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June 24 2013

14:21

Facebook aims to become a 'newspaper for mobile' with new app

Facebook aims to become a 'newspaper for mobile' with new app:

Facebook is aiming to become a newspaper for mobile devices, WSJ reports. “The social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.”

But owning news consumption will be a challenge for Facebook, analysts say. Both Twitter and LinkedIn have been pushing their own services aggressively, while Flipboard has more than 50 million users. “There are a lot of things people didn’t do on Facebook several years ago that they now do,” said Nate Elliot, a Forrester analyst. “But I imagine it’s going to be very hard” to retrain consumers to see Facebook as a go-to hub for news. Mr. Zuckerberg is watching the Reader project closely, one of the people with knowledge of the matter said, and he has provided input and reviewed aspects of the design at various turns. While Mr. Zuckerberg has made “move fast and break things” a Facebook company mantra, the development of Reader has been relatively slow and deliberate. The team has focused on creating a product experience that works on both tablets and smartphones, the person added, and it has explored different ways to highlight news content to users, including showing public posts that are trending on the site.

13:57
The oldest pencil in the world… explore-blog: The oldest...


The oldest pencil in the world…

explore-blog:

The oldest pencil in the world, found in timbered house built in 1630, from this surprising history of the pencil.

May 09 2013

16:28

GI Joe and the invention of the viral video

The Verge:

At least as far as internet culture is concerned, [2003] was also the year of the “GI Joe PSAs”: 25 weird, short videos made from re-edited versions of ‘80s GI Joe cartoons. Before YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter were alive to launch a meme in a minute, the GI Joe PSAs went “viral” in a time when that idea didn’t even exist.

02:28

NPR launches new smartphone site with infinite scrolling, comments & more

Highlights of the new page include:

imageInfinite headlines: The new mobile homepage features the moment’s top news, arts and music stories, followed by an unlimited list of links to all of NPR’s recent best.

Smartphone-friendly stories: For the first time, each mobile homepage headline links to the full version of that story, including all photos, audio and video. You won’t find any more abridged articles. In the past year, we’ve redesigned our stories to work well on phones and other devices.

Easy access to audio: At the top of the new mobile homepage, you’ll find quick ways to listen to NPR. Play the “24-hour program stream” to hear a continuous lineup of our recently aired shows. Or tap “hear news & programs” to play hourly news updates or browse all of our shows.

More at your fingertips: Visitors entering our site through the mobile homepage will now have access to story comments, advanced searching and extended NPR listening opportunities, such as NPR Music’s First Listen series.

August 09 2012

22:03

Are Tablet-Only Publications Dead?

Is there a future for tablet-only publications? “The last few weeks have cast an ominous shadow over this niche industry following substantial staff cuts at News Corp.’s The Daily and a decision by the Huffington Post to give up on charging for its iPad magazine after just five issues,” Adweek reports. “While some media observers are quick to write off the format, many in the industry see recent woes as part of the natural growing pains of an emerging market.”


April 27 2012

15:11

Rupert Murdoch: The future of newspapers is all digital

Rupert Murdoch believes newspapers will continue to exists on paper for about 20 more years with declining circulation, and then eventually become completely electronic. Personally, I think it will accelerate a lot faster than that. He made his comments about the future of journalism while giving...

December 01 2011

02:53

The Future of Media: Apple TV, Pandora in cars, engaging tablets

What does the future of media hold? A new Apple TV, Pandora streaming in cars, increased reader engagement thanks to tablets, according to the speakers at the first day of Business Insiders’ Ignition: Future of Media conference. Among the most interesting take-aways so far: Apple analyst Gene...

02:46

Pandora coming to your car

Pandora is working with car manufacturers to make Pandora seamlessly integrated into cars, CEO Joe Kennedy said today at Business Insider’s Ignition conference. Here is a view preview of how it is integrated into Chevrolet’s upcoming Mylink system – a new touchscreen, voice...

June 26 2011

14:50

Same-sex marriage reaction on Twitter – versus traditional media

Watching the news of the same-sex marriage victory spread across Twitter this weekend, especially the real-time reaction from the West Village, it was hard not to be emotionally moved by the events. The experience illuminated how learning the news live through Twitter — via first-person sources — is such a different, and in may ways more immersive, experience than getting news from traditional media.

Many folks learned about the news from Twitter, or even from Foursquare (like this person), after Marriage Equalitocalypse started trending and Mayor Bloomberg checked in.

Stories in the local press were perfectly typical: the requisite quotes and photos of people celebrating. Supporters “danced in the streets.” “Crowds gathered, screamed and embraced.” But the stories felt flat, by comparison, to reading about the news and the euphoria via Twitter, in real-time, from people passionate about the story, from people whose lives it instantly changed. In the traditional news article, a disembodied authority tells you the news. Via Twitter, you hear it in the voice of an excited friend — and that creates experience that feels much closer to being there yourself.

