International Symposium on Online Journalism 2016: Live Tweets

I was live tweeting day 2 of this year’s International Symposium on Online Journalism (#ISOJ) – a little chaotic, but here are my live tweets. Big takeaway: there was little about anxiety over legacy business model failure, more focus on how things are working – emphasizing that they’re working. This is a great time for news content and delivery innovation.

The tweets:

Hearing from women digital news leaders at a special breakfast session. Waking up & smelling the coffee…! #isoj #isoj2016

“Media outlets are saying ‘we don’t know where the women are.’ Elmira Bayrasli says “we do” (Foreign Policy Interrupted) #isoj #isoj2016

Juanita León of La Silla Vacía describes efforts to build a blog network in Colombia. #isoj

Bayrasli: digital media has allowed women to amplify their voices. #isoj founded out of necessity as a news and information source for Cubans. Not controlled by government. #isoj

Goal to find small openings in legal framework that prohibits free press. #isoj

You work as an independent person (contractor), allowed for some professions, not for journalists but for typists – so became typists. #isoj

14ymedio includes a market section listing the most current food prices throughout Cuba – “we have our own Dow Jones.” #isoj

By generating simple price list, showed that a worker in Havana has to work 2 days to pay for a pound of boneless pork. @yoanisanchez #isoj

When @yoanisanchez tells her mother they have to work two days for a pound of pork, they realize something has to change. #isoj

RT @Magss17: The “enemy” finally came to Havana and Rolling Stones came a week later. @yoanisanchez #ISOJ

.@yoanisanchez says “we have a digital newspaper but are not connected ourselves.” Creativity leads to use of simple tools. #isoj

For people not connected, 14ymedio is distributed via flash drives. Also via SMS and email. #isoj

Challenges for 14ymedio: multimedia, data journalism. #isoj

RT @grovesprof So admire @yoanisanchez’s creativity: She uses email and PDFs shared through USB drives to reach @14ymedio’s audience. #ISOJ

14ymedio also wants to create an app for viral sharing of news. @yoanisanchez #isoj

Not concerned so much who the future president of Cuba will be, but who the future *citizens* of Cuba will be. @yoanisanchez #isoj

14ymedio wants to help catazlyze a transformation in Cuba. @yoanisanchez #isoj

When Cuba is a free and democratic country, we’ll have to build a monument to the flash drive! @yoanisanchez #isoj

At #isoj – @yoanisanchez

RT @robquig: .@yoanisanchez says she wants to come to Austin and give a class on tweeting in difficult circumstances. Please do!! Open invi…

Official discourse depends on having an enemy. You have to have Goliath for David to make sense. @yoanisanchez #isoj

In Cuba, the government undid civil society, cut the threads of the social fabric. @yoanisanchez #isoj

You can’t protest in Cuba unless the government calls for the protest. @yoanisanchez #isoj

RT @ellierosetx: Obama is young, has a family, active. It was good for Cubans to see that, compared to elusive Castro. #ISOJ

Top 4 messaging apps have more active users that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram combined. 60bn msgs per day. @clockwerks #isoj

75% of all smartphone users are using messaging apps. @clockwerks #isoj

RT @Mariamrom 8.9 times a day people go to messaging apps, says @clockwerks, chief product officer at Vox Media. #ISOJ

Howdy, @benbrown’s company, builds a Slackbot. Lives in your Slack channel, asks daily questions of the team via private channels. #isoj

Howdy asks scrum questions: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Do you have blockers? #isoj

Slack’s popularity drove growing interest in chatbots. @benbrown #isoj

Howdy has a Botkit developer framework to support bot development; 1500 member development community. #isoj

Botkit just added support for the powerful and evolving Facebook Messenger. #isoj

RT @MaryCaitlinByrd “It’s a Wild West, blue sky opportunity to figure out what’s going on” — @benbrown on bots #ISOJ

Bots hear things, they say things, and they ask questions. @benbrown #isoj is development community for Slack bots. Sign up! via @benbrown #isoj

Election bot at @nytimes was created as a bot you could add you your Slack. via @_alastair #isoj

NY Times Election Bot is at #isoj

NYT added a great way to ask questions using (, but the volume of questions got out of hand. #isoj

RT @MaryCaitlinByrd – bot “doesn’t have context,” says @_alastair It can’t read the messages, the conversations happening around it #ISOJ

Shut the election bot down over UX issues related to volume, subjectivity, etc. Hard to make it satisfying for user. #isoj

RT @chelsea_dear “Some questions were answerable, some weren’t”- @_alastair on @nytimes Election bot, still seems pretty cool though #ISOJ

Wondering where bots go when they die? #isoj

Purple provides election updates and political info via text. @rebeccajharris #ISOJ

You should be racking your brain for new ways to delight your users. @rebeccajharris #isoj

RT @jeffk .@rebeccajharris explains @getprpl at #ISOJ – Capitalized words in smses for conversational navigation.

Quartz (@qz) news app development begin with notifications. @zseward #isoj

Notifications generally associated with breaking news, but you could include more info on the lock screen for richer experience. #isoj

RT @dskok .@QZ app dev started with a question: @zseward “Could we provide more than just standard alerts on the lock screen?” #ISOJ

RT @nohacefaltap “The whole thing was messages written by humans”, says @zseward about the @qz new app #ISOJ

Once the Quartz app framework was clear, next step was to figure out the content, including paths through storires. @zseward #isoj

Simplified and reconstructed the experience of the Quartz app. Narrowing options made for more enjoyable UX. @zseward #isoj

RT @audreyabrowning Another roadblock for @qz beginnings was also make the app usable for news creators – not just users. #ISOJ

Figuring out what is good about a conversational interface? Not a news article, but an experience. @zseward #isoj

News app delight factor is more important than the news factor. @zseward #isoj

Original intent to provide great experience without opening the app (i.e. on lock screen). @zseward #isoj

RT @burtherman Considering what users might ask fosters different mindset for writing, allows taking liberties @zseward #ISOJ

RT @ylichterman: Breaking News just launched on Slack this week: #ISOJ

RT @burtherman What’s a bot? Services and information triggered contextually through conversation, says @benbrown #ISOJ

“You should demand to know who’s behind the bots” – @clockwerks. #isoj

.@rebeccajharris: democracy requires an informed society; that’s the purpose of journalism. Bots can do that conversationally. #isoj

RT @audreyabrowning .@benbrown: How do the voices behind the bot evolve? Interesting and unanswered questions. #ISOJ

A bot is only as smart as the humans behind it. Don’t worry about the robot overlords. #isoj

.@benbrown on the importance of having 2-3 focused and clear goals for your user. #isoj

RT @CindyRoyal: Metrics? Downloads, gaming apps metrics about retention. @qz has hundreds of thousands users. Visit twice a day #isoj #txs…

.@benbrown says there will be a proliferation of bot authoring tools, so it will be easier to create them without tech background. #isoj

Some digital native media orgs are repositioning themselves to be original content generators. #isoj

Will nascent media orgs mimic tradtional media in order to survive in an uncertain market? #isoj

Toward Omnipresent Journalism: A Case Study of the Real-Time Coverage of the San Antonio Spurs 2014 NBA Championship Game – yes! #isoj

Omnipresent journalism a new model? What are the implications for the news industry? #isoj

“Three rounds of news presentation”: 1) live tweets 2) Miniposts to a single blog stream 3) Longer vignette writeups. #isoj

Omnipresent journalism has spatial and temporal dimension. 3 rounds = 1) social media –> 2) website –> 3) print. #isoj

Omnipresent journalism: go (mobile) where the readers are, multitask. #isoj

Social media audience interaction numbers drive interactive media development. #isoj

What makes news viral? Sensationalism: personalization, listicles, forward referencing, soft news (feature-like). #isoj

Forward referencing references information without giving the actual object – creating mystery. #isoj

Hans Meyer – “The Spiral of Silence” – why don’t people comment on news stories? #isoj

Journalism has to provide a public forum? Are comments where this is happening? #isoj

Comments: moderation and accountability are important. #isoj

RT @audreyabrowning .@OhJProf: Does encouraging readers to comment make a difference? #ISOJ

Idea of the Spiral of Silence persists. Most people never comment, some rarely; ony a few comment often. #isoj

What predicts comment spiral of silence: age, ianonymity, credibility, community. Strongest predictor: sense of isolation. #isoj

If people experience a sense of community, they’re less likely to say that anonymity is important to them. #isoj

Diary of a Mad Journalist via @karaswisher, who @evanasmith says is most respected, trusted, and feared journalist in Silicon Valley. #isoj

The real title of @karaswisher speech, she slides: “The Internet Really Needs to Shut the F*#ck Up!” #isoj

The next age of computing is going to be about feelings and NOT technology. @karaswisher #isoj

.@karaswisher welcomes us to the Human Age. #isoj

Journalists don’t spend nearly enough time understanding how data works. @karaswisher #isoj

RT @nohacefaltap “Google glass is the only thing Silicon Valley made that made supermodels unfuckable”, says @karaswisher #ISOJ

Google Glass doesn’t work because it doesn’t react to you – you have to react to it. @karaswisher #isoj

“It will be about brand.” You have to stick to what you’re supposed to be. @karaswisher #isoj

The future will be geolocated! @karaswisher (The phones in your pockets are literally stocking devices.) #isoj

Always on! Continuous partial attention, it will never turn off. @karaswisher #isoj

You have to be genuine and who you are online. “On the Internet, everybody knows you’re a dog.” @karaswisher #isoj

Kim Kardashian has been a huge social media success. She’s fun to follow. @karaswisher #isoj

“I use Twitter, and it’s really me doing it.” @karaswisher #isoj

Your tech will always be transmitting. There’s nothing that people don’t communicate. @karaswisher #isoj

“It will be about what you’re wearabling.” Wearables are important, though not quite right yet. #isoj

“Wearables will be useful when they start giving you excellent advice.” @karaswisher #isoj

You have to expose yourself. Don’t be shy! @karaswisher #isoj

“It will become analog.” IoT. Soylent, arguably food. “Soylent Green is people.” “What?” “Oh my god, millennials!” @karaswisher


“It will be political.” Gov’t is usually Internet-idiotic, but now tech is getting political. Yow. @karaswisher #isoj

“Trump/Swisher 2016 sounds like a great idea!” @evanasmith re @karaswisher #isoj

RT @OhJProf @evanasmith puts @karaswisher through speed opinion round on tech cos. including Apple, Google, #ISOJ

“I think Zuckerberg is really innovative and interesting.” @karaswisher #isoj

Mark Zuckerberg “is less of a narcissist than the others.” @karaswisher #isoj

RT @THEJordonBrown “I mean, he’s speaking Chinese. Are you?!” @karaswisher defending Zuckerberg to @evanasmith. #ISOJ #txstisoj

“Nobody comes to a website anymore…” @karaswisher #isoj

RT @Just_es_36 @karaswisher is keeping the crowd laughing through her thoughts. A fantastic person!


