Posts tagged technology

If Websites Were People

Here’s a video from Cracked.com that personifies popular websites.

Anthony De Rosa on Social Curation

New at TheFJP.org:

In this video, Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa describes the new position of social curation in digital newsrooms. Citing examples like Andy Carvin’s work retweeting and verifying citizen uploaded information across the Arab Spring, De Rosa describes the job of covering social networks as a vital way to keep up with breaking events when you’re sitting halfway across the world.

Breaking news, for the most part, breaks on social media. But it’s not as easy as reading a wire — there have to be people to fact check, double check, and compile the best information from the millions of other uploads that may be misleading, incorrect, or otherwise irrelevant.

See other FJP videos with Anthony here, and be sure to explore TheFJP.org — our new home for video and other (awesome) things.

Anthony De Rosa: Learn by Doing

We’re all up-and-comers, in one way or another. And whether it’s as a reporter or a developer, those who want to be a part of the journalism industry from now on will need several (or in some cases, many) technology-based skills.

In this video, Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa tells us some of his early professional history — how he got into coding as a side-job, which led him to learn a few Adobe programs. He learned by doing, which is the first important thing to remember. The second: he learned from others, through networking and informal mentorships.

Increasingly, you’ll grow your professional skill set with the help of friends and through colleagues, not institutional processes. You won’t necessarily be assigned or told what you’ll need to know. Follow your interests, and reach out to those who are a few steps ahead. They’ll help you, and you’ll help them.

The best part? All the time you spent playing in Photoshop may look good on your CV.

See our other video with Anthony here, and check back for another later this week.

Anthony De Rosa: Why Newsrooms Should Poach Tech and Startup Talent

Anthony De Rosa is Reuters’ Social Media Editor, where he’s also a columnist and host at ReutersTV. We sat down with him to discuss where the tech and news communities meet and, increasingly, overlap.

Being that the news industry has more than a few business problems these days, Anthony suggests hiring outside help. By choosing Craigslist, Groupon and Facebook as examples of places from which to steal employees, De Rosa makes a solid point: go where the success is, and learn from the people that have done smart things in the more turbulent and burgeoning media landscapes.

Anthony also discusses what news life is like at Reuters, which we’ll dive into in more detail over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

And for more FJP videos, see our new site, theFJP.org.

Video Store Psychology
In hindsight it’s obvious that LPs were better than eight-tracks, and that CDs and their walkmans/discmans/what-have-you-mans wouldn’t survive the iPod age. And don’t forget tapes — tapes had no chance.
But what’s more psychologically interesting is the cult of the LP — an obsolete disc, useless without its heavy player. Decades after it was pushed aside by technology and business, there are still people who will buy, say, a Postal Service album on vinyl. Which leads me to my only point today — it’s bloody interesting to see where technologically obsolete, unprofitable items and businesses go after they’ve been swept aside
Yesterday, Atlantic Cities covered the strange fate of the humble, quirky movie rental store. One quote, from a store owner named David Hawkins, catches my eye:

"We’re the new barbershop," he says. "There are fewer places these days just to hang out. Cafes are no longer as social, and if you don’t go to bars there are so few new social gatherings popping up. I worry that if we let all of video stores close, our neighborhoods will be a lot less interesting."

Something like this will happen somewhere in journalism, sometime after we’ve moved  further in the direction of tablets and mobile.
Maybe we’ll dress like our grandparents, order black coffee in a diner and savor the crackle of an old newspaper. Maybe we will read the news in groups and berate the daily me-ness of our devices. Or we may have to become armchair historians, because the newspapers we will have found by then will be among the last to have ever been printed, sometime around five years from now (my prediction.) - Blake

Video Store Psychology

In hindsight it’s obvious that LPs were better than eight-tracks, and that CDs and their walkmans/discmans/what-have-you-mans wouldn’t survive the iPod age. And don’t forget tapes — tapes had no chance.

