links for 2009-11-05

  • Great resource site where you can find or suggest alternatives to crappy software and online tools.
  • "The Nook's killer feature is its ability to share books among friends — a feature the Kindle lacks. Barnes & Noble says users can lend their books to a friend's Nook, cellphone, or computer for up to 14 days at a time, but not all e-books will be available for lending.

    "…Sony is also hoping to win customers by adopting the open EPub format. This will allow users to read books purchased from the Sony store on any EPub-compatible device. In contrast, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble use proprietary digital formats, essentially locking users to the companies' devices. A Kindle user can't switch to a Nook or a Sony Reader without losing access to all the books they purchased through Amazon. However, with a price tag of $399, the Sony Reader Daily Edition is $140 more expensive than the Nook and the Kindle."

  • "I like to preach that journalism equals content plus engagement. I tell students that they can write an incredibly important story, but it isn’t journalism unless people – hopefully lots of people – consume it. Important but boring is not journalism. Something no one reads but the writer is not journalism. That’s more like a diary entry – perhaps helpful to the writer but certainly not journalism."
  • "The mission of the Earth & Mind blog is to facilitate discussion and discovery about how humans think and learn about the Earth and environment. Earth & Mind explores the intersection between Geosciences, Education and Cognitive Sciences."
  • If you use a Flip video cam and Final Cut for video editing, you'll need this app to format the clips in a way that will let Final Cut handle them easily
  • Nicole Lazzaro, XEODesign: "Often ignored by usability, neuroscience now proves that emotion deeply connects decision making and performance. Emotions also coordinate the actions between people. Therefore the next design challenge for desktop and cloud applications is not making a UI "easy," but rather making it more emotional and social. The trick is that emotions and social experiences cannot be designed directly. This presentation covers how the choices in games craft player emotions to increase engagement."
  • Google writes: "We want to expand upon the Gwave platform, which is why we've put together the initial draft of the Google Wave Federation Protocol, the underlying network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers.

    "Yes, that's between wave providers: anyone can build a wave server and interoperate, much like anyone can run their own SMTP server. The wave protocol is open to contributions by the broader community with the goal to continue to improve how we share information, together."

  • Um, shouldn't they be focusing on improving 3G coverage rather than suing each other?

    "AT&T on Tuesday sued Verizon for allegedly misleading customers with its "there's a map for that" ads. The complaint argues that Verizon is deliberately exaggerating the gaps in AT&T's coverage through its map of 3G networks, making it seem as though some areas have no coverage at all, not just 3G. The campaign has already had to alter maps after some earlier protests from AT&T."

Twitter @ replies & how I’m changing my live event coverage

Scott Rosenberg (journalist)
If you weren’t already following author Scott Rosenberg on Twitter, as well as me, you would have missed my coverage of his talk last night. Sorry, that won’t happen again. (Image via Wikipedia)

Just yesterday I learned that on Twitter (a social media service I use a lot), if I begin a tweet with an @ reply (such as: @lisawilliams said…), that tweet will only be seen by people who not only follow me but who ALSO follow the Twitter user named after the initial “@”.

You’d think I would have known this already, but every once in a while something major slips by me. Twitter changed how it handles “@ replies” a few months ago — something that caused considerable controversy on the service. It was a controversy I happened to miss. But thanks to the kindness of a stranger, I’m now caught up on the issue and can offer some useful tips.

I’m writing about this issues because it has significant implications for how I’ll be doing live coverage of events via Twitter.

Whenever I’m at an event (such as a conference, talk, or arts event) that I think might also interest some of my Twitter followers, I tend to “live tweet” it — posting frequent updates about what’s being said, what I’m seeing, reactions to what’s happening, etc.

I do this so much, and have gotten pretty good at it, that I have attracted many Twitter followers because of it. So I’ve decided to explore offering live event coverage as a professional service.

BUT: What if only a fraction of my nearly 5,000 Twitter followers have the opportunity to see my live coverage? And what if those people are already, in a sense, part of the “in crowd?”

That’s the situation when I start my live tweets with “@”.

Yeah, big problem. Especially if part of the value I bring to the table with live event coverage service is the size of my Twitter posse.

Fortunately, it’s fixable… Continue reading

What Is Citizen Journalism?

