One reason mobile technology fascinates me is its ubiquity across all levels of society. That makes it potentially a very powerful tool to engage and empower people who don’t necessarily sit at the top of the U.S. privilege food chain.
Temple is my old stomping ground; I graduated from journalism school there in 1990. And I’m rather stunned at all the huge new buildings that have sprung up around the campus. Good to see the school grow!
The reason Temple brought me in to help with these events is because I’m passionate about mobile and about the Philly area. I grew up in South Jersey and still have lots of family and friends in the region. So for me, helping more people in the Greater Philadelphia Area access more useful local information, news, and services via their cell phones is not just important — it’s personal!
…This is especially pressing given the continuing rocky status of Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News, and Philly.com. My grandfather Len McAdams worked on the editorial team of “The Inky” for decades. He’d be furious to hear that earlier this month PMN was sold for the fifth time in six years — at a fire sale price of $55 million. Sheesh.
Here are a few points I’d like participants in tomorrow’s barcamp and hackathon to consider…
Probably like most people, I’ve been hearing about the Occupy movement through media, both news coverage and social media. I won’t pretend to understand it, I haven’t been following closely. But it has bugged me how I keep hearing that the movement lacks clarity and focus.
Yesterday I listened to an excellent Radio Open Source podcast episode. Christopher Lydon interviewed Mark Blyth, a political economist at Brown University, about what he’s been learning about the Occupy movement by talking to protestors in Boston — and putting it into a global economic, social, and historic context that I found sobering.
One point Blyth made that particularly struck me — and that I especially wish every journalist would take to heart — is this: The labor movement didn’t come out of nowhere. It didn’t spring into being fully formed with collective bargaining and arbitration procedures. It coalesced gradually, in fits and starts, from a society struggling with the “volatility constraint” that comes with rampant inequality.
Birth is messy. Infants aren’t born talking in complete sentences. So don’t look at the Occupy movement expecting this:
Boticelli's "Birth of Venus"
After listening to all the context Blyth offered, I suspect we’re watching the earliest phases of a different kind of labor movement: the labor pangs that precedes the birth of something that might eventually walk and talk. Something that probably won’t go by the name “Occupy.”
I only hope the world can collectively raise this baby right.
I’m back in Colorado for a few days, and in a few minutes I’m heading over to ONAcamp Denver — a daylong event with training and workshops in digital journalism. My session runs 9-10am MT. Here’s the info, if you’re going:
Adirondacks (Tivoli 440/540): Mobile Reporting As more and more users turn to mobile devices for news and information, journalists should be including the platform in their news gathering and delivery. But how? This session will take a big-picture look at trends in the mobile industry, the differences between mobile and the web, the significance of having a mobile presence and the best tools to use in the mobile space.
Earlier this year I spoke at several events during Mobile News Week at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This is the video from that event — a Director’s Forum session for USC Annenberg faculty and students.
First, my colleague Jason Da Ponte gives an excellent overview of the current and evolving mobile landscape, and the role of journalism in an increasingly mobile media environment.
My part starts around 21 minutes in. Afterward, Jason & I answered questions.
Recently I helped co-author a new learning module from the Knight Citizen News Network: Likes & Tweets: Leveraging Social Media for News Sites. It’s a pretty detailed resource, intended primarily for online local news startups — but the lessons there could be applied by local news orgs in legacy media, as well as anyone trying to connect with a community online.
Yesterday, Susan, Kwan & I participated in a one-hour live chat hosted by J-Lab about this learning module. You can replay the complete transcript. We got really great interaction on this. J-Lab told us that this live chat attracted far more readers and participants than its other live chats. It was fun, and I’m glad it was a success!
This past Sunday (Easter 2011) was a pretty interesting day for me. I did my first-ever TV news appearance — I was interviewed live on CNN by Fredricka Whitfield about how mobile phone users are more vulnerable to e-mail phishing attempts. Here’s the video (sorry about the annoying preroll ads)…
For several years, I’ve loved Sunshine Week — a campaign by the American Society of News Editors to call for more government transparency. It’s one of the few times that journalists and news orgs are willing to engage in direct activism, which makes for a lot of amusing verbal gymnastics.
Today at the Knight Digital Media Center, I wrote about new advocacy/awareness tool from Sunshine Week: a model proclamation that news orgs and other activists/advocates can customize, publish, and challenge specific government officials and agencies to adopt. It gets into specifics, at least to some extent.
Heads up: On Jan. 28 I’ll be speaking on a panel at the 2011 Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Web conference, held at the Argonaut hotel in San Francisco. Here’s the session info:
Mobile apps: Yes, this is the year for you to launch your Ipad/Iphone/Droid app. Come hear about cheap ways to get your mobile app built, and possible ways to monetize quickly.
Panel: Joshua Errett (NOW), Amy Gahran (Contentious.com), Paul Wagner (Forkfly)
Well, actually there I’ll be representing Oakland Local, where I’ve been leading our mobile initiatives. And I’ll be making the case that for the vast majority of news/media outlets seeking to go mobile, and app is probably not where you want to start. It makes more sense to start with a mobile-friendly web site, and build out from that base.
By Tara Horn of the Burma Action Committee, from a Portland, OR Ignite event. Despite her nervousness speaking in front of a large crowd, I think this is the most effective Ignite presentation I’ve ever seen.