All about mapping right now

All about mapping right now ——————————————— I’m currently working on a handful of map-based projects for clients. Two of them are using Tableau to create maps about funding in relation to demographic information. I’m leaning heavily on Mapbox (https://www.mapbox.com) to create personalised maps The other is a map-based infographic for a new educational client (HINT: a well known top-notch University!) (note the image above is NOT my map - ...

Quick posting to WordPress from a Mac

Studio Diary Post - Saturday 8 Apr 2017 - 8:55am - What a palaver! ——————————————— Currently working on: Trying to set up a quick way to create and publish blog posts from my desktop Notes: I recently set myself a challenge to start blogging more. I know that I won't sit down and create a long post on a regular basis, but sometimes there are thoughts, ideas or products I want to share quickly. So i needed something I could get into quickly, w...

PROJECT: how to create an animation in Illustrator and Photoshop

WHAT An animated gif of an album cover (Eat Yourself Whole by Kingmaker) WHY I've wanted to learn animation for a while. I'd really like to be able to offer simple animated graphics to my clients. Many of them ask for small images to use on social media, as well as full infographics, so I'd like to be able to offer an animated version as well. Social media is so busy with images, so a GIF that plays and reveals information will help the post real

> NOTES from Reasons To … conference Brighton, 2016

In Sept 2016 I attended the Reasons To ... conference in Brighton, UK. Read more about the conference here During the 3 days I jotted notes, ideas and references into a large Moleskine. Worried my notes may make less sense over time, In've transcribed them below. Enjoy. Key person to find / follow etc.  book/ article wikipedia link  something to search  random notes  my thoughts / questions  Image / photo reference  web

First month in Brighton

  It's been a month since I moved to Brighton from Birmingham. I know the city well, having gone to the University of Sussex back in the mid-90s. However, I've never had a 'proper' job here, so I was keen to jump into the creative / freelance world as soon as possible. Co-working space Joining the Skiff was a great decision. It's know for being one of the cooler and more social co-working spaces (and also one of the more expensive) b...

Why data is more than just numbers

Quick thought: When I'm delivering a training session, or talking to clients, I try to avoid using the term 'data' and instead use the word 'information'.   Many clients and trainees fall into the trap of thinking that data means numbers, whether that's sales figures, yearly activity data or survey results. However, it's more useful to think of data as information  - which can cover anything from times and dates, locations, systems, lists of names...

Studio Diary: 20 Apr 2016 – new ideas and girlpunks music

 20 April 2016 06:00am My desk Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Listening to: Aphex Twin - On Spotify - Discover weekly Playlist Whip It Soundtrack   Quick update today - half day in the office finishing off a project then heading home (for a change of scenery) to work on some admit bits and pieces.   Arts research Final day of work on this mapping project, which has turned into a bit of a report layout job. This has led me to

Studio Diary: 19 Apr 2016 – Levellers, text-wrangling and hi-res images

 19 April 2016 10:45am My desk Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Levellers, Levelling the Land Amorphous Androgynous     I'm working on a couple of fairly straightforward infographic projects today. I prefer to have several projects on the go at a time - it means I always have something to work on, even if some are with clients for review.   Arts report I'm creating 5 A4 graphics to be inserted into a Word report. These 5 pages ar

Relocating as a freelancer

I'm about to relocate 3 hours across the country from Birmingham to Brighton. To my American readers that may not seem very far (I know people who've moved from New York to LA), but it's still a big deal to me. I've been talking about moving for about 3 years and I'm not going to lie - the main reason it's taken me so long to actually do it, is my business.    I've been extremely lucky to have worked with some great people in and around Birm...

This week: waiting waiting waiting

w/c 4 Apr 2016   It's all about waiting this week.     MOVE DATE I'm in the middle of selling my flat in Birmingham and relocating to Brighton, on the south coast. As with any move there is a huge list of things that need to be done - not the least is packing. However, I'm still waiting for my move date so I can't really start tackling most of that list as it could be a few weeks away. Also knowing a move is coming I've

Freelancers: pricing structure options

My role as a freelancer means I work on a wide variety of projects. From one-off infographics, to long-running research projects. I've found that there is not a single perfect pricing system - instead I make a decision on a project-by-project basis. I will ask myself:  - is there a defined outcome / product? - have I done anything like this before? - how easily can I estimate the hours I will spend on this? - is there a risk of 'project creep...

Top 30 Studios in the UK: interactive

Top 30 Studios in the UK: interactive
In November 2015 Computer Arts magazine published a list of the top 30 studios in the UK, as chosen by a panel of experts. I wanted to create a tool to summarise this information, to allow users to check out an individual studio and compare it with the rest of the top 30. This was a personal project and was not commissioned by Computer Arts. Since posting this, however, Computer Arts have been in touch saying how much they like it.   @carolin

My Route: interactive touchtable

My Route: interactive touchtable
My Route was a heritage project based in Birmingham. I was commissioned to design a touch table that would show the changing history of the Stratford Road, one of the key routes in the city, from the 1940s to today. Working with digital agency Substrakt, and touch table developer John Sear, we created an interactive touch table that was placed in a local community centre and a library for several weeks for the public to use. The touch table shows a s...

Paxlife / Cloud 10 – graphics for explainer video

Paxlife / Cloud 10  – graphics for explainer video
BRIEF: To concept and create a series of graphics for an animated "explainer" video for airline in-flight entertainment company, Paxlife to promote Cloud 10. This was a collaboration with filmaker / animator Liz Smith (Entertaining TV). who generated the animations and project-managed. Together we planned out the graphics based on the client script and developed a seamless workflow.  

BestByWM: report infographic and footers

BestByWM: report infographic and footers
#bestbywm is a white paper investigating social media best practice in the West Midlands, UK. Find full report here: Following a survey of local authority communications teams I was invited to generate a series of infographics for the report. This included: * a full page results infographic * a series of footer infographics showing social media stats * a simple infographic showing the cost of communcation channels  

Reliable Witness

Reliable Witness
Reliable Witness was a transmedia project for Birmingham Book Festival 2012, culminating in an interactive storytelling installation. Participants were asked to make several choices for the characters, affecting the final outcome I was asked to plot the various storylines, also showing the use of real-world media and social networks.  

Infographics training at the Press Association

I'm back at the Press Association delivering an infographics one-day session in May. If your organisation is looking to improve your infographics then this is the course for you. I've received excellent feedback, and with only 6 attendees, there's plenty of opportunity to ask questions about your organisations specific needs. The course combines hands-on training, discussion and group work.   Find out more about the course, and book...

Stop: you’re doing infographics all wrong

Infographics can be a really effective way to communicate. Whether you're a journalist, a researcher or a PR professional, using a visual format COULD be the perfect way for you to reach your audience. However, the internet is full of terrible examples of infographics that offer little value to the reader. Here are five ways people are getting it wrong. You're doing it for the wrong reasons When a client approaches me to design an infographic, I ...