Compare, for example, this perfectly fine article from The New York Times with the excellent collection of Tweets and videos pulled together by Brooklyn tech strategist Deanna Zandt (using the Storify curation tool) — included below. Deanna’s tale gives the reader a very different feel.

Reading this, it’s interesting to try to imagine what the Stonewall Riots might have been like had Twitter been around — and how, as well, the impact might have been different.

[View the story "Marriage rights pass: live from Stonewall Friday night" on Storify]


June 14 2011

14:48

What the next New York Times editor learned about the Web

Incoming New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson spent six months recently focusing on the online operations. During that time, she tells AdAge, she learned a number of things — such as the Web staff was not as integrated as it should be, the online competitive landscape is greater than she realized, and The Times needs to be more competitive online in the early mornings.

She said:

One thing I tried during the six months was to only read online. As I read more and more early in the morning I felt like everyone else was playing to win the morning, and we weren’t enough. Many sites, whether Politico or Bloomberg or another site, by like 6:30 in the morning were full of fresh stories. If breaking news had happened overnight, we covered it, but basically early in the morning we were an echo on the web of the six stories that were on the front of the print paper.

I think that in order to have an integrated newsroom, all the people who work on the news report have to feel that they have a real career track here. I think for our digital employees, especially web producers and some of the web editors, they felt like they loved their work but where were they going to go? They’d never covered cops for metro, that sort of thing. In the end my plan for the newsroom was that we dispersed the web producers and web editors and put them on the desks, so web producers that were working on business news now work for Larry Ingrassia, the business editor, after they had worked for a web editor.

Part of what I did was I went and visited a lot. Bill Keller came up with a great word — neo-competitors. That’s what he thinks sites like Politico and Huffington Post are. I went and spent a day at some of those. I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising but the largeness of the competitive field came to surprise me.

Our night note, the competition report which has been put out forever, would only mention what was on the front page of the Washington Post, maybe something from the Journal’s website, but never any mention of a Politico or a HuffPost or a Bloomberg. That has changed.

 


June 13 2011

22:21

FCC Report on Media Offers Strong Diagnosis, Weak Prescriptions

A consensus has begun to emerge around the Federal Communications Commission report, "The Information Needs of Communities," released Thursday: The diagnosis is sound, but the remedies are lacking.

The 465-page report (see full report, embedded below) is the result of 600-plus interviews, hearings and reams of research conducted over 18 months. It represents the most ambitious attempt yet to come to terms with the consequences of the current media transformation. It's a synthetic and comprehensive look at the entire ecosystem -- commercial, non-commercial and user-generated; across print, broadcast, online and mobile -- making it a tremendous resource for advocates, journalists, entrepreneurs and media educators.

Steven Waldman, journalist, editor and digital news entrepreneur, was lead author for this project and worked with a distinguished team of experts from across the country to compile both capsule histories of each sector and an atlas of current facts and figures. See the gallery of graphs from the report below, assembled by Josh Stearns of the media reform organization Free Press, for a sense of the range and depth of the research. (Overwhelmed? A two-page summary of findings and recommendations is also available here.)

Trouble for Local Reporting

The primary conclusion echoes that of many recent reports: Amid vibrant experimentation by a broad range of news producers, local reporting is in the biggest trouble. There are less ad dollars for newspapers, fewer reporters on the beat for both print and broadcast, fewer enterprise investigations, and more "hamsterized" reporters, all resulting in a gap in the ability to hold governments and corporations to account.

The report also represents an unprecedented effort by the FCC to take stock of the results of previous policy decisions supporting non-commercial and community media. Rather than focusing solely on public broadcasting as the answer to commercial news woes, as many recent analyses have, this report acknowledges the growth and dynamism of a broader non-profit news sector:

More accurate than "public broadcasting," the term "non-profit media" better captures the full range of not-for-profit news and media organizations. Some non-profit media groups are affiliated with public broadcasting, some not; some receive government funds, most do not. But what these groups have in common is this: they plow excess revenue back into the organization, and they have public-interest missions that involve aspirations toward independent journalism.

The report's authors see the growth and vigor in this sector as promising, and even have some kind words to say about public access stations, often dismissed or left entirely out of the local news equation. However, they also confirm that news production by non-commercial outlets is still not sufficient to fill the yawning gap in local reporting that has opened up over the past decade.

steve-waldman.jpg

What's more, stable business models for such outlets have not yet emerged, and the federal funding that undergirds the largest swath of non-commercial outlets, public broadcasters, is under political threat. Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds that were supporting digital innovation were slashed this year, as were funds earmarked for buildout of new station infrastructure.

