Monday, January 31, 2005

Blogger news:
The Miami Herald profiles Val Prieto, whose Babalu Blog has been on my Florida blogroll for a long time. Headline: Blogger's Cuban slant draws fans.

DCist has news about Media Bistro's new Washington, DC blog (Fishbowl DC), which has been rumored for awhile, especially since they put out a job posting for someone to write it, a cool opportunity if there ever was one. It's one of three new local media blogs from Media Bistro which is now run by former Gawker/New York magazine blogger Elizabeth Spiers. There are blogs from New York and LA too, as well as some other specialized blogs, according to DCist. Among Fishbowl DC's scoops (I saw a reference to this somewhere else today but it may have come from here): news that Melinda French Gates is on the board of the Washington Post Company (and bought herself a million shares).

And best: Achenblog is a new blog at from Joel Achenbach, one of my favorite reporter/writers ever. Keep it up, Joel!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Weekend update: Other things found this week:
I posted links on the Iraqi elections on the Herald blog this week, but didn't run into any in-depth compilation. In fact, the coverage in blogs and otherwise seems pretty sparse.
Lots more links this week than last...

More links....

  • Public doctor disciplinary information on state Web sites, a directory from Public Citizen.
  • NOWCoast from NOAA, quick map links to coastal weather, climate, conditions, forecasts.
  • September 11 Documentary Project, also from Library of Congress. Archive of artifacts from the tragedy.
  • Convention center space: Brookings study says there's a glut.
  • Report on charitable giving after 9/11 from the Foundation Center.
  • Rand report on missile defense for airliners.
  • Religion and Public Life, 2000-2004 from Public Agenda.
  • Attidudes about Homosexuality: survey from American Enterprise Institute.
  • Police Chiefs' Desk Reference from IACP.
  • Phonebook of the World: could this be any better than Infobel?
  • A9 Yellow Pages Search- sample Amazon's A9 search engine is highly regarded, and this Yellow Pages Search comes recommended: it has features not in other YP searches, including pictures of the businesses in some cases, so far only in a few major cities, not in the sample search (Charlotte). Here's an example with pictures, in Atlanta.
  • Corporate Consumer Contacts from the FCIC, has contacts for major corporations, including some hard to find anywhere else, like
    Governments, Politics:
  • The budget and economic outlook, 2006-2015 from CBO.
  • 2004 state legislator's personal disclosures online at Public Integrity. Here's Florida's.
  • Report on Everglades restoration from the National Academies, says more land will be needed.
  • U.S. Domestic Trends to the Year 2015 forecast from Library of Congress/Federal Research Division.
    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Bloggernity is a new blog search engine/directory. It also includes lists of newest blogs. Here's one:
  • E-periodistas, journalism news blog from Spain.
  • Friends of Democracy, an election blog from various Iraqi bloggers.
  • Vote for the 'Greatest American', a Discovery Channel survey.
  • Deja vu: Felon voting in Washington, report from Seattle Times.
  • Numbed by numbers, on journalists and statistics, by NYTimes public editor Daniel Okrent.
  •, a blog about the speculation. (Someone's proposing Bill Gates.)

  • Friday, January 28, 2005

    Walt Mossberg reviews in the Wall Street Journal, and finds a lot to like:
      " is also a start toward a new search paradigm where the object is to provide real instant information, not just links to pages where that information may, or may not, be found. I urge you to try it."

    And, on another place to find real answers, a discussion on the Newslib forum mentions that some current Census data finds its way to the U.S. Statistical Abstract even before it shows up on the main Census site. I can't emphasize enough what a great tool the Stat. Ab. can be, but I find some researchers and reporters don't know about it, or, in the case of a recent posting on NICAR-L, I think, suggest finding the hard copy in the library. The book is great but I find the online version even easier to use if you're familiar with the book. If you're not, it doesn't take long to figure it out, and there's an online index to browse/search. And, even better, I just discovered something I didn't know: the Census has put older Stat. Abs online now, too, along with the wonderful Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2005

    Librarian blogs:
    News from Steven Cohen, whose Library Stuff blog is now a part of the Information Today empire, that Marydee Ojala also has an Info Today blog, Online Insider. Marydee says:
      "After participating in the three event blogs that Information Today has published so far, I've become more and more entranced with blogging technology and the possibilities inherent in blogs. So, thanks to the folks at Information Today, we've started this blog which is intended to be sort of an extension of the editorial mission of ONLINE:"

    Maybe some more encouragement for News Division members to participate in the NewsLiBlog, especially during the upcoming annual conference? Let me know, I can set you up as a participant....