5 Big Things of 2015

It's been quite a year! Here are a few of my highlights from 2015.   My Route Without doubt, the largest project I've ever worked on. My Route was a heritage project looking at the history of the Stratford Road in Birmingham through the changing businesses. I was commissioned by Sampad to design a touch table to allow the users to explore a map of the road, and find stories through audio, image and video content. This involved working wi

Why I’m loving …. Momentum app

I was tipped off about the Momentum app thanks to the weekly email from Tim Ferris. It's works of a very basic principle - guilt. Install and when you open a new tab in Chrome (presumably to waste time noodling around on Facebook) a full page picture appears asking for your name, email and "What is your main focus for today?". Complete these simple requests and each time you open a new tab you will see a full screen version of this.  

Thank you to …

I know as Brits we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but it seems as good an opportunity as any to send out some THANKS of my own. I've been running my own business for several years now (after a career change brought on by redundancy from my job in commercial radio) and I still have to pinch myself today when I think about all i have achieved.  Yes, I work hard, yes I've been savvy, but I could not have achieved what I have without the support and kind...

Hitting walls with a project? Going in circles? Try the Stuck Wheel

There are times in projects when you get completely stuck. You may find yourself going in circles, with a million reasons why you can't continue. These could be the fault of the client, overload of tasks, or a general bad feeling about how it's all progressing. For example you're: waiting for more information from someone else not enjoying the project struggling to understand the clients needs overwhelmed by too many tasks Every way you ...

Need a Tableau dashboard? Here’s the information I need

This post discussed my use of Tableau Software. For more information on Tableau visit the official website I've always used Tableau to quickly get to grips with a new data set and play with different chart types until I come across something effective. I've also created several 'personal' projects using this tool. More recently, I've been talking to several clients about creating Tableau dashboards or interactive infographics for them. These are

My Route – touchtable design

My Route – touchtable design
My Route was a heritage project based in Birmingham. I was commissioned to design a touch table that would show the changing history of the Stratford Road, one of the key routes in the city, from the 1940s to today. You can find out more about the whole project in this short film After several months of research and trialling, I began developing a map that would allow users to see the businesses along the road in 10 years intervals. Using the Kelly's Di...

If you needed any more proof that I am a data visualisation and productivity nerd …

In order to keep track of the various projects, I use an Excel spreadsheet. This calculates project hours, rates etc. The spreadsheet breaks each day down into 30 minute blocks, into which I paste a coloured block and code - which helps calculate the running totals. As well as being useful - it also generated this bonus visualisation! I started this in Oct 2013 - So now, I present, my work diary from Oct 2013 - Dec 2014.   ...

Museums, tube lines and handwritten notes – Marches network infographic

A few months back I was invited by Glynis Powell and Sue Knox of the Marches Network (a group of museum development officers working across the West Midlands) to create an infographic to show off their work. The information was a mix of statistics and text-based information on the various projects and successes throughout the year. [toc] The Layout Grouping the Information My first job was to look through the information for groupings  - a

Pink for girls and blue for boys

Every time I need to create a gender-related chart, i.e. the number of men or women doing XYZ and I need to use colour to define between them, I always ask the same question? Should I automatically use pink for girls and blue for boys? There are a dozen reasons why not - and I'd prefer not to get into a gender debate here (there are more suitable locations for that sort of debate). However, when creating charts it's important to keep things simple...

Brand Guidelines and Infographics

I've been considering the relationship between brand guidelines and infographics recently.  I'd love your thoughts on this - tweet me! A lot of infographics created today are wholly standalone from the rest of the company's materials. Is this right? Should infographics be 100% branded, partially or not at all? (of course, it depends on the use, right?) In my experience there are 3 potential scenarios: client wants the infographic to strictl...

Infographics for Housing Associations

It's been all about housing associations recently! I'm currently working on an annual report infographic for Thames Valley Housing (covering their key statistics) but was also recently invited to speak to a network group of National Housing Federation communications professionals in the West Midlands. I delivered a 45 minute talk on infographics including: why infographics the process of developing them some key tools. What I find inte...

Sunday Mirror – Justice on Trial supplement

Last weekend I was incredibly proud to see a series of my infographics appear in the Sunday Mirror newspaper. I had been commissioned to work on the graphics, in collaboration with the Ampp3d data journalism team and the editorial staff at the newspaper. I think it's fair to say it's my most high-profile piece of work to date, and the staff at the paper were incredibly pleased with the results! You can see a few of the pages below:

The Independent on Sunday’s Happy List 2014 [interactive map]

The Independent on Sunday's list of people who have made other people's lives better - mapped and interactive  Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details     <a href='#'><img alt='Dashboard 1 ' src='http://public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/Ha/HappyList&#...

Accessible Infographics: information for everyone?

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details   PLEASE NOTE: This is a work-in-progress blog post. It would be great to get any feedback or thoughts via the social networks (links right) as I write the remaining sections. I am also posting some questions throughout the article, if you know the answer, do let me know!  By definition, infographics contain information. Organisat...

CB Ltd infographic used in winning business award entry

Congratulations to Engineers Mate, a West Midlands engineering supply company, who recently approached Caroline Beavon Ltd to boost their entry for the Express and Star Business Awards 2014. On the night they picked up the Young Business Award. The company wanted a one page infographic (below) to explain the growth of the company over the past 12 months, as well as a series of slide images to use during their presentations to the judges. It was gr

I speak: Creating Usable Content event video

If you picked up my recent blog posts, you'll know I took part in the Creating Usable Content event in Cardiff a few weeks ago. It was an event for local gov and  health comms professionals, and  I delivered a workshop on Infographics, which went down really well, by all accounts. There was a camera crew at the event recording sessions and interviewing the workshop leaders. Watch out for my pals Dan Slee and Pete Ashton.  Caroline Beavo

My Week – 5-9 May 2014 / big screens, walls and audiences

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details It's been another one of those funny short bank Holiday weeks - but here's a quick summary of what I've been working on in the infographics design world, and training! SCIENCE CAPITAL On Tuesday night I spoke at the Science Capital "Doing Business With Data" event at Millennium Point in Birmingham. The focus of my talk was Presenting Yo...

Appearing soon at …

I've had a flurry of invitations to speak in public recently and, as one of my New Years Resolutions was to say 'yes' more, I've agreed to all of them. Over the next 2 months I'll be appearing at the following events - ticket details below, and if you're already going, do say hi!         April CAKE Morning Date: April 29th 2014 Venue:  Digital Humanities Hub, University of Birmingham, Pritchatts Road, Edgbast...

Bits and Pieces: design-related podcasts

I’m a big fan of podcasts.I’m only sad that I don’t have more time to listen to them (for example, I can’t listen whilst I’m working, just when I’m at home, travelling or driving). I use the Pocket Casts app on my iPhone, which is a very smart, easy to use app and for the past 6 months I’ve been listening to a lot of design-related podcasts – here are my favourites (in no particular order!)[toc] Adventures in Design (website)(iTunes) Format: 3

5 Things I Discovered at Cheltenham Design Festival

Recently I visited the Cheltenham Design Festival as part of my ongoing education into art and design. The structure of the day meant attendees had to choose between a selection of great workshops and presentations and I found the day incredibly interesting and inspiring. Here are the top ideas I heard/learnt today: 1. Infographics Are Not Dead Which is just as well! I was starting to get a little nervous. Not only has the infographics world...

UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

I'm constantly pleased to see the number of organisations thinking about visual communication. Over the last 6 months I've been busy with a series of "Influential Analysis" training courses for Understanding Modern Government, where I have been (hopefully) inspiring people to rethink how they communicate information both internally and externally. Organisations attending the public courses, or booking in-house sessions, include various NHS trusts...

Information Designer for Hire: what to expect

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Whilst organisations may have had experience working with graphics or branding designers in the past, the process to develop an infographic is very different. Ask any graphics designer who's been asked to convert a 20 page report into an image, and chances are they'll tell you that designing an infographic requires a whole new set of skil...

Work in Progress: The Warriors plot-map

Intro If you follow me on Instagram  you may have seen a picture I posted recently. To most people it would have looked like a random arrangement of squiggles, lines and terrible sketches. In fact it was a draft sketch of the plot of  The Warriors, a film that came out in 1979 (trailer) The plot is set in a slightly-futuristic New York, where gangs in theatrical-costume uniforms roam the streets defending their turf. After being called to an

Infographics? Infovisuals? Stop and think

Visual communication is nothing new. Man has been daubing on walls and scratching into rock for centuries. Whether it's “5 Ways to Catch and Skin a Deer” or “The River Styx: Everything You Need to Know”, visual representations of information have been the simplest way to pass information from one person to another. Nowadays, the data explosion has meant there is not only more information to be conveyed, but an increased demand for access and understa

5 key elements of a freelance career

5 key elements of a freelance career
I was recently invited to speak to BA students at BCU about enterprise - and specifically, how I managed to forge a freelance career for myself. Having retrained (I used to be a commercial radio journalist) I think there are 5 key areas I focused on to make it PEOPLE People have to be the main focus of your freelancer career - you work alone so you have to generate all your work yourself. Social media is a brilliant tool for finding new contacts an

bestbywm infographics

bestbywm infographics
#bestbywm is a white paper investigating social media best practice in the West Midlands, UK. Find full report here: Following a survey of local authority communications teams I was invited to generate a series of infographics for the report. This included: * a full page results infographic * a series of footer infographics showing social media stats * a simple infographic showing the cost of communciation channels        

Tableau Public – creating a map for someone else to update

Tableau Public – creating a map for someone else to update
If you're not familiar with Tableau Public, you can find out more here ---- I've recently been working on a project which encourages creative SME's to explore data as a way of improving their business. I'll blog more about the project at a later date, but I wanted to share on particular element of the project that I thought may be useful. After discussions with one company, we decided a series of maps would help them plot future business growth. O

The Kernel Returns [updated]

The Kernel Returns [updated]
UPDATE Well, blow me down with a feather ...  new look The Kernel is  definitely worth a revisit. I was always put off by the overly-snarky comments (see below) and it appears I wasn't the only one. The  site has managed to shift from vicious bile to playful teasing  - and it works. It's definitely back in my RSS feed - I just hope the many tech power-players they took pot shots at in the past are willing to let bygone be bygones. In terms ...

10 Ways I Stay Productive

10 Ways I Stay Productive
As a freelancer it's very easy to fall into bad habits - working from home, lots of different projects and being my own boss means long days of low productivity, and no clear division between work time and free time. Since I left my "proper" job in 2009 I've been trying a host of ways to get things done - these are the things I've learnt work for me. 1. Find Your Work Hours It's taken me a while but I've found I am super productive early in the morn

10 Rules for Using Icons on Infographics

10 Rules for Using Icons on Infographics
  Icons, pictograms, smileys, dingbats - call them what you like - visual language is a fascinating area of design. Yes, varieties of visual language has been used for years, with varying degrees of success, and it's likely that icons will one day be relegated to the "naf bin". For now, thought, there are a range of icons out there that can really spice up your website, infographic or presentation But use with care - here are my 10 tip...

Off-the-peg infographics – Easel.ly V Piktochart

Off-the-peg infographics – Easel.ly V Piktochart
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Technically, as an infographics/data visualisations designer, I really shouldn't even be promoting these but they're big news at the moment and you may be tempted to give them a go. Choosing one of these tools is the equivalent of using a template CV  - it does the job, most people won't mind and it's cheaper /easier than doing something ...

Telling Stories with Data

Telling Stories with Data
(an edited version of this article originally appeared in the HyperWM newpaper, Nov 2012)   Once upon a time … When was the last time you sat down and read a fairy story? It may be a few years, but I’m sure you could tell a few of those childhood stories from memory. Whether it’s the interesting characters, the exciting storylines, the emotion you felt or the moral lessons you learned; the stories stick. When was the last time you s...

Moseley Exchange – a new way (for me) to work

Moseley Exchange –  a new way (for me) to work
  Since I started working for myself, I've been on a hunt for that *perfect* place to work. I tried the various coffee shops around Birmingham (read my findings here) but working in a coffee shop 5 days a week is not financially viable. (In order to stay in a coffee shop guilt-free all day you'd need to buy at least 3 drinks and some food  - totting up a daily spend of around £10.) Plus all that coffee isn't good for you. I experimented w...

Twitter: autoposting, shortlinks, hastags and mentions

Twitter: autoposting, shortlinks, hastags and mentions
Following on from my previous blog post on corporate social media use, here are a few tips to writing good messages on Twitter (or tweets). A similar post about Facebook will follow.   No Autopost If you have blog, it may be tempting to set up autoposting. This means the site automatically spits out a tweet (if you connect your account) with the blog post title and the link. Sounds useful enough but there are a few reasons NOT to use it if

The Elements of Corporate Social Media

The Elements of Corporate Social Media
This is a work-in progress - feel free to comment below! Thanks   I am very interested to see the variety of different ways companies use social media. Some use their Facebook pages to promote their Friday snacks, others use Twitter to talk up their company products and values. Both of these uses have their place, but should form part of a wider social media personality. Think of the social media forum as a party - don't be a wallflower wh

Posterous Spaces Closing Down Email

Posterous Spaces Closing Down Email
I've just received this email from Posterous Spaces about the service closing down. I paste it below Hi Caroline,Posterous launched in 2008. Our mission was to make it easier to share photos and connect with your social networks. Since joining Twitter almost one year ago, we’ve been able to continue that journey, building features to help you discover and share what’s happening in the world – on an even larger scale. On April 30th, we will tu

Bham Council to cut grit bin numbers – but where are they now? [map]

Bham Council to cut grit bin numbers – but where are they now? [map]
A few weeks back I was inspired to map the grit bins in Birmingham, due to the *very* dangerous icy pavements around the Jewellery Quarter. This appeared on my hyperlocal Tumblr blog, This is the JQ. Now the Council bosses say they're going to cut the number of bins, in a cost-saving exercise - so this map will need redoing at some point View Birmingham Grit Bins location in a full screen map

The Oldest Intern In Town

The Oldest Intern In Town
Recently I took the decision to become an intern. I spotted brand agency Orb were on the hunt for a creative copywriter intern, and thought it was too good an opportunity to miss. Now, I'm not your run-of-the-mill intern. I'm 37 years old, for starters. I've been working as a journalist since 2000 and now specialise in information design and social media/online content. So, why be an intern? - I hear you ask. Good question. Despite my experi

Google+ – do you hangout? Would you hangout?