To add insult to injury, Waldman & Co. note, public interest obligations for commercial stations have been defanged, offering no way to ensure diverse or high-quality local public affairs coverage. Those requirements that remain are rarely enforced.

No Bold Solutions

Yet, bafflingly, despite identifying these clear market gaps, the report stops short of offering bold solutions, perhaps in reaction to the currently charged political and funding climate. Instead, as several commentaries -- such as this piece in GigaOm -- note, the resounding message to the media industry is "don't look to us, we can't help you." GigaOm's Matthew Ingram writes:

One of the biggest trends that the FCC flags as important in the report is the loss of what it calls "accountability" journalism, in which news outlets on a local and/or national level cover the government and thereby act as a check on power. As more than one person has noted, this conclusion isn't exactly a news flash that required government funding and two years of research to unearth, but is arguably still worth highlighting, since it's a gap that has yet to be filled. And what does the FCC think can be done to fill it? Not much.

Commissioner Michael J. Copps objected emphatically to this laissez-faire approach at the report's release; he was the first to observe that "the policy recommendations ... don't track the diagnosis."

For some conservatives and the entrepreneurially minded, that's just fine. "I think I'm relieved that, on first scan, the FCC report on journalism recommends little," tweeted CUNY's director of interactive journalism Jeff Jarvis. As Waldman explained at the release event, a primary goal of the report's recommendations was to protect the First Amendment, a priority that sits well with libertarian commentator Adam Thieirer. He blogged his initial reaction at the Technology Liberation Front site:

For those of us who care about the First Amendment, media freedom, and free-market experimentation with new media business models, it feels like we've dodged a major bullet. The report does not recommend sweeping regulatory actions that might have seen Washington inserting itself into the affairs of the press or bailing out dying business models.

Spurring Conversation

So, what kind of remedies should the report have offered? Of course, I have my own ideas about how taxpayer dollars can best support civic engagement and innovation -- many of which I've reported on in the pages of MediaShift. I also have my own stake in this report, which cites research that I've conducted with colleagues at the Center for Social Media and the New America Foundation -- see the annotations in the embedded version of the report below for some highlights.

But, as several observers noted, the report will do its job if it spurs broader conversation about how best to support the evolution of news. That process has already begun.

Read more:

Using Storify, I've compiled reactions currently being shared via Twitter.

[View the story "Reactions to the FCC's Information Needs of Communities Report:" on Storify]

And, you can read the full document here:



Jessica Clark is a Senior Fellow at American University's Center for Social Media, a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation, and is currently consulting with the Association of Independents in Radio on a forthcoming initiative.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

13:25

Applying the Slow Food movement to news

In his recent talk to the Personal Democracy Forum, author Dan Gillmor argues for applying the Slow Food movement to news. By that he means, take a breadth. “The sooner something is on Twitter after a major event, the more skeptical… or at least the more you should reserve judgement about it…. The things that are the most amazing, I put in the category of interesting if true. And that feels right to me.”

May 11 2011

13:16

12 great tips for digital media startups (from Startup 2011)

Silicon Alley Insider’s Startup 2011 conference this week covered cover all the hot topics in entrepreneurship, from pivots to bubble talk, and left a pretty positive vibe about the New York startup community, capped by NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne telling Silicon Valley to “Bring it on!”

Here are 12 of the best tips and takeaways for VCs and entrepeneurs from the conference…

  1. “Execution matters more than the idea” – Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson
  2. “And a great team is required for execution” – Venrock’s David Pakman
  3. Startups should stay lean until their user base isn’t lean, Fred Wilson said. No need to raise more capital. As proof, he reminded folks that, “Gowalla raised $8 million and it didn’t do shit for them. They still got their ass kicked” by Foursquare, which only raised $1 million in its first round.”
  4. “Most companies don’t get murdered, they commit suicide.” – Esther Dyson, meaning that they die when they cease to innovate
  5. “Talent attracts capital, not the other way around,” NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, who also added that NYC has plenty of capital already
  6. Venture capital is a service business: VC’s should treat entrepreneurs as their clients. – Fred Wilson
  7. “Do what you love” – sentiments echoed by both BetaWorks CEO John Borthwick and MeetUp co-founder Scott Heiferman
  8. “Find out who your users are and religiously passionately follow your users,” Borthwick says. One thing we do wrong, he says, is try to figure out a business model first before we figure out what our users want. To be truly successful, follow your users.
  9. Focus on your product, what you can control and how to “delight your customers.” - serial entrepeneur Gina Bianchini
  10. When you don’t have a business model, be open with your staff. – Mike Lazerow, Buddy Media CEO, discussing pre-pivot startups.
  11. For smart digital media marketing, read ”PyroMarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life” – Betsy Morgan, President, TheBlaze.com
  12. Just do it. Scott Heiferman joked that if he was starting today he wouldn’t get anything done, because they are so many distractions. “You could spend all day sitting in stupid conferences like this,” he joked, urging folks to stop going to conference and go out and just build something.

