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October 22 2010

19:01

2010 FACT Social Justice Challenge: 5 Winners Announced

French American Charitable Trust logoThe French American Charitable Trust (FACT) Social Justice Challenge seeks to surface innovative Projects that leverage web and/or mobile technologies that foster collaboration around social justice issues.  The FACT Challenge's 90 innovative Projects were put to the community last week, the vote results selecting the 15 Featured Projects to receive development support and move on to the round of expert judges for final selection.

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October 18 2010

18:13

FACT Social Justice Challenge: Featured Projects Announced

French American Charitable Trust logoThe French American Charitable Trust (FACT) Social Justice Challenge seeks to surface innovative Projects that leverage web and/or mobile technologies that foster collaboration around social justice issues.  The FACT Challenge's 90 innovative Projects were put to the community last week, the vote results selecting the 15 Featured Projects to receive development support and move on to the round of expert judges for final selection.

15 Featured Projects

With thousands of votes from the community, the 15 Featured Projects include, in alphabetical order:

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October 16 2010

00:02

Voting is closed for the FACT Challenge

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Community Vote this week for the FACT Social Justice Challenge! Voting is now closed. Your participation has narrowed the field of 90 innovatiove Project ideas down to the top 15 you think should be Featured Projects. 

All Projects will be notified on Monday and we will post on the blog and the FACT Challenge pages with the list of 15 Featured Projects moving on to the final round with the panel of judges.

If you have any questions about the FACT Challenge of the process, please do not hestitate to let us know: net2@techsoup.org

October 07 2010

14:46

How to Vote: Help Select the FACT Challenge Featured Projects

The public voting process is intended to empower the community to identify the Projects with the most potential for social impact. This guide covers every step of the voting process, but if you ever have questions you can contact us at net2@techsoup.org.

Voting is open from October 11 at 12pm Pacific time and ends October 15 at 5pm Pacific Time.

To avoid a popularity contest, we ask all voters to vote for at least (3) and up to (5)  Projects. 
Please use the guidelines below to get started:

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October 04 2010

15:15

Submissions Close Today for the FACT Social Justice Challenge!

Whether you are a technologist or a changemaker, an entrepreneur or innovator - from any country around the world - we're looking for your ideas! Social justice covers all sorts of issues, like human rights, equality, and livability; and we see web and mobile-based collaborative technologies offering tremendous opportunity to support social justice work. Today is the last day to submit your Project to the Challenge - submissions close at 5 pm PST.

Use these links to get started now:

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September 27 2010

18:17

Last Chance: Submit your ideas for collaborative technologies!

FACT Challenge logoWhether you are a technologist or a changemaker, an entrepreneur or innovator - from any country around the world - we're looking for your ideas! Social justice covers all sorts of issues, like human rights, equality, and livability; and we see web and mobile-based collaborative technologies offering tremendous opportunity to support social justice work. This is the last week to submit a Project idea to the FACT Social Justice Challenge - winners receive cash and support to build their tools!

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September 06 2010

21:00

How you can support Social Justice and Innovation with the FACT Challenge

FACT Challenge logoHave a great idea for a new project that fosters collaboration? Are you passionate about social justice? Does your organization focus on citizen engagement, equality, or other community issues? The FACT Social Justice Challenge needs your ideas and passion.  There are plenty of ways to get involved with the Challenge - whether it's proposing new tools, or privinding insight from the front line of social justice work. Learn more below!

How you can support Social Justice

Individual Changemakers

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August 23 2010

19:00

Submit your Projects to the FACT Social Justice Challenge

FACT Challenge logoAs we announced last week, the 2nd annual FACT Social Justice Challenge calls for your innovative Projects that leverage web and/or mobile technologies to foster collaboration around social justice issues. Submissions are now open! You can submit your Project idea from today through October 4th. But remember: you can continue to edit, improve and add to your Project throughout that time – so submit today!

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July 23 2010

13:19

#cnnfrontline Mobile and journalism: Part two – some answers to questions

This is part 2 of a couple of posts that develop some of the areas covered and not covered by the CNN mobile journalism panel I sat on at the Frontline.

In a previous post I clarified some of the points I made. I didn’t want to sideline them it was just going to be a long post. So I my touch back on some of that in this post.

To try and keep some shape to the post I thought I would go back and look at the suggested areas given to me for the panel. They are broadly the same as the topic areas on the eventbrite page.

How important are eyewitness reports in news today? In the future.

Of course it’s really important. We can’t be everywhere as journalists so being able to get input from the scene is invaluable, however we get it. Given the subject area of the panel I suppose the context for this is the use of mobile as the tool that gets eyewitness accounts to ‘us’, the mainstram media. The fact that the CNNi app comes with ireport built in illustrates the importance of mobile as a possible platform.

Of course this is where the vexed question of CitJ rears its’ head. I was amused to read in the pre-amble to the event “Citizen journalists and ordinary people are, increasingly, beating TV crews to the scene of breaking news stories.”. Yes people are racing to events but they are also there already. We used to call them victims or bystanders.

What motivates people to submit content to news orgnaisations? What type of people do it?