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    On newspaper archives:
    (Added Wednesday:) Jay Rosen also discusses this on the PressThink blog.

    Dan Gillmor discusses the thorny problem of charging for newspaper archives online. There is a very good case for making them open, and free, if only for the good will and accessibility it would create. Newspapers have and will continue to get revenue from their archives from the commercial services like Nexis and Factiva, although I don't know if those revenues are diminishing since the onset of newspaper Website archives.
    There's also a nod here to the push, recently outlined in an article on Pressthink by Simon Waldman, to encourage newspapers to make the archive URLs permanent, a serious problem for bloggers.
    Several links here to other ongoing discussion of the archive question, from the recent blogging conference at Harvard and elsewhere.
    It's a big step for a newspaper to give its content away for free. There's another push for more papers to follow the Wall Street Journal example and hide it all behind subscription. But I know I, for one, read the Journal less, not more, because of it. And I even hesitate to link to stories one sites that require registration.
    What's more important?

    Monday, January 24, 2005

    Keeping up with blogs:
    Here's a new thing I didn't know was out there. Yahoo! Buzz Index now has a section monitoring blogs. This seems to be new, hard to tell if it'll be permanent. But at any rate, today they have the buzz from several blog categories as broad-ranged as knitting blogs, nanny blogs, and at least three celebrity baby blogs. Looks like a fun way to monitor blog trends.

    Saturday, January 22, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    After all those interesting reports out last week, not much in the way of research resources this week at all. A bit of a flurry on the Herald blog earlier this week, but seems like the inauguration quieted everything down. We'll try again next week....

    More links....

  • About the new SAT tests: press materials from College Board.
  • Endangered by Sprawl Natl Wildlife Federation report on endangered wildlife in urban areas. Among the findings: "Under existing patterns of development, 18 counties are on track to use up all their non-federal farmland and habitat to accommodate projected growth by or before 2025. Examples include Cobb, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties in the Atlanta area, Dallas and Tarrant counties in the Dallas area, Harris County in the Houston area, and Broward County in the Miami area...Other notable places where rapid growth threatens large numbers of imperiled plants and animals include the Las Vegas area (Clark County, 97 species), Phoenix (Maricopa County, 22 species), and Florida (the Miami, Orlando, and Tampa-St. Petersburg areas)."
  • AOL News is now available on the net.
  • Ethics Advice Line for Journalists
  • Finding phone numbers with search engines: a SearchEngineWatch article links to tools for using Google or Yahoo, etc. to find phone numbers (business and residential).
    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Profile of Choicepoint, owner of DBT/Autotrack, in Washington Post.
  • Would blogs have saved Nixon? interesting post from South Knox Bubba on an article speculating that blogs would have 'kept the liberal media in line' during the Watergate investigation. Bubba thinks differently. Interesting counterpoint to Steve Outing's comments, mentioned earlier.

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Blogger news:
    There will be a Blog Conference in Nashville in May, including a Bloggercon. Interestingly, the conference will also include a CAR Bootcamp, so hopefully there will be a meetup between bloggers and investigative and computer-assisted reporters. This could be a breakthrough.
    Of course, there's also a blogger conference coming up in North Carolina next month: Triangle Bloggercon, Feb 12. (Would like to get to this but it's a long way over the mountains. Nashville is actually much closer.)

    Also: Committee to Protect Bloggers blog.

    And, while grassroots journalism is all the rage these days, here's someone that's trying to do it: Take Back the News is a 'News Sharing Community' where people can submit news, commentary, or whatever. The range of news here seems to be pretty wide; could be a useful tool.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Bad News:
    129 journalists killed in 2004, report from International Federation of Journalists. PDF of the report available.