What other tips do you have for startups? Post in the comments below.


May 02 2011

03:40

First reports of Osama bin Laden’s death on Twitter

It looks like the first reports of Osama bin Laden’s death came not via online news sites or cable TV but via Twitter. Keith Urbahn, Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff, reported on Twitter at about 10:30 pm ET, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.”

A few minutes later, CBS News producer Jill Jackson confirmed the news with this tweet: “House Intelligence committee aide confirms that Osama Bin Laden is dead. U.S. has the body.”

 

September 22 2010

16:54

5 social media trends to know

The Next Web outlines five trends that it believes will shape how social media develops over the next few years: Identity will become embedded in your devices; Online sharing will become embedded into your media life; Location will become embedded into all activities; Smart devices and web apps will automatically check-in and post updates; Social networking will revolutionise the way large organisations collaborate.

September 21 2010

02:23

Real-time Web + journalism = Real-time reporting

In a new essay, OJR’s Robert Hernandez uses the recent incident of the gunman at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters to highlight how the real-time web is changing journalism — including some good examples of how it can help and complicate the story.

“This next phase has the power to improve and advance our journalism, but also puts our core journalistic values to the test.”

The real-time web, he says, means “journalism without a safety net… it’s hyperlocal AND global journalism… it’s working under the deadline of now, 15 minutes from now and 15 minutes ago.

“The journalism game has changed — again. And this won’t be the last time,” he says. “While technology evolves, what are constant and never-changing are our core journalistic values.”


August 12 2010

16:34

Six digital trends to watch

Edelman’s Steve Rubel and David Armano have identified six digital trends and how organizations should address them.

Here is a brief summary of the trends, from Armano‘s blog, followed by their full presentation.

  1. Marketing in the age of streams
  2. Your customers, consumers and employees are no longer only visiting static Web pages but participating in conversations which increasingly occur off domain in “streams” flowing from Facebook, Twitter and even apps. In order to catch them, you must be highly relevant in their streams.

  3. The Googleization of media
  4. Quality Content and potent social connections in addition to traditional keywords are influencing how visible you are to the search engines. Everyone is media.

  5. The data decade
  6. Data is increasingly becoming available to anyone and everyone. From it we can derive insights into behaviors. We must become “data junkies” to fully harness this trend.

  7. Business becomes social
  8. Moving from designated spokesperson to employee engagement at scale—business itself is beginning to look more social as organizations start to engage all stakeholders in open and mutually beneficial ways.

  9. Location, location, location
  10. Where you are is becoming the new what are you doing as multiple platforms begin to adopt the new geolocation status update generating new kinds of data.

  11. Private becomes public
  12. Despite privacy concerns, applications and behaviors which support social sharing are still going strong as what is considered private becomes re-defined as we continue engaging in networks.

July 28 2010

16:14

New report: Internet more important than newspapers, but still not trustworth

Newspapers are now less important than the Internet as a source of information, yet the majority of online users say most online information is not reliable, according to the 10th annual study of the impact of the Internet on Americans by the Center for the Digital Future.

The study also found that 70 percent of online users believe that Internet advertising is “annoying,” yet 55 percent of users said they would rather see Web advertising than pay for content.

Among the study’s findings:

  • Americans on the Internet — For the first time, the Internet is used by more than 80 percent of Americans — now 82 percent.   Weekly hours online — The average time online has now reached 19 hours per week.  Although more than two-thirds of Americans have gone online for a decade, the largest year-to-year increases in weekly online use have been reported in the two most recent Digital Future studies.
  • Gaps in Internet use in age groups — Not surprisingly, Internet use continues to increase as age decreases, with 100 percent of those under age 24 going online.  However, a surprisingly high percentage of Americans between 36 and 55 are not Internet users: among respondents age 46 to 55, 19 percent are non-users; among those 36 to 45, 15 percent are non-users.
  • Low adoption of new media — Although new media is used by large percentages of  Internet users age 24 and under, overall large percentages of Internet users never go online to do instant messaging (50 percent), work on a blog (79 percent), participate in chat rooms (80 percent), or make or receive phone calls (85 percent).
  • Does technology make the world a better place — The percentage of users age 16 and older who said that communication technology makes the world a better place has declined to 56 percent of users from its peak of 66 percent in 2002.
  • Internet and Political Campaigns — although more than 70 percent of users agree that the Internet is important for political campaigns, only 27 percent of users said that by using the Internet public officials will care more about what people think, and 29 percent said that the Internet can give people more of a say in what government does.
  • Buying online — 65 percent of adult Internet users buy online (the same as in 2008), and make an average of 35.2 purchases per year (up from 34.1 per year in 2008).
  • Internet impact on traditional retail declines — 61 percent of Internet users said that online purchasing has reduced their buying in traditional retail stores — down from 69 percent in 2008.
  • Top 10 online purchases — 59 percent of Internet users said they purchase books or clothes online, followed by gifts (55 percent), travel (53 percent), electronics/appliances (47 percent), videos (46 percent), computers or peripherals (41 percent), software or games (40 percent), CDs (40 percent), and products for hobbies (38 percent).
  • The study found that as sources of information – their primary function – newspapers rank below the Internet or television.  Only 56 percent of Internet users ranked newspapers as important or very important sources of information for them – a decrease from 60 percent in 2008 and below the Internet (78 percent), and television (68 percent).
  • Even lower are the percentages of users who consider newspapers important as sources of entertainment for them, now considered important by 29 percent of Internet users, and down from 32 percent in 2008 – also last among principal media.
  • Eighteen percent of Internet users said they stopped a subscription to a newspaper or magazine because they now get the same or related content online – down slightly from 22 percent in 2008, but nevertheless a strong indication that print newspapers can be sacrificed by a significant percentage of Internet users.
  • Internet users were asked where they would go for information provided by their newspaper if the print edition ceased, 59 percent said they would read the online edition of the publication; only 37 percent said they would instead read the print edition of another newspaper.
  • Twenty-two percent of users who read newspapers said they would not miss the print edition of their newspaper.
  • Sixty-one percent of users said that only half or less of online information is reliable — a new low level for the Digital Future Project.
  • Even more disturbing is that 14 percent of Internet users said that only a small portion or none of the information online is reliable – a percentage that has grown for the past three years and is now at the highest level thus far in the Digital Future Project.
  • Also revealing is the percentage of users who have limited trust even in the Web sites they visit regularly: although 78 percent said that most or all of the information on the sites they visit regularly is reliable (a decline from the previous two years), 22 percent of users say that only one half or less of information on sites they visit regularly is reliable.
  • Even search engines such as Google and Yahoo – traditional stalwarts of online credibility – have lost some of their luster.   While 53 percent of Internet users said that most or all of the information provided by search engines is reliable and accurate, that percentage declined slightly in the current Digital Future Study and is well below the peak of 64 percent in 2006.
  • 36 percent of users said only about half of information provided by search engines is reliable and accurate, and 12 percent said only a small portion or none of it was reliable.
  • Only 46 percent of users said they have some trust or a lot of trust in the Internet in general.  Nine percent of users have no trust in the Internet.

June 18 2010

13:28

Mobile search growing faster than ad spending

Some good and bad news on the mobile search front: Mobile search traffic is growing substantially, but so far mobile ad spending is remaining a small slice of the overall search ad market, according to a new report by RBC Capital Markets.

The study by RBC Capital Markets says mobile searches represent 8% to 10% of overall search queries in 2010 but less than 2% of paid search spend, MediaPost reports. RBC Capital says mobile searches will quadruple in the next three years, but the mobile ad market will remain rather small for Google, only reaching $2-$3 billion in the next few years.

One promising sign is that mobile search ads drive three to five times higher click-through rates. Still, because of the smaller screen real estate, the average mobile search shows only 1.1 paid search result, compared to 9.2 search ads per query on a desktop screen. That indicates mobile search might never fully close the gap between mobile’s share of overall search queries and its share of search advertising.

TechCrunch believes the report is a bit optimistic on the ad revenue front, and has more detailed analysis of the report.

June 16 2010

22:41

Knight funds 12 innovative digital news projects

The Knight Foundation is giving $2.74 million to fund 12 new media innovation projects, as part of the Knight News Challenge.  Among the winning ideas are two easy-to-use tool sets for journalists and bloggers to illustrate raw data visually; tools to create “real time ads” that display a business’ latest Twitter or Facebook update; a place for the public to pitch and pay for stories on public radio; a mobile application that enables residents to geo-tag ideas for improving their neighborhood.

2010 Knight News Challenge Winners

CityTracking

Award: $400,000

Winner: Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen Design

Web URL: http://stamen.com;  http://crimespotting.org

Twitter: @stamen

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Summary: To make municipal data easy to understand, CityTracking will allow users to create embeddable data visualizations that are appealing enough to spread virally and that are as easy to share as photos and videos. The dynamic interfaces will be appropriate to each data type, starting with crime and working through 311 calls for service, among others. The creators will use high design standards, making the visuals beautiful as well as useful.

