***sharing my recipe for the good of humankind***
***sharing my recipe for the good of humankind***
Even in the time of newspapers, journalists (more specifically, reporters) didn’t have to think so much about the reader’s experience of consuming stories.
Because today we present our journalism on platforms readers already use for consumption of other media, and because of the short attention spans and all that other stuff we already know about, reporters are immersed in the creation of a “user experience.”
I’ve known this for a while, but just thought about it while reading this story on Salon, and noticing that I was looking for a link to the Vampira filmography well before a link to a documentary on Vampira appeared. Vampira is apparently a 1950s TV character that inspired Disney’s Maleficent. I wanted to see her face! That’s why I clicked on the thing to begin with.
And that made me think of a recent conversation with one of my bosses about having too many links in our stories. We don’t. Sometimes we don’t have enough because a reporter may not think to link to something, or may not have time. But it really enriches the user’s reading experience to have some extra reference — and in some cases, it eases the brunt of writing.
From a broader viewpoint, I’m less inclined to read something on a site whose content isn’t easy on my eyes (this involves layout, color schemes, command decisions, among other aspects of web design).
The content is the same. But which page are you more likely to stay on?
Here are some quickies I’ll flesh out in separate posts:
– we’re like a support group at this conference
– we all have gripes with the old guard
– dealing with the old guard
– resources always an issue for public radio
– teach the team to code (refer to recommended training links)
– screenscraper: about 50 lines of code that walks through websites and scrapes data
– “digital-first organization primarily focused on audio”
My first step in proposing and outlining a digital department for my station is to look at other stations’ experiences for ideas, inspiration and encouragement. I asked NPR Digital Services to send a survey to attendees so I can get a good picture of how stations are working online.
At the #NPRknight conference in DC this week, I was fascinated by the structures of the member stations present, and the work that they do. The more digital-savvy folks from each shop were there, so they were able to share a wealth of history and info about turning the radio “digital” — I maintain that I hate using that word to refer to new media, partly because the radio has been digital for ages.
To start, I’ll be asking all the attendees to share about their stations the info I’ve shared below.
There are more questions in the list than I’d like to send, but I need even more information and plan to do follow-ups, so I wasn’t shy about pushing for more. Besides, I expect some stations won’t answer the survey, and some who do won’t get to every point. But the point of this survey is to share as much as possible — part of this serves to measure what is attainable and with what amount of resources.
Feel free to skim the questions below. I hope you can answer my survey and help me and other member stations figure out the Internet.
Two blocks west of my apartment building, past the strip club and the desolate discount mall, is the ghetto. A few more blocks that way, a shantytown-style trailer park is visible, through a leaning wire fence, from the street I take to the interstate during my commute.
I live in an area of Miami lately referred to as the Upper East Side. But it’s really just the eastern end of Little Haiti and Little River, two inner-city neighborhoods with large Haitian-immigrant populations. When I walk far enough from my building, I can’t ignore the stares. Continue reading “Is this the age of gentrification?”
Yes, I still have Ramen noodles for dinner sometimes. Because my life isn’t as glamorous as I’d like some of you to think it is, and because Ramen is one of my favorite nearly pre-made meals.
So, while most people I know switched on the semfinale of “Game of Thrones” Season 3 tonight, I got to cookin’. I haven’t had a bowl of Ramen noodles in a few months, because friends and family have made it unnecessary, but tonight I’m home alone and had a pack of my favorite flavor: Creamy Chicken.
I’ve tried lots of add-ons with my Ramen soup. Parmesan cheese is a good one, but not tonight. But I can’t resist cracking an egg in there and pretending I’m having a bastardized form of egg-drop soup. And, because I’ve been feeling sassy, I also went with cayenne pepper. (Red happens to be my favorite color.) I’ve determined these are the best toppings for this soup.
It was a hearty, grin-inducing bowl of chow. Here’s how I made it:
One of the most important steps is to crack the noodle brick before opening the bag. This prevents the need for ohashi (chopsticks) and makes it easier to ration the soup if you’re serving more than one person. Everyone gets a good noodle-broth ratio.
I add just enough water to cover the noodles — it seems inappropriate to call this “pasta” — and set a burner to high or medium-high to boil. Then I wait.
To get the right consistency, wait around for as long as it takes you to go into the bedroom to read a text from your idiot boyfriend, not answer it, forget to grab matches for that candle you were going to light because the apartment still smells like chicken from yesterday’s meal, return for those matches but unsuccessfully light a votive candle because you haven’t unpacked your nice aromatics yet, and return to the kitchen.
Stir occasionally, by the way. It should be ready now. Grab a big bowl and pour your almost-soup. Add the seasoning packet.
Typically, I drop the egg while the soup’s still in the pot, but this time I forgot. I tried getting the egg white to cook enough for me to see it by just stirring it in the bowl, but that didn’t work. Back to the pot. (Glad I hadn’t compulsively washed and stored it away already.)
Stir so the egg cooks thoroughly. Remember that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have a medical condition.
Then, add this much powdered cayenne.
Stir some more, until it pleases you. My dish turned into a chunky, creamy mush. It was just what I needed after a long week. I paired it with a beer I love, but that should have probably been drunk with something more closely resembling nourishment. Still, this was the highlight of my day. Hope you enjoy, too.
But be careful: You could burn yourself.