Google+ – do you hangout? Would you hangout?
  In one of my roles as a social media / content manager, I am currently looking into the world of webinars, and online group discussions – and specifically the pro’s and cons of Google+ The idea is to schedule a regular event for discussions around particular area of business. The content/format is still under discussion, but I am more concerned right now with the broadcast method. When Google+ launched, I was as excited as the next g...

Hello Culture Data Visualisation

Hello Culture Data Visualisation
A data visualisation / infographic showing the results of a survey of young people about their arts activities The graphic was created for a downloadable PDF report about the Hello Culture conference The colours matched the corporate branding of the Hello Culture brand, and the division between live and non-live was decided by the client. The chart was created in Tableau, and manipulated in Adobe Illustrator  

Will this app solve the Jewellery Quarter parking woes?

It's no secret that parking in the Jewellery Quarter can be troublesome. 18 months ago the council introduced a new parking permit system giving residents and local businesses access to more spaces. However, this really doesn't encourage visitors to the area, who will inevitably spend a frustrating Saturday afternoon trying to locate a space. Now the US iPhone and Android app Parker has landed in the UK  - and is trialing it's service in the JQ.

How do you blog? Just do it

As part of my recent New Year Resolutions I mentioned blogging - and more specifically, how I'd like to blog more. Here are a few of my thoughts about the process. But I wonder - what stops you from blogging more often?   What I like about blogging is the fact you don't need to spend hours slaving over an article, creating a story arc or creating a masterpiece - you just need to get the information out there, whether that takes 3/4 par

New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging

New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging
I've decided to group this years New Year Resolutions into several categories Social Media Health and Well-being Productivity ----------------------------------------------------- I use social media a lot, but sometimes it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole and become distracted with ineffective activities. As someone who is trying to build a freelance business, I need to be more focused in my online actions. So, this years New Years Reso

Links [27 Dec 2012]

Links [27 Dec 2012]
A collection of the articles I've been reading and sharing recently ... Interesting Sites The Noun Project Buffer - A Smarter Way to Share on Social Media Open Data Portal http://www.quandl.com - open data sets Interesting Articles / Finds 10 Confidence-Building Exercises for New Freelancers Amazon Book Reviews Deleted in a Purge Aimed at Manipulation - NYTimes.com First trailer for BBC's clone drama Orphan Black looks intriguingly in

IPad App Review: Sticky Notes

IPad App Review: Sticky Notes
  Sticky Notes on the App Store here Cost: Free An app that seems silly and gimmicky - but is actually VERY useful! Great if you use your iPad as a second screen / organiser And these post-its won't fall off your monitor!! Possible Uses Daily todo lists - different notes/colours for different groups (ie email, phone calls, errands) Presentation notes - one for each slide, then email or share on Twitter afterwards Organisa...

Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest

Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details In this post I discuss how I personally use image services Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest.  You can see my Flickr images here, you can follow me on Instagram here and see my pins on Pinterest here Designers? How do you use these sites to promote your work? (I'm working on a future blog post about this) [toc] There has been a lo...

PROJECT: Sampad Annual Report

You can see more of my infographic and data visualization work here   A few months ago I was invited to create an infographic for the charity, Sampad. The challenge was this: to show some of the key statistics from their year of activity, in a small area on a single or series of small infographics. (They were keen to reduce their annual report in both page-size and page-numbers, but didn't want to reduce the amount of information on displa

7 work locations for the home working freelancer

7 work locations for the home working freelancer
As a stay-at-home freelancer, I'm always looking for different places to work. It's a perk of the job that you can take your laptop anywhere, so here are my favourite places to get stuff done INSIDE THE HOUSE 1. Bed Good for blogging, social networking and social sharing/bookmarking This is a surprisingly productive place to work. It's comfy - so why would you get up an wander off somewhere else? Any attempt to move will result in

Reliable Witness – Pt 1: setting up the social media accounts

Reliable Witness – Pt 1: setting up the social media accounts
Reliable Witness was a trans-media project, commissioned  by the Birmingham Book Festival, during September/October 2012. Managed by Red Lantern's Lauren Davies, the project saw a live performance and social media begin a story that the audience would be invited to finish, during an interactive installation. As Social Media Manager I was responsible for running the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the project, which included: the project acc...

Is Rock Dead?

Is Rock Dead?
Final Project for MA Online Journalism, Birmingham City University, 2010 Interactive data project investigating the music album charts from 1970-2010 The brief to discover if rock music really is on the decline using Official Charts Company Data Tools used included: Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Tableau Desktop Sources, bibliography and references

Wifi jockeying around Birmingham’s coffee shops UPDATED

It was a distinct lack of breakfast in my cupboard that prompted my decision to have a coffee-shop working day. Co-working and coffee shop working are obvious choices for the stay-at-home freelancer, where the temptation of Jeremy Kyle or a mid-afternoon siesta is too great, but how feasible is it? And to to push it, Hunter S Thompson style  - could I do it ALL DAY? Breakfast - Brewsmiths The day started at Brewsmiths - located on the edge of t...

10 Ways to Use Infographics: part 2

Please note: not all images are mine  - please click image for source You can see more of my infographic and data visualization work here     In 10 WAYS TO USE INFOGRAPHICS: PART 1, I talked about using infographics for linkbait, journalism, article illustrations, annual reports and postcards/posters. This time I'll be looking at video inserts, explanation, audience analysis, adverts and presentations Video - bring the numbers to lif

Olympics Torchbearers – working on a collaborative data project

I was recently asked by Paul Bradshaw (online journalist and founder of Help me Investigate) to create an infographic as part of his investigations into the Olympic Torchbearers - and more specifically, who got the places? The investigation has not appeared both on The Guardian DataBlog (read it here) and Help Me Investigate Olympics And - if you're feeling in a generous mood, the whole investigation has been turned into an ebook, with a donation opt...

10 ways to use infographics: part 1

Part 2 here Please note: not all images are mine  - please click image for source Infographics are hot property right now. Many companies use them and image sharing sites like Pinterest and Flickr are full of them. Here are 10 ways you could bring your information to life in an interesting and accessible way. 1. "Linkbait" - sell your services This is THE most popular use of infographics. Most of the ones you see online fall into this category.

Communicate – latest issue out now

I am delighted to say that the latest issue of Communicate Magazine is out, featuring a handful of my latest infographics. As their in-house Visualization Specialist, I create graphics from various research data for their monthly issues. For this issue, the focus was the attitudes of the PR industry and the media to digital trends, including use of email and social media. I created more images than the ones used in the article - the rest are g...

Update > 18 June 2012 – busy busy busy!

(this post was written weeks ago - just getting around to sending it now) Well it seems that freelancing is like waiting for a bus. After a few weeks of not-much-at-all, now I'm going through a very promising patch. Active Projects I am currently working on 3 dataviz projects - one for the London Fire Brigade (an infographics on cuts and spending), an infographic for Walsall Council and a project for regular client Communicate magazine. The

Got an online community? Here’s how to work with Facebook and Twitter

Are you in the lucky position of having a very active online community on your own website? A busy comments section, or a chatty forum? Bravo - in today's world of Facebook and Twitter fever, it's often hard to get a dedicated community involved in a discussion on your own site. It's a powerful thing: the discussion is likely to be focussed and relevant to your user and all the discussions go on under YOUR brand's name. The user knows where they are, wh...

