Directors' blog

Links, thoughts and updates from the directors of Dim Sum Digital.

Archive for the ‘interactive’ tag

Collaborating on stories – getting the message out with shareable interactives

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I’ve been experimenting with different ways to get the message out about the opportunity to collaborate on stories I’m working on and came across this neat way to embed multimedia elements into a single picture. Called, it means you can embed the links to other media (using different styles of icons) and create an easily shareable final interactive image. No code required.

Simply mouse over the image and the buttons to click onto for additional material become visible.

I’m just about to finish this story about a charity working with entrepreneurs in Congo which has been funded by members of Contributoria and so have created this particular image in a bid to spread the word here on my blog, via my newsletter, on Twitter and Facebook etc.

But it’s very easy to see how it could be powerfully applied to a news feature with multimedia elements emanating from a strong picture too.

Written by sarahhartley

September 21st, 2014 at 11:22 am

£500,000 pot for interactive content producers

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Manchester companies are being offered the chance to bid for four ring-fenced BBC contracts to produce interactive content for children as part of a pilot scheme called @North.

Posting at the Media City LinkedIn group, Lynsey Taylor TV Executive at Northwest Vision and Media, said the scheme had a total budget of £500,000, ring fenced for four commissions by CBBC and CBeebies.

“CBBC and CBeebies have a technology savvy audience who are hungry for new experiences. Interactivity is at the core of what the BBC offers this audience. This is why @North is such an exciting opportunity for northwest companies from TV independents and animation companies, to social media, web companies and games developers. “

The first Q&A session for people to find out more about the initiative was due to be held today in Liverpool with a Manchester event being held next Thursday as follows;
Date: Thursday 14th January 2010
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Northern Digitals at Madlabs, 36-40 Edge Street, M4 1HN
Directions: Opposite Common and behind Cup –

The application pack should be available to download later this week from: deadline for applications will be the 22nd January.

* Talking of jobs, it was good to see that Martin Bryant has been promoted to UK editor of The Next Web. Martin, as well as being a fellow co-founder of Manchester Social Media Cafe, is one of city’s best known bloggers and a previous Manchester Blog Awards winner. It was heartening to see his appointment featured on a mainstream news site for the city too with good coverage from HowDo here. Could 2010 be the year that the digital sector earns the attention it deserves from Manchester’s media sites? Here’s hoping.

Gaming taking to Edinburgh conference stage

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Edinburgh is preparing to showcase the art form of video and computer gaming when the city’s first interactive conference gets underway later this week alongside the world famous arts festival.

A UK industry worth more than £4bn, gaming takes its place alongside film, television and other cultural industries recognised during the festival, says spokeswomen Sarah Hartland: “The ambition of the Edinburgh Festival has always been to bring the arts to its patrons – as an interactive extension of the festival, Edinburgh Interactive looks to do the same with interactive entertainment and videogames.

“These industries rely on big budgets and exceptionally talented creatives to bring concepts to life; just as the film, music and other entertainment industries do.”

Speakers due to address delegates include Peter Moore, the President, EA Sports who is giving a keynote address about iconic sports brands as well as sessions on TV branded games, social technologies and a panel debate to look at whether The Great Age of Big Blockbuster Games is Coming to an End?

(The full conference schedule is available here.)

Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive, Chris Deering said the conference acknowledged Scotland as a driving force behind UK’s position within the top four games development countries in the world.

While it may be best known for the Grand Theft Auto series, Deering points to developments through the educational system in Scotland which are preparing young people for careers in games development, interfacing with the games industry to give youngsters exposure at an early age.

He added: “The government in Scotland is pro-active in this regard. Scotland has pioneered the use of off the shelf games as subject matter to engage students.

“The Games industry continues to enjoy demographic, geographic and thematic expansion, especially via new game controller devices like Guitar Hero SingStar and Wii Sports.
“Online social aspects have expanded the category way beyond the traditional concept of a few players hovering around a single TV. Games have always been a good “cost per hour” value for money, and now free “snack” games on PC, i-phone and Facebook are expanding the low cost options which seed future business for big game hits. ”

* The Edinburgh Interactive Conference is being held in the city on Thursday, August 13 and Friday 14. I shall be covering as much as I can of it – follow my tweets @foodiesarah to keep in touch.

Written by sarahhartley

August 11th, 2009 at 9:58 am

links for 2009-06-09

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Written by sarahhartley

June 9th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Salford students hear of BBC online plans

