Author Archives: Caroline Beavon

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Anatomy of an Infographic: University of Oxford Economic Impact

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A series of posts looking back at the process / challenges of recent work. Read more [...]

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All about mapping right now

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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 - more on Read more [...]

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Quick posting to WordPress from a Mac

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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, with no distractions. I Read more [...]

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PROJECT: how to create an animation in Illustrator and Photoshop

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Walkthrough of creating an animated GIF in Illustrator Photoshop Read more [...]

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> NOTES from Reasons To … conference Brighton, 2016

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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  website link  music / band  Action Read more [...]

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Dudley CVS – report infographics

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The Brief: to turn a series of standard tables and charts into engaging graphics for a printed report. You can see the full report below Read more [...]

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First month in Brighton

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Moving to the most creative city in the UK ... Here goes! Read more [...]

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Why data is more than just numbers

Why we should think about data as information, not just statistics Read more [...]

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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 consider offering layout as an additional Read more [...]

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

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 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 are made up of stylised maps (of a town, Read more [...]

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Relocating as a freelancer

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Five things to to consider if you're relocating whilst working as a freelancer. Read more [...]

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This week: waiting waiting waiting

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4 Apr 2016 update. It's all about waiting this week. Waiting for new projects and most importantly, a move date. Read more [...]

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Freelancers: pricing structure options

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One of the hardest things to get right as a freelancer, is pricing. I have a range of pricing structures depending on the project and client. Read more [...]

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Top 30 Studios in the UK: interactive

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Interactive tool allowing the user to discover information about the top design studios in the UK Read more [...]

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My Route: interactive touchtable

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Interactive touchtable created for heritage project, using historical data. Read more [...]

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Paxlife / Cloud 10 – graphics for explainer video

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Graphics for animated infographic / explainer video. A collaboration project Read more [...]

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University of the First Age: Theory of Change

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Diagram one-pager designed to explain the processes, and statistics from the University of the First Age. This is used to help representatives explain the organisation and it’s work.

 

UFA01 - web graphic


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CATH: collaboration diagram

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Complex flow diagram created to show collaborations during the CATH project Read more [...]

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Sunday Mirror: crime supplement

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Series of infographics for publication in a Sunday Mirror crime supplement. Read more [...]

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Wiley: report infographics

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Multi-page infographic report showing survey results Read more [...]

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Ignite Brum: subject icons

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Series of theme icons created for Ignite Brum, a speaking event in Birmingham, UK Read more [...]

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What We Do In a Year: Copeland Borough Council

Infographic created for Copeland Council to demonstrate the range of services they carry out.

The client specifically wanted the infographic to appear busy and varied.

 

Copeland-Infographic-reduced-755x1024


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BestByWM: report infographic and footers

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Series of footer and full-page infographics created for a social media research report Read more [...]

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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.   Read more [...]

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Walsall Council – media mapping

I was asked to research and create an infographic showing the media landscape in Walsall in the West Midlands

Media-Map-Landscape-white1


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Resources v Celebrities

As part of an Information is Beautiful challenge, I created this infographic showing the depletion of resources over time.

 

Resources V Celebrities


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Where’s Werrity?

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Map and diagram showing the trips taken by Adam Werrity, friend to Dr Liam Fox Read more [...]

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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 your place, here Read more [...]

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Stop: you’re doing infographics all wrong

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The internet is full of terrible examples of infographics - here are five ways people are getting it wrong. Read more [...]

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5 Big Things of 2015

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A quick look back at some of my highlights from 2015 Read more [...]

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Why I’m loving …. Momentum app

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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.   Nice huh? it's a different background Read more [...]

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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. Read more [...]

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

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There are times in projects when you get completely stuck. Here's how I sort myself out Read more [...]

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

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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 the questions I ask myself / them at the Read more [...]

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My Route – touchtable design

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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 Directories, phone books, Yellow Pages and Read more [...]

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Alzheimers Society – infographic and social media images

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Client: Alzheimers Society Brief: to create a full length infographic and a series of social media images to promote a new report into the dementia research community Visible at:  ow.ly/Snzeq  Read more [...]