The Spread of Tech [animated]

Key: RED: fixed broadband internet BLUE: mobile phone subscriptions YELLOW: internet users GREEN - telephone lines (all per 100 population) STORY OF A VIZ: Altered last minute to the deadline for the Guardian / Google Competition This gave me 2 hours do something with a range of data available, to address the issue of the worldwide recession and how national behaviour protected against this, or aided recovery. THE DATA Due to the l...

How long should online content be?

How long should online content be? According to this Writinghood article, the perfect length is between 500-800 words; other people say shorter is better; but surely there's more to it than that? For personal/fun blogging I say do whatever you like, but for something more structured and professional , here are a few things you might want to think about: (feel free to add your tips/thoughts in the comments below). What is the content? For examp...

SEO Copywriter – a move to the dark side?

In the next few days I have an interview for an SEO Copywriter position - which has prompted a very unexpected reaction from my friends and colleagues. My background: broadcast journalism - 10 years of writing news scripts and documentaries. More recently I have "gone digital", completed an MA in Online Journalism and worked with clients on social media strategy, content and data visualizations.  It is not a huge leap for me to consider roles whi...

Should you buy social media followers?

Can you buy friendship? It's an interesting question and one even more relevant today as friendships now exist online as well as in the real world I recently got into a (mini)debate about this subject over on LinkedIn, where a fellow user posted an article, offering a service of buying Twitter followers. (See discussion on LinkedIn comments  - note: exists within a group - membership required) To summarise  - the poster was offering to get foll

Current Projects – mystery clients, Olympics, forums and rockin’ maps!

Current Projects – mystery clients, Olympics, forums and rockin’ maps!
After a relatively quiet period, recently I've had a flurry of work  and opportunities - and some very interesting ones at that. Excuse the lack of client names, but many of these are active projects. If you are interested in hiring me - you can find me on Twitter (@carolinebeavon) or email carolinebeavon at gmail.com Thanks PROJECTS Infographic > Local Authority Olympics I was recently asked to create an infographic of information about the Ol

Client Work

I work for a variety of clients - including B2B publishers, statistics websites and local authorities. COMMUNICATE MAGAZINE Communicate Magazine is a B2B (Business to Business) magazine specialising in Stakeholder Relations As their in-house Data Visualization Specialist I create graphics from research data for publication within longform articles. GATEWAY FAMILY SERVICES I was comissioned to create  a series of postcards to be used at a
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Covering a live event: a quick guide

Covering a live event: a quick guide
Covering live events can be a chaotic, stressful and sometimes unfulfilling experience. Battling with the digital elements can mean the finished product is disappointing. However- there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself (feel free to comment with more below  - I will also add to this as ideas come to me!) Background Research Find out as much about the event as you can. Where is it? - how are you going to get there? Public transport...

Six Ways to Spice Up Your Podcasts

Are your podcasts limp and lifeless? Then try these tips to spice up your audio output ... Location Location Location Get out there!!!  You might think that you need peace and quiet to record a podcast, but remember  - the joy of a podcast is that you can get to the centre of a situation or story. Sometimes silence just sounds strange. Example: If your podcast is about farming - why not record it in a field, with the sound of the wind, sheep and birds

Data journalism: more than numbers and charts

Data journalism: more than numbers and charts
    I have been a Visiting Tutor at Birmingham City University on and off for more than a year, but today I experienced that mythical "sense of satisfaction" that teachers talk about. I held a short data visualization workshop for some 2nd year Online Journalism students today  - who were incredibly hungry for the information. For the past few weeks they had been gathering spreadsheets and reports and were now desperate for interesting w...

The Age You’re Most Likely to Win a Brit Award

The Age You’re Most Likely to Win a Brit Award
Checking the latest data from the Brit Awards (courtesy of the Guardian Data Blog) is seems 24 is the age a musician is most likely to win a Brit Award Since 2005 12 awards have gone to pop stars at this age including Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash and Ellie Goulding. Similarly, Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine and JLS all tapped in at this age when they picked up their awards. Could it be down to our education system, 3 years at uni, where t

Actors Working in Teams [infographic]

Actors Working in Teams [infographic]
Sometimes I'll start a data project, and duing the process one of several things may happen: I lose interest something more important comes along I realized it's just not "working" The latter happened as I was working on a piece for the latest Information is Beautiful challenge - which involved chomping through a large and very interesting data set regarding Hollywood movies. These challenges encourage you to use a data set provided by the we...

Who is my data idol?

There must be something in the water .... twice this week I have received emails from online journalism students asking for my thoughts on data journalism - and more specifically, my data idols. The first was an email from Germany - or student Katarina Bons to be precise - asking for information about any studies into data journalism in the UK and who the key players were. During the completion of my final MA Online Journalism project, during a despe

Adventures #1 – SoLoMoDEN

Adventures #1 – SoLoMoDEN
In something of a mid-February resolution, I've decided to do more day-to-day blogging about the various online activities I am involved in. You have been warned ----- Yesterday I found myself at the SoLoMoDEN conference in Manchester. Right in the heart of Media City, it was hard not to be inspired about the future of the profession - even though there was a slight Legoland feeling to this regenerated part of Salford. The "DEN" bit of SoLoMoDEN,

#BINSgate > a few thoughts

#BINSgate > a few thoughts
An interesting spat broke on Twitter this morning. At the centre of it all, wannabe Birmingham mayor (yes, Birmingham is in the process of deciding if it wants an elected mayor not not)  Gisela Stuart (@giselastuart) took an open pot shot at the local website, Birmingham: It's Not Shit Note: in the spirit of transparency and all-that, I must now insert some form of disclaimer here that I know the chap behind BINS - @bounder, and my better half  (

My adventures with Evernote Hello

My adventures with Evernote Hello
In this post I explain how I got on with Evernote Hello  - not for you? Try these other posts on Evernote Or have a free months trial of Evernote Premium here   --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recently Evernote launched a series of new apps  - Evernote Clearly (a plugin for viewing the text from web pages  - great for c

Using Evernote for Email > tried, tested and failed

Using Evernote for Email > tried, tested and failed
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details [toc] I wondered - could I use Evernote to manage my emails? (this post requires a basic working knowledge of Evernote - have a free months trial of Evernote Premium here) It is no secret that I am an Evernote fangirl. I love the fact I can send pretty much everything I find online, into one huge vat of stuff. Recently I decided ...

How journalists can follow the story/find contacts online

How journalists can follow the story/find contacts online
(a few notes/ideas of using online resources for journalism from a recent 30 minute workshop with 2nd year Online Journalism students) - this is by no means definitive, so feel free to add any suggestions, comments below There are so many ways a journalist can follow the story, search for contacts or get leads online - but starting off is the hardest part. In this blog post I'l be running through a few very easy steps to jumping in - often using tools yo...

