There are oh so many wondrous things for you to click on this weekend (via the CoPress Publish2 Newsgroup):
- Is Crowdfunding the Future of Journalism? – Crowdfunding may or may not be the future of journalism, but crowdlinking is one way of determining which stories are hot. Everyone who’s anyone linked to this story on Twitter. The story covers some of the successes and challenges of projects such as Spot.us and Chi-town Daily News. It will be interesting to see who in the college market follows suit.
- DjangoCon is coming to town. My town, at least. DjangoCon will be in Portland this September 8th through 12th. The first three days will be conference days, and the last two will be code sprint days. If you can make it to Portland, student tickets are only $135.00 for all five days. We might even be able to put together a small, college-media specific component.
- Announcing the Publish2 WordPress plugin: Do more with your links – Full disclosure: this was my baby that we finally released officially into the wild. With a feature called Link Assist, It makes it much simpler to access your Publish2 links while writing a story. The plugin also makes it simple to add your links to your sidebar or create a “What We’re Reading” page for your readers. /shameless self-promotion
- How Useful (and Usable) is Your Site? – A simple set of exercises to tell whether your newspaper website is actually worth using or not. See if yours passes the test; if not, you probably have work to do.
On the note of WordPress, you should upgrade your Google Analyticator plugin. Among a new set of features released with version 5.0, the plugin now offers one-click authentication with Google and makes it super easy to access your analytics on the WordPress dashboard.
This morning, I started a thread on commenting policy best practices based on a question we received. The success stories I’ve heard in the past year have been coming from the Daily Gazette at Swarthmore and NYU Local. Both have actively engaged communities. The Daily Gazette keeps things civil by recording the location of the commenter (whether they’re on campus or off), encouraging them to sign up for an account, and allowing fellow commenters to vote on the quality of comments. NYU Local requires all commenters to use both first and last names. Depending on the amount of participation on the thread, I might roll the results into a blog post.
On the wiki, The College Voice has started maintaining a list of their current projects which include “designing a new icon and masthead to go along with its new website, all launching in September 2009 as part of its online development project” and also “developing a pdf archive of its issues, from the 1990s, and hopefully scanning its editions from its premiere in 1977.” For anyone else interested, if you include this section on your organization’s profile then it’s an easy way for us to keep up to date on what you’re working on.
At The Maine Campus, Will Davis is finishing up a classifieds system he built in PHP from scratch. One advantage? If you want to add a feature, you just build it. There’s a new feature on Will’s project every time I look at it (most recently, an RSS feed of all items posted). I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of it this fall.