Bio: Eric Rodenbeck is the founder and creative director of Stamen, a leading mapping and data visualization design studio based in San Francisco. Recent Stamen projects for the London 2012 Olympics, MSNBC and the City of San Francisco push the boundaries of online cartography and design. In addition, the studio’s contribution to open-source mapping projects are helping to make possible a bottom-up revolution in how maps and data visualization are made and consumed. Rodenbeck led the interactive storytelling and data-driven narrative effort at Quokka Sports, illustrated and designed at Wired magazine and Wired Books, and was a co-founder of the design collective Umwow. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Rodenbeck received a bachelor’s in the history and philosophy of technology from The New School for Social Research in 1994. In 2008, he was named one of Esquire magazine’s “Best and Brightest” new designers and thinkers, and one of ID Magazine’s top 40 designers to watch. He is on the board of directors of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

The Cartoonist

Award: $378,000

Winner: Ian Bogost and Michael Mateas

Web URL: http://www.gatech.edu

Twitter: @ibogost

Location: Atlanta, Ga.

Summary: To engage readers in the news, this project will create a free tool that produces cartoon-like current event games – the game equivalent of editorial cartoons. The simplified tools will be created with busy journalists and editors in mind, people who have the pulse of their community but don’t have a background in game development. By answering a series of questions about the major actors in a news event and making value judgments about their actions, The Cartoonist will automatically propose game rules and images. The games aim to help the sites draw readers and inspire them to explore the news.

Bio:  Ian Bogost, a videogame designer, critic and researcher, is associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and founding partner at Persuasive Games. His research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on political and art games. Bogost is the author of Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism, of Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, co-author of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System and co-author of the forthcoming Newsgames: Journalism at Play. Bogost’s videogames cover topics as varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally.

Michael Mateas is an authority on artificial intelligence for games and interactive entertainment. His research group at the University of California, Santa Cruz, The Expressive Intelligence Studio, is one of the largest technical game research groups in the world. He holds the MacArthur Endowed Chair and helped create the first game design program in the University of California system. With Andrew Stern, he created the award-winning Façade, the first artificial intelligence-based interactive drama.

Local Wiki

Award: $350,000

Winner: Philip Neustrom and Mike Ivanov

Web URL: http://localwiki.org

Twitter: @philipn; @mivanov

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Summary: Based on the successful DavisWiki.org in Davis, Calif., this project will create enhanced tools for local wikis, a new form of media that makes it easy for people to learn – and share – their own unique community knowledge. Members will be able to post articles about anything they like, edit others and upload photos and files. This grant will help create the specialized open-source software that makes the wiki possible and help communities develop, launch and sustain local wiki projects.

Bio: Philip Neustrom is a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay area. He co-founded DavisWiki.org in 2004. For the past several years he has worked on a variety of nonprofit efforts to engage everyday citizens. He oversaw the development of the popular VideoTheVote.org, the world’s largest coordinated video documentation project, and was the lead developer at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, a nonprofit focused on empowering traditionally underrepresented constituencies. He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with a bachelor’s in mathematics.

Mike Ivanov is a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He co-founded DavisWiki.org in 2004. He, along with Philip Neustrom, was awarded the Excellence in Community Involvement Award by the City of Davis for his work on the DavisWiki, an honor usually reserved for traditional local media formats such as radio and television. He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with a bachelor’s in mathematics.

WindyCitizen’s Real Time Ads

Award: $250,000

Winner: Brad Flora, WindyCitizen.com

Web URL: http://windycitizen.com

Twitter: @bradflora

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Summary: As a way to help online startups become sustainable, this project will develop an improved software interface to help sites create and sell what are known as “real-time ads.” These ads are designed to be engaging as they constantly change – showing the latest message or post from the advertiser’s Twitter account, Facebook page or blog. Challenge winner Brad Flora helped pioneer the idea on his Chicago news site, WindyCitizen.com.

Bio: Brad Flora is a journalist and entrepreneur in Chicago. He is the founder and president of WindyCitizen.com, which gives Chicagoans a place to share, rate and discuss their favorite local stories, events and deals. His work has appeared in Slate magazine and Chicago-area newspapers. He was a 2008 Carnegie-Knight News 21 Fellow and is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

GoMap Riga

Award: $250,000

Winner: Marcis Rubenis and Kristofs Blaus, GoMap Riga

Web URL: www.gomap.org; www.KristofsBlaus.com

Twitter: @kristofsblaus; @MarcisRubenis

Location: Riga, Latvia

Summary: To inspire people to get involved in their community, this project will create a live, online map with local news and activities. GoMap Riga will pull some content from the Web and place it automatically on the map. Residents will be able to add their own news, pictures and videos while discussing what is happening around them. GoMap Riga will be integrated with the major existing social networks and allow civic participation through mobile technology. The project will be tested in Riga, Latvia, and ultimately be applicable in other cities.