New website launch > The Hidden City

An interesting project to emerge in this time when questions are being asked about the role of the mainstream media is The Hidden City. It is a website covering the hidden stories of Birmingham through audio slideshows (a slideshow of relevant photographs with an audio track underneath). The brainchild of the guys behind Fourseventy Media, a local media production company specializing in audio, The Hidden City is a not-for profit project funded by donat

The Changing Role of a Journalist – a few thoughts

The Changing Role of a Journalist –  a few thoughts
What is the role of the journalist in today's world? During the Birmingham riots, when a huge amount of rumour and speculation was being passed around the social networks (Riot rumours - Guardian), should the local media have also stepped in to set the records straight? (check out this fantastic visualization of Twitter rumours by The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/interactive/2011/dec/07/london-riots-twitter) Many believe that journalists sh

Uni applications drop off – but which subject area is hardest hit?

Uni applications drop off – but which subject area is hardest hit?
Thanks to a hike in tuition fees, there has been a drop off in the numbers of people applying to UK universities, compared to the 2011 figures. Usefully, the Guardian has posted the numbers on their Datablog and I'm starting to munch through the data Here's the first set of findings - by subject area grouped into discipline, thanks to Wikipedia's List of Academic Disciplines

MP’s subsidized dining rooms [visualization]

MP’s subsidized dining rooms [visualization]
So MP's are expected to pay the equivalent of "high street pub" prices when buying food in the subsidized restaurant in House of Commons are they? (Telegraph) Let's see if that's the case. Taking 5 dishes mentioned in the article above - I compared them to an equivalent TYPE of dish at Wetherspoons, Walkabout and All Bar One. (click for larger image) Sources: http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/ http://www.allbarone.co.uk/ http://www.walka

The embargo > a few thoughts

The embargo > a few thoughts
Embargo: a request by a source that the information or news provided by that source not be published until a certain date or certain conditions have been met News embargo - Wikipedia  A lot of talk recently about embargoes, after a journalist for the New Yorker posted a review of the new David Fincher film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ahead of an agreed embargo date.   You can read the email exchanges between the reporter - David ...

Wave Goodbye

Wave Goodbye
Just received this Email from the Google Wave guys ... Despite my ups and downs with Wave, it's still sad but good for Google for giving it a go! ------- Dear Wavers, More than a year ago, we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. At the time, we committed to maintaining the site at least through to the end of 2010. Today, we are sharing the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down...

Become Master of your Email Inbox

Is your email inbox bursting at the seams? Overrun with nonsense,? Drowning in newsletters? Here are a few easy tips to get your wayward email inbox whipped into shape. The idea here is to reduce the number of emails in your inbox, so the important ones aren't forgotten about. Before you clear out your inbox (we'll do that later), LOOK at the emails in there – they should fall into one of four categories: EASY TO DEAL WITH EMAILS  Deal with them...

6 Tips for Using Evernote

6 Tips for Using Evernote
Here are 6 ways I use the productivity tool, Evernote Feel free to add yours in the comments below Or have a free months trial of Evernote Premium here [toc] Evernote is the equivalent to an external hard drive, on the cloud - so you can archive important / interesting information - read more here (http://www.evernote.com/) There are hundreds of different ways you can use Evernote - here are my top 6 tips: 1. A DESKTOP FOLDER In Evernote o

And so it begins > hunting for a job (CV added)

Having put my MA Online Journalism to bed on Friday with the submission of my final assignment cbviz (plus support blog here) I now have the task of getting out there and finding a job. There is certainly no shortage of jobs in the digital field, but the trick will be finding one that suits my editorial background. Please find my latest CV here Having worked as a broadcast journalist (most recently on bulletins and documentaries for Kerrang Radio)

Dear Delicious User …(email)

Dear Delicious User …(email)
Dear Delicious User, Yahoo! is excited to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, Hurley and Chen have firsthand expertise enabling millions of consumers to share their experiences with the world. Delicious will become part of their new Internet company, AVOS. To continue using Delicious, you must agree to let Yahoo! transfer your bookmarks...

Statement: Demand Media acquires CoveritLive

Statement: Demand Media acquires CoveritLive
Demand Media acquired CoveritLive in February: Many of our biggest customers already know this but for those of you who didn't...surprise. It's all very very good for us and for them. Given that Demand is a publicly traded company, I can't really talk too much about the acquisition other than: a) it made us all happy; and, b) it will make all of our customers happier. Live Gaming is Live: We're crazy excited about this. Customers love our Polls featur

Top 10 Crimes of Online Writing

Top 10 Crimes of Online Writing
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Are you blog posts not getting the attention they deserve? Check out these points to improve your writing and reduce that bounce rate [toc] 1. Too Clever/Too Boring/Too Complex Title The title of an online post needs to be clear and succinct - no clever tabloid puns or vagueness here please! Avoid figures, but use place names,...

Text speek – innit

Text speek – innit
Yes, I'm old. Actually, no - I'm not old. I still have all my own teeth, wear converse, own, and know how to use, an iPhone, and have a vague idea of new music. I am, however, at that stage when certain phrases, terms and vocabulary are completely alien to me. It's perfectly understandable as the younger generations strive to create their own identity and language. It creates a sense of membership and, at times, exclusivity for the cool brigade. Unfo

… for hire

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT Services include: Set up of Twitter/Facebook/Myspace account Transfer from Facebook profile to Facebook Pages (as required) Syncing between Twitter/Facebook/Myspace (if required) Sending/scheduling of informational messages Interesting posts - polls, opinions and discussion points community management - answering/responding to messages Set up of Flickr/Youtube account Membership on music sites (eg Last.fm BLOGG
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Why don’t students use Twitter?

Why don’t students use Twitter?
I've recently been helping out with teaching 1st year Journalism students at BCU in Birmingham. Dan Davies - who is leading the course - and I are both former Online Journalism MA students, and hence very wired in to the social networks, blogs etc. However, it's not our background and education which makes us HUGE Twitter fans, but our AGE. The students we teach are all Facebook afficionados, they use it every day, and often it's the first site they

Y-not? Embedding YouTube

Y-not? Embedding YouTube
I'm intrigued as to why some record labels still don't allow embedding of their music videos on Youtube. Surely Youtube is a KEY viral marketing tool, which means your artist's music is spread around the net and promotes the album? MP3's yes - restrict those all you want if you believe it will impact on album sales (a whole other debate that I won't go into now), but videos? Unfortunately you restricting embedding won't stop the videos being share

Myspace OFF Google search? UPDATED

Myspace OFF Google search? UPDATED
I do a LOT of music searching online - I write band biogs, Facebook events and Tweets ... I need a great one stop shop for band info (line-up, tour dates, pictures) - and, despite the fact it's the biggest social network on the web, Facebook is NOT it. It still needs to serious work to bring quick-to-find information together in one go. Myspace may have had it's problems (it's pretty much killed itself as a social network by allowing people to personalis

INTERNSHIPS: slave labour or opportunity?