But what’s more psychologically interesting is the cult of the LP — an obsolete disc, useless without its heavy player. Decades after it was pushed aside by technology and business, there are still people who will buy, say, a Postal Service album on vinyl. Which leads me to my only point today — it’s bloody interesting to see where technologically obsolete, unprofitable items and businesses go after they’ve been swept aside

Yesterday, Atlantic Cities covered the strange fate of the humble, quirky movie rental store. One quote, from a store owner named David Hawkins, catches my eye:

"We’re the new barbershop," he says. "There are fewer places these days just to hang out. Cafes are no longer as social, and if you don’t go to bars there are so few new social gatherings popping up. I worry that if we let all of video stores close, our neighborhoods will be a lot less interesting."

Something like this will happen somewhere in journalism, sometime after we’ve moved  further in the direction of tablets and mobile.

Maybe we’ll dress like our grandparents, order black coffee in a diner and savor the crackle of an old newspaper. Maybe we will read the news in groups and berate the daily me-ness of our devices. Or we may have to become armchair historians, because the newspapers we will have found by then will be among the last to have ever been printed, sometime around five years from now (my prediction.) - Blake

Making the News (more) Mobile

A new mobile news app called Circa has dedicated itself to aggregating content and slimming it down to the facts and nothing but — all to present bits of information from several sources on a mobile screen without exhausting its users. 

Ben Huh of Cheezburger fame has a lot on his mind, news-wise, and he’s a co-founder.  So are Matt Gilligan and Arsenio Santos, and the rest of the team and their investors can be found here.

It’s a fine idea, and the presentation fits mobile’s tiny screens. Some, however, may scratch their heads at it as they did at fellow newcomer Quartz for its reliance on aggregation.

via PandoDaily:

Galligan and Huh believe to save journalism you need to kill the article. Instead, news from Circa is arranged on digital flash cards you page through on your mobile phone. “Stories” are simply facts strung together across these cards, and most of those facts link to a third party original source.

The art of creating a good Circa piece is in finding news and piecing it together, but there is no writing, per se. There is no analysis and there is no reporting either. Galligan’s view is there’s too much of that in the world. It’s original work in that the “stories” are written by Circa’s newsroom of about a dozen people, but the facts are all aggregated from elsewhere. There are no bylines, which isn’t a big surprise since the innovation here is sucking much of the reporting and writing out of journalism.

Apparently you called on the phone and said something like “Meet me at the corner of 33rd and R Street in Georgetown and we’ll go to that bar.” And then people just did it. We were so trusting that we actually just had to trust that people would show up. Back then, there was no way to back out of engaging in human interaction and human affairs.

A good read on technology and loneliness and communication and dating from a 30-something-year-old (this guy) for Thought Catalog, which is a website that, if you are a city-person in America in your twenties, you should read, so that you, like me, feel more part of a generation/community/space and less like a lost soul in the big bad world that’s being overrun by technology.—Jihii

Bonus: Some other thoughts on loneliness and technology from the FJP archives.

Tech Allstars in Publishing

Media companies that expect to dominate in the future will need to add technology as a core competency. Making the transition from editorial and ad-sales / subscription competency to digital competency will require companies to attract all-star tech talent, a task easier said than done.

Digiday explores the dilemma:

Now that publishers have gotten religion about tech’s front and center position, they’re left with a dilemma: How do they get the talent to run the systems? Leaving aside all the talk of tech at places like Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and Gawker, it’s not so easy when the tech-minded are more likely to work for Google or the next big startup.

“There’s huge demand for good CTOs, but it’s not enticing,” said Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed. “If you’re a good technologist, you can build your own company.”

”The media landscape is one of the most in-turmoil, rapidly changing industries out there now,” [says Paul Berry, former CTO of The Huffington Post]. “It’s at the intersection of everything that’s being disrupted.”

“Too many people outside of tech companies think of tech as being just an implementation of the business ideas or editorial ideas — not of something that’s creative,” said Peretti. In order to entice a good technologist, the tech team needs to be on equal footing with the editorial team, he added — something that would be unthinkable at most editorial organizations.

A man, a cocktail party, and a public twitter display
GigaOM tech writer Ryan Kim waits for his tweet to appear on a live feed at the paidContent 2012 cocktail party. Self-reflection impending. On twitter displays, Narcissism directly correlates with the ratio of humor, tagging, and retweets.
FJP: Conferences are such fun things.

