Digital tool of the day: Soundbite

The tool: Soundcite, created by KnightLabs.

What is it? A way to smoothly embed sound bites into a narrative

What can it do? Take sound clips, 9-1-1 call excerpts and other recorded material and use it as part of your story. Bring your stories to life with sound.

Use it to illustrate parts of songs; to bring quotes to life in a narrative. To insert audio history.

Find it: https://soundcite.knightlab.com


Here’s how the New York Times used music bites in a great story you the lost history of American female musicians.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/13/magazine/blues.html

 

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Digital tools: Line, Peach and Kik are all names you should know

 

Today we’re talking about three messaging apps that are being used in different ways.

Peach

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What is Peach? You might have heard about the new social app called Peach. It’s either the hottest app going, or the app that’s already been declared dead on arrival.

What’s different about Peach? It seems to have more of an emotional component, allowing your words to be enhanced by media that speaks to the mood of your post, using a “magical words” tool.

In other words, it’s like Oprah. It is designed to evoke feelings. As the New Republic writes, “Advertisers have known this for decades. It isn’t enough for a thing to be useful or good; the thing has to fulfill some more unconscious need. So in other words, successful apps build structures that reward our pleasure centers. They compel you to click.”

Line

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What is Line? A messaging app that’s popular in Asia. Much like Facebook, it builds around a community. 60 percent of its user base are in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.

One advantage is that is was created with a mobile-first mentality, and, while it’s a messaging app, it has evolved into a network in which publications can share news and links to their followers.

It also has some intuitive functions, like a “digital butler” service that will deliver goods and services on demand. And it’s got virtual stickers, which are like emojis. Future plans are to add payments and other mobile services onto the platform.

The Wall Street Journal has harnessed it to share targeted stories to its followers, mostly in Asia. One disadvantage? It doesn’t have accompanying analytics, so it’s probably a hard sell to use in a wide sense.

Kik

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What is Kik? Kik is a messaging platform that is being used by young people. It works like a messaging service, but the conversation can be among several people, much like a chat room. Messages disappear quickly.

Kik doesn’t require a link to a “real” profile like Facebook, which is why it’s being used by 40 percent of young people, by one estimation. And it’s why it’s been targeted by criminals and linked to cyber-bullying. Kik conversations between 13-year-old Nicole Lovell and an 18-year-old Virginia Tech student led to kidnapping and murder of the girl, and subsequent stories to parents and teens about the app.

Have a Digital Tool question or idea? Email Betsey Guzior at bguzior@bizjournals.com

 

 

Digital Tool Tuesday: Round ’em up

twitter

A roundup of news on digital tools:

Live feeds in the Twitter timeline: Periscope is inching closer to being a great live news tool as Twitter now can let live feeds run in the app. It can be useful for journalists covering live and unfolding events. It will show up in the Twitter feed, but not in support apps such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

To use it, open Periscope. Write something about the broadcast before you begin, so followers can understand what’s going on.

As a precaution, have someone with an open Twitter feed checking to make sure your orientation is correct. I have seen many folks using a landscape orientation, which, in Twitter land, isn’t necessary.

And, if viewers want to add live comments or “heart” a broadcast, they still will have to open the Periscope app.

New features on Playbuzz. I’ve written about Playbuzz, the easy quiz generator. If have not used it lately, check it out again. Playbuzz has added several new quiz and poll forms, including a swiper.

The swiper is a Tinder-like function that allows viewers to vote a photo up or down. It’s already being used in awards season the red carpet. It’s ideal for a mobile audience that you can’t get with traditional photo galleries.

Here’s how it’s used for a quick election poll.

We’re waiting with bated breath for a bracket tool; please, Playbuzz?

 

Digital Tool Tuesday: Genius annotation

 

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Genius began as a way to annotate song lyrics, and it still serves this function. But more and more, it’s being used by news organizations to add context to speeches, transcripts or even live events.

It’s super easy to use. Sign up for Genius; once it is activated you can highlight a piece of text, click on a pop-up button, add text, links, embeds from social media.

The Washington Post used Genius to annotate President Obama’s speech Tuesday announcing new executive measures on gun control. It included links to background stories, tweets from the Post’s columnists and experts, and fact-checking.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.51.43 AM Just think of how you can use it. For speeches during awards season, or your political leaders’ major addresses. You can use it to fill in the blanks while covering a live event.

It also serves as a social network, so you can connect with other publications to share Genius annotations.

Learn more by clicking here.

 

Digital Tool Tuesday: Facebook bells and whistles

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Stream live video through Facebook Mentions

Facebook has been testing a live stream directly from its site, and soon will make it available to all Facebook users.

As Forbes has reported, social media live streaming — with Periscope and Meerkat leading the way — is exploding, and viewers will want more in 2016.

You’ll be able to do live video by clicking a live video icon. You can write a description and pick your audience (much like when you post). then click “Go Live.”

Click here for some examples of how it’s been used so far by celebrities, brands and political figures.

Also, Facebook Notes — the expansion of function that didn’t have a high profile, got a facelift, and is starting to look more like a real blogging tool.

You have seen how powerful narratives with photos can be with Humans of New York. Now Facebook is providing a place to include photos, videos and a long narrative in an attractive package.

Here’s more on the Notes update

QUESTION: How could features editors and writers be using this?

Digital Tool Tuesday — Wufoo

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Today’s tool: Wufoo

What is it? A document creating tool that allows you to create forms that can be shared. It’s created by Survey Monkey, which is used for polls.

How does it work? Log in to the free account (there is a corporate account option available), and begin making a form by clicking boxes that suit your needs.

You get a live view of the form as you’re going along. That allows you to make changes

Can’t decide what works? Click on the template gallery (they’re filled with a lot of business template options, but there are ways to customize the template after you’ve picked them.

Once you’ve saved your form, you can share via social media, embed or just link to it.

Once people have filled out the form and submit it, you will get a notification via email.

It’s easy to use and adapt, especially if you have a callout for recipes, stories, etc.

Tips

If you expected a flood of submissions, expect a flood of email notifications

If you are soliciting stories, you’ll have to copy and paste them into a word-friendly file. There’s no easy way to convert it from a form to a story/post.

You also have a 3-form limit each month; otherwise you will have to upgrade your plan. The business/corporate plan also allows you to customize with logos and design.

Take the survey below:

Digital tool Tuesday: Harnessing oral histories for your market

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You can use the StoryCorps app to generate your own story ideas.

As you know, NPR’s StoryCorps is launching a big Thanksgiving initiative to document stories between family members on this holiday.

Stories told through the StoryCorps app are being archived at the American Folklife Center at Library of Congress, and are available on the StoryCorps website.

What’s genius is how you can search through the stories to find particular topics.

Ask readers to record targeted interviews; be sure to instruct them to include a certain word (cookies) or town (Omaha) to their interviews. Or arrange a small event (or attend an event) to record interviews of your own.

You can guide your readers by suggesting what questions to ask, or what stories you need.

You also could arrange a small event (or attend an event) to record interviews of your own.

Many universities and historical institutions might have good oral history centers (I found one from Baylor here).

Once they are on the website, they can be embedded into a story or excerpt for print.

Here are some other links to advice on taking oral histories.

Deseret News, April 2013: Preserving family history by using your smartphone