And I think to myself: what a wonderful year
The Best of 2015 in the life of Sourcefabric
How 2015 Made a Difference
Sourcefabric's media development in 2015
Collected by Micz Flor
Who would have thought: 2015 was another great year for Sourcefabric. We celebrated our 5th birthday with a number of great achievements built on our technology and expertise in media development.
Before we embark on 2016, we would like to thank you for playing a part in our history, and take a moment to reflect on 2015. All of the following content was featured in our most recent newsletter. If you are not yet on the mailing list, you can sign up now. The new year will bring with it a number of important announcements and updates, so be sure you are signed up to hear about them. (We promise that our newsletters are not all this long).
Great MINDS think alike
Superdesk in Paris at MINDS International conference
MINDS International is a global network of leading news agencies. At their yearly conference in Paris we presented together with AAP what we believe to be the only viable future for the news industry: Superdesk, the open source newsroom solution built by Sourcefabric. While it comes as no surprise that we would think so, the interest we got from the top executive level of media businesses present, was a good reassurance that we are not only onto something, but actually are quite something ourselves.
The conference in Paris gave us the opportunity not only to be in contact with the executives of one of our core target groups but also to learn about the topics they are most interested in or concerned about. We had high-quality leads and discussions, also from companies we didn't expect it from. We are confident that we can build long-term relationships with several MINDS member organisations and would be very happy to be reinvited.
Product brochure: Superdesk Magazine
Superdesk website: www.superdesk.org
Image verification made easy
Images always increase the power of a story. This had never been more true than it is today. Eyewitness reports have become a regular source of information for the world’s media. One of the things we have observed from our work in this space is that not enough organisations are actively involved in verifying the reports they receive. For this reason, we have set a goal to create tools that make it as easy to verify as not to verify.We’re not there yet, but have made considerable progress toward this goal.
Earlier this year Sourcefabric's Innovations team had the privilege of working with two experts on the topic of verification and image forensics - Sam Dubberley, a co-founder of the Eyewitness Media Hub and Samaruddin Stewart, a former JSK Fellow at Stanford University. Together, with funding from the Knight Foundation's Prototype Fund, we produced Verified Pixel, a tool that automates the steps of submitting reports to a number of various services, and then presents the results for verifiers in a way that is both easy to understand and detailed enough to explore deeper.
Verified Pixel on GitHub
Read Doug’s blog post “Verified Pixel: making image verification as easy as not verifying”
Arabic, Kurdish, Dari, Pashtu
Powering multi-lingual magazines
Exactly when the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine named "Niqash" as one of the "top 10 sites to follow if you want to understand events in Iraq in late 2014, Sourcefabric started working with the Berlin-based NGO MiCT to re-launch Niqash and two other news sites based in Afghanistan and the Sudans. MiCT turned to Sourcefabric’s multi-lingual CMS Newscoop to revamp the online presence of three magazines in war-ridden countries – to relieve their crises.
Multi-linguality is something Newscoop typically handles easily (an area where many other content management systems struggle). In spite of our multilingual capabilities, handling an implementation project with content in languages one hardly knows to read can be tricky. After Niqash, we launched “Afghanistan Today”, Niqash’s sister site from Afghanistan and “The Niles”, the magazine whose name refers to the fabulous two source rivers of the Nile covers Sudan, and South Sudan.
Sourcefabric joins IPTC
We are part of the Global Standards Body of News Media
Open standards meet open source in the news world. We are proud to announce that Sourcefabric has become an associate member of the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) as of November 2015. IPTC is the Global Standards Body of the News Media, bringing together over 50 companies, organisations and associations from the news industry.
Marrying our open source newsroom solution Superdesk with IPTC marks a new chapter in the importance of open source technology for news businesses. While IPTC has long been committed to freely available open standards, Superdesk is the first open source IT solution for newsrooms.
To promote a partnership structure around an open source newsroom code base, Sourcefabric’s Superdesk has been invited to present at the IPTC annual meeting to be held 13-15 June 2016 in Stockholm.
SHIFT. SHAPE. MOBILIZE.
Twenty-one special bloggers in Berlin
At Sourcefabric, we’re always looking forward to sharing our tools and getting in close contact with the journalists using them. So, when the Federal Agency for Civic Education approached us to partner with them and n-ost to organise a workshop for bloggers we were more than up for it.
The project SHIFT. SHAPE. MOBILIZE. happened in Berlin in November 2015. The 21 bloggers which were hand picked from a long list of applicants, brought together in-depth knowledge and experience about the socio-political relevance of blogs in countries in transition.
Making the most of the occasion, we co-organised a Hacks/Hackers meetup during the week of the workshop. The perfect platform to raise awareness, forge new collaborations and support the role of bloggers in Eastern Europe as an alternative source of information in society.