RT @ylichterman Swisher on Bezos’ stewardship of The Washington Post: “It’s like a comma on his money. He doesn’t care.” #ISOJ

RT @stvcee @karaswisher says liking Rupert Murdoch is similar to liking Satan #ISOJ

Buzzfeed celebrates their viral-ness and that’s what pisses people off. @karaswisher #isoj

WSJ was always denigrating blogs, like it was the clap! @karaswisher #isoj

“There’s never been a greater time for content!” @karaswisher #isoj

“It’s a journalist’s nature to be depressed about things.” @karaswisher #isoj

The economic inequality in San Francisco has got really disturbing… important to address. @karaswisher #karaswisherformayor #isoj

.@karaswisher says @clockwerks “planted a thing in my neck, I don’t know what it was…” #isoj

.@clockwerks is one of the most thoughtful people about how media interacts with technology; he wants to be a partner. @karaswisher #isoj

.@recode is moving from WordPress to the Vox platform, Unison. #isoj

Talking about Nasha Niva, a publication in Belarus, a country described as a ‘digital dictatorship.’ #isoj

.@NyarikiEnock talks about hivisasa’s local focus. The publication pays micropayments for content. #isoj

RT @digitalamysw: Hivisasa online news site provides local news in Kenya. Content generated by users, pays for news submissions https://t.c…

Trevor Snapp from Sudan reports sharp decline in global average press freedom. #isoj

Wanted Nuba Reports to be fast, edgy, innovative. Invested in video for its power and value on the ground. #isoj

Nuba Reports extended reach through partnerships with other publications, also uses whatsapp for broadcast & gathering. #isoj

Galina Timchenko established Meduza after losing leading news position in Russia. #isoj

RT @ellierosetx Laughter is the best medicine, even against hatred and social apathy. #ISOJ

RT @CarlaBorras Galina Timchenko, head of Meduza news, brought down house #isoj. Her group sheds light on #Putin & Russia in hilarious way!

RT @DaveLaFontaine: #ISOJ Putin as SuperMario in game that mocks how he is always late. Brilliant!

RT @DaveLaFontaine: #ISOJ know your audience: Andrew Dynko puts Belarus map onscreen and name-checks World of Tanks

RT @dhgerson: “Totally against paywall in Russian context. It’s like selling medicine in poorest area of Africa or selling fresh air.”@medu…

Rosental is speaking from the holodeck to introduce the VR session at #isoj

.@shazna notes flurry of newsroom VR activity, the flashiest being @nytimes ( #isoj

Can we monetize VR? Will it be affordable and accessible? #isoj

.@pachecod starts with media history to set context. #isoj

With immersive VR, people can jump into stories. @pachecod #isoj

Four flavors of #VR, starting with “casual VR” such as Google Cardboard. #isoj

2nd flavor of #VR: 360 VR, fishbowl experience. #isoj

3rd flavor of VR, “Sit Down” VR like Oculus. 4th flavor is Immersive Walkaround. HTC Vive. @pachecod #isoj

AR and “mixed reality” is the next thing: Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap. #isoj

Volumetric VR (walk around VR) allows you to move around, increases your sense of immersion. @jpallot1 #isoj

Key immersive concepts (#VR) Presence, Empathy, Spatial Narrative. Where physical space is key to telling the story. @jpallot1 #isoj

#VR Issues: 360 vs volumetric, evolution of hardware, ethics of recreations/simulations, emotional impact of “unreal” characters. #isoj

Photogrammetry vs videogrammetry: soon will be able to make much more realistic #VR CGI. #isoj

Ideal volumetric VR uses: simulate inaccessible locations, spatial narratives, scenarios where interaction increase impact of story… #isoj

Other ideal use of volumetric #VR: recreating past events where no footage exists. #isoj

PBS Frontline diving into #VR storytelling. @CarlaBorras #isoj

First Frontline #VR project: on Ebola Outbreak. @CarlaBorras #isoj

Second Frontline #VR project: “On the Bring of Famine” – on South Sudan. @CarlaBorras #isoj

What does animation afford you that realism doesn’t? @CarlaBorras #isoj

Affordance of animation: you can defy the laws of physics. @CarlaBorras #isoj

#VR challenge of narrative focus in a 360 world. @CarlaBorras #isoj

RT @grovesprof Audio is a really great tool for telling VR stories — @CarlaBorras #ISOJ

Demo of #VR tool UT Journalism Dept is developing with a multidisciplinary team in a VR Lab.@rbbrenner #isoj

We’re at a point where it’s important to start talking about standards and ethics of #VR. @tjrkent #isoj

Will there be a space and a market for objectivity in #VR news, or will there only be room for tools for persuasion? @tjrkent #isoj

How real should #VR imagery be? @tjrkent #isoj

How accurate will #VR be? With 2D image sources, may be missing some precision in the imagery. @tjrkent #isoj

How might we convey that we don’t know the absolute reality of a scene? E.g. blurring images where detail is missing. @tjrkent #isoj

RT @pbutler50 Science of VR on brains is very young – we don’t know how traumatic experiences will affect the user. @tjrkent #ISOJ

We’re soon going to have a digital VR depiction of the whole planet. @jpallot1 #isoj

How do we manage griefers in virtual reality environments like Minecraft? #isoj

RT @audreyabrowning Jamie Pallot: How is the next generation going to get their news? That’s the big question. #ISOJ

RT @jovrnalism #jpallot1″We are about to enter the metaverse. I say that with a straight face.” #ISOJ

Was the development of the Internet a wrong turn?


[I posted this on Facebook, seems it struck a nerve based on the likes and responses. Reposting here, perhaps time for a blog revival.]

I argued in the early 90s that the Internet would connect creatives on the fringes and fringe communities would form and have more impact on social and political cultures. What I didn’t see was that communities or armies of ignorant, racist, fascist, paramilitarist, arguably insane, rabid right, false Christian gremlins would form and seize control of an existing political party, that they would undermine their own interest and dismantle the middle class, that they would endeavor to promote dark-age philosophies over advances in reason and science, and that they would not be opposed, but cultivated by politicians and wealthy business and media interests who would see them as a source of potential power, missing dangerous signals from the emergent mob and their unholy alliance with it. These people may be a vocal minority, but they seem to have growing force. I’m not so sure the Internet has proved to be a Good Thing. It may be the catalyst for the rapid unraveling of civilization.

I added a link to Jennifer Granick’s post, “The Dream of Internet Freedom Doesn’t Have to Die.” And Hoder’s just posted “The Web We Have to Save” on Medium. He says “the web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.”

Live tweeting the International Symposium on Online Journalism

Here’s a timeline of my tweets at the ISOJ event:

    Bonita Stewart from Google opens with a discussion of the changes driven by consumer behavior. #isoj