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Terry Pratchett #dataviz

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I’ve been meaning to do a literature dataviz for a while, and the sad passing of Terry Pratchett seemed a good opportunity to explore the storyline groups in his Discworld novels.

Terry-Pratchett infographic dataviz


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

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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.   Read more [...]

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CATH – Collaborative Arts Triple Helix

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http://www.cathproject.org.uk/ I was asked to create a visualisation of the Collaborative Arts Triple Helix Project - which saw higher education institutions, SME's and SCO's come together to work on a project. This diagram shown the groupings of the participants, and the collaborations.   Read more [...]

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Sunday Mirror – crime supplement

Infographics created for Sunday Mirror crime supplement Read more [...]

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Museums, tube lines and handwritten notes – Marches network infographic

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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.

Quick Links:

The Layout Grouping the Information My first job was to look through the information for groupings  - a way to sort the data and allow the Read more [...]


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Pink for girls and blue for boys

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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? Read more [...]

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Brand Guidelines and Infographics

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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 strictly adhere to their brand guidelines client would Read more [...]

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Infographics for Housing Associations

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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 interesting at these events is hearing about Read more [...]

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Sunday Mirror – Justice on Trial supplement

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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:   Read more [...]

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

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The Independent on Sunday's list of people who have made other people's lives better - mapped and interactive Read more [...]

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Best Rock Anthem of All Time? [interactive]

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This visualisation was created as a bit of fun one weekend - and is not an official Kerrang! product a few points: quite telling of the Kerrang! brand that these are largely very new bands very few "classic" bands made it into the top 100 Learn About Tableau Read more [...]

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Accessible Infographics: information for everyone?

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Infographics are a big deal. However, they are images, so aren't really accessible to people who are visually impaired. Here are some thoughts and ideas of what designers can do to make things a bit easier for everyone. Read more [...]

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CB Ltd infographic used in winning business award entry

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Great news! One of my recent infographics design clients, Engineers Mate, picked up the Young Business Award at the Express and Star business awards last week. Check out the work I did for their entry Read more [...]

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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 Beavon is a freelance information and infographics Read more [...]

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

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 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 Your Big Data, where I was keen to stress Read more [...]

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Appearing soon at …

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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! Read more [...]

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5 Things I Discovered at Cheltenham Design Festival

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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 been inundated with tacky, cheap and low-value Read more [...]

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UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

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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, Lincolnshire County Council and even Read more [...]

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Information Designer for Hire: what to expect

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So you've decided your company needs an infographic. This is what to expect when you work with me Read more [...]

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Work in Progress: The Warriors plot-map

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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 all-gang powwow in the Bronx, the Warriors, Read more [...]

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5 key elements of a freelance career

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New to freelancing? Here's a quick guide to getting along ... Read more [...]

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Sampad Annual Report 2012-2013

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Sampad asked me to update the graphic I created for them last year, with this years statistics for their Annual Report. You can view the PDF of the report here Read more [...]

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Copeland Council – “What we do in a year”

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Infographic created for Copeland Council to demonstrate the range of services they carry out. The client specifically wanted the infographic to appear busy and varied.                                                                           Read more [...]

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bestbywm infographics

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#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         Read more [...]

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Is my local library in Birmingham open today?

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Interactive map allowing users to see if their local library is open on a particular day Read more [...]

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Tableau Public – creating a map for someone else to update

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A quick post explaining how I created a Tableau Public map for someone else, so they could update the data in the future Read more [...]

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The Kernel Returns [updated]

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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 of content, they are taking full advantage Read more [...]

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10 Ways I Stay Productive

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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. Read more [...]

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10 Rules for Using Icons on Infographics

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Icons, pictograms, smileys, dingbats - call them what you like - visual language is a fascinating area of design. Read more [...]

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

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Fancy giving one of these "infographics designer tools" a go? Check out my quick review of Easel.ly and Piktochart, and find out why they're not always the best option Read more [...]

