Interesting stuff, August 6th from 11:01 to 11:30

Here are some items that caught my interest, and why, from August 6th from 11:01 to 11:30:

Castles Made of Sand: Honoring the Temporary

This is a rare fairly personal, reflective post. I don’t do this often. So if your not into hearing my personal observations about life and death, don’t bother watching this video.

I was inspired here by recent events — primarily watching my friend Sarah Dopp this week share her experience of attending the death of her grandmother. She generously offered a public window to this experience via Twitter (starting July 25, and the rest follows in her Twitter archive) and blog.

But there were other inspirations — the strangest of which is the shuffle setting on my iPod keeps tossing up two haunting songs by Jimi Hendrix: Castles Made of Sand and Little Wing. Here, Tuck & Patti blend these tunes into a graceful medley:

Then, after I recorded my video last night, my spouse Tom Vilot showed me one of the most amazing feats of expression and education I’ve ever seen: The last lecture of Professor Randy Pausch of Carnegie-Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. He died of pancreatic cancer on July 25 — but not before sharing his insights on how important it can be to attempt to realize your childhood dreams.

My favorite line from this video: “I don’t know how NOT to have fun!”

So if you’re feeling stuck or trapped, Pausch’s talk is a shot of adrenaline straight to your soul. I was crying so hard with joy after I watched it that I couldn’t finish posting my own video last night. (It wouldn’t have worked anyway. My decreasingly reliable web host,, is having issues and not fixing them fast. I’m ready to post this at 9am MT, but they say probably not until 1:30 pm MT, grrrrr….)

However, waiting until this morning allowed me to assemble this video collage. Hope you like it.

Future of Civic Media: Live Coverage this Week (Twitter Permitting)

David Cohn of gets geeky at the MIT Media Lab.

Yesterday I arrived in Boston, where starting this evening I’ll be attending a conference at MIT for winners of the Knight News Challenge. This event is hosted by MIT’s new Center for the Future of Civic Media.

I’ll be covering this event — at first on my live coverage Twitter account, amylive. To see my coverage, follow me there.

I’ve also set up a special group Twitter account for attendees via the GroupTweet service. That account is KNCwinners — but it isn’t working properly just yet. You can start following that account now, if you like. I’ll keep trying to troubleshoot the problem. When it’s fixed, you’ll start seeing posts there not only from me but from other attendees like Dave Cohn (, Lisa Williams (Placeblogger) and many more bright media folks.

Enjoy! And let’s just hope Twitter doesn’t have too many serious problems over the next few days!

CA Wildfires: Watershed Moment for Collaborative Online News?

Alex Miroshnichenko
Freelance photojournalist Alex Miroshnichenko is offering great fire coverage (and smart marketing of his skills) with Creative Commons-licensed photos on Flickr.

For the last few days at Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, I’ve been blogging examples of innovative ways that online media is being used to cover the Southern CA wildfires. It’s been astonishing. There have been cool efforts from mainstream news orgs like SignOn San Diego and the Los Angeles Times and even FOX News.

But also, regular people and even some government officials have been using blogs, forums, mapping tools, social media sites, citizen journalism sites like NowPublic, media-sharing services like Flickr, and even Twitter to share news, information, updates, and assistance.

Personally, I think this is shaping up to be a watershed moment for online news. This time, it all seems to be coming together in a new way.

In particular, the collaborative tone of this content that strikes me as significant: map mashups, databases, forums, photo groups, social media, Twitter updates… You can really get a direct sense of how people fit into this story, what they’re doing, and what they want or need. It’s personal, diverse, detailed, and comprehensive.

This is a whole different concept of “news.” It’s becoming a verb, something you DO — not just a noun (a thing that you passively receive)….

Continue reading

Media Is Not a Spectator Sport: Notes for my talk

Halloween morning, Justin Crawford and I will be leading a discussion with journalism grad students at the University of Colorado. The topic we were given is rather amorphous: "blogging and citizen journalism."

Well the good thing about an amorphous assignment is that I can make of it pretty much what I choose. So that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Here are my notes for that talk. I’ve also posted Justin’s notes.

To start with, this past weekend I had the opportunity to speak with many journalism students at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists. I even taught some of them how to blog, so they could contribute to the unofficial SEJ2006 blog. I also got a chance to speak with many journalism educators. These are all very bright people.

Still, I got the strong impression that journalism education today remains focused almost entirely on traditional print/broadcast media — not just in terms of technology, but also by instilling a mindset which assumes a passive audience that absorbs news, rather than engaging an active community that contributes to news.

Here are a few thoughts and tips for how today’s journalism students (and other budding or not-so-budding journalists) can capitalize on a media landscape that has shifted strongly toward participation and conversation…

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE over at The Right Conversation. You also can comment there, if you like.

Front Range (CO) Blogger Meetup Aug. 23

As much as I adore conversational media, I like face-to-face conversations even more. I know there are lots of bloggers in the Boulder-Denver (CO) area, but we never seem to get together much. I’d love to meet some of these people.

So this weekend I decided to do something about it. I signed up as a organizer and arranged the first-ever monthly Front Range Bloggers Meetup. It’s Aug. 23, 2006, 6-9 pm (MST) at Trident Bookseller & Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder, CO.

If you’re a blogger located along Colorado’s Front Range, or if you’re from this region and you like reading blogs or are thinking about blogging, feel free to stop by! This event is free.

Please RSVP for this event via Several people have already indicated they’re coming.

Even if you can’t make it on Aug. 23, please join this group on so you can get announcements of future events. I’m sure we’ll try other locations for these monthly meetings as this develops.