Thomas Hynes

    • Member Type(s):
    • Title:Manager, Blogger Relations
    • Organization:PR Newswire
    • Area of Expertise:Media relations within social media

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    A Brief Blog Profile: Nieman Lab

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 3:52 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Journalism is in a funny place these days. On the one hand the demand for news and information has never been higher. People are consuming this content at home, at work, on their phones and just about everywhere else. But on the other hand, it's really very difficult to be a journalist these days. With the spigots of content being freely opened to the public, the money has subsequently dried up for the newsroom's product. So what to do?

    Nieman Journalism Lab aims to answer this question as well as the greater dilemmas this new economic model poses for the modern journalist. Nieman Lab was born out of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In their own words they are looking to "figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age." Aren't we all....

    And really this should be of concern to everyone. Access to quality information is vital to the well being of society. Unfortunately, this can't be done pro bono. Journalists, like the rest of us, have bills to pay. And while Nieman Lab doesn't pretend to have even some of the answers to this conundrum, they are at least asking the tough questions and providing an environment for the conversation.

    A Brief Blog Profile: FiveThirtyEight

    Monday, June 6, 2011, 5:46 PM [General]
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    FiveThirtyEight is the political analysis blog created by Nate Silver. Gaining its name from the number of electoral votes in a federal election, the blog offers news, insight and opinion. But more than anything, FiveThirtyEight is about the numbers. Specifically, it's about statistics. Launched in the spring of 2008 during the primaries and run-up to the general election, FiveThirtyEight quickly established itself as a leading and respected voice in the political blogosphere.

    It might come as surprise that Nate Silver made his name originally crunching baseball statistics. While working as a baseball statistician, Silver created a system for forecasting the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players, known as PECOTA. These days, Silver and FiveThirtyEight project winning candidates. Since the 2008 election, Silver and FiveThirtyEight project public opinion on various issues such as gay marriage, healthcare reform and marijuana legalization.

    The site employs some pretty serious science in its calculations. The goal is to "balance out the polls with comparative demographic data" and "weighting each poll based on the pollster's historical track record, sample size, and recentness of the poll." Silver used computer models to simulate the election 10,000 times per day in order to provide a continually up-to-date assessment of probability for electoral outcomes. And by all accounts it worked. In 2008, Silver accurately predicted the winner in 49 out of 50 states. As of August of 2010, FiveThirtyEight is owned by the New York Times. Odds are they are happy with the investment.

    A Brief Blog Profile: AllThingsD

    Friday, June 3, 2011, 5:19 PM [General]
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    All Things Digital, or AllThingsD, is a blog dedicated to technology, Internet, media and all the places where the three intersect. AllThingsD was created in 2007 by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg as a companion site to the D: All Things Digital conference. The conference, which was also started by Swisher and Mossberg, had been a success in its own right since its inception in 2003. However, the conference was limited to 500 participants. With a site, all that tech news goodness could be expanded and made available to the masses with ease. The site could “open the conversation to everyone.”

    AllThingsD is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Jones & Company Inc., and is a member of The Wall Street Journal’s Digital Network. However, the tone and energy of the site reflect that of a hungry start-up, eager to be at the forefront of breaking news. In their own words, "We want to be first, and sassy, but also well sourced and accurate."

    And it's that sort of balance that makes AllThingsD such a great website. If you're looking for up to the minute news that's professionally vetted, this site is all you need.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Business Insider

    Thursday, June 2, 2011, 2:43 PM [General]
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    I was looking for a blog to write about today, when I was suddenly distracted by breaking news. The New York Times had just announced they were bringing in a new executive editor. Since first reading about this story, I've seen this news item in A LOT of places, all over the web. It seems everyone is talking about it.  But I saw it first on Business Insider.

    Originally launched in 2007 as Silicon Alley Insider, Business Insider is now an overarching network that includes Silicon Alley Insider, Clusterstock and Law Review to name a few. Together, the Business Insider network of sites covers finance, entertainment, green technology and digital innovations.

    Even though the network of blogs came online in 2007, Business Insider was founded in 2009. That same year, the blog was named Official Webby Honoree for business blogs. Not too shabby for a newcomer.

    And truthfully, the name Business Insider might be somewhat of a misnomer. Because, today the blog offers more than just insight into the business world, but also breaking news like the item above. There's even advice on how best to navigate the murky waters of social media. (For example, "When to Unfriend an Ex" is a featured story on the site today.) What's more, the site isn't written by stodgy titans of industry. As a matter of fact, they're even accepting submissions.

    A Brief Blog Profile: Curbed

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 6:42 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Since 2004, Curbed has been providing a look inside the wheelings and dealing of the real estate market. They've also provided a look into a few amazing, opulent apartments that I'd otherwise never have the opportunity to see. It should be no surprise that Curbed began in New York City, where real estate is not only scare and expensive, it's obsessed over.

    Today the site has expanded beyond New York City to include the real estate scenes of Chiacgo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, DC. The site covers neighborhood news, celebrity purchases, rental prices, new restaurants and general gossip.

    Admittedly, a lot of Curbed's appeal is gawking at rich people's fancy apartments, (or "real estate porn" as it's affectionately dubbed). Because, really, who doesn't want to know what apartments Lady Gaga is considering? But the site definitely has way more to offer. They often announce openings of new shops and restaurants, updates on new city parks as well as public transportation news and resources.

    And that's all well and good. But let's be honest, we're all going to Curbed for the real estate porn.


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