heath robinsonian strategies at #hyperlocal #dokuwiki #citywiki #chesterwebsite

I’ve continued to fiddle about with languages and code.  Or maybe the one is the other; the latter is the former.

Today, I worked out how to embed video for the hyperlocal site I’ve been working on over the past week, chester.website.  You can embed a ton of different sites too.  Three examples of where I’ve added footage this afternoon:

  1. From the local council’s YouTube account, these two contrasting pages.
  2. From a vimeo.com account I created this evening, a piece of historical footage on the North West’s film premiere of “Casino Royale”.

The advantage of the latter is that the pay-for tranches are pretty reasonable, and you can choose and adapt the licences so they fit with the underlying one of the wiki.

This is important, as the main differentiating aspect of the site I’m trying to develop and sustain, with respect to other – equally hyperlocal, clearly brilliant – sites, is the sharing and remix side of things.  I’m looking to create a resource of voices which others can listen to, understand and reuse.  If it works and is understood properly, it will serve to comprehend and cement the importance of local identities, histories, realities and sensibilities in a way that – on their lonesome – number-crunching stat-infused KPIs will never really achieve.


I agree.

It’s a terribly Heath Robinsonian process.  Here I am, in full view of a possibly rather bemused public, trying out bits and bobs of tech I’m unfamiliar with – simply to see how they work.

(Then there’ll be the wondering what my “real” motivations are.  Especially in a city like Chester where people are friendly when you get to know them, but where getting to know them can be like working out the ins and outs of CSS.

I have a book on that.

It remains – I’m ashamed to say – unopened.)

But that Heath Robinson approach in a media industry where, nowadays, the languages which battle for predominance are not only the mother tongues always the province of journalists but also the code, software parameters and technical syntaxes much more of the rarefied world of developers, we cannot forget the importance and the need to go ahead and continually push both linguistic envelopes – in a way which allows each to inform the other.

And so in order that developers may understand journalism better, and in order that journalists may understand what their profession could become, there has to be overlap between the two spheres.  A developer needs to do some reporting.  A journalist needs to do some coding; and if not coding, at the very least the occasional server install of this or that software script.

By now I’m pretty sure, of course, that this overlap I suggest just has to involve the strategies I’m currently struggling with.

Maybe not exactly the path I’m treading.  But certainly the conceptual tools I’m walking hand-in-glove with.

I’m a trained editor who’s never practised.  So perhaps this is an advantage in a certain respect.  I’m less respectful, inevitably, of the profession’s sacred cows.

OK, you may be right.  This may lead to all our downfalls.  Perhaps, in my case, I will end up making a lowly cheeseburger of a site, after all.

I don’t believe it’ll be the case – and, what’s more, I’ll do everything in my power to ensure it doesn’t happen.

But, in the end, whether the beef will be top notch or not, it won’t be for me to say.

In the end, the voices – who I firmly believe want an outlet – must find their own way; must decide whether to speak up or not.

And in the end, if they want to, they shall.

One comment

  1. Pingback: small … thought big | eiohel

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