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Bigger, faster and more personalised – that’s the direction the BBC news website is travelling in according to head of editorial development and multimedia journalism Pete Clifton.
Addressing students and academics at Salford University this afternoon, Mr Clifton gave a presentation to demonstrate what’s in store for online users – and for media jobseekers in the region.
He said that journalists being recruited in the future would all need to have online skills as well one other specialism, but he thought that would not seem unexpected for graduates from courses such as Salford’s journalism course.
And he said the move north would undoubtedly open new job opportunities for journalists in the region.
“The MediaCity expectation is that we will be able to work across more platforms. Online skills will be the other skill that everybody has to have,” he said.
Users of the website can expect more of social media feel to the site in the coming months. A project called Identity will open up the possibility of a passport-type registration which allows users to travel into different services and another called Spaces, which will give users their own pages.
But he assured the audience that the BBC would not become another Facebook. He said: “We want to make the site feel more social, make the activity of others obvious. We won’t be turning ourselves into a social media site, but giving more of a feel as to what others are doing on the site.”
And the site will continue to be underpinned by an improved breaking news service.
He said: “A lot of audience testing came out with the updating of stories being an issue.
“A fundamental of a successful news site is how we deal with breaking news. It has to be at the very forefront of that. They have to rely on you to do breaking news really well. Yes there’s all the polishing after that, contextualising and analysis but you have to put up the stories quickly.”
The site redesign will make it more obvious to users which stories have been updated and when, even if the running order of the pages has remained constant for an hour or so.
Some of the other developments coming up in the next year for the BBC sites include;
* Bigger video players and more profile on the front pages.
* Larger pictures and galleries which are navigated by thumbnail pictures to encourage users to stick around on the site.
* A new look for the local site which is currently being tried out in Norwich and aims to hold the news elements and local sites together better.
* Moving the management of the mobile sites into main news CMS to make uploading quicker.
* After the success of bloggers such as Robert Peston and Nick Robinson, the blogs are being redesigned, they are wider templates and we’ve learned a lot about how effective they can be about telling stories and letting people know what’s going on.
* Taking inspiration from the work carried out by the meta data team at the New York Times, BBC journalists will be expected to start putting more meta data tags around our stories. “When you start to do that you can start to do many more things automatically than we can at the moment,” said Mr Clifton.
It sounds like an ambitious lists of developments and one which has an ethos running under it which will encourage consumption of content in places other than the website – expect widgets, sharing options and embeddable video.

Written by sarahhartley

March 25th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Update to snapshot of UK local newspaper activity

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This is the first post from yesterday’s DEN meeting at UCLAN. As always, it was a stimulating afternoon and evening giving all of us regional online types plenty to think about and the expected controversial moment.

Below is a list of some of the regional activity going on at the moment which in essence serves to update the slideshow I produced way back in May – just without the slides.

I will update this blog soon with a post about the legal briefing and another about the Journalism Leader’s Forum panel which raised plenty of good points particularly about the role (or possible lack of role) for news in successful online communities.

The buzz at the moment is inevitably community and interaction with a strong push on hyperlocal offerings achieved through geo-tagging.

Trinity seem to be storming ahead in these areas with a raft of initiatives including;

* Fantastic live blog across titles to provide truly interactive coverage of the banking crisis. Love the way it just takes the issue to the community in such a medium-friendly way. Sticky stuff.

* Liverpool now geo-tagging all news content in order to offer users hyperlocal content option navigated by a map. We heard that it’s done by subs manually adding postcodes to every story. At the moment they have a limitation of one location per story but will soon do multiples. This is being rolled out across the group. Archant also understoon to be doing the same.

Outside of Trinity;
* Carlisle has launched a series of hyperlocal community blogs including To see the full range, click on an article and navigate links on the right-hand side of the page.

Written by sarahhartley

October 8th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Online communities slideshow

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This slideshow is intended to give a brief introduction to online communites. It aims to explain how communities form and develop using interactive tools.

I used a couple of examples from my own experience – Manchester City and Manchester Barcamp – plus a look at some well-known cases worldwide.

The slideshow was just part of the presentation I gave to the NATO Public Affairs Conference in Lisbon last week which also included video and a blogging workshop.

Questions, comments, contributions (as ever) welcome.

Written by sarahhartley

October 5th, 2008 at 10:37 am

Going Dipity do da

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Finding a lot of uses for the web tool Dipity - and it seems plenty of others are too. If you haven’t seen it yet, this a neat way to create interactive timelines.

I like it for the following reasons;

1. It’s so easy to use. Both to create content and to interact with. I’ve found it very intuitive.

2. Versatile. Video, pictures and text is easily interchangeable by manually adding content or you can simply plug in a RSS feed and let the content automatically update.

2. Controllable. Can set it to be one editor (i.e. the creator) who controls it or for multiple authors.

3. Easy to share. It integrates well with other platforms. I’ve embedded it into our templated work pages and sent the links below automatically to this blog.  

Just two imperfections I’ve encountered so far. 1. couldn’t get the embed code to work on this blog. A twitter user recommends adding a word, any word, in between the tags to fix that. 2. Every page refresh, addition etc. adds up as a page view – good for the ego maybe but not reliable enough. Hoping these glitches will be sorted in the next promised release.

 I’ve created three timelines, called topics in the Dipity world, which you can see here:

One is fed from my food blog, one is fed by the mutiple users of the MEN Flickr picture group and the other is a mix of newspaper, television and transport authority content to track the progression of Manchester’s proposed Congestion Charge scheme.

So far so good and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more journalistic uses for it in the coming months.

I see that journalists on other newspapers are already well on with the use of this too. Below are great examples from Liverpool and Birmingham.

20/08: Diary of a day in the life of Liverpool

Gun and knife crime in the Birmingham area

Posted using ShareThis

If you’ve been using this tool, please add to a link to your example below – we can build up a map of maps. A Dipity day.

Written by sarahhartley

August 30th, 2008 at 7:33 pm