Airtime: Radio on Cloud 9
Out now: Podcasting and Facebook player
Our radio in the cloud www.airtime.pro launched a new built-in podcast feed. Airtimers can now reach an even wider audience with their own radio programs. Each station has its very own podcast which fans can listen to from the Radio Page or subscribe to from their favorite podcatcher like iTunes or Pocket Casts. To top it off, Airtime Pro can now subscribe to other podcasts and ingest them automatically. Find out more in this blog post about Airtime.
In other news, Airtime Pro stations can now propel their Facebook activities to a new level. With our new Facebook Widget you can embed your radio station on any Facebook Page and let your fans listen to your radio station and podcast without leaving Facebook so you can keep the conversation going.
Start your radio station today: www.airtime.pro
Breathe Live into your News Site
Live Blog 3.0 is taking orders
Live Blog is a state-of-the-art solution for editorial teams to deliver news in real time to your website. Working closely with our clients (see next entry for an example) we keep improving the usability and feature set in quantum leaps. The latest reincarnation we cooked up is Live Blog 3.0 which was released in the Autumn of 2015.
What we are really excited to announce is that Live Blog 3.0 uses Superdesk, our newsroom solution, as a platform. Superdesk provides all the underlying functionality, things like authentication, authorisation, storage, users management, etc. This makes Live Blog the first “native” Superdesk app - a strategy we are exploring to expand the functionality of Superdesk. If you want to know more, read this blog post for a good overview about the feature set and roadmap of Live Blog 3.0.
Are you interested in trying out Live Blog? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free trial from our support team. Want to stay up to date? Sign up for our Live Blog newsletter and get the latest updates sent directly to your inbox.
ZEIT ONLINE leads the way
Improving the Live Blog user experience
Working with ZEIT ONLINE on Live Blog has always been of mutual benefit on the level of technology, usability and features. Recently ZEIT ONLINE relaunched their website and pushed Live Blog into a more crucial role, inventing the “Live-Dossiers” which are an excellent way to deliver news as they happen to the readers. We were very involved in customising and enhancing their Live Blog theme for the relaunch.
Johannes Neukamm from ZEIT ONLINE's editorial research and development department explains: “We have been using Live Blog for a while now, so much that it has become a basic component of our newsdesk. We have to be able to rely on it at any given time. What made the switch especially efficient is that regarding the newsdesk staff's work, nothing had to change.”
Related news on Live Blog:
Bringing Live Blog to the Nepali Times
microwav.fm in the South Caucasus
One of the many people behind microwav.fm, a Sourcefabric project promoting an independent, non-partisan, international youth-oriented online radio platform in the South Caucasus, is Lara. She is originally from the southernmost province of Armenia on the border of Iran. Lara is 19 and currently studying art history in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. Lara volunteers at the Women’s Resource Center Armenia (WRCA), an Armenian NGO that supports women in their fight for equal rights and opportunities. “The microwav.fm project,” she says, “gives us the opportunity to raise important issues and to educate society in women rights and problems that women in Armenia face on a daily basis.”
The community around microwav.fm is growing with many more remarkable stories. The project faces many challenges due to existing conflicts between individual countries of the South Caucasus region as well as difficult political environments inside some of the region's countries and languages Georgian, Azeri, Armenian and Russian.
Everything a book can be.
Books, publishing and a community: Booktype & Omnibook
Regarding Booktype, the book authoring and collaboration platform, I will condense the many news points into one item of the list. This is due to the fact that Booktype has gained momentum and will be leaving Sourcefabric, starting a life on its own. The time is right and 2015 was a good year for Booktype.
The release of Booktype 2.0 was a big one, read about it in our blog post or give it a try for yourself with a demo account. Based on the code base of Booktype 2.0, we also released Omnibook, a social platform for writing books. Omnibook was launched in time for the National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo). Omnibook is the platform which will bring the benefits of Booktype to the general public, for the first time. So if you haven’t yet written that great novel inside of you, now’s your chance. Everybody can start creating their book today on Omnibook.pro!
We continue to develop Booktype for organisations including Amnesty International, Books on Demand and leading universities across Europe. What we are happy to see is the uptake of Booktype as a publishing tool for publishers. To learn from this new trend, Booktype and mikrotext have teamed up! Mikrotext is a digital publisher for short digital reading founded in 2013 in Berlin. They will now be using Booktype to create their books. Mikrotext was awarded the Young Excellence Award 2014 by the German booksellers' and publishers' association (Börsenverein des deutschen Buchhandels).
Stay tuned for our new website at: www.booktype.pro
Thank you for your attention and have a good start into 2016. If you are curious to learn how this breathtakingly lavish blog post was built, take a closer look at Storyteller, the theme for longform journalism - and never look back.