All kinds of people. All kinds of motives. Some people will do it out of a passion for the story and at the other end of the spectrum, some will do it out of spite. What’s clear is that that they send in to an organization because they have some affinity to it. They send to the BBC because they respect it and want to be part of it. They will take time to post a video to CNN because they may get a chance to be associated with it. That’s where we let them down sometimes. We don’t recognize that and engage. Sometimes we don’t even say thank you. How hurt would you be when someone something you respect let’s you down or treats you badly.

Is it important for practicing journalists to understand and use mobile technology in their work? What does it bring to their craft that’s new, or better.

In a nutshell, yes. If you don’t use mobile in what you do how can you possibly know how to serve and interact with your audience who do.

CNNi’s Louis Gump made a great point when he said that mobile is not just one thing. It’s mobile phone apps, its tablets and ipad stuff and its the mobile web (browsing the web on a phone). I think thats really important in this context. But we also need to add that in a journalistic context it’s also a tool to gather content. Alex Woods had it so right when he said we have to think of a mobile in its individual parts. It’s a camera, a video camera, a web browser and a phone.

That brings loads of opportunities but it also challenges.

It challenges the working practice and professional definitions. Take the mobile web. Louis rightly pointed out the stylistic differences for content online (images and bullet point text). But many journalists balk at that as a change from their ‘normal style’. The mobile phone as a tool is great but what about the feeling of inadequacy when using a mobile phone to shoot video rather than a big broadcast camera (subjugating your ego to small devices as @benhammersly summarized it!)? What about the problem that most journalists pay their own phone bills and don’t want to subsidize their org by paying the data tariff so they can stream their own video?

All of those questions, and the related by-ways of debate they create are, I think, one of the reasons the debate was a bit stale for some. You see, we haven’t really answered those questions. As journalists we haven’t come to terms with those changes. When people in the room are asking if it’s a good idea to specialise or learn a range of these ‘new skills’ then you realise that perhaps the debate isn’t so stale.

Tips on creating great stories using a mobile device?

I’d say consume some content on your own phone. Think about the limitations and your experience. It’s no different from the consumer so put yourself in their shoes then act on your own experience. I would also go back to Alex’s point about thinking about the individual functions- the camera, video, apps etc. The rest is then a case of what you are doing. If you are taking a picture then think about what makes a good editorial picture. That doesn’t change because you are using a mobile. Likewise with video. Yes, some of the tropes of TV can be subverted but the basics work.

What’s the impact of new technology on the business of news?
Obviously there is a huge impact. As I was drafting this post the BBC have just announced that they have  had the go ahead for BBC apps. That’ll put the cat amongst the pigeons. But that aside I think it’s important to look at the different sectors of ‘mobile’ to gauge the impact but in general I think the impact is in capacity. You have to spend money to get the capacity to do mobile – the technology part of it. But there is also your the capacity of the people within your organsiation – the understanding and skills.

Of course you could throw a lot of money at the problem but skills and understanding are often resilient to that. Hearts and minds don’t often change with cash. But time and money are well spent when building capacity and the smart people are seeing it as a medium term thing.

Take the ipad for example. In a quick straw poll of the audience only 3 out of 40’ish people admitted to having an ipad. So why the big fuss about it? Well, one part is the apps which are a big area of development. But for the smart set the ipad is a transitional platform. It’s a place to experiment with HTML 5 for example. Get you offering right on the ipad and chances are you will be a step further down the line when browsers catch up.

The danger is that some orgs will try and bypass the necessary investment by seeing mobile as just another platform to aggregate and dump content on to. Thats a mistake. Shovelware on any platform doesn’t work. Aggregation is something that is better left to your audience to do and not your organization.

How is technology changing the way people consume news?
Whenever new technology comes along it will change peoples habits. Mobile is no exception. But the killer combination is mobile and the rise of social media online. Any stats on mobile app use for example shows the importance of Facebook and social sites Facebook. Look at the fluster around Flipboard and you get an idea of the issues as the relate to journalism.

So if you are a large media organisation looking to develop for a mobile platform then ask yourself what social media elements you are adding? What social media habits are you tapping in to? Do your journalists have the capacity to work in a social media environment.

Perhaps the answer to a business model lies in the fact that if you are not up to capacity on understanding and working with communities then decide what content you can give for free in an app wrapper to get you on the platform. But don’t give it much thought beyond that. You just aren’t ready to make the best of it.

A quick bluster through I know. But it’s a start. I’d love more questions.

April 15 2010

20:01

The NetSquared Challenge Model: An Interview with Marnie Webb

Case FoundationEach year, we hold a NetSquared Challenge to mine, profile and accelerate technologically innovative projects focused on social change. Recently, the Case Foundation interviewed Marnie Webb, our co-CEO, about the challenge process, opportunities and impacts.

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November 07 2009

09:16

GOOD ADVICE FOR ALL OF US

tumblr_krvcehRdmd1qzpe8uo1_1280

The news industry is facing big challenges.

Like in the past.

Like today.

Like tomorrow.

So let’s remember:

“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride”

(Thanks to INNOVATION’s Claude Erbsen)

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