INTERNSHIPS: slave labour or opportunity?
This post was written in November 2010. I am now no longer a member of the NUJ. However, my feelings on internships have not changed. There has always been some discomfort about the idea of unpaid internships, work experience etc. However, in the media they are considered something of a necessary evil. Image via Wikipedia The NUJ have launched a campaign highlighting the fact that anyone who's worked as an unpaid intern over the past six

Adventures in … Social Media Desktop Clients

Adventures in … Social Media Desktop Clients
Image via CrunchBase As part of my job I manage several social media accounts. This includes Twitter and Facebook (profiles, fan pages, and groups). From a perfect social media desktop client I need to: monitor all of these accounts simultaneously receive notifications when someone comments or messages - with the option to pick and choose which notifications I receive, and how be able to schedule tweets and status updates I must be a...

Making Online News Pay – Pt 1 paywalls

Making Online News Pay – Pt 1 paywalls
I am currently exploring the various avenues for making money from online news as part of my MA Online Journalism. Over a series of Posts I hope to explore the various methods of generating revenue from online content - looking at the various issues, and pitfalls along the way. The Project My idea is a website that offers short, exclusive video interviews with bands - often bands that would not get mainstream coverage elsewhere (e.g. radio and televis

Facebook: groups V fan pages

Facebook: groups V fan pages
I am currently working with several companies to develop their online marketing via Twitter, Facebook etc. A new client currently has a profile, which they actively use, and a Group. However, I wonder if this is the most effective way of marketing their company, besides which, having 2 searchable profiles (group and page) is confusing to the searching user and hard work to maintain. I am proposing they focus instead on a Fan page.  However, with more

5 ways to gather data

5 ways to gather data
 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Everyone is talking about data journalism nowadays: creating maps, visualizations and infographics. However, before you can do any of that you need some DATA Here is how I sourced the data for my Datamud project, a look at the statistics behind the big UK music music festivals. [toc] 1. SEARCH Official Site The last thing you want t...

6 tips for good blogging (and social networking)

6 tips for good blogging (and social networking)
Recently I began writing a blog and looking after the social interaction for a music venue. Here are a few things I have learnt along the way (NOTE: this is a work in progress and will be updated - feel free to comment with any suggestions below): * Polls work. People love them. Asking people for their opinion on something gets them excited. A recent poll asking simply "Which band are you most looking forward to seeing" not only attracted a

Datamud

Datamud
For the past few weeks I have been working on another project for my MA Online Journalism course. This is an investigation into some of the facts and figures of the UK music festivals. The site will be updated over the next few days, so stay tuned and, of cours,e any feedback, much appreciated. http://www.datamudwordpress.com

Festivals: what would you like to know?

Festivals: what would you like to know?
Interested in festivals and music? Check out there: Band Reforming - infographic Is rock dead? - flash animated infographics Kids in Glass Houses  infographic   As part of my MA Online Journalism I am currently working on a project looking at the stats behind the festivals, which I hope to present in a useful way online. I'm thinking crime stats, value for money, weather forecasts etc. I'd love to know what kind of stats would be useful t

Corporate blogging: your thoughts

Corporate blogging: your thoughts
I am currently looking into the controversial world of corporate blogging as part of my MA Online Journalism at BCU I have found a massive anti-campaign towards "ghost" or "proxy"  blogging, i.e. writing a blog under someone else's name.  This is often seen as deception and goes against the transparent ethic of blogging.  However it seems to be big business with more companies realizing they need to be online but don't have the skills or the time to do ...

Photographers v Police 1-1 (after 1st leg)

Photographers v Police 1-1 (after 1st leg)
Photographers are not a happy bunch. If they're not having their pictures used online without getting credit or being replaced in the festival photo pit by young bloggers waving iPhones, they're being persecuted by the police and accused of being terrorists. Authority 2.0 (Birmingham City University, 28 April, 2010) was a fascinating event, organised by the MA Social Media students to investigate how the UK's police forces should be using social media,

Do they want you, or your contacts? (updated)

Do they want you, or your contacts? (updated)
We've all heard the phrase - it's not what you know, but who you know. But: if your job involves promotion/marketing - where do you draw the line between your friends, and your contacts? In this social-networking world we find we have more contacts than ever before. Many are perhaps real-life friends from school or university, but others may be people you met briefly at a party back in 2007 or, perhaps, you've never met them. For PR profession

MA Online Journalism: Multimedia Journalism Breadth Portfolio

MA Online Journalism: Multimedia Journalism Breadth Portfolio
Journalism - (noun) The occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business This traditional definition of journalism (Dictionary.com http://bit.ly/dCdXBa) despite massive leaps forward in technology and attitude, still sums up exactly what the profession is about today: in short, getting the news out there. Unfortunately, some are reluctant to accept these changes to the ind

iPhone Apps: RSS READERS

iPhone Apps: RSS READERS
Continuing in my series of posts about my favourite apps, I move onto ... RSS READERS I currently run 2 RSS readers on my phone. I struggled to find one that could accommodate forwarding to 2 different Twitter accounts. iNEWS PREMIUM (£2.39)  I am a big fan of the iNEWS interface - it is fully customisable, so if you are a white-on-black text girl like me, then so be it! I use this app by importing my Google Reader feed. Unfortunately it does not sy

iPhone Apps: search

iPhone Apps: search
After jumping into the iPhone apps world with both feet, I thought I'd run through my favourites. Watch our for more posts in this series. SEARCH/RESEARCH Google (free) (Itunes link) Image via CrunchBase I am a big fan of the Google app. Not only can you search by typing, but there is an incredibly clever and effective Voice Search tool, which has never let me down. Tell it what you want to find, and it will do it (useful if you are browsing on

Another flash project …

Another flash project …
As I gather my portfolio together for my MA Online Journalism Multimedia module, I discovered my first ever Flash project. Sad story, a British student missing in America, where he was studying. I decided to take the facts of the story and turn it into a roll-over breakdown. It's basic, but it works. It still needs an embedded link (to the Facebook group) and some embedded video, but it works as a basic test of the theory. [kml_flashembed publi...

UK Festival headliners map

UK Festival headliners map
[kml_flashembed publishmethod="static" fversion="8.0.0" movie="http://carolinebeavon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/festivals-map-X.swf" width="550" height="400" targetclass="flashmovie"] [/kml_flashembed] As a keen festival goer, I thought it would be interesting to MAP where some the larger bands can be seen playing this summer. I am hoping to work on a larger version of this map for a later assignment, but this is a taster of what is to com...

Audio slideshow – music news bulletin

Audio slideshow – music news bulletin
It was only a matter of time before I harked back to my old job of knocking out music news bulletins for the rock loving masses! Instead of a straight bulletin read though, I decided to turn a standard bulletin (recorded into my laptop with a clip on mic and with Audacity) into an audio slideshow. The Process Write the Bulletin Check the main music news websites (including NME.com, Kerrang.com and Gigwise) as well as the press releases I have rece

Ian Huntley coverage (news and Twitter)

Ian Huntley coverage (news and Twitter)
Following the news that Soham killer Ian Huntley was attacked in prison over the weekend, I decided to have a look at the reaction this story was getting online. First, a quick look at how the story was handled in 2 very different newspapers. Using the ManyEyes Word Tree visualization, I copied articles from The Guardian and The Daily Mail to see how the name Huntley was handled, and which words followed it in the articles. Can YOU guess which vis

Producing a video report entirely on an Iphone

Producing a video report entirely on an Iphone
Ok, for my next trick (ok, uni project) I am going to look into filming and editing a video report all on my iPhone. My plan is to record some stuff "to camera" (Ie me speaking and setting up the story), a clip of an interview and some cutaways or establishing shots. My plan it so get something that is tv-news report like, but turned around quickly and uploaded to Youtube within minutes. Has anyone out there tried this, or know of anyone elses wor...

