“At a time when writing for an audience beyond the page is still new, the best storytellers know that there’s no end to the process.” [Guest Post for the blog of Philadelphia craft publisher Head and the Hand]Number of Views:5574
Acts of journalism are challenging and at times infrequent things for local news organizations. Pushing a community and seeking to find outcomes through difficult questions is the best of what media can do. Balancing that with the work tied to creating a sustainable news venture is a consuming one. Here’s where I am in my thinking about that process.
When we launched in 2009 what has since become Technical.ly, we always prepared for a content mixture that would include information and community journalism. We were trained in a newspaper worldview that put a type of ethical paradigm and professional standards that we embraced, even as we challenged its traditions.
Along the way, I found out that I want to build something that could have an impact. Pessimists are nothing but spectators and reporters are almost always pessimists.
I took a month-by-month look at 2013 to get a sense of my year, always striving for having a bigger impact than the year before.
As using social networks and making photos and video become a new form of applause to interact with what’s around you, it becomes more challenging and so more important to think about experiencing the moment.
When I am seeing a new place or having a fun experience I’ll want to revisit, I try to limit how often I use my mobile device to supplement my real life. I was so impressed Jeffrey Stockbridge, and other photographers, describe their work as “making a photo,” rather than “taking” one. That difference may extend the point.Number of Views:1107
The ways that civic engagement is changing in Philadelphia was the focus of a short keynote I gave to help kickoff the Penn Public Policy Challenge at the Fels Institute of Government on Friday.
I focused on the public-private efforts that have been a defining part of the civic-minded technology community I’ve covered in Philadelphia for the last years. I spoke to about 40 mostly Penn graduate students who will be participating in the competition over the next few months. Find my notes below.
Governing is messy, so there has been no shortage of attempts by one party to overthrow the other through history. Among the most recent, high-profile coups came in Egypt where, as is almost always the case, the military led the overthrow — at some level.
This summer, as the Egyptian revolution has taken place, government leaders from China and the United States held their first talks on cybersecurity, spurred by reports that the second largest economy was snooping on the first.
It got me thinking: when will be the first coup led by a technology leader? There’s no doubt that military force will become increasingly controlled by technology. I wonder if that work will ever grow outside of a military or, if not, will there come a time when a military-based technology leader leverages control over systems, security and other digital processes using that power to take over control. It can’t be too far removed.Number of Views:780
Civic hacking is the act of using simple technical solutions to address or better understand bigger social problems. That’s something I found myself saying in an effort to better convey why open data and digital civic engagement isn’t just a distant issue for technologists but instead the conversation of transparency for today.
As part of a Philadelphia magazine issue on the ‘Millenial’ generation, I was interviewed in a Center City coffee shop by Nick Vadala, the bright, bearded and 20-something magazine contributor who was a former intern of mine at Technically Philly.
He was asking me about trends in our generation’s employment goals, and I found myself saying that we seemed defined (and work) by three themes, which made it into his nut graf but isn’t online yet so I wanted to share here.
If journalism is going to evolve to a savvier appreciation for ‘impact,’ its makers need to have a clearer idea of their target audience.
Like you would for any business, you need to know how big your market is, and you need to understand how hard (and necessary) it is to create that audience by acquiring new users — in this case, civic-minded residents.