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Telling Stories with Data

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When was the last time you sat down and read a fairy story? Read more [...]

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

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  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 with a bunch of other locations and blogged Read more [...]

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Twitter: autoposting, shortlinks, hastags and mentions

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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 you publish your blogpost at midnight, that's Read more [...]

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The Elements of Corporate Social Media

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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 whispering in the corner, but don't be the Read more [...]

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Posterous Spaces Closing Down Email

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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 turn off posterous.com and our mobile Read more [...]

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

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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 Read more [...]

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The Oldest Intern In Town

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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 experience in journalism, I have no formal experience Read more [...]

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Google+ – do you hangout? Would you hangout?

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  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 geek, (but then I was excited about Google Read more [...]

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Hello Culture Data Visualisation

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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   Read more [...]

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Will this app solve the Jewellery Quarter parking woes?

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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. Using data from sensors in the road, the Read more [...]

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How do you blog? Just do it

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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 paragraphs or a photograph with  comment. However, Read more [...]

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New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging

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I've decided to group this years New Year Resolutions into several categories Social Media Health and Well-being Productivity Read more [...]

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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 insane  How To Handle Personality Conflicts Read more [...]

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IPad App Review: Sticky Notes

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  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 Organisation planning      Good Points Easy Read more [...]

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Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest

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 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)

Quick Links:

There has been a lot of movement between Flickr and Instagram Read more [...]


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PROJECT: Sampad Annual Report

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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 display). The statistics included the number Read more [...]

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7 work locations for the home working freelancer

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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 a cable-duvet tangling scenario it's relaxed Read more [...]

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Infographic Christmas Cards

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I have now sold all cards - but you can still pick up packs in Brewsmiths in the Jewellery Quarter Or click on first 2 card images (below) to order via Zazzle           Read more [...]

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Reliable Witness Story Infographic

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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. Read more [...]

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Walsall Council – media mapping

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I was asked to research and create an infographic showing the media landscape in Walsall in the West Midlands   Read more [...]

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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 accounts the character accounts Method Set Read more [...]

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I am the Resurrection [infographic]

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Inspired by the reunion of The Stone Roses, I created this infographic showing a timeline of some key bands, who have also reformed. Read more [...]

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Stock Check: Sources v Celebrities

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As part of an Information is Beautiful challenge, I created this infographic showing the depletion of resources over time.   Read more [...]

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Gateway Family Services – Postcards

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Brief: to create a series of postcards demonstrating the targets reached by Gateway Family Services, third sector organization.
The images were printed onto postcards for use at meetings and eventsthe services on offer, and contact details


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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 Read more [...]

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Social media and blogging – presentation for Oxfam Media Training Day

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On Sat 15th Sept 2012 I was invited to speak to a group of Oxfam volunteers about the use of social media and blogging Here is the presentation- any feedback welcome - I will update with any last minute changes I make Oxfam social media & blogging from carolinebeavon Read more [...]

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Wifi jockeying around Birmingham’s coffee shops UPDATED

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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 the Jewellery Quarter and home to a dizzying Read more [...]

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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 life It was inevitable that the next stage Read more [...]

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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 option - raising money for Brittle Bone Society.   Read more [...]

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10 ways to use infographics: part 1

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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. They tend to be long thin images, stuffed Read more [...]

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Communicate – latest issue out now

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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 going to be used in another publication, a Read more [...]

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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 Communicate project should be an interesting Read more [...]

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Open Data Strategy Release Schedule Dashboard

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Interactive dashboard created for the Mercia Open Data group, using the June 2012 version of this document. Open Data Strategy Release Schedule. This dashboard requires updating, but is an illustration of how a dashboard can make a spreadsheet like this accessible. Click on dashboard below to access external link on Tableau Public Read more [...]

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

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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, who you are and what you stand for. There are Read more [...]

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The Spread of Tech [animated]

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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 limited time made quick decision to use a Read more [...]

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How long should online content be?

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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 example, is it an introduction, a product description, Read more [...]

