0

I actually don't. Never really got pointed in that direction sooo, will try it out. What I do have is a daily news letter from the Code Project, which covers so many facets of IT and outside AND it comes with loads of humor (see below todays letter), and advertisement (interesting ones!) which is obviously adding to their income....


Wednesday, September 1, 2010 View online Comments? Questions? Tips?
Send 'em to Insider@codeproject.com

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1

Ok, so for a week now I've been reading every single article here on DW and I have to say that the overall quality has increased more then I expected. I quite enjoyed reading most of them and I think that the "new" newswriters bring a certain level of quality that some of our previous voluntary bloggers might not have had.

To bring some extra attention to the articles, you could choose to "autosticky" them for a day or two after they've been written. Because in the more active forums (like C++ for example) page 1 will have a timespan of 12-24 hours. I never visit page 2 and I think most people don't. So it would be a shame if the article gets put back to the second page after not one day of frontpage.

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Do you read the DaniWeb news stories? If not ... what about them doesn't interest you?

I read a few pieces. I hate to be the one to have to say it, but this is not a news-gathering organization and it's not going to be one. The "articles" are sort of cute, but it's cute like kids playing reporter with a little "Press" tag in a thrift-store fedora. Not cute like you actually want to look at it more than once cute.

But evidently, from reading this thread, you're actually serious about this. Knock me over with a feather, I never would have known. I honestly thought this was a device to give the writers some byline credits so they could use them to get real reporting jobs some day.

Hut, much to my surprise, it turns out this is a serious question. So I'll give you a straight answer: What doesn't interest me about the articles I read (in the first week or so that I was looking around the site) was the lack of original reporting, the weak writing, and the topics chosen - if I wanted to read poorly-rewritten wire copy and half-baked reviews of pointless video games, I'd just surf the web. No need to come here for that.

There are probably ways to get news into the content on this site, but face up to it: you will not be the ones generating that news. You haven't got the resources to consistently deliver the breaking news, and you haven't got the gravitas to be a tech-news site of record, and the aggregator business is already being done quite well elsewhere. There isn't a DaniWeb-shaped hole in the internet news ecology. This means that if by some chance you trip over a good writer who has a knack for finding stories about the sorts of things that DaniWeb readers like to read about, you'll be wasting their time and talents, because nobody is going to come here for the news, and that person will do best to get themselves into a serious news organization where their work will actually be read. Ergo, you will have what's left: well-meaning people who can't really do news very well. And pretending that this is news is just a waste of everyone's time.

Sorry if that makes me a downer, but that's the way it is.

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if I wanted to read poorly-rewritten wire copy and half-baked reviews of pointless video games, I'd just surf the web. No need to come here for that. ... you will not be the ones generating that news. You haven't got the resources to consistently deliver the breaking news, and you haven't got the gravitas to be a tech-news site of record, and the aggregator business is already being done quite well elsewhere. ... And pretending that this is news is just a waste of everyone's time.

Ok, I'll be honest... DW is not my source for breaking tech news... That being said, I don't really go looking for 'breaking tech news' in the first place.

I don't really think that the sole purpose of this endeavour is to be the premier news source on the web for tech info.

I have to say, however, that your point of view on the matter is more than a little bit excessive in the aggressiveness category. If I read it correctly there were no claims to being a professional news service. There were no claims to having world class investigative reporters on the team. There was simply a request to the community for information on topics of interest and feedback on the current news service being provided.

I see no harm in an online community's leadership attempting to reach out to their members and provide additional services and value for their members.

Yes, there are many reputable sources of news on the web (and just as many that aren't). Yes, it's true that DW is not going to be the breaking news source for many of the stories they may share with the community. That being said, there may be a fresh take or additional information involved in a news article provided by the DW writers compared to other news sites. Couple that with people like myself who don't necessarily go out in search of the headlines who may hear of a story for the first time because it was here.

In the end, I applaud the effort being made here even if some folks may not find it of use, others inevitably will.

Oh, and just because you don't happen to be interested in a particular game review doesn't make the game 'pointless' as you so elegantly put it :twisted:

2

I honestly thought this was a device to give the writers some byline credits so they could use them to get real reporting jobs some day.