    Better news:
    I downloaded the new version 2 of Picasa, just released, this afternoon. Picasa is an easy to use photo organizer that I've used ever since Google bought it and offered it for free. Picasa also does the 'Hello' messaging software that lets you send photos to your Blogger blog using 'Bloggerbot'. The new version of Picasa has new features: enhanced photo editing and option to create collages or CDs. I also like the way you can set it to search for photos anywhere on your hard drive, not just the usual folders. It's amazing what it found on mine.
    I really like using Picasa to browse my photos. It's quick and easy. You can even browse by timeline, asking to see just photos uploaded or downloaded in March 2002, for example. It's worth the download.

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    An early posting since I'll be away from the computer for a couple days. Lots of new reports and studies coming out. On my Herald blog, I've compiled links on WMDs and Social Security, and other things during the week.
    Great Civil War maps link on the HighlandsCam blog.

    More links....

  • Economic Impact of the Tsunami, report from Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • Black Studies resource list from libraries of City University NY; looks like some great links here.
  • The Book Standard site will measure book sales, bestsellers, etc. There's never been a source for this before, but info will cost here.
  • The U.S. Caribbean region : wetlands and fish, a vital connection, report from NOAA.
  • Report on Global AntiSemitism, 2003-4 from State Dept.
  • National Education Technology Plan from Dept. of Ed. Press release, link to report at bottom.
  • The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation is creatingan inventory of power plant emissions in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Emissions data by plant is available in spreadsheets or one large PDF.
  • Dietary Guidelines for 2005 from USDA.
  • United States Institute for Peace: never heard of this, signed into creation by Ronald Reagan. Also included here: list of experts .
  • The State of the World's Children, 2005 from Unicef.
  • Towards a New Metropolis: The Opportunity to Rebuild America from the Brookings Institution, a report on how to reinvigorate urban areas.
  • U.S. Tort Costs, a 2004 update, report from Towers Perrin/Tillinghast.
  • Shrimp Stockpile: Importing America's favorite seafood part of a series of reports on dangers of shrimp farming from Public Citizen.
  • Private Military Companies in Iraq: an assessment from British American Security Information Council.
  • National Coastal Condition Report, 2005 from EPA.
  • Scirus: a search engine for scientific information.
  • Polling 101: a primer from the Roper Center.
  • Tomorrow's Workforce: a newsroom training initiative, sponsored by Knight Foundation. This sounds really interesting.
  • New York Times study of newspaper circulation finds papers given away free.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Mandate for Leadership: Heritage Foundation lays out what the Bush administration should do in the next four years.
  • Few American voters ever change their minds, new report from Annenberg Public Policy Center.
    Public Records:
  • NY Courts now has criminal records in 13 counties. WebCrims now supports docket lookups for criminal trial and supreme courts
    located in the following counties: Bronx, Dutchess, Erie, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester. Case information includes Case Docket Number, Defendant Name, Judge Name (when available), Court Part, Appearance Date, County and Court. Clicking on the Case Docket Number opens another window including Defendant’s Year of Birth, Defense Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, Motion, Future Appearance Date and Case information.
    (Via TVC Alert.)
  • In other public records news, the cost of PACER searches and documents has gone up to 8 cents a page, from 7.
  • Joe's Hit Records is back with lots more links to stories from Florida papers on public records.
  • Florida land sales on EBay reported in Daytona News Journal. (Via Joe Adams)
  • Seminole County has photos of dangerous dogs with map showing where they live. (Dade and Broward could use this). (Also via Joe).
  • A new survey of the Palestinian population finds a lot less people than previously reported.
  • National Transportation Statistics, 2004 from BTS. Also: State Transportation Statistics.
  • Yahoo! Finance RSS: got companies to track? You can get news about them delivered to your desktop via RSS, using any RSS/Newsfeed reader, or just sign up for My Yahoo. This page tells you how to do it and even links to other news aggregator (news reader) software.
  • Deloitte Country Guides great background information for people doing business in a country. Similar:
    World Bank Doing Business Database. There are also a collection of these kinds of country profile in the 'Country' section of Nexis.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • What can blogs do for companies? Here's A blog from GM exec Bob Lutz.
  • Bloody Sundays, a special report on the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on NFL injuries.
  • Heartaches of Journalist Bloggers: got to be careful if you do this. Dan Gillmor writes about blogger journalists too.
  • Dub Selector: create your own dub reggae.

  • Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    Public records fight:
    It's fascinating to read some of the stories about he companies we use to access public records. Seems like they're constantly being bought out, merging, or selling out. The mechanations must be mindboggling, and every once in awhile a story comes out detailing the behind-the-scenes goings on. I somehow missed this story from a few weeks back, and didn't know that DBT and Accurint founder Hank Asher is suing a former investor. Juicy stuff.
    (Via The Virtual Chase.)

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Researcher in the news:
    The Syracuse Post-Standard staff researcher Jan Dempsey's final column, Six Tips to Hone your Searches, ran last week. (Via ResourceShelf.)

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    I haven't tried to make a complete list of tsunami links by any means, but here are a few more I picked up on last week:

    Something that impressed me this past week was the new, free encyclopedic search service that was previously a pay service called Gurunet. It's credited with being a great way to find answers rather than links. (See what you get if you put in 'hialeah', e.g.) There are also great reference pages, This one is on Places. Check it out. If you like the encyclopedia searches from the browser you can download a version that works in any software on your computer. You can put the search window on your own page too.

    More links....

  • Firearms and Violence: a critical review: online book of report from National Academies of Science.
  • Do you speak American? from PBS.
  • Street Racing: a guide for police agencies from DoJ.
  • EBay Pulse tells you what people are looking for.
  • The Greensboro paper has a project to help readers direct news coverage, and the editor's blog discusses it. Interesting stuff. Lots of discussion on this project in a lot of journalism blogs.
  • Morph, a blog from The Media Center at the American Press Institute.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Stratfor Premium: the international news/intelligence report has a new site for subscribers. Reports on this site include the new Stratfor Intelligence Report.
  • United Nations Documents: new site provides all documentation from 1993 on.
  • Index of Economic Freedom, 2005: report from Heritage Foundation and Wall St. Journal says U.S. no longer in top ten.
  • Files released by the new UK Freedom of Information Act, on the National Archives Website, a sampler. Some fascinating stuff here.
    Public Records:
  • New address for Florida Division of Licensing where you can find PIs, investigators, security guards.
  • The Case Against Michael Jackson: The Smoking Gun lays it out.
  • Most popular names in Britain, 2004 'Jack' and 'Emily' ('Lewis' and 'Emma' in Scotland). 'Mohammed' enters the top 20.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • The Blog Blog.
  • Tasers under fire: special report in Seattle P-I.

  • Friday, January 07, 2005

    Tsunami followup:
    Steve Outing's column at Poynter this week, Taking Tsunami Coverage into Their Own Hands, discusses the southeast Asian tsunami as a turning point in citizen journalism. We've had a few turning points now. But Outing, with the help of Dan Gillmor, makes a persuasive case here that blogging and Web news will never be the same, and hopes that the MainStreamMedia will learn from it:
      "But let's not just let the historians benefit. Mainstream news organizations should consider the tsunami story as the seminal marker for introducing citizen journalism into the hallowed space that is professional journalism."
      ....(but) Among most of the largest U.S. news websites, there's scant indication of the citizen-journalism opportunity, alas. includes nothing close to what BBC News Online offers, other than a public discussion forum. The same goes for,, (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), and others.
      ...While some bloggers have done such a tsunami-news aggregation, no one has yet caught it all. A news organization with the resources, brand credibility, and audience reach probably could do a more thorough job.

    There's a huge desire for this. Note the reactions to the Wikipedia entries, the home video hosting sites. Yesterday news librarians were appealing on the listserv for more better news/links aggregations. Although there are lots out there, we want more. We want one great site that links to everything. Where is it?

    Since I've teased you with the librarians' request, here are the sites they recommended:

    But I don't think any of these really fits the bill of the kind of site Outing is imagining. WikiNews' news page on the tsunami may be the closest thing to a true news aggregator. I'd like to think Topix would do a good job,but they cover only U.S. sources, fine for some use though; lately I've been disappointed in their local news offerings so wonder what's going on there.

