Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats . . .

A funny story came up in the news meeting today, which the editor, Ian Carter, then blogged (I hereby distance myself from decidedly dodgy headline). It was about how we ran a story about a cat-dumping crisis in Croydon, appealing for people to rehome them - but unfortunately, it backfired when we just alerted heartless non-deserving cat owners to the fact they could dump them at Croydon Animal Samaritans. Net gain = 4 cats.

Sorry, should clarify: funny for heartless news types like us. Not for the cats.

Anyhoo, I tweeted it (partly because Ian's readership has sharply declined since we started publishing more news and other blogs, and he's threatening to quit unless it increases) and it prompted suggestions as to how I could cover it online.

The consensus was a timeline-generating software package called Dipity. And so, here's my work in progress:

It's lacking proper dates and cat tally figures, and I'm sure there's more I can add to it once I've had more of a fiddle, but I think it's beginning to take shape.

So, lessons learnt from today:

1) Dipity is going to be used a LOT on the Croydon Ad site from now on in. For starters, it has solved one of our "how can we put this breakout online?" questions.

2) Twitter - and more to the point, the people who follow me - is truly amazing. Every week, it proves itself in a fantastic new way.

3) I really should seriously think about adopting a cat. I wonder if Violet is still homeless?

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