Looks like I’m not into metal any more Toto

Looks like I’m not into metal any more Toto
Data can be an interesting and eye opening thing. I decided to cut and paste some sections of my ITunes library into Google Docs and create a data set from Artist Track, Genre and Plays. sort tracks by PLAY COUNT remove TIME, BITRATE, DATE ADDED and TRACK NO columns scroll down to the bottom of the tracks with "2" plays select every song with 2+ plays CTRL+C open a blank spreadsheet (I use Google Docs) and CTRL-V into the top left corner o

Glastonbury data mashup

Glastonbury data mashup
NOTE: This is very much a work in progress, so any advice, feedback or tips, much appreciated! Also some of the data used is from news reports/blogs and hence is of a speculative nature but has been included for demonstrative purposes. As part of my MA Online Journalism I have been playing around with some data from the Glastonbury festival archives. I wanted to show the statistical history of the festival, through a visual media. I started a sp

Birmingham Social Media Cafe #bsmc 26th Feb

Birmingham Social Media Cafe #bsmc 26th Feb
I've missed the last few Birmingham Social Media Cafes. This has been a mix of oversleeping (once) and being slightly put off by being cornered by estate agents wanting advice on using Twitter at past meetups. This week, however, I decided to go along, get stuck in and learn the art of polite mingling! It was a very different social media cafe, and a great one too! Paul Bradshaw (@paulbradshaw) brought along a load of his BA Online Journalism student

CSI Experience comes to Birmingham

CSI Experience comes to Birmingham
As a fan of the TV show I jumped at the chance to have a sneak preview around a new CSI Experience exhibition at Bullring Birmingham. It's taken over the old space left vacant by the departure of Borders Books, so there is certainly a lot of space! To be honest, I was expecting a museum style tour of the show, the science behind it and the characters. In fact, it's way way better than that. The exhibition lets YOU become a CSI investigator. There are...

Breaking Waves A Google Waves Experiment

Breaking Waves A Google Waves Experiment
Link to Breaking Waves: Birmingham Snow Wave Breaking Waves A Google Waves Experiment BACKGROUND OF GOOGLE WAVE Google Wave was previewed to Google employees on May 27th 2009. Described as a “personal communication and collaboration tool” it was gradually rolled out from September 2009 via invitation. A combination of instant messenger and email, users could send messages to their contacts in a chain (similar to Google Mail) but then move back UP th

Blogging: what is it worth?

Blogging: what is it worth?
Bloggers are often considering to be inferior to "proper journalists". Whether the argument is about training, responsibility, impartiality or audience, they are often treated as second class online-citizens, despite the fact many are competing with, and in some cases, filling a gap left by a declining traditional media. However, there is a definite gray area when it comes to money. Journalists are paid to do their job. They work for a title, rece

Pre-election Question Time comes to Birmingham

(live blog of event here) Last night saw the first in a series of pre-Election Question Time specials, hosted by Total Politics magazine, and City Inn hotels, first in Birmingham then onto Manchester, Leeds and London for the next three consecutive Thursdays. Chaired by Conservative activist and blogger, and founder of Total Politics magazine, Iain Dale (@iaindale) (who proved to be an entertaining and forceful chair), the panel consisted of MP for R

Election Question Time Special in Birmingham: live blogging tonight from 7pm

As part of a series of pre-election session around the UK, Birmingham will tonight host a Question Time special at the City Inn. On the panel: Andrew Mitchell - Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Jacqui Smith - MP for Redditch and former Home Secretary John Hemming - MP for Birmingham Yardley Mark Reeves – Former Editor of the Birmingham Post Iain Dale (Chair) ...

Grafitti + Twitter = Tweefiti

As part of a new Birmingham arts project, this weekend that will see one of the city's grafitti artists spraypaint inspirational messages send in on Twitter. The theme is "life feels better", and Aerosol Arabic will be outside Bullring shopping centre on Saturday and Sunday creating a unique piece of art from tweets sent into the @lifefeelsbetter account, which will also appear on a Twitterfall. It's a nice idea, and a nice push for Twitter. However,

It seems we can’t have it all … hand held video recorders

It seems we can’t have it all … hand held video recorders
I am in a dilemma. I am the owner of a perfectly good (despite the reports) Sony Ericsson Satio mobile phone. The 12 megapixel camera (and other gadgetry) means the picture quality of video recording great for still interviews. The only downside, is the audio. the internal mic is terrible. It is useless for interviews, and makes the subject sound like they are down a mine the handsfree kit mic records excellent quality sound, but it gradually fall

A Good Girls Guide to … co-working UPDATED

A Good Girls Guide to  … co-working UPDATED
Open office (or co-working) is hot news nowadays. The press has been full of it this week, with magazines (Company) and radio (4) running features about this very 21st century way of getting stuff done. So how does it work? Well, either by membership or a one off entry fee, you gain access to an open plan environment, normally with wi-fi and hot and cold running drinks where you can plug in, log in and work. It has become a refuge for home workers despe...

#BodiesRevealed The Beginnings of Life

THE EXHIBITION The Bodies Revealed exhibition is currently running at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. It focuses on how the body works, major illnesses and development. Hashbrum headed along to get the full guided tour from Medical Director Dr Roy Glover The Beginnings of Life Stillborn and Neonatal Deaths Charity

#BodiesRevealed: the lungs

THE EXHIBITION The Bodies Revealed exhibition has been running at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. It focuses on how the body works, major illnesses and development. I headed along to get the full guided tour from Medical Director Dr Roy Glover Lungs and Smoking Smokefree - quit smoking Cancer Research UK British Lung Foundation

Thomson Reuters: What Price the News: Live Blog #reutersethics

Thomson Reuters debate: What Price the News?? Intrusion. Payment. Scandal. Access. Ethics. Rights. Appetite. Celebrity. Obligation. Politics. Duty. Freedom. Harassment. Competition. Privacy. Security. Power. Press. In the last few years the way in which we consume news has changed but so too have the practices of news gathering - stories of plagiarism, cash for news and harassment charges have all questioned the accepted principles of good journalism.

About Me

An online professional with 10 years journalism experience and a genuine passion for new technologies. An experienced blogger and social media user I recently completed an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University I am also a liveblogger for hire. If you would like me to cover your event feel free to drop me an email carolinebeavon@gmail.com CONTACT email: carolinebeavon@gmail.com Download PDF CV here ...

Saturday challenge …

What are your top songs right now ... old new, classic, cool, cheezy ... whatever .. whats rocking your boat today? ---------------------------- 1. Green Day - The Static Age 2. White Lies - Death 3. Manic Street Preachers - Umbrella 4. Kings of Leon - Red Morning Light 5. Future of the Left - The Hope That House Built 6. Aiden - Scavengers of the Damned 7. The Ting Tings - Thats Not My Name