    News travels fast:
    Miami's New Times has the news that the Miami Herald is closing its Street weekly before most Herald employees hear about it. (New Times calls the rag a 'faux alt weekly'. I would hazard a guess that if the tables were turned, Street would have never been a place where you could get this kind of news...or maybe not even the daily paper, at least as fast. So which paper is the one that 'gets it'? Pretty obvious, I guess.

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    On Wikis:
    Corante's Many 2 Many blog has a great commentary by Clay Shirky on why information professionals hate Wikipedia. It also links to a discussion on Slashdot, and to the the article on kuro5hin that started the discussion (Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism). Shirky:
      "The Wikipedia is an experiment in social openess, and it will stand or fall with the ability to manage that experiment. Whining like Sanger’s really only merits one answer: the Wikipedia makes no claim to expertise or authority other than use-value, and if you want to vote against it, don’t use it. Everyone else will make the same choice for themselves, and the aggregate decisions of the population will determine the outcome of the project.
      And 5 years from now, when the Wikipedia is essential infrastructure, we’ll hardly remember what the fuss was about."

    Lots of fascinating discussion in the comments too.
    (Via JD Lasica.)

    For a reminder of how useful Wikipedia (and its companion WikiNews) are becoming, just check out their pages on the tsunami disaster. (Wikipedia's, WikiNews) More useful information here than you can get from any other online encyclopedia or news page, I think.

    Looks like Many 2 Many will be going on the blogroll.

    Related: there is also now a WikiCommons where people can post multimedia reports on the tsunami or anything else. Of course, the Media Bloggers Association has also created a multimedia hosting site for tsunami information...

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Also new:
    Morph, a group blog from The Media Center at the American Press Institute; More tsunami links from Jonathan Dube; Reflections of a Newsosaur, new blog by a former news exec now Silicon Valley CEO; Chuck Shepherd posts News that's no longer weird; Can't live without Dave Barry's columns? Here's Auto Dave to help you create your own.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    Nothing in the news this week equalled that of the devastation in Southeast Asia. I posted several links on the blog on But the enormity of the story is overwhelming. Probably the best collection of research links, experts and background on this story was posted by SAJA, the Southeast Asia Journalists' Association, on the Poynter Website.

    In journalism news, A new blog from Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, based on his book, 'We the Media'.

    More links....

  • Quick Links on Odd Questions: great guide to fast reference answers from search guru Mary Ellen Bates, from AskSam.
  • A couple new Net monitoring tools you might be able to use: Waypath is a tool that helps you find blogs to read on topics you're interested in. PubSub lets you subscribe to have news on your topic from blogs and news sources direct to your browser. Or EDGAR filings, airline delays, etc.
  • The Tampa Project: Tampa Trib/TBO has done this huge report on Tampa's history, future.
  • Florida Regional Coastal Mapping Data files from DEP. Includes data showing coastal change after 2004 hurricanes. Direct to mapping. (Via Pensacola Beach Blog, which is posting hurricane recovery news.)
  • Florida Hate Crimes Report, 2003
  • U.S. Population on new year's day: 295 million, press release from Census.
  • Patterns of Latino residential settlement, study from Pew Hispanic Center.
  • Top International Freight Gateways, list from Bureau of Transportation Statistics does not include any Florida port -- air or sea.
  • I missed this when it came out a few weeks ago, but worth reading if you missed it too: Media Bistro's 2004 journalism year in review.
  • Also, Tim Porter is linking on the newspaper business: read "Rethinking the News Factory" and "Indistinct Equals Extinct".
  • Jay Rosen has PressThink's Top Ten Journalism Ideas of 2004
    Governments, Politics:
  • AskSam has also made the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 searchable. You just have to download their sample software, plus the data.
  • Latin American Security Challenges: a report by the Naval War College.

  • The Empire that was Russia: a turn-of-the-last-century photographer took black and white photos thru color filters. Now the negatives have been combined to make incredible color photos. At the Library of Congress.