Posts Tagged ‘Martin Belam’

Open Data Strategies and News Media – update

July 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Last year, I had several posts around Open Data strategies – focusing specifically on News Media organizations. I’d like to provide an update. Actually, this post is a compilation of a collection of e-mails, so hopefully it come together in some coherent manner.

Data-driven Journalism

The collection of posts began with a questions as to whether data-driven journalism should be considered a future strategic capability of news media organizations?

The question was prompted by a post from from zero hedge: Another Massively Interactive European Chart, which referenced an interactive chart published by the Economist. It reminded me again of the power of Info-graphics to “enlighten and explain”.

For additional articles on data-driven journalism, see the following:

The Bigger Picture – Open Data

I then briefly explored the importance of Open Data, a capability that would offer strong material for data-driven journalism. I provided the following links:

Also of interest is The Guardian’s strong advocacy for opening up public data sources, in part to put to the service of journalism.

Linked Data – Technological foundation for Open Data on the Web

The following e-mail provided some context for the W3C’s Linked Data initiative. In particular, it provided links to thoughts from Martin Belam, the Chief Information Architect at The Guardian, on how Linked Data will affect the future of News organizations. These links are provided below:

There’s also a very interesting presentation from the News Linked Data Summit in February 2010, where a presentation was given titled News Media Metadata – The Current Landscape. It would be nice to have the video to go with this presentation, but there some great content in the slide deck.

On the topics of semantics, here’s ReadWriteWeb’s archived articles from SemTech 2010 if anyone is interested. Facebook and Google both had a strong presence at this year’s Semtech conference.

Government and Community Open Data Initiatives

A third e-mail followed discussed some of the current movements by various level of government – from countries to municipalities – to freely open up their data to the public.

Here’s an interesting link announcing the pending formal UK government launch of their Open Data initiative, prompted by Tim Berners-Lee. And here’s The Guardian’s announcement of the launch the following day, with a video clip of Sir Tim himself. As The Guardian’s Martin Belam comments in a post days after the announcement, “We now know that, whatever the outcome of the next election, we are only going to see more Government and state gathered data published, not less. So how, as the news industry, are we going to respond to this, and what does the digital news media look like in a world with a high level of semantic state data available?”

The UK Government is a pioneer here for sure, but it’s a trend that many are already promoting in Canada. This represents a real opportunity, IMO, for journalism – as Belam strongly advocates for – for helping people make sense out of government data, to illuminate the broader patterns and relevance to peoples’ lives, and to host discussion around important “topics that matter”. Note the list of Canadian municipalities in this wiki page that are moving ahead full steam with Open Data initiatives. See the following articles for Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. And here’s a recent Forrester blog post on the topic.

And that’s about that. 🙂



The Guardian’s Open API strategy

September 18, 2009 1 comment

The Guardian, IMO, has a very forward-looking strategy around Open Data. Please see my previous related post on this topic.

This post is going to explore some of the core underpinnings of the Guardian’s Open Data strategy.

The Guardian’s Open Platform Strategy

In March of this year The Guardian officially launched its Open Platform strategy. It’s a very forward-looking strategy IMO, and has been generally applauded.

Here’s a link explaining what the Guardian’s Open Platform is all about. Effectively, it opens up the Guardian’s content “to the world”, and to developers, as a platform upon which to develop appliactions and services … in an application style this is called a “mashup” application.

The Content API and the Data Store

There are two key components to The Guardian’s Open Platform: (i) the Content API, and (ii) the Data Store.

The Content API is a mechanism for progamatically accessing Guardian content. You can query the Guardian’s content database for articles and get them back in formats that are geared toward integration with other internet applications.

The Data Store is a VERY cool product. It is a collection of important and high quality data sets curated by Guardian journalists. You can find useful data here, download it, and integrate it with other internet applications.

The Data Store and Database-driven Journalism

The Guardian’s Data Store is a brilliant enabler of database-driven journalism. Adrian Holovaty of Everyblock is probably the leading proponent of this movement, and I’m sure he’d be a big fan of The Guardian’s Data Store.

For a wonderful example of the power of The Guardian’s Data Store, and the mashup-friendly services that the product enables, check out this wonderful blog post by The Guardian’s Martin Belam describing the Data Store’s role in a scandal that arose in Great Britain this summer around MP expenses, and his discussion of the contrasting “open” and “closed” models of 21st-century journalism. It’s a great read.

All for now.


Web Search at The Guardian’s website

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Ho hum. Just more great material from The Guardian’s Martin Belam. With the rise of Google, Search has become a cornerstone of the Web. Here’s Belam’s archive of all things Search at The Guardian.

There’s a whack of good content here.


Categories: Search Tags: , ,

Navigating Newspapers – How 9 UK Newspapers label their navigation

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Holy moly! What an embarrassment of richness … The Guardian’s Martin Belam’s blog posts that is. Here’s a set of links to a series of posts by Belam on the Navigation labeling strategy at 9 National UK newspapers:


Linked Data and the future of Journalism

September 17, 2009 1 comment

So I have a passionate interest in the Tim Berner-Lee and the W3C’s Linked Data initiative, and have blogged about the topic before.

While I was checking up on Martin Belam’s latest posts, these two popped up:

  1. Linked Data and the future of journalism – part 1, and
  2. Linked Data and the future of journalism – part 2

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Linked Data and the Semantic Web are going to be increasingly hot topics over the next several years IMO.


How major Publishers are using Social Media to drive traffic

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

A very nice series of posts from the Guardian’s senior Information Architect Martin Belam on how publishers are using Social Media to drive traffic.