A man, a cocktail party, and a public twitter display

GigaOM tech writer Ryan Kim waits for his tweet to appear on a live feed at the paidContent 2012 cocktail party. Self-reflection impending. On twitter displays, Narcissism directly correlates with the ratio of humor, tagging, and retweets.

FJP: Conferences are such fun things.

Reports on the media habits of Millennials, those “digital natives”, have given some the impression that young people never read newspapers. However, survey evidence stubbornly insists that they do.

Wrote Katy Pape at NPR’s Go Figure, on a survey of millennials that reported 52% of people ages 18 to 24 read a newspaper up to 14 times a month.

It’s the heavy reading, though, that betrays their age: only 22% of millennials read the newspaper on a daily basis, as opposed to the 40% of all adults.

But the most interesting part? The prestige that comes with a heavy newspaper diet:

Heavy newspaper readers (groups I and II) are 75% more likely than light/non readers (groups IV and V) to hold a graduate degree. Heavy readers are also more than twice as likely to be considered “Influentials,” meaning people who participate in three or more public engagement activities every year (such as writing a letter to an elected official, running for public office, or attending a public meeting).

But that can’t mean that one needs to read the paper to be an important person in civic life. It just means that we’re in a shift, hopefully, which we all probably know already.

Just ask Scott M. Fulton:

The ongoing death of newspapers is not about changes in journalism, or the need for them. It is about a business model that has ceased to be relevant in the face of present technology.

FJP: Think LP vs. CD? Or, actually, CD vs. mp3.

"News just reads better on paper, man."

Ask Clay Shirky a question
Internet scholar, author and NYU professor Clay Shirky is sitting online right now, answering questions at the Guardian website for their Battle for the Internet series. Ask away!

Ask Clay Shirky a question

Internet scholar, author and NYU professor Clay Shirky is sitting online right now, answering questions at the Guardian website for their Battle for the Internet series. Ask away!

An epilogue to the Space Shuttle program, in pictures
The Space Shuttle Discovery took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning (bolted somewhat dramatically on top of a 747)  en route to its final home — the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. Click the picture above for a small slideshow, provided by the Guardian.
Picture originally taken by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters.

An epilogue to the Space Shuttle program, in pictures

The Space Shuttle Discovery took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning (bolted somewhat dramatically on top of a 747)  en route to its final home — the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. Click the picture above for a small slideshow, provided by the Guardian.

Picture originally taken by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters.

Tired of staring at a computer all day? Well, go back a 100 years and you’d have been working in a grueling factory all day. Go back another century and you’d have been tending a field all day. Go back 500 years and more than half of your children would have died before the age of five. And yet you’d *still* be using all kinds of human-made objects and systems. As we read yesterday, humans may have been deploying fire for 1 MILLION YEARS. No matter how far back you go, you’ll find us shaping our environment. It is technology all the way down.
These are all major accomplishments, and we librarians have every right to be proud of them. But the world is moving on. Each of the services we’ve provided in the digital arena has been — or is being — superseded by new and better technologies or by other organizations better suited to deliver services electronically. And when Google has finished its scanning project, it will have no more use for us or our collections either. So after more than 50 years in the digital market, libraries have come right back to where they started. Our dream of an electronic library has been built, but others own and manage it. We are left with the tangible property we began with, our physical books, the thousands of buildings that house them, and the millions of people still coming through our doors to use them. In reality, those are not inconsiderable assets — especially in a world where it may become increasingly uneconomical to have physical bookstores or places where people can get together to listen to stories or discuss books and ideas. Figuring out how to exploit those assets in this new environment will not be easy. Perhaps we should turn our attention away from the electric library that others have built and focus on the real books and buildings that made us what we were to begin with. Perhaps that will continue to define us into the future. Or perhaps not. Perhaps we have new roles to play in the digital world or old roles to play but in a new way. Let’s think about that.
FEATURE: The Decline and Fall of the Library Empire (via infoneer-pulse)

The day a virtual library becomes a legit place to hang out, or goof off with friends is the day physical libraries truly die. Information alone is only so valuable, after all.