  1. Change in consumer behavior driven by mobile; we no longer GO online, we LIVE online. #isoj
  2. Video: “life is lived in moments” and these moments are online/offline hybrid experiences. #isoj
  3. I think this video is saying that babies come from the Internet? The stork ain’t happy. #isoj
  4. “Most moments are mobile moments.” Mobile is driving everything. 75% of us use 4 apps regularly. 68% entertainment & gaming apps. #isoj
  5. Mobile app slice of time 88% vs 14% time spent on mobile web… but commercial intent is focused on the mobile web. #isoj
  6. 94% of users rely on the mobile web; 72% use it for their news. #isoj
  7. The right audience at the right time: engagement y axis, monetization x axis. Top right: highly monetizable and engaged. #isoj
  8. Gaming: 2-6% of users are “whales,” ie. make 95% of in-app purchases. #isoj
  9. Moments are personalized, and drive decisions. Understanding moments — drives engagement. #isoj
  10. “The world is yours” with penetration of mobile. More global approach to content, wide distribution, scalable model. #isoj
  11. Millennials think differently about ads, prefer more relevance, feed format, promotional content, sponsored content. #isoj
  12. Millennials are willing to engage with content, e.g. will respond to survey questions in order to get access to complete content. #isoj
  13. You have to identify your micro moments to engage users. Deliver on needs in the moment. Analyze every monment that matters. #isoj
  14. When you have a multitude of devices and consumers are on the go important to analyze and segment consumers. #isoj
  15. Is it creepy that we’re being asked to do so much surveillance, analysis, and manipulation? (Jon’s personal question.) #isoj
  16. Owen Youngman Q&A with Bonita Stewart follows her talk. What does a journalist need to consider first as a “moment”? #isoj
  17. Bonita: we have a number of public tools available, e.g. Google trends will show you the moment that is trending. #isoj
  18. Stewart thinks you could use Google Trends to spot an emerging trend or “moment.” #isoj
  19. Inevitable move toward autonomous self-driving vehicles? We’ll be wearing our cars. Don’t think incrementally; think 10x. #isoj
  20. GoogleX is working on major complex issues. Driverless car intention is to get someone safely from point A to point B. #isoj
  21. Democratization of media space: what is the role of content curation? Heritage of YouTube is user-generated content.Curation emerging. #isoj
  22. Google is curating YouTube inventory via Google Preferred. YouTube “stars” are emerging. Moving toward a more curated space. #isoj
  23. Millennial receptivity to sponsored content: journalists concerned we’re making ads pretend to be news. Stewart: relevance is key. #isoj
  24. Tech and platforms accelerating, driving speed of adoption and innovation. #isoj
  25. RT @SocialcumbreS RT @Rosental: Hi ISOJErs, let’s use #ISOJ as the hashtag and not #ISOJ15 or #ISOJ2015… Let’s concentrate fire on #ISOJ
  26. RT @AMLwhere: Here’s the livestream of #ISOJ in Austin, @Rosental ‘s baby
  27. RT @AMLwhere Here’s the livestream of #ISOJ in Austin, @Rosental ‘s baby
  28. Reformatting the business model, a panel on paywalls, crowdsourcing, native ads, etc. Sustainability of journalism. #isoj
  29. Tim Griggs, @texastribune on Reformatting the Business Model: how to make money from serious journalism. #isoj
  30. RT @EverJFigueroa All this talk about personalized content curation and not a single word about data privacy #ISOJ
  31. Digital focus/data journalism at @TexasTribune. Also does live events which are streamed. How do they make money? #isoj
  32. Corporate sponsorships (cf public media underwriting) provides some funds for @TexasTribune. #isoj
  33. Other @TexasTribune funding sources: events, foundations, individual gifts, and consumer revenue. #isoj
  34. Consumer revenue at @TexasTribune: crowdsourcing, membership, paywall (one digital paid product, Texas Weekly). #isoj
  35. The @TexasTribune is “the poster child for revenue diversity” per #niemanlab. #isoj
  36. Revenue diversity keeps the organization focused on innovation/entrepreneurship, facilitates short-term risks. #isoj
  37. Diversity also protects @TexasTribune against influence. #isoj
  38. Revenue diversity enabled @rossramsey to say no to a corporate speaking gig where the corporation wanted to control the content. #isoj
  39. Dallas Morning News’ @jmoroney_jim is optimistic about journalism, a sustainable business model at scale is forthcoming. #isoj
  40. News orgs do 50% or more of the city, county, and state government reporting. Democracy depends on their work. #isoj
  41. .@jmoroney_jim says it’s time to stop crying: journalism needs fewer Eeyores, more TIggers. #isoj
  42. Local news orgs don’t scale the way they need to for digital advertising to pay for newsrooms. #isoj
  43. Digital-only subscriptions are not the answer to the funding problem. Only 5.5% of Dallas Morning News print circulation revenues. #isoj
  44. Online ad revenues are increasing but CPM numbers are low, therefore the revenues are still low. #isoj
  45. Step one in addressing revenue issue: establish a process for sustaining (not disruptive) innovation. #isoj
  46. Step two: establish a permanently staffed and funded business development organization to acquire businesses that grow revenue. #isoj
  47. Sustaining innovation: event marketing (Untapped Beer Fest), Content Marketing (Speakeasy), Search (Vertical Nerve)…. #isoj
  48. Sustaining innovation, more: Marketing Automation (Distribion). #isoj
  49. “What are we going to do today?” “The same thing we do everyday: save democracy.” ~ @jmoroney_jim #isoj
  50. Crowdfunding talk by @mariaramirezNY. It all started at ISOJ: started a blog with @eduardosuarez. #isoj
  51. Social media strategy for crowdfunding: announced on Twitter. 100K followers in 100 days. Were pervasive and humorous. #isoj
  52. Crowdfunding to raise money, but also to strengthen independence and engage the community, which was more important. #isoj
  53. Crowdfunding works as a business model but also as a powerful editorial tool. @elespanolcom @mariaramirezny #isoj
  54. .@joyarobins from @qz, a digitally native business site. Business model different from traditional news sites. Native ad revenue. #isoj
  55. “If we could build scarcity from the beginning, we could build a sustainable business model”: native ads for the business exec. #isoj
  56. Identify most relevant content and ensure its quality, make it “snackable.” Get it in the right place, where the audience is. #isoj
  57. .@qz strategy should result in an engaged audience. Then follow their needs and trends, also with ads. #isoj
  58. .@qz Global Executive Study. Behaviors and attitudes toward native ads. #isoj
  59. That url for the Global Executive Study was wrong in my last tweet, it’s #isoj
  60. Where does native advertising fit within news? #isoj
  61. Native ads twice as likely to be remembered as banner ads, and almost 5x more likely to remember than full-screen interstitials. #isoj
  62. More organic, polite ads have more impact. #isoj
  63. Ads on @qz: full screen, html5, appear between stories. The ads sell themselves, enable to maintain high cpm. #isoj
  64. RT @brittanyshulman: Pro-tip: Make your ads less annoying. #ISOJ
  65. RT @grovesprof: Great tip from Quartz’s @JoyARobins: Respect habits of your audience. #ISOJ
  66. When you create content for advertisers, don’t set and forget. Monitor and modify (A/B testing of headlines and images). #isoj
  67. Made the mobile ad bigger within the mobile app for better experience. #isoj
  68. Transparency is critical: identify sponsored content in multiple places, per @JoyARobins. #isoj
  69. Chia Ting Ting notes that some companies in Malaysia are afraid to support a political site. #isoj
  70. Content and delivery are both important aspects of native advertising. #isoj
  71. Build trust between editorial and audience. This requires fairness in news reporting. #isoj
  72. Collect data and campaign level; data collection can drive continued spend on advertising. #isoj
  73. RT @ylichterman: Quartz: “The homepage is dead, and the social web has won.” #ISOJ
  74. Retargeting: the funnel aligns with prospecting – targeting – retargeting lower funnel buyers. #isoj
  75. Crowdfunding: “Buy a Brick” to build a new home for Malaysiakini. #isoj
  76. New ad charging model for CPE (cost per engagement) or CPH (cost per hour). Attention/time/content quality. #isoj
  77. RT @gabrielle_munoz: Interesting strategy from Chia Ting Ting of @malaysiakini: breaking news free for three hours, then behind paywall #I…
  78. RT @arthurfigueired: Começou!!! #ISOJ #ISOJ2015 Cerca de 35 nacionalidades participam do evento neste ano, segundo @Rosental.…
  79. RT @MollyStier: Important to maintain line between business and editorial teams, say @malaysiakini & @joyprobbins #ISOJ
  80. Q: why doesn’t @TexasTribune rest on its laurels? Why try to go to a next level? Jim: focus on innovation around audience. #isoj
  81. Brigg: we know how many we reach, but how many should we reach? @TexasTribune #audience #reach #isoj
  82. @TexasTribune adapting agile methodology for all it does. Works in sprints. #isoj
  83. The role of speed in the mobile media experience via @clockwerks, @vox Chief Product Officer. “Fast is a feature” on mobile. #isoj
  84. Apple keynotes include several mentions of speed: as in “faster than…” You want a quick response from a mobile device. #isoj
  85. How is speed a factor in journalism? Nielsen: “A 10 second delay will often make users leave a site immediately.” On mobile, 1 sec. #isoj
  86. Put SOMETHING on the screen in 1 second – what are you going to put? 1st second is like “above the fold.” #isoj
  87. After network overhead you have 400ms left in that first second, to put something on the screen. #isoj
  88. Average site load on mobile devices = 7 seconds. We have a lot of work to do. #isoj
  89. “The article is the new home page.” An aside in the @clockwerks discussion of speed. #isoj
  90. Native apps are fast but hard to find (via search and social, which is how we find things.) #isoj
  91. Google knows how fast everything is loading, and they’re using speed as a (qualitative) signal. #isoj
  92. Facebook thinks your pages are too slow – and they’re happy to host your content! #isoj
  93. Data-informed tradeoffs while building products: what makes a great experience? #isoj
  94. .@clockwerks will never be satisfied with the speed of his products: it’s never fast enough. #isoj
  95. Performance dashboard making speed a metric shared throughout the company. @voxmediainc built tool called tempo to measure speed. #isoj
  96. They have a dedicated performance team with three engineers at @voxmediainc. #isoj
  97. Fast cars need good drivers – speed isn’t just about tech, but also about speed of news delivery. #isoj
  98. Once you’ve dealt with speed, what do you do about context in mobile? @s_m_i discussing audience context and infrastructure. #isoj
  99. The phenomenon of rage deleting apps: why are you pushing content that doesn’t fit my context? #isoj
  100. Journalist or editor perception of importance doesn’t necessarily match the user’s context. #isoj
  101. Mobile devices closer to the people who use them, driving intolerance of information delivered in those intimate spaces. #isoj
  102. Mobility is less and less true of mobile – assumptions otherwise may be detrimental. #isoj
  103. We’re building to an assumption of a fast and unlimited data connection, and that often isn’t the case. #isoj
  104. Most of the people in the world lack fast infrastructure and complete mobility. #isoj
