IndieWeb Journalism in the Wild

Some tidbits I really appreciate about John Naughton's website

I noticed a few days ago that professor and writer John Naughton not only has his own website but that he’s posting both his own content to it as well as (excerpted) content he’s writing for other journalistic outlets, lately in his case for The Guardian. This is awesome for so many reasons. The primary reason is that I can follow him via his own site and get not only his personally posted content, which informs his longer pieces, but I don’t need to follow him in multiple locations to get the “firehose” of everything he’s writing and thinking about. While The Guardian and The Observer are great, perhaps I don’t want to filter through multiple hundreds of articles to find his particular content or potentially risk missing it?  What if he was writing for 5 or more other outlets? Then I’d need to delve in deeper still and carry a multitude of subscriptions and their attendant notifications to get something that should rightly emanate from one location–him! While he may not be posting his status updates or Tweets to his own website first–as I do–I’m at least able to get the best and richest of his content in one place. Additionally, the way he’s got things set up, The Guardian and others are still getting the clicks (for advertising sake) while I still get the simple notifications I’d like to have so I’m not missing what he writes.

His site certainly provides an interesting example of either POSSE or PESOS in the wild, particularly from an IndieWeb for Journalism or even an IndieWeb for Education perspective. I suspect his article posts occur on the particular outlet first and he’s excerpting them with a link to that “original”. (Example: A post on his site with a link to a copy on The Guardian.) I’m not sure whether he’s (ideally) physically archiving the full post there on his site (and hiding it privately as both a personal and professional portfolio of sorts) or if they’re all there on the respective pages, but just hidden behind the “read more” button he’s providing. I will note that his WordPress install is giving a rel=”canonical link to itself rather than the version at The Guardian, which also has a rel=”canonical” link on it. I’m curious to take a look at how Google indexes and ranks the two pages as a result.

In any case, this is a generally brilliant set up for any researcher, professor, journalist, or other stripe of writer for providing online content, particularly when they may be writing for a multitude of outlets.

I’ll also note that I appreciate the ways in which it seems he’s using his website almost as a commonplace book. This provides further depth into his ideas and thoughts to see what sources are informing and underlying his other writing.

Alas, if only the rest of the world used the web this way…

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10 responses on “IndieWeb Journalism in the Wild”

  1. The magic is likely courtesy of the fact that my post has a meta tag for og:image that includes (or transcludes) that image from Naughton’s website. It’s something I added in for syndicating to sites like Twitter or Facebook to add a little visual interest. I suspect that whatever you’re using to unfurl the page on your site is picking up that data to display it as context for your like. You’ll notice that the same photo appears on Twitter as well: https://twitter.com/ChrisAldrich/status/985421744348381184
    I’m currently doing this with fields in the All In One SEO plugin for WordPress, though I suspect that Yoast and other Open Graph meta related plugins will do it as well. More often than not I use the functionality to force particular photos to be shown in syndicated services. Usually I’ll also transclude the photo in my own post, so in most cases you probably wouldn’t have guessed. Sharp eye for having noticed here Jeremy.

  2. I’ll venture to guess that John has been a journalist long enough to have lost some of his best work as the result of a website purge or paywall.

    In my previous career as content editor for a newsgroup I’ve seen this happen as the result of content migrations, purposely removing content, paywalls, and mistakes.

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