Bio: Marcis Rubenis is a social entrepreneur in Riga, Latvia. In 2006, he initiated the first non-governmental organization (NGO) network in Riga, to foster greater transparency, sustainability and public participation in large-scale development plans in the capital. Rubenis is a multiple business competition award winner, including garnering second place in the biggest international student team business competition in Europe in 2006. Rubenis is also the founder of the crowdsourcing organization, “House of Ideas,” and the co-founder of the event format, idejuTalka (ideaCamp), which uses crowdsourcing to fuel grassroots solutions for business and society. Rubenis studies economics at the University of Latvia and is researching how crowdsourcing, open source and similar models of social organization can benefit real-world communities and businesses.

Kristofs Blaus is a European entrepreneur managing various innovative businesses in the Baltics. Since 2007, he has successfully worked with teaching-aid software for mobile phones, advanced marketing solutions, payment systems and delivering advanced IT services. Blaus, the winner of various business competitions in Latvia, is founder and CEO of Education Mobile Ltd., Technology Mobile Ltd. and Politics Mobile Ltd., and founder of the Society Technologies Foundation. He has lectured and presented to young entrepreneurs, teachers, young leaders and business students across the Baltic region.

Order in the Court 2.0

Award: $250,000

Winner: John Davidow, WBUR

Web URL: www.wbur.org

Twitter: @johndavidow

Location: Boston, Mass.

Summary:  To foster greater access to the judicial process, this project will create a laboratory in a Boston courtroom to help establish best practices for digital coverage that can be replicated and adopted throughout the nation. While the legislative and executive branches have incorporated new technologies and social media, the courts still operate under the video and audio recording standards established in the 1970s and ’80s. The courtroom will have a designated area for live blogging via a Wi-Fi network and the ability to live-stream court proceedings to the public. Working in conjunction with the Massachusetts court system, the project will publish the daily docket on the Web and build a knowledge wiki for the public with common legal terms.

Bio: John Davidow was named WBUR’s executive editor of new media in July of 2009, where he has overseen the growth of the award-winning wbur.org. Davidow joined WBUR as news director/managing editor in 2003 after spending more than two decades as a journalist in Boston. Davidow’s work has been recognized with regional awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Associated Press and UPI. He has also received a number of regional Emmy Awards. Davidow graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a bachelor’s in economics.

Front Porch Forum

Award: $220,000

Winner: Michael Wood-Lewis, Front Porch Forum

Web URL: http://frontporchforum.com

Twitter: @MichaelFPF

Location: Burlington, Vt.

Summary:  To help residents connect with others and their community, this grant will help rebuild and enhance a successful community news site, expand it to more towns and release the software so other organizations, anywhere can use it. The Front Porch Forum, a virtual town hall space, helps residents share and discuss local news, build community and increase engagement. The site, currently serving 25 Vermont towns, will expand to 250.

Bio: Michael Wood-Lewis has been pulling neighbors together into community since his Indiana childhood spent organizing ball games and visiting neighbors on his evening paper route. Decades later, he founded Front Porch Forum, which hosts a pilot network of 140 online neighborhood forums that blankets 25 northwest Vermont towns. More than 18,000 households subscribe to Front Porch Forum. The resulting news sharing and community building is attracting recognition from PBS MediaShift, the Vermont legislature, the Rural Telecom Congress and the Case and Orton Family Foundations. Previously, he led an innovative trade association of New England utilities. Earlier, he guided a Washington, D.C.-based consortium of U.S. municipal leaders in developing environmental technologies, building on his experience as an inventor of high-tech recycling equipment. He earned a master’s in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as an MBA.

One-Eight

Award: $202,000

Winner: Teru Kuwayama

Web URL: www.novembereleven.org; www.lightstalkers.org/teru

Twitter: @terukuwayama

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Summary: Broadening the perspectives that surround U.S . military operations in Afghanistan, this project will chronicle a battalion by combining reporting from embedded journalists with user-generated content from the Marines themselves . The troops and their families will be key audiences for the online journal steering, challenging and augmenting the coverage with their feedback . The approach will directly serve the stakeholders and inform the wider public by bringing in on-the-ground views on military issues and the execution of U .S . foreign policy. The troops were recently authorized to use social media while deployed, and this project will also study the impact of that decision on the military.

Bio: Teru Kuwayama is a photographer who has spent most of the past decade reporting on conflict and humanitarian crisis. He has reported in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir and Iraq – traveling both independently and as an embedded reporter with military forces. His photographs have appeared in publications including Time, Newsweek, Outside and National Geographic. Kuwayama is the co-founder of Lightstalkers.org, a Web-based network of media, military, aid and development personnel serving more than 40,000 members. He is currently a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Kuwayama received a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

Stroome

Award: $200,000

Winner: Nonny de la Peña and Tom Grasty, Stroome

Web URL: http://stroome.com

Twitter: @nonnydlp; @stroome

Location: Los Angeles, Calif.

