Tag Archives: Environmental News

ENO: An amazing first month!

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog, I have been attempting to catch up with my dissertation, which means I’ve had to put ENO second for a while – which isn’t good..!

This week I’m getting back on track with the site, and I’ve collaborated all of what I have done so far – In the form of research and my planning.

Technically, the site is sound, and is running fine at the moment. The main issue is that while it has been the easter break, the level of content going into the website is not what it once was – this is understandable, as many of the journalists will have wanted to take time to take stock of what they have done so far, party away, and ‘recharge’ for the next phase of ENO.

The Back Door is Open Again

A few weeks or so – (and I hope he hasn’t forgotten me!) I was speaking to Alex Gamela, who provided me with a very handy link to a website that offered very professional looking Joomla! templates. Sometime over the next few weeks, my main aim is to:

  • Install and manipulate a basic template, by myself, so that I can improve my understanding of CSS and also learn how modules are positioned, amongst other things.
  • Providing I succeed, I will then attempt to install a more advanced template, so that the site looks even more professional than it already does, and it continues to attract viewers to the site.
  • There are a few add-ons for ENO that I have stealthily bookmarked on my laptop, which I will attempt to install soon. Right now, I don’t want to give away too much in case they don’t work!

Impressed By The Page Impressions

I was absolutely shocked when I found out how many viewers the site had in it’s first month – 8,000! – EIGHT THOUSAND! I never thought that in its first month, my website would attract so many viewers.

This definitely serves as a good motivation for me because now I know that ENO is reaching a bigger audience than I thought it was. I had an interesting conversation with Matt, of Second City Records who may be interested in setting up a website for the record label. When he found out that ENO had 8,000 hits in its first month, his reaction to it was:

“How much do you sell advertising space for?”

This was an interesting thought: If I sold advertising space on ENO, I could make myself a tidy little profit. But there lies the problem; where do I set the boundaries? This is clearly an issue that I need to think about more, as it could have big implications for ENO in the future – any comments are welcome!

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I pwn the h4xorZ – and we’re going public!

NB – I pwn the h4xorZ = “I own the hackers” – More later…

So, another eventful week has passed by with ENO, and it hasn’t been without it’s problems.

Templates, Mambots, Components and Modules

I finally understand now how to add…extras, let’s say, to the website.  Last week I played around with a few different templates, and extra components and modules.

Features that I have added recently include:

  • TinyMCE WYSIWIG Editor – An easier text editor that allows the less technically sound reporters to upload stories much quicker than with the standard Joomla! editor.
  • mXcomment – A feature that allows readers to comment on stories on the website.
  • A social networking component that includes links to sites like Digg, Facebook, MySpace, etc – so that users can bookmark (and save to RSS) their favourite stories.
  • Two new themes (none are active now).

Disaster

Of all the outcomes and possibilities I had (tried to) plan for, I never expected what would happen when I installed one of the themes and tested to see how it looked.

Memory fails me which particular theme/creator I used, and at the risk of exposing myself to serious legal issues, I won’t name the template creator/template in question.

I installed a theme, applied it to every page, and saved it. Then I went to the front end of the site to see how it looked, and realised I needed to tinker a little with the CSS code. Then the problems started.

I kept being ‘locked out’ and ‘denied access’ to the administrator page of the website – may I remind readers that this is a website that I own! I realised very quickly that I had been hacked and I needed to find a way to get back into the back end of the website quickly, and delete the theme, and whoever kept clicking ‘Force Logout’ on my username.

Fortunately, ten minutes later, the hacker(s) decided to give up, and I managed to get back into the back-end of the website and remove the theme and the new usernames they attemped to create.

Needless to say that was an experience for me, and it does raise serious questions about whether Joomla! should do more to verify template designers and creators before featuring them on their website.

Special Guests

Last week myself, and the OJ class had the pleasure of meeting Tim Hood (from Yoosk!) and Joanna Geary (of the Birmingham Post). Both had very interesting things to say about Online Journalism, and methods of sourcing articles and reporting.

I was also impressed with Tim’s CMS for Yoosk!, sourced from Vietnam. It’s amazing – I’d urge you to have a look.

Joanna writes in her blog:

“Can you write environmental stories in a way that builds trust between you and the reader? Is the current suspicion surrounding climate change – for example – caused by media sensationalism or poor scientific reporting? Perhaps it’s neither, maybe it’s just human nature to repsond to environmental stories with suspicion.”

She raises a very important point, that not only has implications for ENO, but for the journalists reporting for the website too. Is it possible to draw interest to stories that aren’t featured as regularly in the mainstream media? Does this mean that only a certain type of person will be interested in the website and its content?

I know that if this was last year, and if I was in the position of this year’s Online Journalists, I would be struggling now.

Joanna also gave myself and Rachael an idea about a story she was pursuing along similar lines to the one above – not a bad idea for a podcast I’d say. Check back in week 6 of the project for more (we’re currently in week 4.)

Extra! Extra! ENO is live!

Yes, while I may have mentioned it before – the site is very much alive now.

And the journalists are posting more frequently now – especially in the wake of the recent earthquake. See what Paul Bradshaw thinks of it here.

Bookmark us

Finally, make sure you bookmark ENO, and make sure to keep checking regularly. The site is constantly being updated, and in the coming weeks will feature podcasts and video too.