Directors' blog

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

Archive for the ‘tools’ 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

n0tice: Three tools for journalists


A project I’ve been working on for the past nine months is being launched to world today – has come out of it’s invite-only phase .

This ‘baby’ carries with it the usual  hopes and fears of early-days initiatives so I’m expecting to be watching over these first steps with that strange post-launch mixture of anxiety, pride, excitement and over-protectiveness before everything becomes established.

The official announcement can be read here and the thinking behind this social-local-mobile platform is explained far better than I can by founder Matt McAlister here.

But I thought I’d use my blog to highlight some of the features which can help journalists going about their work. There’s plenty of other things going on in there eg. revenue share on ads, community noticeboards, self-serve events listings etc. (more details on those at the n0tice blog), but here I’ll just pull out three useful tools for journalists and bloggers who might be new to it.

 1. Liveblogging

Each report, or news posting, has the ability to add updates as and when required making liveblogging easier – or even simply taking notes at a live event. Updates can be a mixture of media eg. pictures, tweets, videos etc. so it’s possible to create a liveblog which is a mixture of content from a variety of sources and intersperse with direct reporting. In this way n0tice can be used a bit like storify to curate others’ activity. Adding the other media doesn’t require any embed coding, simply the URL so, in the case of tweets, just the timestamp detail is enough to include the full tweet in it’s attributable context. Same drill for youtube, flickr etc. – there’s no need to rummage around for the embed code.

2. Collborative story gathering

Because the updates can be made by any user, not just the report’s originator, there’s a great potential for collaboration here. This could stem from simply being in the same place. n0tice works around proximity to place so, even if you do not know other notice users, this location based aspect means you can easily discover who is nearby. Imagine a scenario where a major event is happening eg. a protest. The first person at the scene may have simply reported that fact however, others in the area can quickly add pictures, video, tweets or whatever to quickly build up the story.

Away from live events, the platform makes crowdsourcing from multiple locations around the world easy too. Having a noticeboard for a project with it’s own URL means that contributors can easily post their items from wherever they are. The Guardian Music noticeboard is a good example of this approach, taking submitted reviews from across the UK, but it could also be used to gather evidence for investigative work too.

 3. Mobile reporting

There is already a mobile site for quick reporting which is built in html5 and so will be compatible with any phones. It’s a pared down version of the complete site and makes it easy to post a report from a location without having to worry about all the additional features until you get back to base. In the next few weeks we will also launch an iPhone app which will bring a whole new experience to the mobile reporting – watch this space!

Written by sarahhartley

March 20th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

#ukgc12 UK Gov Camp day one: A day of fun and thoughtfulness

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Picture by Sharon O'Dea:

The annual unconference for people interested in the way digital tools and technologies can help provide better government services, UK Gov Camp 12, got underway yesterday.

It was an interesting day and inspiring to meet so many enthusiastic and dedicated people who really want to change things – a view of public servants not often thrust into the limelight.

I created this collection of links, tweets, pix, videos and observations from the day using the so-lo-mo platform I’m involved in,

It started as a live blog in the morning but I’ve since added items of interest which I’ve seen in other places in an attempt to capture some of the themes of the day through the eyes of those who were there, plus some of my own input.

I hope it’s useful, if you have links or other content you’d like to see there, please feel free to add to it. (If you’re not yet a member of, you can use this invite code to join:

Listening to many of the conversations yesterday, and particularly the afternoon session about the challenges faced in disseminating relevant news, it struck me that there’s shift in approach being discussed in many quarters, a move away from that traditional  PR route of issuing press releases or relying on established relationships with a handful of journalists.

The new opportunities offered through networks enabled by digital technologies are now becoming apparent in all aspects of comms work and it got me thinking about how a geo-based news platform like might be able to fit into that landscape. I’d be delighted to continue those thoughts and discussions with any Gov Campers – drop me a line at – there’s also more about on the blog, on twitter @n0tice or on Facebook.

Written by sarahhartley

January 21st, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Demo of Soundcloud

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Written by sarahhartley

October 24th, 2011 at 10:28 pm