NOTE: I get asked this question quite often, so I thought I’d take a stab at providing a definition. This represents my view only — feel free to disagree, question, or elaborate in the comments. I intend this to be the starting point of a discussion, not the last word. I originally published this post in another blog in May 2007. I’ve been getting many questions about it lately from journalism students, so I thought I’d repost it.

“Citizen journalism” is a clunky term that manages to be as open to interpretation as it is controversial. I tend to think of it this way:

Any effort by people who are not trained or employed as professional journalists to publish news or information based on original observation, research, inquiry, analysis or investigation.

Here’s what that can mean, more specifically… Continue reading

links for 2009-11-04

  • 'If gangsters-as-metaphors are fading these days, that might be because vampires-as-metaphors have taken their place—not as a projection of go-getting capitalism but wishful privilege. No wonder the bloodsuckers' main competition in pop circles is a renewed craze for zombies, the ultimate fantasy of mindless egalitarianism turned comic nightmare."
  • Event I want to check out:

    "What if you could travel to Mars? Would you be prepared for a long space journey and an inhospitable landscape? Goodbye, Earth … Hello, Mars"

    "What will you eat on your three-year journey? What will happen to your body in microgravity? How will you get along living with the rest of the crew? Can you protect yourself from radiation and Martian dust storms? If Mars has any signs of life, could you recognize them? In Facing Mars, your readiness to be a space traveler will be tested in over two dozen simulations of space travel."

  • "EFF's Teaching Copyright curriculum was created to help teachers present the laws surrounding digital rights in a balanced way. Teaching Copyright provides lessons and ideas for opening your classroom up to discussion, letting your students express their ideas and concerns, and then guiding your students toward an understanding of the boundaries of copyright law.

    "In five distinct lessons, students are challenged to:

    * Reflect on what they already know about copyright law.
    * See the connection between the history of innovation and the history of copyright law.
    * Learn about fair use, free speech, and the public domain and how those concepts relate to using materials created by others.
    * Experience various stakeholders' interests and master the principles of fair use through a mock trial.

  • "What to do if you have been phished

    1. Change your password. No one got access to your account because you used your pet’s name as your password (you do don’t you??). It doesn’t matter how crafty you’ve made it, if you hand them your login info, it’s like they’re psychic like John Edward, except they actually know stuff

    2. Check who has access to your account by going here. It shows who you have authorized to use your account. Now don’t crap the bed if there are companies listed there. I have 18 apps that have access to my account for various reasons. But if you don’t recognize one and want to yank them out, just click “revoke access”.

    3. Stop giving your info out! You should never give your info to any site that asks for it unless you are wanting them to. It’s your reputation/business here. Giving out your login to anyone is like wearing your bank card PIN on your t shirt and wandering the back streets of Vegas at 3am. Not saying I’ve done that…. ummm…

  • In York, PA and Chico, CA 1Q 2010. Gotta wonder: What do those papers have that people would pay for?

    "Saltz said the exact dates had not been decided, but estimated both sites would launch the pay requirement in the first quarter of 2010. He also said the decision about what would stay free and what would require a payment has also not been made."

  • "EFF's Takedown Hall of Shame at focuses on the most egregious examples of takedown abuse, including an example of a YouTube video National Public Radio tried to remove just this week that criticizes same-sex marriage. Other Hall of Shame honorees include NBC for requesting removal of an Obama campaign video and CBS for targeting a McCain campaign video in the critical months before the 2008 election. The Hall of Shame will be updated regularly, as bad takedowns continue to squash free speech rights of artists, critics, and commentators big and small."
  • "Some newspapers have determined that shared wire content that is available to readers from many other outlets is worth less to them than unique, proprietary content, especially online. Coupled with reductions in the space allocated for news in print, papers are weighing whether there’s the same need for Associated Press content as in the past."
  • "On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to unveil draft rules aimed at imposing network neutrality obligations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the excitement surrounding the announcement, however, many have overlooked the fact that the this rulemaking is built on a shoddy and dangerous foundation – the idea that the FCC has unlimited authority to regulate the Internet."

    "Hence the danger. If “ancillary jurisdiction” is enough for net neutrality regulations (something we might like) today, it could just as easily be invoked tomorrow for any other Internet regulation that the FCC dreams up (including things we won’t like)."

  • "Google Wave is a new web-based collaboration tool that's notoriously difficult to understand. This guide will help. Here you'll learn how to use Google Wave to get things done with your group. Because Wave is such a new product that's evolving quickly, this guidebook is a work in progress that will update in concert with Wave as it grows and changes."