I’m part of a discussion at the Pendle Hill conference center outside Philadelphia next month. Everyone’s invited. It’s a rare chance to really bring a lot of different readers and media producers (official and DIY) together into the same room to map out where Quaker media is headed. If you’re a passionate reader or think that Quaker publications are vital to our spiritual movement, then do try to make it out.
Youtube, Twitter, podcasts, blogs, books. Where’s it all going and who’s doing it? How does it tie back to Quakerism? What does it mean for Friends and our institutions? Join panelists Charles Martin, Gabriel Ehri and Martin Kelley, along with Quaker publishers and writers from around the world, and readers and media enthusiasts, for a wide-ranging discussion about the future of Quaker media.
We will begin with some worship at 7.00pm If you’d like a delicious Pendle Hill dinner beforehand please reply to the Facebook event wall (see http://on.fb.me/quakermedia). Dinner is at 6.00pm and will cost $12.50
This is part of this year’s Quakers Uniting in Publications conference. QUIP has been having to re-imagine its role over the last ten years as so many of its anchor publishers and bookstores have closed. I have a big concern that a lot of online Quaker material is being produced by non-Quakers and/or in ways that aren’t really rooted in typical Quaker processes. Maybe we can talk about that some at Pendle Hill.
Metropolis is a “news, analysis and commentary” site from veteran Philadelphia reporter Tom Ferrick (Wikipedia). An alum of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom’s spent the last half-dozen years talking to everyone who will listen about the future of print and Philly news. He’s done talking and is showing what can be done on a budget budget. From “This is Metropolis,” the lead article:
Local newspapers, TV and radio stations are retreating from in-depth coverage of regional news either due to economic or audience considerations.
The retreat has been gradual, but no one expects it to stop. The company that owns the region’s largest newspapers – the Inquirer and Daily News – is in bankruptcy. The size of the editorial staffs at the papers continues to shrink. The prognosis for metro dailies here and elsewhere is not good. The journalism practiced by these papers is still robust, but the economic model that has sustained it is eroding. If these traditional sources of news falter or fail what will take their place?
The site was built in Movable Type. The most prominent feature is the slideshow display of featured articles. Tom has seen a similar effect on another journalism site and a search found the “Sliding Horizontal Banner Rotator” at Active Den, a great site to purchase pre-built Flash files. Movable Type entries are outfitted with custom fields to enter images and links. Movable Type then creates a custom XML file for the “Main Stories” feed, which is then picked up and displayed by the Flash banner. In addition, the site uses Google Adsense to provide income.
Visit: Philadelphia Metropolis
Popular children’s entertainer/educator Slim Goodbody is one busy guy: most weekdays of the school year find him spreading the message of good health in his trademark body suit (“When a Body needs somebody there’s nobody like Goodbody!“).
He’s been doing this work for decades now and has a vast storehouse of videos, products and fans.
Slim came to me to build a branded Facebook presence.
A typical workload for a Facebook branding project is:
- Set up the Page;
- Coordinate with the client for a good profile graphic;
- Adding a number of photos and videos;
- Help set up a posting strategy;
- Provide phone support to answer questions on best practices;
- Give feedback on campaign (like Facebook’s “Insights” stats)
For Slim, we decided to rely on Facebook’s native apps as much as possible. This became especially important when Facebook shifted it’s feed layout (yet again) to focus less on user streams and more on an algorithmically-determined best posts. The more integrated your site is with Facebook, the better chance your pieces will have of showing up on Fan’s user streams.
We used Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to create custom Page tabs for integration with his existing online store and listing of tour dates. We would have liked to use FB’s Events application but it doesn’t allow for the volume of tour dates necessary to cover a busy entertainer like Slim Goodbody!
See it live: www.facebook.com/slimgoodbody
Elisabeth is a painter and artist who specializes in original acrylic paintings and giclee prints of nature and South Jersey beach scenes. Her existing site was attractive, but it didn’t have online ordering and she wasn’t able to update it herself.
We put together a features list and then went through a round of concept screenshots which I built in Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop (you can see our work here!). Design in hand, I built a customized Movable Type site. A specialized template allows her to enter information about the each piece: medium, theme, price and the URL to it’s image (most of which are hosted on Flickr). Movable Type pulls these together into various category and individual art pages, with automatically-generated Paypal “Buy” buttons for available pieces. We stressed search-engine visibility so there are many categories and they all cross-link with each painting.
Visit: Elisabeth Olver
New York City Journalist Susan DeMark looks for the stories behind the architecture, buildings, history, and nature of NYC and beyond. She and a graphic designer put together the look of the site and I performed the CSS magic to translate their vision into a WordPress blog.
Visit: Mindful Walker
These ‘public conversations with today’s boldest voices’ are the brainchild of San Francisco, California–based activist journalist Anne-christine d’Adesky. She’s traveling the world interviewing policy makers and on-the-ground organizers on issues of global health and AIDS. The site uses Google Video and Movable Type to create an online video magazine.
Visit: Talktothefuture.org and Acdadesky.org