  105. Can you create a post to a CMS from your phone? Or edit? Or add media? No, and this is a challenge. #isoj
  106. RT @robquig: In a room full of journalists, no one raised their hands when asked whether they can update their sites using a mobile. #ISOJ
  107. The mobile mindset is not about the end user experience alone, but also about the creator experience. #isoj
  108. Audience is coming from mobile; systems of creation are optimized for desktop experience. #isoj
  109. Mobile != screen size. Resizing doesn’t necessarily create a mobile experience. #isoj
  110. RT @GinaMChen: Not enough women are designing mobile, which is why they are too big, says Buzzfeed editor. #ISOJ
  111. .@withdrake screened a short video from Vice’s first year of global journalism. #isoj
  112. “Our smartphones are probably our most intimate relationships.” ~ @withdrake #isoj
  113. .@vice started with factual programming, news emerged. #isoj
  114. When @Vice started partnership with @HBO, overnight newsy clips became the most watched video on the Vice website. #isoj
  115. Millennials, @Vice audience, were thirsty for news programming. No one saw that millennials wanted news programming before this. #isoj
  116. RT @kkaufhold: Organic, natural video of real world conflicts are a staple of @VICE @WithDrake #txstisoj #ISOJ
  117. Scripps is a broadcasting and digital company. @asymson of Scripps: traditoinal media is an “over-broad” experience. #isoj
  118. Again talking about messages and content delivered where it’s not relevant; we don’t understand audience + context. #isoj
  119. Mobile ubiquity brings consumer into the journalism and news-utility equation, aka “setting the agenda.” #isoj
  120. We shouldn’t want consumers to make decisions about content consumption based solely on their interests, but relevance is a factor. #isoj
  121. If you’re not hyper-relevant, you’ll be irrelevant. Consumer will increasingly expect an experience that’s personally relevant. #isoj
  122. We have to lose the assumption that editors and journalists can decide what’s broadly important vs consumer driving relevance. #isoj
  123. A story that drives page views may not be broadly important and may not drive engagement. #isoj
  124. You have to be ready to trade something to the consumer for their identity. #isoj
  125. You can negotiate access to information that will inform relevance in a specific way. #isoj
  126. “We’re our knowledge workers, which means 80% of our job is writing email…” @withdrake #isoj
  127. Ugh, I saw a mental typo on the widescreen in front of me. “We’re knowledge workers,” not “we’re our knowledge workers.” #isoj
  128. The tools you equip your newsrooms with will have to match the devices people use. ~ @s_m_i #isoj
  129. .@clockwerks tortures staff with his iphone 4, ios7 with 3G. A good way to understand how people experience sites. Most have 3G. #isoj
  130. We’re all storytellers! via @garciaruize 1st point: social engagement has to be considered at the point where story is assigned. #isoj
  131. @washingtonpost had 65% growth over last year: 52 million uniques. #isoj
  132. Innovation at @washingtonpost: consider up front how to get and engage an audience. #isoj
  133. When you start a piece of content, you have to consider whether people would share it. #isoj
  134. The distribution model today is social. #isoj
  135. When @washingtonpost starts a project, they have an engineer and a social person in the room at start of ideation. #isoj
  136. “A reporter, an engineer, and a social media expert walk into a bar…”
  137. .@verge postst to ten different social platforms. Each has its onw audience & interests. Requires careful curation and focus. #isoj
  138. .verge also has podcasts, so that’s another challenge. #isoj
  139. Videos on @verge are getting the same kinds of views as those placed on YouTube. #isoj
  140. Video doesn’t always play well on Facebook, so @verge adapts a version for that platform. #isoj
  141. New processes for “40 Portraits in 40 Years” – Brown Sisters, NY Times. How do you make sure story jumps through the noise? @nyccyn #isoj
  142. NYTimes “rapid and relentless push to breaking news.” @nyccyn #isoj
  143. NYTImes: how connect, find more relevance with readers? What is the human element? #isoj
  144. Facebook powerful for @NYTimes in testing interest targeting and geo targeting. #isoj
  145. Brief explainers in @NYTimes drive social engagement and sharing. #isoj
  146. .@NYTimes Aggressive testing – framing, targeting, time of day. #isoj
  147. Audience development via Mashable, @stacymartinet. #isoj
  148. At @mashable, the focus is on what they can control. #isoj
  149. Brand matters more than ever. #isoj
  150. From a brand standpoint, we all now live in streams. In the stream, the brand is all you have via @stacymartinet #isoj
  151. Own your relationship with your community and with your readers. That relationship is more important than ever. #isoj
  152. RT @robquig: Main @nytimes account is more visual than in the past (good!), also occasionally having some fun (good!), still not interactiv…
  153. RT @CindyRoyal: Command attention, connect, show & tell (visual important, esp on mobile), learn from wins & losses – @NYCcyn #isoj #txsti…
  154. You have to obsess equally over data and creative. – @stacymartinet #isoj
  155. Collaboration is a must. @stacymartinet #isoj
  156. From the panel, I’m getting that each news org has to figure out what works for its culture and its audience. #isoj
  157. Plan but be nimble and responsive via @NYCCyn. #isoj
  158. I can see how the writer’s role is changing and expanding in the new digital ecosystem. #isoj
  159. RT @jamiestockwell: So many badass women leading the discussions! “@tjohnson1960: #ISOJ today has to be inspiring for the female audience. …
  160. Om Mane Padme Reach. #isoj
  161. Good long form stories deserve an audience, and you have to be thoughtful about how to build that visibiity & presence. #isoj
  162. “If your budget can sustain it, snap up photo editors en masse.” @stacymartinet #isoj
  163. Keynote by @sbg1 of @politico. Editing while disrupting – a report from the Washington front. #isoj
  164. .@Politico expanding into Europe and expanding into more disruption. #isoj
  165. “We’ve changed, but the mission hasn’t – it’s still built around the notion of coverage.” @sbg1 #isoj
  166. “Original reporting is a recipe for journalism that holds its value.” @sbg1 #isoj
  167. “The point is not the platform, it’s the journalism.” @sbg1 #isoj
  168. .@Politico is growing into Europe and into various states in the U.S. #isoj
  169. Some are chasing eyeballs without a clear sense of how it fits into journalism. #isoj
  170. Beware of new media gurus who preach the new gospel of this or that. #isoj
  171. RT @grovesprof: Striking that the Washington Post seems more innovative than Politico these days. #ISOJ
  172. @sbg1 says she’s a glass half full type; @evanasmith says she’s a Glasser half full… #isoj
  173. There’s a bit of a bubble around politics and campaigns. @sbg1 #isoj
  174. RT @louiegilot: .@sbg1 #ISOJ on news organizations today: Are we the monks carefully illuminating their Bibles by hand or the Gutenbergs cr…
  175. Cost of web development has fallen to zero? Can’t agree with that one. #isoj
  176. RT @CindyRoyal: I think it is about the platform. Social, sharing, engagement, different story formats. Thank you @evanasmith #isoj #txstis…
  177. RT @Chanders: I think @sbg1 sounds like a great editor, but her laundry list of ways news “gurus” were wrong sounds off-base in a number of…
  178. .@sbg1 Everybody is fast right now; just typing it first isn’t a big deal, though it was for a while. #isoj
  179. RT @tjohnson1960: #ISOJ OMG! Did we just hear the term commodification?
  180. RT @Hermida: Platform and journalism are intrinsically connected and always have been. There is a danger of privileging one over the other …
  181. RT @robquig: The @washingtonpost is using Snapchat to cover the campaign in Iowa. @politico isn’t interested in experimenting with it, appa…
  182. “Chasing after the next new thing” isn’t what I think we’ve been talking about. There are truly innovative new platforms. #isoj
  183. RT @robquig: Kind of weird to hear @politico sounding like the traditional org while Grandpa @washingtonpost is talking virtual reality/eng…
  184. People are hungry, in a world where they’re drowning in little bits of information, for stories that connect the dots. @sbg1 #isoj
  185. Question about domination of information distribution by the stacks. Any debate about it? None, per @sbg1. #isoj
  186. Was 2000 the beginning of the digital era for politics? 2004 was more of a turning point, IMO. #isoj
  187. 2000 election: traditional information-oriented toles remained central. Via Internet journalists found new ways to do the same things. #isoj
  188. 2004, well into the blog era, editors started to emphasize participatory options. Re-envisioning role of journalism. #isoj
  189. In 2008 editors reverted to the way they were thinking about information delivery before 2004, tho greater participation was possible. #isoj
  190. The way journalists see their role in a democratic society hasn’t changed much despite innovation and new participatory capabilties. #isoj
  191. RT @meredithclark: Academic conference bingo: Mention of #MechanicalTurk. Drink. #ISOJ
  192. Mediated moments: Kennedy assassination early report followed by Nescafe commercial. Jarring. #isoj
  193. British Pathé YouTube Channel. #isoj
  194. Terry Britt is talking about the “dead media” problem. Media technologies evolve, and some content might not go along. #isoj
  195. Dead Media: #isoj
  196. Comment sections aren’t as inclusive as we might have thought. Via @media_republik #isoj
  197. RT @digitalamysw: Now up: Fiona’s 3-year research project on online news commenting: #isoj
  198. If a large part of your audience is not engaged with your reporting of the news, you’ve got a problem. @media_republik #isoj
  199. Studied how hard it is to make comments at particular sites. Only 55% hosted freely available in-house comments. #isoj
  200. 12.5% of the news sites studied put comments behind a paywall. #isoj
  201. 32.5% of the sites relied totally on social media for comments. FB and Twitter: ubiquity without accountability or consistency. #isoj
  202. Sometimes difficult to find the icons for access to comment. #isoj
  203. RT @Hermida: @Chanders @SethCLewis @Brizzyc @LawrenceRegina Cold fusion journalism – cheap, endless, renewable source of high quality news …
  204. RT @lalorek: #ISOJ Digital journalism offers challenges & opportunities for women leaders/entrepreneurs – Knight Center at UT:…
  205. Women leaders and entrepreneurs in online journalism kick off day 2 of the symposium… at 8am, with breakfast tacos! #isoj
  206. Check out the symposium livestream at – the future of journalism is here! #isoj
  207. @JnnBrndl on @Curious_Nation: scaling tools via a startup-“journalists invite the public to set their agenda & report alongside them.” #isoj
  208. .byphuongly building collaboration and diverse teams via news hackathons – Migrahack. #isoj
  209. .@lalorek founded and publishes Silicon Hills News in Austin area. Covers startups and entrepreneurs. #isoj
  210. .@WikiRamos founded Animal Politico, influential news organization in Mexico. Started with @Pajaropolitico. #isoj
  211. .@skoknic executive director of CIPER in Chile: #isoj
  212. .@lauzommer from Argentina. Improves the quality of public debate there via @chequeado. #isoj
  213. .@lauzommer talks about how they try to “increase the cost of lying” at @cheqeuado. #isoj
  214. RT @Hermida: Good question about using algorithms to code versus human coding from @LawrenceRegina at #isoj research breakfast
