Clickable Bylines



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Clickable bylines are the new black in online journalism according to this post and related comments at Poynter. I have to admit that I thought that this was the norm rather than the exception, since this had been the case at the Journal-World long before I arrived in Lawrence.

A few days ago Dan asked me how long it would take to whip up per-writer RSS feeds. Thanks to django’s syndication framework the answer was no time at all. Over the next couple of days and with the direction of Dan and David, we tweaked the feeds to include both per-writer and per-photographer feeds. David made it easy to set up search alerts for every time a staff member posted a story. We also updated the staff bio pages to make all of this information easier to get to.

Here is an example from a recent story by Joel Mathis:

in-story byline

If you click on Joel’s name, you’ll be taken to his bio page. If you click on Contact, you’ll be taken directly to his contact form. There’s nothing new there (for us anyway). The new stuff happens on the bio page:

Joel's bio page

The very top of every bio page contains more metainformation than you can shake a stick at. First and foremost is Joel’s number and contact form. After that we have an RSS feed of his latest stories. Following that is the search alert form that allows you to be notified every time Joel posts a story. Since Joel is such a converged guy and takes pictures too, you can check out the latest photos he has taken or subscribe to an RSS feed of those photos. You can also subscribe to that feed as a photocast in the latest iPhoto.

Joel’s bio page also also contains a short biography that makes me want to head up the street to Rudy’s every time I read it. Below the bio and mugshot is a list of recent stories by Joel and a form that lets you quickly search his stories.

I think these tools go well beyond what other news organizations are just beginning to do. At the same time there is always room for improvement, so don’t be suprised if more information is added to these pages.


49 responses to “Clickable Bylines”

  1. Gustaf Erikson Avatar

    Wow, really cool. Journo’s here in .se’s biggest paper have email links, but I imagine that they go to a great big bit bucket somewhere in the cellar. No fscking way a working journalist has time to read random email from readers.

    An RSS feed by writer is pretty cool. Is it a full text feed, or just excerpts. Same with the pics, do you get a small thumbnail or a large version?

    Do you have feeds for different parts of the paper? Local news, sports etc?

  2. Gustaf Erikson Avatar

    BTW, email addy’s with ” ” signs in them *are* valid, no matter what WP thinks 😉

  3. Gustaf Erikson Avatar

    That’s a plus sign, by the way.


  4. Matt Croydon Avatar


    Every news section should have a corresponding RSS feed. For example has a feed at (which is of course autodiscoverable on the news page). We also offer RSS feeds of our classifieds, blogs, podcasts, comments, and a bunch of other stuff.


  5. Lars Avatar

    Hi Matt:

    That django syndication framework looks pretty slick!

    I’m really hoping you can drop me an e-mail sometime soon.. something’s cooking here you’ll wanna see.. 😎


  6. Roger STUNTMAN Cutler Avatar
    Roger STUNTMAN Cutler

    Hey Matt…shoot me an email. OK?

    I may be going to LA and want to hook up with Jom and/or Brendan

  7. Dearest One, Avatar

    Dearest One,

    My name is Miss Matilda Koffi. the only daughter of late Mr/Mrs Denis Koffi. My father and mother were very wealthy farmers and cocoa merchant when they were both alive.
    After the death of my mother, long ago, my father was controlling their business untill he was poisoned by his business associates which he suffered and died.

    Before the death of my father Mr Denis Koffi on September 2005 in a private hospital here in Abidjan where he was admitted, He secretly called me his bed side and disclosed to me about the sum of Two million Five hundred thousand US dollars.USD ($2.5million ) he left in suspense account in one of the bank here in Abidjan,It was the money he intended to transfer overseas for investment before he was poisoned.

    He also instructed me that I should seek for a foreign partner in any country of my choice who will assist me transfer this money in overseas account where the money will be save and invested wisely.

    Because of the current political problem here in Ivory Coast I decided to transfer the money to abroad where it will be save and invested. therefore, I am crying and seeking for your kind assistance in the following ways:
    (1) To provide a safe bank account into where the money will be transferred for investment.

    (2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am a girl of 19 years old
    (3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit for me in your country.

    I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and industrial production. This is my reason for writing to you. Please if you are willing to assist me i will offer you 20% of the total money.

    As soon as I receive your urgent reply indicating your interest to assist me to successfully transfer the money into your nominated account,Then we shall move into the transfer process as i will be giving you the bank contact where my late father deposited the money. For the confidentiality of this transaction please strictly reply me.through my private box so that i will detail you more.

    Best regards.
    From Miss Matilda Koffi.

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