I guess I had better hand back my National Union of Journalists Press Card (held for 20 years now) and resign my post as Contributing Editor of PC Pro (biggest selling monthly print IT title in the UK, held for 15 years) not to mention give back the numerous journalism awards I have won over the years which happen to include one for security news reporting that was given for an investigative story that I broke right here on DaniWeb concerning the first virus to be found on a TomTom satnav device.

Seriously, you might not like the news coverage here but to insult the professionalism of the people writing them is juvenile in the extreme. :(

0

I must agree with happygeek.

@jon.kiparsky while your feedback is appreciated and valuable you did go a bit too far in insulting the writers and assuming things that are not claimed. As Lusiphur put it we are trying to provide "additional services and value" for our members" as well as others. I wonder if you are a journalist, if so for how long? I am trying to get a handle on what makes you such an expert on what "poor" writing is. As happygeek put it the NUJPC among others do not agree with you, nor do the number of other publications and even TV news orgs that have referenced and/or quoted DaniWeb.

Again criticism is appreciated but eaaaasy there buddy, try to make it somewhat constructive. We did not really ask if you think DW should have a news section or not, we asked if you all read it, why or why not, and how can we improve it and make it interesting enough to read it.

That said we are taking a bit of a new direction with DW news, scratch that, I'll call it DW "Editorial" and that is as follows:

The aim is to bring content that is more unique to DaniWeb.

1) We are going to try not to bring news that is being covered all over the web already. If we do write about something that is already being covered we will be sure to have something NEW and UNIQUE in there. Some new bit of information that you have not read somewhere else.

2) We will stick more to product reviews and interviews as they are the most unique you can get. Sure you may see a product reviewed here that Cnet or some other pub may have reviewed but each reviewer does things differently, has a different take on it, finds different pros & cons, points out something that others may not have. And interviews are much the same.

3) We are going to try and involve the community more in the editorial. In the coming weeks you will start to notice the changes. We might put up a pole or take suggestions on what product(s) you would like to see reviewed. We might ask who you would like to see an interview from, what questions you suggest, etc. We would appreciate you getting involved and buzzing a bit about it. Believe me, this will add value and cred to the DW community and it will get better, much better with time. The key thing is we need your support.

0

Well, I see that I've made no friends with that post. There are a lot of points in response to that, some of them good ones. I'll pick out a couple of the less good ones to get them out of the way.

1) My standing to answer the question. Irrelevant and revealing that you should ask, but I am in fact a professional writer. Currently writing documentation (internal docs for a financial services company's information infrastructure department, aimed at continuity of business and first-line support). Yes, I've done a lot of writing, some of it closer to journalism than I'm doing now. No, I've never been a full-time journalist. No, I haven't got an award for it.
And, since you didn't ask, I am not and have not represented myself as an "expert on poor writing" or on good writing. Be glad of that, or I would have pointed out the blunders in that piece by Mr. Pseudonym.

Now, does this matter? Are you interested in my credentials more than, say Nick's or SodaBread's? Why is that?

2) Mr. AlsoPostingUnderAPseudonym's awards and credentials are likewise not at issue here. I have no idea whether I read any of his writing, but none of what I read was worth reading. If his work was among that, awards don't change that. If his work was not among that, perhaps I missed out on something. If I'm ever hard up for reading material, I'll take another look, maybe I'll learn something.

3) "insulting people's professionalism" - well, I didn't do that, did I? I criticized their writing. It was lousy writing and it was lousy journalism. If you can think of a better reason to avoid a news source, I'd like to hear it.
(You'll notice that I didn't even point out that "staff writer" is the term of art for "unpaid intern" in the low-rent news market now - how's that for preserving the fig leaf of professionalism?)

4) "We aren't really trying anyway" - my point exactly. You're not trying, and that's why I'm betting that it's not going to work. Rebranding away the term "news" is a good start, since news is what you can't do effectively. If you think that freelance reviews of "Duke Nukem" are what your readers want, I can't argue with that. I guess you know your market.

5) "Assuming things that are not claimed" - this I'm puzzled by. Which assumptions are you pointing to?

Okay, those are the weaker of the responses. Sorry to shoot the low-flying ducks first, but it helps to get the simple ones out of the way.