  215. “Working together [women] could create these fabulous projects… that they could never have done alone.” @byphuohly #isoj
  216. “If you have something you’re passionate about and you love it… get your tribe together and go for it.” @lalorek #entrepreneur #isoj
  217. RT @Natalie_Choate: Proud to work at @TexasTribune where women lead many teams – including our tech dept! #WhoRunTheWorld #ISOJ
  218. .@skoknic Cooperation in news: anybody in the newsroom can support any of the jobs there. #isoj
  219. @lalorek on native advertising: interesting to break down barriers in our own minds in favor of new ways of doing business. #isoj
  220. Interestingly difficult to live tweet a conversation where each tweet has to stand alone outside its context. #isoj
  221. Main challenge to Animal Politico is to be a site of (many sub-) sites. Name “Politico” barrier to advertising. @WikiRamos #isoj
  222. .@ByPhuongLy challenge and opportunity of #data journalism, getting more entities to make their data available. #isoj
  223. Excited about conversation about small tweaks to the journalistic process that can be big innovations. @JnnBrndl #isoj
  224. .@mwcao is jamming with her camera at #isoj
  225. RT @MaryAnnaBananaa: “Our biggest challenge is finding sources of revenue.” -Francisca Skoknic, deputy director, CIPER, Chile. #ISOJ @ciper
  226. .ByPhuongLy There were people in digital space that didn’t think two women of color could pull off a hackathon-earned their respect. #isoj
  227. .@lalorek Startup teams that have women in a leadership position are outperforming those that don’t – funders looking for those teams. #isoj
  228. @lalorek You have to be loud to get attention for the work you’re doing. #isoj
  229. Q. from Russian attendee, who notes that in some places sources for journalists are killed. How do you protect your sources? #isoj
  230. .@wikiramos One solution to abuse is transparency: make the (abusive) actions of leaders transparent. #isoj
  231. .@wikiramos mentions MexicoLeaks, Independent platform for citizen reporting and transparency in Mexico. #isoj
  232. RT @mwcao: “You have to make a lot of noise.” Awesome panel by women leaders in online journalism. #isoj
  233. RT @DanSmigrod: The Arrival of Virtual Reality Journalism Ask me 4 a demo of Matterport Pro 3D Camera at #ISOJ http:…
  234. We have to be trending, we’re getting spam at #isoj
  235. .@jayrosen_nyu introducing Isaac Lee of Univision, keynote speaker. President of news across platform, CEO of Fusion w/ ABC. #isoj
  236. .@isaacleep At U.S. border, surge of children fleeing from drug cartel violence reached breaking point last year. #isoj
  237. No more relatable content than a human crisis like this mass migration from the south. How do you engage? Earn their trust. @isaacleep #isoj
  238. “We are trying to help them find a meaningful place in society, because we champion their cause with no shame.” @isaacleep #isoj
  239. Jorge Ramos on cover of Time Mag: “he makes my job so easy… talk about trust, you talk about Jorge Ramos.” @isaacleep #isoj
  240. “I’m proud that Univision as a company has contributed materially in creating a first class investigative unit.” @isaacleep #isoj
  241. Univision investing heavily in local presences. #isoj
  242. Univision has huge responsibility in the level of trust with audience. #isoj
  243. RT @MollyStier: “If you talk about trust, you talk about @jorgeramosnews,” says @issacleep. ¡Es verdad! #ISOJ
  244. Fusion is a bet to stay ahead of the curve. @thisisfusion #isoj
  245. The changing face of diverse America: slides show evolution of diversity. @isaacleep #isoj
  246. Univision experiences growths while other media organizations are declining. #isoj
  247. Univision is watching and adapting to trends, e.g. mobile, wearables. #isoj
  248. “If we are not prepared to go and search for the audience wherever they live, we will lose.” @isaacleep #isoj
  249. “Humor is what the millennial generation respects, and what they strive to be is funny.” @isaacleep #isoj
  250. Four pillars in reaching millennials: contest, journey, humor, and cojones. @isaacleep #isoj
  251. .@isaacleep at #isoj
  252. .@jayrosen_nyu and @oscarleep #isoj
  253. .@isaacleep not sure #Buzzfeed could make an important story viral. #isoj
  254. “We didn’t know we could be amazing content producers,our understanding of the issues wd allow us to tell story as no one else could.” #isoj
  255. Mainstream media and legacy media make all sorts of excuses to suggest that the audience hasn’t gone digital. @isaacleep #isoj
  256. Q. How do you use metrics to determine people are engaging with what’s important? 1) Hire people you admire/respect & give authority. #isoj
  257. Second answer: not to be afraid of success, of traffic, of scale. If you want important stories shared, you better have scale. #isoj
  258. Q. about diversity within Hispanic community. We have to talk about a diverse new mainstream, we shdn’t put labels on people. #isoj
  259. “If you think that a group of white dudes can produce diverse content, then you’re lost.” @isaacleep #isoj
  260. Q. Declining number of millennials watching live television. “They can watch wherever they want;we produce content for each platform.” #isoj
  261. ABC doesn’t champion anything, Univision champions diversity. Conflict? #isoj
  262. @isaacleep it’s like you and your wife being different, and having a unique chile with a mind of its own.
  263. Next session is on virtual reality journalism, led by @webjournalist. #isoj
  264. RT @JoyOfRoyQ: #ICYMI @webjournalist spoke in spanish to make the non-speakers nervous. #trolling #ISOJ #ForRealsForReals
  265. Globally more people have access to cellphones than to working toilets. #isoj
  266. Major changes in computer platform – miniaturization, wearables. #isoj
  267. VR has been promised to us since the 80s. Immersive computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence. #isoj
  268. Augmented Reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment augmented by digital. #isoj
  269. Oculus “brought back virtual reality from the dead.” #isoj
  270. MozVR sounds like VRML. #isoj
  271. .@webjournalist will have a VR journalism course at Annenberg. #isoj
  272. .@immersivejourno has video of experimental uses of VR in journalism. #isoj
  273. Dibbel’s “A Rape in Cyberspace” – responded as if real, even in a text-based virtual reality. #isoj
  274. Thinking about embodiment and the way our brains are wired. Impact on immersive vr journalism. #isoj
  275. “I have done legacy media, and I’m bringing those best practices into this (VR) space.” @immersivejourno #isoj
  276. “Gone Gitmo” in Second Life was a virtual simulation of Gitmo. #isoj
  277. Frightening VR simulations of imprisonment and torture make compelling journalism. #isoj
  278. Use of Force’VR simulation of a real event. The object is to record a police beating with your cellphone before the battery dies. #isoj
  279. Project Syria: VR experience of a bombing based on real videos. #isoj
  280. RT @robquig: The production costs and skill level to stitch together VR and 3D model are very high. Need to come down for this to catch on.…
  281. .@taylor_owen working with VR aligning form with the capacity, connstraints, and needs of journalism. #isoj
  282. Does VR bring us closer? Feels closer, but it’s still a representation. #isoj
  283. Goals: investigate what’s involved, butter understand nonfiction storytelling potential of VR. Produce a good work of journalism. #isoj
  284. 360 cameras around for a long time, but to get depth of field they need to be stereoscopic. #isoj
  285. Where could VR add something meaningful to the journalism, what story is best for this? Settled on Ebola in W Africa. #isoj
  286. .@taylor_owen working through Tow Center @towcenter #isoj
  287. What they found: a powerful effect of immersion in VR. #isoj
  288. Editorially important to shoot specifically for VR not 2D. #isoj
  289. It’s difficult to show a linear narrative in VR. Interstitial menu is a crucial framing narrative device. #isoj
  290. An added layer of interactivity within the VR is very important. #isoj
  291. VR requires big teams and significant expense. #isoj
  292. VR industry is still developing its production language. #isoj
  293. Post production process is way to cumbersome for journalism right now. Sophisticated production team and a lot of time required. #isoj
  294. The hardware for VR is developing at an astonishing pace. #isoj
  295. Many mentions of Google Cardboard. Build your own! #isoj
  296. “VR is bigger than gaming.” @raysotovr #isoj
  297. Why tell stories in VR? Bring a world to the consumer, immerse them in it. Storytelling potential is endless, driver != passenger. #isoj
  298. A timeline of my live #isoj tweets is here:
  299. .@raysotovr: we’ve templatized VR, can release VR content within hours. #isoj
  300. There are quite a few VR skeptics, “the dark lord of the Sith.” But VR is a new platform, not a replacement. Don’t fear change. #isoj
  301. RT @digitalamysw: Ray Soto bringing forth the “Darth Tradition” to the newsroom via VR #isoj
  302. Panel: starting with question on the ethics of VR journalism. @immersivejourno is more concnerned with possible nausea. #isoj
  303. “You’re tricking someone into thinking they’re there” … that they actually are seeing what’s real. @taylor_owen. #isoj
  304. @immersivejourno is sure that people don’t confuse VR with reality. “Sorry if I sound defensive, I’ve spent years defending myself.” #isoj
  305. .@raysotovr “It’s the unknown that gets me excited.” @taylor_owen “Where’s it better to have a livestream on phone vs full immersion.” #isoj
  306. Given heightened emotional involvement, how do you make choices about creating the VR context? How deep do you go? #isoj
  307. .@immersivejourno: I don’t have the answers (re ethics and context). She always warns users what they’re getting into. #isoj
  308. RT @joeruiz: What I want to know about VR journalism is how those of us in day-to-day news get started with producing this work? #ISOJ
  309. What does it mean to be a journalist inside virtual environments? #isoj
  310. .@NYTimes commenting system includes “Times Picks” – curation of most interesting and thoughtful comments. #isoj
  311. 14 @NYTimes moderators to premoderate posts and select NYTimes picks. #isoj
  312. Selection of high quality comments can model commenting for users, theoretically. #isoj
  313. What are the editorial criteria for selecting these comments? And how can the process of moderation scale? Augmented by tech? #isoj
  314. Study looked at criteria for inclusion of comments (vs exclusion). #isoj
  315. RT @mairalg: Research presentation on NYT comment picks. Shout out to @BasseyE, who heads community @nytimes. #ISOJ
  316. RT @media_republik: @ndiakopoulos: Can comment moderation be augmented by algorithmic selection? What are characteristics of high quality c…
  317. .@cindyroyal and @daleblasingame from @txst discussing (very timely) data journalism. #isoj
  318. What is data journalism, process or product? What roles are skills are involved, who does it affect, is it really new? #isoj
  319. Not a lot of research on data journalism so far. Opportunities for study once we define the field. #isoj
  320. RT @daleblasingame: .@CindyRoyal talking about our work on defining data journalism. #ISOJ
  321. @cindyroyal did initial research and ended up with 63 assertions about data journalism. #isoj
  322. Went to online news association in Chicago and interviewed several on video about perceptions of data journalism. #isoj
  323. What’s new: personalization, customization, databases, interative (from the related term set). #isoj
  324. Definition of data journalism. #isoj
