This fortnight's news comes to you all the way from Nigeria, Georgia, Romania, Germany, Canada, Guatemala, Czech Republic and, well, just about everywhere really. Sourcefabric's global team continues to engage and support independent media all over, and we've been involved in a host of projects from training to hosting to implementation to site-building. Our Services page is the place to drop by if you want to chat to us about your digital journalism endeavour. In the meantime... read on.
A Newscoop-powered training on digital reporting for journalists will be held from June 10th to June 15th in Lagos, Nigeria. The training's organisers were especially taken with Newscoop's geolocation features (wait till you see the next release!) and integration with Soundcloud, as well as our new Ushahidi Cooker, which provides a bridge between the maps provided by reporters and the crowdsourced mapping application Ushahidi. Sourcefabric has set up a Newscoop installation for the training project, which is headed by the Goethe Institute, so that participants can have hands-on experience with the software.
Sourcefabric has long had a partnership with Floss Manuals and they've been the hosts of our software manuals since the beginning. We just contributed a bunch of code to the Floss Manuals project to improve existing performance and add new functionality. The biggest feature is that now individual users can have finer-grained management access to individual books - something we've that's been on our wish list for a while and something we hope will help other open source projects out there.
The winners of the IREX Georgia G-MEDIA grants contest for content production have been announced and Newscoop has been recommended as the platform of choice for media outlets! IREX began administering training projects and associated grant programs for professionals throughout Georgia in 1994. Their G-MEDIA program seeks to assist in the improvement of the quality and availability of news and information on new and traditional platforms.
The Newscoop SoundCloud plugin allows journalists & editors to upload, edit, manage and publish the sharing of SoundCloud files. Airtime's Soundcloud integration records and uploads shows from Airtime directly to SoundCloud (taking all the valuable show metadata with it) simply by ticking a checkbox and comes standard with the software. Both were just published to Soundcloud's app gallery.
Want to integrate the two? No worries. SoundCloud wrote a great post about how to do it.
One of the things that has come under review recently is the way we release software. With burgeoning interest comes greater pressure on the software, so we're changing our release process to allow for a longer testing phase and - ultimately - more stable new releases.
To this end, users are encouraged to download and test the latest Airtime RC, which is out now ahead of it's official release. It's a release candidate so not yet ready for production use but pretty close to the final thing.
Newscoop 3.6 Beta will be out in the near future. This is not quite as polished as a release candidate, but still functionable and ready for feedback. Keep an eye on Twitter for an announcement about this!
Mugur heads up the Newscoop team in Cluj, Romania, which by our reckoning is one of the hottest software development cities in the world right now. Taking charge of a significant part of our CMS's developement, Mugur draws on a decade of coding one of Sourcefabric's core products. He designed and implemented the template engine back in the day, and he's leading the redesign and refactor of the amazing new theme features we got a sneak preview of last week.
The new Romanian team recently visited the Prague HQ for an intensive week of meetings and workshops. Topics that were discussed include Newscoop's software architecture (preparing the way for easier enterprise environment adaptation), management of the new development teams (bug-fixing workflows, GIT management and so on), plus a serious focus on UX (user experience to you and I). The developers, designers and communications team sat in on sessions to improve the usability of several soon-to-be-revealed new features