0

Oh, and just because you don't happen to be interested in a particular game review doesn't make the game 'pointless' as you so elegantly put it :twisted:

Actually, I was including all video games under "pointless", since they are.
Well, maybe not all. rogue's a good way to untwist the mind between bugs, and infocom's games are quite pointful, but it's a good rule of thumb anyway.

0

Now there is one piece of my previous post that might require a bit of clarification, and is certainly worth some civil argumentation, and that piece is the armchair economics.

It seems to me that about three minutes is all it takes to establish that for "news", in the ordinary sense, you have to meet a baseline level in order to get anyone to come looking for it, and it seems obvious to me that that is not being met and probably cannot be met by DaniWeb. Simple resource allocation problem. Since the news therefore cannot drive new traffic to the site, it's unlikely that it can be justified as an activity of the business, since it's drawing resources without any potential return*. So, unless the resources are so negligible that they don't matter (who's insulting the writers' professionalism now, eh?) it's a mistake, and DaniWeb will be able to do what it does better without the news than with it.

So that's the claim that "DaniWeb is not and will not be a news-gathering organization" and "it's a waste of everyone's time to try". Simple economics.

Presumably this was considered in some fashion before the idea of presenting news was taken on - what was the response? What have I missed here?


*Even if it isn't drawing financial resources, it's drawing other scarce resources, namely finite staff or volunteer time which could be dedicated to other purposes. So the only way that it isn't a drain on the organization is if it's a placeholder assignment to keep someone busy while real work is found for them. That's respectable, if you really have nothing useful for them to do for now, and expect to find something in the near future, I suppose.

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>>Now, does this matter? Are you interested in my credentials more than, say Nick's or SodaBread's? Why is that?

Because everyone here (staff, regulars, mods) already know who I am, and that I'm not a professional writer. Hell, I can barely make myself understandable in English.

>> 2) Mr. AlsoPostingUnderAPseudonym's awards and credentials are likewise not at issue here. I have no idea whether I read any of his writing...

When in doubt, use wikipedia

So now that we all had a good laugh, I would like to say that while your response is appreciated, you should consider tuning your tone down a bit. When normal poster get in a flamewar, I just throw around a few warnings and the problem is solved. When professional writers get in a flamewar, they tend to write *a lot* of posts with an enormous amount of text in it, and I just don't have the time to read through all this :)
Keep your feedback on a professional level please. This goes for all posters in this thread.

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Hate to say it, but I don't think jon.k was being rude. I don't particularly agree with him on some points, but he makes valid arguments.

The way I see it, the news section IS an add-on, a secondary feature to a discussion board. Will Dani make it the primary feature in the future? Probably not. So, it seems to be destined to be an irrelevance for most users.

The writers aren't paid (AFAIK) - so this is voluntary stuff (I won't get into the amateur vs. professional definition). Unless I was trying to carve out a new career or was just being an amazingly nice guy (neither in my case), I wouldn't see the point in spending hours and hours researching and cobbling together an article.
MOST stories are re-writes. OK nothing new here, same as magazines and blogs and feeds from everywhere.

For me there are two issues - quality and relevance.

Relevance - this is very subjective and for me it's down to personal taste as I don't know enough about the industry and have very little interest in knowing more, e.g. networking.
Quality (of writing) - Technical jargon for the sake of it, annoys the hell out of me. Most of the articles seem to be written clearly though. Some are better than others wrt grammar. Style is highly subjective - I like cummings but I hate Shakespeare.

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Will Dani make it the primary feature in the future? Probably not
[...]
The writers aren't paid (AFAIK)

Surely you jest, no? :-)

0

Hate to say it, but I don't think jon.k was being rude.

I never said 'rude' I said... "more than a little bit excessive in the aggressiveness category."

I also never said I 100% disagreed with what he was saying, merely how he was saying it :twisted: There is a difference between 'criticism' and 'attack' and it can be a very fine line between the two sometimes.

0

After being gone for so long the news stories appear to be more interesting than they were when I was last here. I'll try reading them everyday and let you know if I feel more current than I did without them :)

0

I must admit that I've started reading the articles a little more since this thread was started. I hadn't paid much attention to them before.

0

>>I must admit that I've started reading the articles a little more since this thread was started.

I noticed. You and Glass Joe are not going to be best friends are you? :)

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