  325. Data journalism is a process by which analysis and presentation of data are employed to better inform and engage the public. #isoj
  326. Engaging news project, @joshscacco. To bridge commercial and democratic aims, meet news orgs where they are. #isoj
  327. News organizations are engaging in a socialization process inside and outside the newsroom. #isoj
  328. Can we get a better sense who someone is by data mining their comment history? (Is there a privacy question here?) #isoj
  329. RT @jamiestockwell: Reporters should engage online with readers, in comments and social media. Beyond branding, it’s how we better understa…
  330. There are elements of data journalism that make it completely like journalism, but there are significant differences, too. #isoj
  331. There are arguments for seeing data journalism as like or unlike traditional journalism. Current research is just a jumping off point. #isoj
  332. RT @NBBarrios: “It’s easy to say, ‘here’s a tool, use it,'” Scacco said. But they need to teach audiences how to utilize it. #ISOJ
  333. RT @CindyRoyal: Here’s our paper, Data Journalism, An Explication. Video and charts #isoj #txstisoj
  334. |LIVE NOW| Julia at #ISOJ #meerkat
  335. #ISOJ
  336. Supply of media content far exceeds ability of the public to consume what is offered – and content is therefore cheaper. #isoj
  337. Ability of firms to profitably connect audiences with content is diminishing. #isoj
  338. RT @tjohnson1960: #ISOJ journalists lose control over message in social media
  339. RT @grovesprof: Media consumption has become more individualized and active. @picard_robert #ISOJ
  340. RT @grovesprof: With social media, you’re combining mass communication with interpersonal. It’s a very different type of communication. @pi…
  341. Digital consumption is not the same as news consumption. Digital news production won’t save print. #isoj
  342. Digital news consumption is going up, however PAID consumption is slowing in most countries. #isoj
  343. Those who are currently paying and willing to pay are plateauing at about half of what they spent for print. #isoj
  344. Why should anyone pay for news online? It’s available free from many sources.
  345. For those who want to pay for news, we have to figure out how to give the more, and how to get them to pay more. #isoj
  346. Google, Apple, Youtube, et al. – i.e. the stacks -are not our friends, though they might be our partners. #isoj
  347. RT @Hermida: Here’s the bad news: 70-80% of people never intend to pay for news so have to get existing customers to spend more @picard_rob…
  348. It is a problem when you have intermediaries taking significant percentages of the money. #isoj
  349. Media firms are struggling to find strategies to operate in VUCA environments. #isoj
  350. VUCA means: indistinct industry boundaries, corporate structures in flux, rapid changes in sources of competitive advantage. #isoj
  351. Advertising was in trouble long before the Internet. Was already losing audience. #isoj
  352. Advertising went up until 2005, then it started to tank. #isoj
  353. What can we do? Newspapers haven’t had to do r&d or business dev. #isoj
  354. In news, we need continual innovation, learning, and adaptation (diversification similar to what @jmoroney_jim was saying). #isoj
  355. When people in the news talk about business models, they’re no talking about business models – but revenue models. #isoj
  356. Our revenue doesn’t work if our product doesn’t work. We’re preparing stories like we have traditionally. #isoj
  357. Stabilizing consumption and revenues are the primary strategic objectives. #isoj
  358. Strategic tipping pionts in the digital era for print and broadcast suggest crisis point. #isoj
  359. RT @JaneBSinger: Google, FB et al are not our friends. They may be our business partners, but they’re in it for their own gain. Face it! @p…
  360. What can you do that nobody else provides? That’s what people will pay you for. #isoj
  361. Advertisers will be demanding much better metrics for performance reasons. A problem for all, news and other digital. #isoj
  362. RT @garciaruize: @picard_robert At some point you have to make the decision about whether to continue print. #ISOJ
  363. Data created for advertising purposes doesn’t tell you enough about actual consumption of info and response to messaging. #isoj
  364. RT @robquig: There are cool things that you can do at small places with few resources. Tech tools are mostly free. It only takes enthusiasm…
  365. RT @digitalamysw: How to do R&D? Look at what other news orgs are not doing, look at other companies/industries says @picard_robert #isoj
  366. Global roundup of journalists using the Internet to support human rights and democracy is starting at #isoj
  367. Starting a panel of global journalists who use the Internet to support human rights and democracy. #isoj
  368. Tomas Bodoky, Atlatszo Started in 2011, constantly growing since. Several project on freedom of information. #isoj
  369. Haris Dedovic, Karike, magazine for youth in Bosnia. Putting videos online to address problems. #isoj
  370. Gopal Guragain, Ujyaalo Online – multimedia. 24 hr live broadcast. #isoj
  371. Jahaanzaib Haque, Dawn, Pakistan. Use comments to slip in controversial news. #isoj
  372. Dawn comments section hosted some online diplomacy, Pakistanis talking to Indians. #isoj
  373. Impressive to realize that journalists in some parts of the world have to fear for their lives. #isoj
  374. Mike Runey from Texas, working for Meydan TV, Azerbaijan. Meydan operates from Berlin. #isoj
  375. Gregory Shevdov, Caucasian Knot, Russia. Covers human rights abuses. #isoj
  376. Laura Weffer, Efecto Cocuyo in Venezuela. 3 months old. #isoj
  377. Anim van Wyk, Africa Check, South Africa. Only fact-checking website in Africa. #isoj
  378. Global panel at #isoj
  379. Jahanzaib notes dangerous environment in Pakistan. He stopped using Twitter because the Taliban spokesman is following him. #isoj
  380. Digital trolls on Caucasian Knot can be neutralized by other commenters. #isoj
  381. In Venezuela, citizens use social media to evade government restrictions. #isoj
  382. RT @jaxstone: The stories being told by these journalists are important, fascinating, inspiring and scary. #ISOJ
  383. Gregory Shvedov talks about the impact of crowdsharing (not croudsourcing). #isoj
  384. RT @animvw: The effect when polio lies were not #factchecked in #Nigeria #ISOJ @AfricaCheck
  385. Sometimes as journalists we have to provide uncomfortable truths. ~ Laura Weffer
  386. RT @webjournalist: I’ve truly enjoyed hearing @jhaque_ speak at #ISOJ.
  387. .@fmrussell on Twitter and the gatekeeping role of journalists. #isoj
  388. Journalists say they’re willing to interact socially on Twitter, but they’re actually reluctant to do so in practice. #isoj
  389. By not interacting on Twitter, journalists don’t take full advantage of its social characteristics. @fmrussell #isoj
  390. Which journalists use Twitter most effectively? Possibly sports journalists, who reportedly interact more on Twitter. #isoj
  391. For his project @fmrussell compared journalist from prestige pubs with those from more active and influential online-only sites. #isoj
  392. Analysis of 900 tweets over one month by journalists last year showed sports journalists more active & interactive. #isoj
  393. Public affairs journalists seemed particularly careful in their Twitter interactions.
  394. .@amberhinsley based 10 miles from Ferguson, MO. Studied #Ferguson strategic messaging by journalists & activists. #isoj
  395. .@amberhinsley looked at local journalists only. How might they act in a time of crisis? Tend to rely on professional routines. #isoj
  396. Would journalists at #Ferguson focus on chaos and confrontation, and not on larger issues? #isoj
  397. How would local activists respond in #Ferguson? #isoj
  398. Content analysis of local #Ferguson activists and journalists, also looking at message frames. #isoj
  399. RT @meredithclark: Wondering how “activists” were defined in this sample. #ISOJ
  400. Journalisms and activists both more likely to use original tweets that retreats at #Ferguson. #isoj
  401. 60% of the tweets in the #Ferguson study had at least one hashtag. A lot were used consistently. #isoj
  402. #ISOJ
  403. .@krheim on live tweeting a presidential primary debate: Twitter posts vs news coverage: how do they compare? #isoj
  404. Centering resonance analysis identifies most influential words in a text – applied to presidential debate tweets by @krheim. #isoj
  405. Most influential words in pres debate were policy-related. News coverage also had policy words, also strategy-oriented words. #isoj
  406. Twitter discussion words were not policy or strategy words, but references to Romney’s bet offer: thenthousand and dollar. #isoj
  407. Other emphasis on media-oriented words, like ABC and DianeSawyer. #isoj
  408. Some discussion of policy on Twitter, but about the policy issues NOT discussed in the debate (why not?). #isoj
  409. Unlike tweets, new coverage didn’t make much of Romney’s bet. #isoj
  410. Media-focused metacoverage – tweets that focused on the role of media in the debate. #isoj
  411. Generally @krheim study shows a disconnect between Twitter and news, and that those following on Twitter might be more cynical. #isoj
  412. We can look at the discussion on Twitter as a critique of the debate. The people on Twitter were fed up. #isoj
  413. Social media like Twitter might move us to a new stage, a focus on the people who matter most, the voters. #isoj
  414. .@kathleeno on black Twitter and the Gabby Douglas (hair) controversy. Focusing on how news becomes news. #isoj
  415. While Gabby Douglas performing at Olympics, controversy over her hair broke out. #isoj
  416. What is diffusion of news? News can bubble up from small groups online to mainstream news sites. #isoj
  417. Black Twitter as a social public, “a community constructed through their use of social media by outsiders and insiders alike.” #isoj
  418. Intersectionality analyzes signifiers of exclusion and domination work – race, class, gender. #isoj
  419. Framing and power: how we use words to push domination and hegemony. #isoj
  420. Methods inlcuded qualitative textual analysis, review of new pieces and websites plus mainstream pubs. 1500 tweets (or more). #isoj
  421. Black women owns the Gabby Douglas story, per @kathleeno. Made the story about owning it. #isoj
  422. .@kathleeno: “Never have Gabby Douglas and Hillary Clinton been seen in the same sentence together.” #isoj
  423. “How did the Olympics turn into a hair debate?” ~ HuffPo. “That’s diffusion of news.” ~ @kathleeno #isoj
  424. RT @Brizzyc: Good paper here on #Ferguson and how journalists and activists used Twitter @amberhinsley good present…
  425. RT @aislingclare27: Social media doesn’t have the ability to fight trolling (at least in the US) because of our 1st amendment rights. @ambe…
  426. In #Ferguson, activist calls to action were not being retweeted/amplified. #isoj
  427. Discussions of “slacktivism” not usually evidence based per @hermida. #isoj
  428. In fact, slacktivism might lay seeds that will grow, but not quickly. #isoj
  429. RT @meredithclark: Uncomfortable with repeated citations of “untrained activists” and surprise that people “knew what they were doing.” #Fe…
  430. When political operatives get into the conversation and start tweeting, the memes spread. @krheim #isoj
  431. What motivates people to share news stories on FB and Twitter? @ahinsely’s research interest. #isoj
  432. How do ordinary citizens engage with gatekeeping on Twitter? @krheim #isoj
  433. My eyeballs are popping out of my head. #isoj

