Entries from March 2008 ↓

My mind is all a-buzz

I’m constantly looking for a way to guide anyone into contributing to good journalism. It’s been my goal for a long time. It should be easy for any person to learn about their community and then pitch in on what they know. Here’s a really interesting article about how the tide is turning.I’ve always felt that journalists can help deliver information better, but everyone should be able to contribute. This article explains the trend very well: “In short, the expert is back. The revival comes amid mounting demand for a more reliable, bankable Web.” It went on to talk about how many of the open source tools out there are too big and too time consuming. Journalists can help mashup that information for the viewer. (I chose the word mashup, not the writer of that article) I think it’s really interesting.I got to meet one of the creators of the EPIC 2014 project from back in 2002. They recently came up with EPIC 2015. It’s fun to speculate about what is going to happen to the journalism industry — and just the overall concept of information sharing and delivery. For now, I’m going to continue to try to deliver and share and help the public do the same. Trying to be realistic is not as fun as just speculating.

Deep thoughts

I’m constantly swamped. It is so easy to do my job all the time that I actually tend to do my job all the time. I communicate with students over email, over instant message, over text message. I also can keep track of the komu.com site over my cellphone by visiting the site’s mobile site or just visiting the page from my phone’s web browser.

With all of this interaction, I still don’t feel like I’m teaching enough. Is that crazy? It’s because there is SO much to talk about and SO much to learn.

This past week I spent the week teaching small workshops on Flash with students. In most cases I worked with three people at a time. The best I can do is open their eyes to the basic functions of the software. If they want to know more, I encourage them to go to campus training sessions or visit places like lynda.com. A successful training session is opening their minds enough that they can “communicate in Flash.” That type of knowledge gives each person the ability to come up with an idea that would help online users learn about a topic. Then they can work with a Flash expert who would be able to understand the journalist’s instructions and ideas. Communicating in Flash means my journalists can envision good Flash journalism by working with an Action Script expert.

It’s hard to accept that I can’t teach everything that is worth teaching. I’m still learning to accept that.

I’m about to go on a trip to meet with some tech “players.” I hope to brain dump some of my ideas and see if they want to play with me. Ever since I started working with Apple on podcasting, I discovered how higher ed and the high tech corporate world can build some pretty fantastic relationships. Then I get to add in a professional newsroom environment where those products can be put to work in a real world setting where we think about profits. It’s a really exciting opportunity to offer. I haven’t been able to play with as many “toys” as I have hoped, but it’s fun to offer a professional and higher ed perspective at the same time. I hope I’ll come back with some cool projects in my future.