Summary: To simplify the production of news video, Stroome will create a virtual video-editing studio. There, correspondents, editors and producers will be able to upload and share content, edit and remix with friends and colleagues – all without using expensive satellite truck technology. The site will launch as eyewitness video – often captured by mobile phones or webcams – is becoming a key component of news coverage, generating demand for supporting tools.

Bio: Recently named an “Innovator to Watch” by the University of Southern California’s (USC) Stevens Institute for Innovation, Tom Grasty is an entrepreneurial digital and media strategist with a diverse, 15-year background across the entertainment, advertising, public relations and Internet industries. Most recently, Grasty was head of creative development at Blaze Television, where he was responsible for the company’s digital media operations. Grasty has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a master’s from USC’s pioneering program in online communities.

Nonny de la Peña is a senior research fellow in immersive journalism at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. At USC, she is pushing boundaries for entrepreneurial and technologically innovative journalistic endeavors. A graduate of Harvard University, she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with 20 years of journalism experience, including as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine and as a writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Premiere magazine and others. Her films have screened on national television and at theaters in more than 50 cities around the globe, garnering praise from critics like The New York Times’ A.O. Scott, who called her work “a brave and necessary act of truth-telling.”

CitySeed

Award: $90,000

Winner: Retha Hill and Cody Shotwell, Arizona State University

Web URL: www.cityseed.net; http://cronkite.asu.edu

Twitter: @codyshotwell; @rethahill

Location: Phoenix, Ariz.

Summary: To inform and engage communities, CitySeed will be a mobile application that allows users to plant the “seed” of an idea and share it with others. For example, a person might come across a great spot for a community garden. At that moment, the person can use the CitySeed app to “geotag” the idea, which links it to an exact location. Others can look at the place-based ideas, debate and hopefully act on them. The project aims to increase the number of people informed about and engaged with their communities by breaking down community issues into bite-size settings.

Bio: Retha Hill is the director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The innovative laboratory conducts research and development for the media industry. She joined the Cronkite School in fall 2007. Previously, Hill was vice president for content development for BET Interactive, where she was the executive in charge of content strategy, convergence and integration with the BET Network. She worked for The Washington Post Company in a variety of capacities, including as a reporter and a founding editor of Washingtonpost.com. Hill also is the owner of Painted Desert Media, LLC, a Phoenix-based media consulting company.

Cody Shotwell has lived in downtown Phoenix since 2008. A fresh graduate of the Masters of Mass Communication program at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Seattle-area native keeps his fingers on the pulse of the journalism community through his day job as Web coordinator at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

PRX StoryMarket

Award: $75,000

Winner: Jake Shapiro, PRX

Web URL: www.prx.org

Twitter: @jakeshapiro

Location: Boston, Mass.

Summary: Building on the software created by 2008 challenge winner Spot.us, this project will allow anyone to pitch and help pay to produce a story for a local public radio station. When the amount is raised (in small contributions), the station will hire a professional journalist to do the report. The project provides a new way for public radio stations to raise money, produce more local content and engage listeners.

Bio: Jake Shapiro is CEO of  PRX, The Public Radio Exchange, an online marketplace connecting stations, producers and the public. Since its launch in 2003, PRX has been a leading innovator in public media, pioneering new digital distribution models and social media applications. In 2008, PRX received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Prior to joining PRX, Shapiro was associate director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he remains on the Fellows Advisory Board. Shapiro is also an independent musician and has recorded and performed on guitar and cello with numerous groups, most frequently with original rock band Two Ton Shoe.

Tilemapping

Award: $74,000

Winner:  Eric Gundersen, Development Seed

Web URL: www.developmentseed.org

Twitter: @ericg

Location: Washington, D.C.

Summary: To inspire residents to learn about local issues, Tilemapping will help local media create hyper-local, data-filled maps for their websites and blogs. Journalists will be able to tell more textured stories, while residents will be able to draw connections to their physical communities in new ways. The tools will be tested in Washington, D.C. Ushahidi, a 2009 Knight News Challenge winner, used a prototype after the earthquake in Haiti to create maps used to crowdsource reports on places needing aid.

Bio: Eric Gundersen is the president and co-founder of Development Seed. Over the past seven years, Gundersen has developed communications strategies and tools for some of the largest international development organizations in the world, in addition to working with U.S.-based public health and education organizations. He is especially interested in improving information flows within large organizations and visualizing information in actionable ways.

Gundersen, a 2009 winner of the Federal 100 award for his contributions to government technology, earned his master’s in international development from American University in Washington, D.C., and has dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations. He co-founded Development Seed while researching technology access and microfinance in Peru. Before starting Development Seed, Gundersen was a journalist in Washington, D.C. writing on the environment and national security.


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