Trends 2015

Monkeys in Space

Here’s a list of trends I see going into 2015, created for this year’s “State of the World” conversation.

Privatization of outer space: A number of companies are developing spaceware, and there’s one nonprofit that’s formed to colonize Mars by 2023 ( Is the investment entirely speculative, or do we have clear business models driving a potential new space age?

Currency revolution: a number of alternative currencies have appeared, most notably the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are also technologies for digitally mediated barter. How will these be integrated into existing economic systems? Are we really looking at a (more? or less?) radical transformation of global economies?

AI/robotics: we’re beginning to see practical, usable applications of robotics, and there’s much talk of evolving artificial intelligence and possible singularity.

Alan Turing, via Benedict Cumberbatch, is getting some attention. When asked in “The Imitation Game” whether machines will ever think like humans, he scoffs – that’s the wrong question. Machines may think, but not “like humans.” Much of the singularity talk doesn’t get this point, but is rooted in anthropomorphism, which makes about as much sense as a golem emerging from a carefully-shaped clay effigy.

We like to think there’s no intelligence that ain’t human, but that’s a shadow of anthropocentric hubris. As we get into robotics and AI in a bigger, industrial-strength, way, what will they teach us about intelligence, human and other?

Practical backlash against 1% and hyper-neoliberalism: the political pendulum swings persistently, and it doesn’t make human sense to roll backwards to some sort of feudal society. Also propaganda only works so far before practical intelligence engenders some degree of critical thinking. Okay, I’m being hopeful here, but I believe the extreme factions in the civil cold war du jour will be overcome by those who are more balanced, reasonable, and practical. 2015 could be the turning point; waiting to hear the alarm ring.

Internet of things: There’s buzz around the IoT now, probably not altogether practical, but driving investment that could fund innovation. We ask the wrong questions about it, i.e. “why do I want my toaster to talk to my refrigerator?” We should be considering what “things” are most practical to network, and the pro and con implications. Are there security implications? Are we depending too much on networks, creating too great a vulnerability to network failure?

Cyberwars, hacktivism, crypto activism: Networked information systems have inherent vulnerabilities, increasingly exploited by various actors for various reasons. To the extent that we live our lives online and invest in our online identities, we’re subject to these vulnerabilities. This is increasingly obvious, and the question for any one of us is, how vulnerable have I become, and how to I mitigate risk? This is a question for individuals, corporations, and governments. Mitigation can create obstructions and limit the value of networks, so we have to think hard about the risks we’re willing to take the measures we’re willing to adopt to limit those risks. It’s also clear that governments (and non-governmental movements) will engage in cyberwar – to what extent will some of us suffer collateral damage from those engagements?

Network fatigue: Expect to see more strategic cord-cutting: limiting online activity generally and persistently, or perhaps periodically (“no Facebook for 30 days”). Response to information overwhelm is inevitable.

“New democrats”: Liberal entities like the Democratic party in the U.S. have proved ineffective as alternatives to well-organized corporate conservatives. The health of societies depends on a balance of the two approaches characterized simplistically as “left vs right.” Correction of the current imbalance is inevitable, but will likely involve entities that are nascent or don’t exist yet, vs the established entities of the left, which seem irrelevant and obsolete, partly because they have sought to compete by identifying with their opponents, rather than by emphasizing alternatives.

One possible trend could emerge from a middling trend, i.e. a rejection of polarization and an emphasis on a practical middle path between “left wing” and “right wing.”

Demilitarization of police: Militarization of police after 9/11 may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but none of us wanted to create a police state, which is a potential effect. Going forward, we’ll be reconsidering the roll of police departments in communities and considering how to undo the downside of the militarization efforts. We’ll be rethinking the role of police departments in communities, and how to respond effectively to potential terrorist acts within borders without confusing police objectives with military objectives.

Crowdsourcing medical solutions: smart patients will have more of a role in evolving therapies, and have more input into our understanding of human systems and response to disease. Participatory medicine will become more established. Medical research will consider patient feedback to get a better sense of complex contextual factors affecting health. More people will do granular “quantified self” tracking, and there will be systems to aggregate and analyze this information, impacting our understanding of prevention as well as disease.

Civil asset forfeiture, yikes!

In 2013, The New Yorker published a revealing, troubling piece called “Taken,” an in-depth investigation into the practice of civil asset forfeiture, where American citizens can have their property (cash, cars, homes) confiscated by police, even though they haven’t been charged with a crime.

Now John Oliver on HBO takes on civil forfeiture:

The Institute for Justice is tackling civil forfeiture: website here:


Saw this at bOING bOING (via Cory Doctorow) and ported it over here:

In comments on the video at Youtube, someone posted this Bukowski quote:
“I think my writing is really pretty fucking powerful stuff but I think after I’m dead and safe, they’re going to trot me out, I’m going to really be discovered you know.”

Here’s another quote from Bukowski:
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

He lived 74 years, which is longer than you might expect if you knew something of his habits. He drank heavily, perhaps he was pickled? He also wrote a lot, and his writing had power.


air and light and time and space
by Charles Bukowski

“–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something
has always been in the
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and
the time to
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your
body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquakes, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses

Hottest June Ever!


“June was the 352nd consecutive month in a row with temperatures that were above the global average,” per Climate Central.


“The lengthy stretch of hot months is being driven primarily by the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human activities are responsible for much of that rise and with recent carbon dioxide milestones passed, emissions show no sign of slowing.”

State of the World 2014

Bruce Sterling and I are into our annual “state of the world” mischief. [Link]

Google was going wild in early 2013, they were like android demigods.
Now Google is, all of a sudden, presto, Russia. Google is a
surveillance secret-police empire with spy binoculars on their faces.
Sergey Brin’s pet Moonshots are just a lame prestige show.

It’s sad, really. Larry and Sergei used to be the Not-Evil Guys, they
empowered the users and won their instinctive trust. Now, if Snowden
entered the boardroom of Google, Larry and Sergei would shriek in
falsetto like the Wicked Witches of the West and melt into two puddles
of black wax.

That doesn’t make Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon any better
than Google — Facebook in particular, oh my God — but it’s the first
time that these new titans of American industry have really looked
genuinely ugly. Just, nasty. Because they’re rich and powerful, but
they’re also narcs. They’re creeps and snoops. They’re police

They were kinda tricked into it — but everybody knows it, and their
unwillingness to face up the stark embarrassment is an act of tacit
consent. The Brazilians, Germans, French, Italians, Russians, the
Chinese ten times over, everybody, they all know. It takes a while for
that kind of damage to the reputation to sink in, but it will.

2013 Top Ten (Social/Political/Technical) Culture Blasts

These are things I thought were important in 2013.

NSA Leaks and surveillance society

I always figured the NSA was watching, but it was still a shock to find how extensive surveillance had become – and it was disturbing to see clearly how surveillance of this kind was somebody’s job, something they would inscribe in how-to PowerPoint presentations. This realization via Snowden leaks brought the panopticon home in a big way: as we move so much of our lives into massive databases, we’re increasingly trackable, increasingly exposed to those who know how to capture and analyze the data, and especially vulnerable to government scrutiny. But NSA and government is only part of the story. We’re seeing widespread surveillance by both public and private entities – marketing analytics engines could be or become as robust as NSA tools, meanwhile none of us has ownership of, or control over, our personal data.

In 2013 our level of trust was low and declining. We especially don’t trust governments and corporations with our data because we’re so increasingly aware of the potential for, if not the fact of, abuse. To some extent concerns are legitimate, and to some extent they emerge from a culture of paranoia that has evolved in the wake of mass media and network technology, which have had several relevant effects: greater awareness of abuses when they happen, feeding into myriad fictional surveillance and pursuit fantasies, and more recently the emergence of a social media panopticon. But the Snowden revelations make paranoia feel pretty rational.

Andrew Leonard has a good Salon piece about surveillance/sousveillance:

Death of the Internet /DIY/free culture etc.

As the Internet has become the pervasive platform for media and commerce, it has ceased to be the “network of networks” of the 90s. As so many of us predicted, the Internet has been transformed into something more like the cable networks. Content and technology are increasingly locked down behind paywalls and other barriers. Even social media have become more professional, less DIY. Anyone can still participate, but few will capture attention or persistent mindshare as the Internet version of mass media has emerged, more conversational and less top-down than the 20th century version, but nothing like the transitional blogosphere. As small publishers moved from desktop publishing to the web, 2013 saw bloggers moving onto managed platforms like Facebook and Tumblr. We now have a media environment that includes a relatively small number of high-profile content sources, and smaller clusters of online conversation and sharing. Shirkification proceeds (referring to Clay Shirky’s predictions that just such a thing would happen). Question is, how will cream rise to the top? How will new voices emerge and capture attention? Or they be excluded by stricter gateways and media dominance by a limited few. The promise of the Internet was that it could bring a vibrant mix of new perspectives and a cheerfully unmanageable confluence of cultures, but we lose that, if network culture is dominated by a top-down mass media paradigm.

Boston Marathon bombing

The Marathon bombing was similar to the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center, though smaller scale and evidently involving only two Chechen Muslim perpetrators who didn’t seem to be acting as part of a larger conspiracy or movement like Al Qaeda. This seemed to be more the case of “another nut with a gun” (and some bombs. However I find it just as troubling, maybe more so, to see the bombing as part of an epidemic of random acts of senseless violence. Note also that there were 359 mass shootings in the USA in 2013. (

The Tea Party gets elected

Through a combination of hard work, effective propaganda, big money, and possibly a heavy thumb on the voting scales, a number of Tea Party politicians have been elected to public office, have been empowered by their supposed popularity, and have managed to freeze Congress from producing any effective legislative solutions. 2013 has been the year of peak Tea Party ascendance, much to the dismay of Democrats and pragmatic Republicans whose business-as-usual has been derailed. The debate about the role and extent of government may ultimately be healthy, if it doesn’t kill us first.

