Here's what happened in our Digital Journalism Rocks community.
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Hi everyone,

I have to apologize. First for being so late with this newsletter (I bet you haven't noticed until now) and second for having put the wrong name under the last newsletter (I bet you haven't... well). I just didn't change the last word in the template. Shame on me. So to be absolutely transparent this time: Hi, this is Lina. Welcome to this newsletter!

We have a packed email this time, so let's start right away with a few questions from our community:

And we have revived our #weekly-challenge. Question this week: What do you hate most about your current CMS? I would love to hear your thoughts in our channel!

Plus: We're still searching for a Rockstar to take over #audience-development and #events. Anyone interested? Shoot me a message!

Rock on & read you in Slack!
Lina (Really. I am me.)



Do better comments lead to a longer engagement from readers on your sites?

Channel Rockstar: @madalina.ciobanu. Check out the channel for more or contact Madalina for questions.


Is Facebook copying Snapchat? And if so, is that okay?

Channel Rockstar: @davidtvrdon. Check out the channel for more or contact David for questions.


Which tools can help investigative reporting?
  • @henrik.stahl shared his opinion that tools helping journalists in their investigative quests will become more important. He voiced his wish for an algorithmic tool that filters and sorts data from multiple sources and referred to the Reuters News tracer as a source of inspiration.
Channel Rockstar: @luziatschirky. Check out the channel for more or contact Luzia for questions.


Quartz goes all-in in the botosphere 

Quartz is one of the most active publishers in the messaging space. And they had a lot to say about some new projects these last weeks:

Channel Rockstar: @martinhoffmann. Check out the channel for more or contact Martin for questions.


How the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab used notifications for their live reporting during election day
  • @sashak shared the long version of The Guardian’s write-up of the live results alerts ran during the US election. What are your thoughts? Interesting, useful, too much detail? Drop @sashak a note!

Channel Rockstar: @henrik.stahl. Check out the channel for more or contact Henrik for questions.


Are email newsletters going save us? (You better not unsubscribe from this one!) 
  • @henrik.stahl asked opinions on the revival of email newsletters as a way to engage users. While @linatimm pointed out that their resurgence has led to some growing a little annoyed by so many, @martinhoffman pointed out that today’s preferred method of content consumption (mobile first, with increasing capabilities to tell stories within an e-mail), makes it perfect for today’s user. (And pointed out that the ranking of newsletters could be a good startup idea, for anyone looking. ;) ) @simon recommended, a network of e-mail newsletters.
  • @johnverhoeven asked about the success of Blendle outside of the Netherlands, where its unique service model has found great success. Other users replied that although it is known in the media sector outside its native Dutch market, it hasn’t quite managed to scale to the public yet, possibly because of a lack of outreach, or because social media already dominates how most people get their news.

Channel Rockstar: @farahcoletteCheck out the channel for more or contact Farah for questions.


New Platforms, new Outlets - but no "Breaking News" anymore :-(
  • @gbara introduced his platform TrustServista which “aims to automatically determine the origin and trustworthiness of online news stories”. He also describes their methodology and how they’re trying to find “patient zero” here.
  • @sandrostark pointed out, a video distribution service which now offer automated subtitles.

  • 12K Filter uses natural language processing to send out “algorithmically curated tech newsletters” on topics like Artificial Intelligence, VR, and Media.

  • Hardbound, a mobile storytelling startup, now offers a new feature called “The Nightcap” which explains the stories of the day in a visual way. There were some discussions about the similarity with Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

  • @linatimm mentioned the launch of The Outline. You can read more about it here.

  • @martinhoffmann shared sad news: Breaking News, a service by NBC News, is shutting down. More info can be found in an article by Poynter, also it sparked some discussions in the #startups channel about the relevance of speed in news (and other business cases).

Channel Rockstar: @jankoenigCheck out the channel for more or contact Jan for questions.


Who knows good news quizzes?
  • @hschellk recommends the German content management system Story. @johannesklingebiel pointed out the similarities to Medium. @henrik.stahl added that Medium has become something of a main source of inspiration when it comes to CMS design. ”Slim UX design combined with a data structure consisting of ‘blocks’ of data is very trendy, after all.”
  • @alison.benjamin is looking for good online news quizzes. @radiokate recommends Engaging News Project’s article “Online Polls vs. Quizzes”. Have any more examples? Give Alison a shoutout in the channel!

  • @patrick.crewdson is asking looking for journos with experience in the storytelling tool Shorthand. Are you the one he’s looking for?

Channel Rockstar: @henrik.stahl. Check out the channel for more or contact Henrik for questions.


Here is an awesome collection of tools for digital storytelling

Channel Rockstar: @tilman. Check out the channel for more or contact Tilman for questions.


With two GoPros you can now film, track and produce football footage
  • @johannesklingebiel shared his knowledge of the computervision startup Sportcaster, which is able to film, track and produce football footage by only using two GoPros. This sparked a discussion about Swedish ice hockey, because the concept reminded @sandrostark of Livearena, who grew big in Scandinavia by livestreaming SHL (Swedish Hockey League) games. Longtime hockey fan @henrik.stahl shed some light on the SHL in general. Did you know it’s considered the third best hockey league in the world? (NHL and KHL being number one and two, respectively.) And that during the 2011-12 season, the SHL was the most well attended ice hockey league in Europe, averaging 6,385 spectators per game? :)

Channel Rockstar: @henrik.stahl. Check out the channel for more or contact Henrik for questions.


Does anyone want to buy a VR Headset? (Spoiler: No.)
  • Sony’s Playstation VR Headset will be the winner in VR - that’s what many of us thought until a few weeks ago. But now, it seems like it’s not so sure: The demand for this headset is by far not as high as it was predicted. But does that mean that there’s no demand for VR headsets at all or are in the middle of a war of platforms? (You might remember video tape format war or the one between HD DVD and Blu-Ray.)

Channel Rockstar: @flight_1. Check out the channel for more or contact Susanne for questions.

 GIF of the week 

So sorry for being late (and sloppy).
Spread Love!
These people contributed to this newsletter, give them all your love as they clean up our Slack for you!
@madalina.ciobanu@kollege@thomasweyres@davidtvrdon@marcbiskup@martinhoffmann@flight_1@tilman@jankoenig, @henrik.stahl@dorien_luyckx, @farahcolette and @luziatschirky.
Give Love!

We're searching for more Rockstars! These channels are not assigned yet: #events and #audience-development. Anyone who is into one of these topics and would like to be a Rockstar? Just volunteer in our #headquarter!
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