Bo Hee Kim, a UC Berkeley graduate student plans to build a more user- and geo-friendly mobile news site for the journalism school’s three hyperlocal sites that she hopes will ultimately be used by other local sites.

Mobile App Built for Richmond Confidential

August 4, 2012 Bo Hee Kim

NMWE award winner and UC-Berkeley grad student Bo Hee Kim hired a developer to create a WordPress plugin that would work well with CalPress, the content management system used for the university’s three hyperlocal news sites.

However, she reports, she changed her goals along the way.  She expected weather and traffic to be key information needs for the readers of Richmond Confidential, her pilot site.  But it turns out most of the site’s readers don’t visit the site daily, so they’d be likely to get this information elsewhere.

Instead, she focused on what would be more relevant to the site’s readers. She settled on a mobile app that would offer readers an aesthetically pleasing way to see the three to five new stories a day the site produces.

“My favorite part of the news-reading portion” of her platform is the ability to resize text so when you spread your fingers ... Read more...

The First Mobile Site Takes Shape

January 4, 2012 Bo Hee Kim

I’m in the early stages of developing the mobile site prototype for, the hyperlocal news site. I will use  this site for testing before implementing similar mobile sites to the other hyperlocal news sites we run here at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

In order for a developer to be able to implement some of the features, we need to rewrite a lot of the backend in HTML5. That should be done by mid-January. My developer is already working with the CalPress WordPress theme that the hyperlocals run on to determine how best to implement a mobile site.

The features and functionality for Richmond Confidential are locked in and agreed upon. They are a little different than what I originally proposed but better suit the needs of the site’s audience. Our goal is to not only have a great mobile site, but to add functionality to as ... Read more...

Here we go: Hello, Richmond Confidential!

December 1, 2011 Bo Hee Kim

It’s been about a month since my last post, so I’ll do several over the next week to make up for it.

I wanted to note that though I originally thought I was going to create a more interactive site for Oakland North first, I’m going to go with Richmond Confidential. Let’s explain my rationale …

At the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, we run three hyperlocal news websites: Mission Local, Oakland North and Richmond Confidential. Mission Local has a ton of traffic and content, but for my first project there are just too many content streams I would have to consider. Richmond Confidential has the smallest amount of traffic and content, since it is one of the newest sites. Oakland North seemed like a good middle ground to create/tweak my mobile site with.

Then, there was the roadblock.


Shiny New Toys and Possible Features

November 22, 2011 Bo Hee Kim

I’ve been playing around with Balsamiq, trying to play with different ways to play with a mobile site. I’m taking a lot of inspiration from everywhere. I particularly love The Boston Globe responsive redesign.

I was lucky enough to go to ONA this year and listen to Ethan Marcotte talk about what responsive redesign actually is. The reason I’ve gone with a mobile site as opposed to an App is that it simply isn’t feasible for the majority of news organizations to create an app that works with every single tablet and smartphone out there. I love some of the customizations you can do on an app, but for me it’s simply a matter of resources.

The thing that blew me away about Marcotte’s presentation is that almost nothing is defined by pixels. Every section is basically defined in percentages. But obviously, you can’t just resize content for a desktop and a ... Read more...

And so we begin…

September 20, 2011 Bo Hee Kim

I’m still in the phase of figuring out the details of my project. My original pitch was to create a more interactive mobile version of a website for a hyperlocal news organization run out of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. I have decided on Oakland North for the time being, as they have an active mobile population that wouldn’t be too overwhelming for a first run (as opposed to Richmond Confidential, which has little mobile activity, and Mission Local, which has too much).

According to a recent PEW report, “28 percent of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind.” This makes me happy.