Pope Francis

As religious figures go, this is a breath of fresh air. Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope from the Americas, is known for his humility and openness, and the simplicity of his demeanor. These are welcome traits in the leader of the world’s largest, and arguably most influential, Christian religious organization. He hasn’t sold all the Catholic gold, but he’s wearing less of it.

Economy, what?

We keep hearing that the economy will tank any day now, and for anyone who’s on the exasperating downside, that doesn’t seem so speculative. Tech is booming (but it could be a bubble), and there are signs of life in the world of manufacturing. Innovation is everywhere. However the American middle class is on the ropes, and much of the world’s money is socked away in Swiss bank accounts, i.e. out of play. And while there are many experts in the infosphere, nobody seems to have a definitive clue. There’s a lot of “next economy” talk, and we may very well see a collapse of traditional means of exchange and the ascendance of new forms – worker cooperatives, alternative currencies and barter systems, resilient communities, etc. These are gathering steam (and may have to be steam-driven, as fossil fuels burn away).


Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) depends on the commitment of citizens and corporations to make it work. However opponents who see in the potential for broad mandated insurance a kind of socialism, where the strong support the weak, have undermined that commitment. Those that are healthy/wealthy don’t want the sick and the poor in their insurance pools, just as they don’t want their tax dollars spent on benefits or “entitlements” for the lower and middle classes. The actual launch of Obamacare was the best they could’ve hoped for: the web technology to support ACA exchanges and enrollments was poorly planned and executed, and this seemed to validate the opponents’ arguments that the ACA would be a disaster. But the botched website development doesn’t say anything about the viability of the ACA system itself. While the law’s not ideal, it’s a step toward universal healthcare and improvement of the whacky dysfunctional American healthcare system. As of this writing, the website’s working better, so we may be past that particular glitch. Meanwhile ideological wrangling over the complex (ergo not well understood) legislation sucked much of the political energy out of 2013.

Chelyabinsk meteor

What happens when an asteroid strikes the earth? We’ve often wondered, and the answer depends on the size of the particular rock. Many think the Tunguska event in Russia was an asteroid or comet strike. The Chelyabinsk meteor, also in Russia, was also thought to have been an asteroid, and the first case where a meteor blast caused documented widespread injuries. I’ve used the word “strike” here, but in the case of both Tunguska and Chelyabinsk, there wasn’t a direct hit. Both exploded above the earth; most of the damage was caused by shock waves.

How can we prevent larger asteroids from striking the earth? NASA’s currently planning an asteroid-tow-and-study mission that would be a step in the right direction:

Miley Cyrus twerking

Miley’s unconventional, racy MTV Video Music Awards appearance shocked the Twitterverse and escalated her prominence as a pop culture icon, not so much because of the performance itself (which I saw as a clever, entertaining parody of pop culture excess) as her smart handling of the supposed controversy. Can’t say that there was any shift in mainstream commercial pop culture as a result of the furor, but hey, it was just a bit of fun.

Google Glass

I guiltily admit that I haven’t taken any opportunity, and there’ve been some, to give Google Glass a try. I’m skeptical whether I’ll be able to see much of the overlay, but it might be cool to shoot photos and videos on the fly, though a GoPro would be better for that. To me, the real significance is not so much of the specific product or platform but the boost for the wearable computing meme, which we’ve been talking about since the early 90s. However my pocket device is useful enough, I don’t have to “wear” it (though I’m jonesing for a wearable health data tracker like FitBit.)

The point of “wearable” is that computers are increasingly embedded in the fabric of everyday life, via devices like Glass, Nest, FitBit et al, and concepts like the Internet of Things. 2013, two decades after the Internet’s mainstreaming began in 1993, these next generation technologies have arrived. Soon enough, they’ll be commonplace and boring.

What the Internet Is

This works as a manifesto. I didn’t write it — it’s by the brilliant technologist David P. Reed.

Occasionally, people ask my perspective on the Internet, since I often object to confusing it with things like the telephone or Cable TV. Recently I composed a response that captures my perspective, as one of the participants in its genesis, and as an advocate for sustaining its fundamental initial design principles. I hope these words clarify what I believe many of those who continue to create the Internet continue to do, even though most of them are not aware of it. I also hope many will see their interest in keeping the core principles of the Internet alive.

The Internet must be fit to be the best medium of discourse and intercourse [not just one of many media, and not just limited to democratic discourse among humans]. It must be fit to be the best medium for commercial intercourse as well, though that might be subsumed as a proper subset of discourse and intercourse.

Which implies interoperability and non-balkanization of the medium, of course. But it also implies flexibility and evolvability – which *must* be permissionless and as capable as possible of adapting to as-yet-unforeseen uses and incorporating as-yet-unforeseen technologies.

I’ve used the notion of a major language of inter-cultural interaction, like English, Chinese, or Arabic, as an explicit predecessor and model for the Internet’s elements – it’s protocols and subject matter, it’s mechanism of self-extension, and it’s role as a “universal solvent”.

We create English or Chinese or Arabic merely by using it well. We build laws in those frameworks, protocols of all sorts in those frameworks, etc.

But those frameworks are inadequate to include all subjects and practices of discourse and intercourse in our modern digital world. So we invented the Internet – a set of protocols that are extraordinarily simple and extraordinarily independent of medium, while extensible and infinitely complex. THey are mature, but they have run into a limit: they cannot be a framework for all forms of (digital information). One cannot encode a photograph for transmission in English, yet one can in the framework we have built beginning with the Internet’s IP datagrams, addressing scheme, and agreed-upon mechanics.

The Internet and its protocols are sufficient to support an evolving and ultimately ramifying set of protocols and intercourse forms – one’s that have *real* impact beyond jurisdiction or “standards body”.

The key is that the Internet is created by its users, because its users are free to create it. There is no “governor” who has the power to say “no” – you cannot technically communicate that way or about that.

And the other key is that we (the ones who began it, and the ones who now add to it every day, making it better) have proven that we don’t need a system that draws boundaries, says no, and proscribes evolution in order to have a system that flourishes.

It just works.

This is a shock to those who seem to think that one needs to hand all the keys to a powerful company like the old AT&T or to a powerful central “coordinating body” like the ITU, in order for it not to fall apart.

The Internet has proven that the “Tower of Babel” is not inevitable (and it never was), because communications is an increasing returns system – you can’t opt out and hope to improve your lot. Also because “assembly” (that is, group-forming) is an increasing returns system. Whether economically or culturally, the joint creation of systems of discourse and intercourse *by the users* of those systems creates coherence while also supporting innovation.

The problem (if we have any) is those who are either blind to that, or willfully reject what has been shown now for at least 30 years – that the Internet works.

Also there is too much (mis)use of the Fallacy of Composition that has allowed the Internet to be represented as merely what happens when you have packets rather than circuits, or merely what happens when you choose to adopt certain formats and bit layouts. That’s what the “OSI model” is often taken to mean: a specific design document that sits sterile on a shelf, ignoring the dynamic and actual phenomenon of the Internet. A thing is not what it is, at the moment, made of. A river is not the water molecules that currently sit in the river. This is why the neither owners of the fibers and switches nor the IETF can make the Internet safe or secure – that idea is just another Fallacy of Composition. [footnote: many instances of the “end-to-end argument” are arguments based on a Fallacy of Composition].

The Internet is not the wires. It’s not the wires and the fibers. It’s never been the same thing as “Broadband”, though there has been an active effort to confuse the two. It’s not the packets. It’s not the W3C standards document or the IETF’s meetings. It’s NONE of these things – because those things are merely epiphenomena that enable the Internet itself.

The Internet is an abstract noun, not a physical thing. It is not a frequency band or a “service” that should be regulated by one of the service-specific offices of the FCC. It is not a “product” that is “provided” by a provider.

But the Internet is itself, and it includes and is defined by those who have used it, those who are using it and those who will use it.

Yochai Benkler runs it down: the NSA, our rights, America in decline

Yochai Benkler shines a summary light on NSA revelations. I personally don’t think the problem is the NSA but the context in which the NSA is operating – a context in which American values are in transition – I would say decline – as a concept of governance founded on democratic and scientific traditions is replaced by a concept of governance based on traditions of elite power, superstition and fear. Note my boldface below…

We have learned that in pursuit of its bureaucratic mission to obtain signals intelligence in a pervasively networked world, the NSA has mounted a systematic campaign against the foundations of American power: constitutional checks and balances, technological leadership, and market entrepreneurship. The NSA scandal is no longer about privacy, or a particular violation of constitutional or legislative obligations. The American body politic is suffering a severe case of auto-immune disease: our defense system is attacking other critical systems of our body.

Further on:

Serious people with grave expressions will argue that if we do not ruthlessly expand our intelligence capabilities, we will suffer terrorism and defeat…. The “serious people” are appealing to our faith that national security is critical, in order to demand that we accept the particular organization of the Intelligence Church. Demand for blind faith adherence is unacceptable.

You think Yochai Benkler is angry? Shouldn’t you be?

New method for harvesting energy from light

“Harvesting energy from light” has an exotic sci-fi vibe – it’s about better methods for extracting solar energy to generate electricity, and improved fiber optic technology for communications – applications we’re familiar with — this isn’t the Bellero Shield.

The new work centers on plasmonic nanostructures, specifically, materials fabricated from gold particles and light-sensitive molecules of porphyin, of precise sizes and arranged in specific patterns. Plasmons, or a collective oscillation of electrons, can be excited in these systems by optical radiation and induce an electrical current that can move in a pattern determined by the size and layout of the gold particles, as well as the electrical properties of the surrounding environment. Because these materials can enhance the scattering of light, they have the potential to be used to advantage in a range of technological applications, such as increasing absorption in solar cells.

Link to University of Pennsylvania press release.