interaction is a wonderful thing. Don’t lose it!

Inspiration drawn from:


Coding journalists, are they a dying breed?

There has been a lot of debate lately about the following question. “Must journalists learn how to code?” I have been intrigued by this, ever since I saw the movie Lions For Lambs, directed by Robert Redford.

In Lions For Lambs, there is a scene where a reporter (Meryl Streep) interviews a politician (Tom Cruise). She writes down curls, spirals, stripes etc. as her notes. I always thought she wasn’t paying attention to Tom Cruise, and was pretending to write stuff down. Now I know that what she really did, was write in shorthand. Click here for a picture of her in the movie on imdb.

If you’re interested in shorthand, you can find a lot of info on the wikipedia-page. I want to learn how to write it now.

But will it be a waste of effort???

Nowadays, reporters record conversations with their iPhones to “not forget a single thing”. This is an excuse, I know that ‘cos I also use it. We record with our iPhones because we are lazy. But that’s another topic, for another day.

We don’t write with a pen anymore. Nowadays we tweet in 140 characters, and we write using a keyboard. My typing-speed is a lot higher than my writing-speed. So if I were to take notes on a press conference, I’d rather use my laptop. Doing so, I could easily write an article on the spot and immediately send it to my bosses, long before the old fashioned journalists (who use a pen, yuk!) get home and start writing.

So, should reporters learn how to computer-code?

Learning shorthand might be a waste of effort… Given the keyboard-situation… But we could invent a code, a type of shorthand, for us computer-users! Maybe not with curls, spirals and so, but with just abbreviated words? Or no consonants maybe?  Of just not caring about spelling, that’s also a fast-writing method!

  • I often leave out letters:
f xmple for example
  • I write things down I wouldn’t dream of writing down in my real articles
writig is vrery fast f u spel lik tis Writing is very fast if you spell like this
  • Or you could just forget the big space-key near your thumbs 🙂
And just type like this.
At home you can add spaces.
It’s very liberating actually

4 stages of the online journalistic process

We have learned in class there are 4 stages in the journalistic process on the web. Gathering, distilling, presenting and engaging. The first 3 are also used for the traditional media, although engaging is only for online journalism.

1. Gathering

Traditional media Online journalism
People used to phone in newsitems. Governments and so on contacted the newspapers on their own accord. How do we gather our news these days? We find our inspiration on the web. Everybody (companies, magazines..) puts there newsitems on their site. Journalists keep a close tap on sites with newsfacts that interest them, and transform those into articles.

2. Distilling

Traditional media Online journalism
In a newspaper, it is a single person who decides which articles are published. He or she is called an editor-in-chief, and his/her job is (amongst other things) to pick the articles for the next issue. Nowadays, the journalism decides what he or she writes an article about. Because there isn’t just one medium for them to publish in, they have the entire world wide web for that.

3. Presenting

Traditional media Online journalism
Presentation was very easy in traditional media. Not very much the job of the journalist, but of professional designers. Journalists only finished their stories, they didn’t really worry about the presentation. The way of presentation has certainly changed. You can now post newsarticles on blogs, and these are different then traditional newssites, they are focussed on 1 theme. And the way of presenting your article has to be attuned to the reader.

4. Engaging

Traditional media Online journalism
There was no engagement with the readers and the writers. It used to be a one-way-street, the traditional media supplied the stories, and we read them. The most used way of engaging is of course with social media, but there are other ways. Authors sometimes give gifts away, when you for instance retweet them. Gifts like eBooks and so on. And on the bottom of almost every page on the web, you find the part where you can give your opinion. Journalists can here see how their articles are received by the public.


Would you like an expert?

(Almost) all of us are on some social media. I, for instance, use it very much to find people I need for school, or to keep in touch with classmates for a project or two.

Facebook is all right for searching people, but not ideal to find an expert. You have to befriend them, otherwise your message will get lost in the “other”-category of your mailbox.

Twitter is very good to contact people, but sometimes you can’t be sure they see you message in time. Sometimes it’s not even the correct account. Very annoying.

If you want to look for an expert, here are some good ideas:

  • First, the most obvious of them all. Wikipedia. I know, but a lot of those people know very much about the things they write about. Here you find a lot of names, and you can contact them via Facebook, Twitter or, if they’re real experts, there will be an email-adress when you “google” them.
  • Slideshare is a site on which people share powerpoint-presentations. You don’t do that if you don’t know about the project you talk about.
  • Scribd is also a nice site. It’s a digital library. You can search for author’s, for subjects, for books etc.
  • Everybody knows Pinterest. Even I do, and I had never visited the site. Now, I have and account (there’s nothing on it, don’t bother looking for it) just so I could see what the fuss is about. But it’s true, you can find lots of people on that site. If you don’t get stuck on cute dog-pictures, you search for architecture for instance. Then you find a lot of people who know a lot of architecture.
  • Ask.fm is also very useful! You ask a question, and real people anwser it. The one downside is that it encourages bullying and it has some inappropriate sexual content on it. I have heard that the makers are working on that.

The pope linked to Videla

I know I just posted a clip, but this is really interesting. I found this clip on vvoj.nl/…, and I clicked on it. I got tranferred to another site, forreporters.com/…

The clip is about pope Francis and some social media research about him. Appearently he has some ties to Videla, a dictator. I don’t believe it, it sounds like just another  conspiracy-theory. But It’s a fine example how we use social media nowadays to search for people’s backgrounds.