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SEO Copywriter – a move to the dark side?

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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 which require some technical understanding Read more [...]

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Communicate – Problems

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Examples of work created for Communicate Magazine - creating using research data generated in-house Read more [...]

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Should you buy social media followers?

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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 followers for your brand / product via click-sites Read more [...]

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

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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 Olympic Torch relay, for a local authority. This Read more [...]

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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 corporate event. These were to show Read more [...]

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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? Where can you park? When is it? - what Read more [...]

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Communicate – various

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  A small selection of images from my work with Communicate Magazine (a B2B magazine, covering stakeholder relations). Each month they conduct research among their readers into a variety of issues - and ask me to present the results in a series of data visualisations for their latest issue.         Read more [...]

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Six Ways to Spice Up Your Podcasts

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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? Use appropriate background noise (known Read more [...]

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Data journalism: more than numbers and charts

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    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 ways to show this. Some were also concerned Read more [...]

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

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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 they perhaps form a band, and 3 years focusing Read more [...]

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Actors Working in Teams [infographic]

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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 website to create either a visualization, Read more [...]

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Who is my data idol?

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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 desperate need to relieve tension, I pasted the Read more [...]

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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, stands for the Digital Editors Network - Read more [...]

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#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  (@probablydrunk) often pens articles for Read more [...]

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My adventures with Evernote Hello

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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 cluttered sites) Evernote Food (for Read more [...]

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Using Evernote for Email > tried, tested and failed

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details

Quick Links:

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 to take this one step further and use Evernote Read more [...]


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How journalists can follow the story/find contacts online

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A few notes/ideas of using online resources for journalism from a recent 30 minute workshop with 2nd year Online Journalism students Read more [...]

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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 donations and sponsorship. All money raised Read more [...]

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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 should only deal with news -- a rumour is Read more [...]

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

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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 Read more [...]

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MP’s subsidized dining rooms [visualization]

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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.walkabout.eu.com/ And special thanks to @keridavies Read more [...]

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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 Denham and Sony here  but Denham's points Read more [...]

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Dataviz – Junior Schools by Religious Denomination [visualization]

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Interactive map showing the distribution of faith schools across the UK Click to interact ... Powered by Tableau Read more [...]

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Wave Goodbye

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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 Wave. As of January 31, 2012, all waves Read more [...]

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Become Master of your Email Inbox

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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 … right now. Sounds silly, but the Read more [...]

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6 Tips for Using Evernote

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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

Quick Links:

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 open Tools > Import Folders Here you Read more [...]


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Project: Datamud

View original site Powered by Tableau Powered by Tableau Read more [...]

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

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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) for 10 years I can certainly tick "communication" Read more [...]

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Dear Delicious User …(email)

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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 to AVOS. After a transition period and after Read more [...]

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Statement: Demand Media acquires CoveritLive

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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 feature where they can ask the audience a question Read more [...]

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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

Quick Links:

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, people etc. they will catch attention. The Read more [...]


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Anti-Microsoft Rap … (video)

Dan's Facebook: http://facebook.com/itsDanBull Twitter: http://twitter.com/itsDanBull MySpace: http://myspace.com/danbull Download the mp3: http://www.mediafire.com/?8x7bgvlshax... Get Dan's album here: http://itsdanbull.com/shop Read more [...]

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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. Unfortunately, it means the rest of us are clammering Read more [...]

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… 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 BLOGGING Set up / design of blog site (via Read more [...]

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Y-not? Embedding YouTube

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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 shared, all you'll get is people making their Read more [...]

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INTERNSHIPS: slave labour or opportunity?

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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 years COULD be entitled to minimum wage back Read more [...]

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Making Online News Pay – Pt 1 paywalls

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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 television) but have a small, but cult, following. The Read more [...]

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Facebook: groups V fan pages

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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 than 2500 members of the group, moving Read more [...]

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5 ways to gather data

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 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.

Quick Links:

1. SEARCH Official Site The last thing you want to do is call up a press officer asking for Read more [...]


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6 tips for good blogging (and social networking)

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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 lot of visits, but also a lot of click-throughs Read more [...]

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Football-free Pubs in Birmingham

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View Birmingham's Football-Free Pubs in a larger map Read more [...]

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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


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Festivals: what would you like to know?

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Crime, weather, value for money? What stats would help you out this festival season? Read more [...]

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Corporate blogging: your thoughts

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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 it. What about corporate blogging on Read more [...]

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

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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, AND to discuss some of the very real problems Read more [...]

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

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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 professionals, a wide circle of influence is vital: Read more [...]

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MA Online Journalism: Multimedia Journalism Breadth Portfolio

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As part of my MA Online Journalism studies I recently produced a series of projects in Multimedia Journalism (which appear on this site). Here is the Critical Analysis for those projects. Read more [...]

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iPhone Apps: RSS READERS

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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 sync - which under normal circumstances would Read more [...]

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iPhone Apps: search

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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 the move and can't quite get those words Read more [...]

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Another flash project …

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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 publishmethod="static" fversion="8.0.0" movie="http://carolinebeavon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/jonny-dorey.swf" Read more [...]

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UK Festival headliners map

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An interactive Flash map, showing the headline bands for this summers UK festivals Read more [...]

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Audio slideshow – music news bulletin

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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 received, for the top stories of the day. write Read more [...]

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Ian Huntley coverage (news and Twitter)

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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 visualization belongs to which newspaper? Read more [...]

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Producing a video report entirely on an Iphone

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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 work I can have a look at? In terms of a Read more [...]

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Looks like I’m not into metal any more Toto

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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 of the page the Itunes data appear in the Read more [...]

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Glastonbury data mashup

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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. Read more [...]

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Birmingham Social Media Cafe #bsmc 26th Feb

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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 students who didn't take long to get stuck into Read more [...]

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CSI Experience comes to Birmingham

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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 3 crime scenes, which you study, take notes Read more [...]

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Visit to BBC User Generated Content (UGC) Hub

As part of the MA Online Journalism at Birmingham City University, we visited the BBC User Generated Content Hub. They gather, process and distribute images video and audio sent into them from the general public. Matthew Eltringham heads up the department. Read more [...]

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Breaking Waves A Google Waves Experiment

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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 the chain, and insert text, images, video Read more [...]

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Blogging: what is it worth?

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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, receive a salary or a freelance rate whether Read more [...]

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Pre-election Question Time comes to Birmingham

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(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 Redditch Jacqui Smith, MP for Birmingham Yardley Read more [...]

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

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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) Read more [...]

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Grafitti + Twitter = Tweefiti

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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, do enough people use Twitter yet? We all Read more [...]

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

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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 falls out of sync with the video. Option 1 Read more [...]

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A Good Girls Guide to … co-working UPDATED

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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 desperate to get away from Jeremy Kyle and the Read more [...]

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#BodiesRevealed The Beginnings of Life

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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 Read more [...]

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#BodiesRevealed: the lungs

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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 Read more [...]

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

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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. Panelists: Ray Snoddy - BBC Newswatch Read more [...]

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Andrew WK on Fox News … wacky wacky wacky

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6H6n_onZI0&feature=player_embedded]


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Rap – what they're REALLY going on about …

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6H0i1RAdHk]


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True Blood opening credits .. great song!!!

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The song is by Jace Everett …. love it!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxINMuOgAu8]


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Rick Astley vs NIN – The Hand That Gives You Up …

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pLj9BoNb1U]


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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 Read more [...]

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train v tornado … incredible footage … stick with it

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azV5bC2br-Q&feature=player_embedded]


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Saturday challenge …

What are your top songs right now … old new, classic, cool, cheezy … whatever .. whats rocking your boat today?

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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


"Caroline took a complicated set of facts, figures and processes and turned them into something that now only gave them clarity but also brought them to life visually. She was a pleasure to work with through, suggesting ideas and ways we could use and display information more creatively. Very much looking forward to working with her again." Jenni Fryer, Communications Manager, University of the First Age