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Future of News / Future Civic Media BarCamps

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Revision as of 13:11, 17 June 2009 by Agahran (talk | contribs) (added low-tech mobile session)
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What's the Most You Can Do with Crappy Cell Phones?

It seems to me that mobile media is a huge potential channel for community news, information, context, discussion, coordination, and action. But most people have really crappy low-end cell phones -- with a bare-bones (or no) browser, little or no data plan, maybe no e-mail access. SMS may be as advanced as many of these phones get.

The people who use these phones depend on them. They also totally freak out when they don't have them or if they get turned off for non-payment. That indicates the power of this media channel.

What is the most we can do to engage people interactively through low-end mobile technology? What works, what doesn't, and what needs to be learned? How can low-end mobile be considered FIRST for the development of community/public service media projects?

- Amy Gahran

Community News for places with high levels of non-literacy

How do people in poor communities in the developing world currently share information? What information do they currently lack? What news and information solutions have been devised in the developed world, and how these solutions benefit those living below the poverty line in the developing world? How do we evaluate the effectiveness of the ways people engage with information? In rural parts of the developing world, high levels of illiteracy, extremely low or non-existent Internet connectivity, and the lack of English have prevented millions from joining the digital revolution. But interesting solutions exist, including video, radio, SMS, and cellphones. People from Dropping Knowledge, Kabutana, Gram Vaani, San Jose Mercury News, Ashoka and Video Volunteers will be sharing experience, along with many others, we hope.

Keith Hammonds, Aaditeshwar Seth, Chris Obrien, Brenda Burrell, Jessica Mayberry and Caesar Mcdowell

YouTV: The role of participatory television scheduling.

TV guide has shut down its operations in several major cities in the United States, leading to a dramatic increase in clicking during the first five minutes of every prime time hour. How does this effect the screenwriter's guild (lengthened character exposition, increased reliance on flashbacks) and more importantly, advertising revenues? How can citizens band together to provide the episode synopses and critical timing information that help the average American schedule four hours of their every day?

We are Here: Mapping and Community

A discussion on mapping and community, in order to orient our efforts, survey best practices and locate mapping historically and socially. The current trajectory is to begin with a more cultural and social perspectives on mapping, segue into design in a broad sense, and end up at current technical implementations and issues. Josh, David and Jeff might provide some case studies to help ground this or we might focus on emergent case studies/discussion from the group.

Matthew Hockenberry, Sara Wylie, Josh Levinger, David Zwarg, and Jeff Warren

Models for community engagement

I'm preparing to launch Oakland Local, a community news and information hub (has a JLab seed grant) that will marry grassroots community information/news with beat reporting and investigative journalism and am eager to discuss models and best practices. This session will focus on case studies from participants, what has worked, level of effort, combining civic journalism and professional reporting and storytelling--but with a focus on engaging and representing community.

Susan Mernit, Rich Gordon,BEVERLY BLAKE, Jacob Colker, Paul Grabowicz, Amanda Hickman, Chris O'Brien, Geoff Dougherty, Harry Dugmore are among the people who have expressed interest in this session-let's consider a call or email to plan how we might present to each other (and all others wecomed). What are your 3 burning questions? (please add them)

Mobile track/session ideas Susan Mernit suggested "Mobile & news: Interfaces, experiences, platforms Mobile seems critical to me as a key development piece for all future of new products and development; what are the best practices, interesting and successful experiments, platforms, products, tools we can teach one another?" Lots of response, including much from people with more expertise than me(Susan) on this topic--

Susan Mernit, Katrin Verclas, Rich Gordon, Jacob Colker, Beverly Blake, Ory Oholloh, Chris O'Brien, Joyce Barnathan, Roberta King, Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Paul Grabowicz

Mobile Media Toolkit - a brainstorm is expanding on its "Mobile Voice" report focusing on mobiles in media with an expanded Mobile Toolkit with use cases, interesting and successful (or not) experiments, platforms, products, and tools for using mobiles in media development, media production, and citizen media. This session will be a 45-min brainstorm on what you would like to see as part of the Toolkit. Bring your questions, your projects, your wishes, your ideas, your need for specific content her. We will develop the Toolkit over the next six months with as much user input from around the world as possible.

Katrin Verclas, Jacob Colker

Demystifying Mobile Tech] Proposed session that will demystify working with mobile technologies by showing how to send or receive sms, or to microblog in a few lines of code, describe the issues involved in handset programming, and talk about strategies for building more complex systems. Additionally, we can talk about mobile technologies and their role in democracies, specifically in regard to media/surveillance/control. With mobile phones, however, each phone is completely controllable (without the user's permission) in each of its transactions. David Reed, one of the inventors of the Internet, has said "If I were commissioned to design an information medium from scratch for Robert Mugabe or some other despot, it would look a lot like the mobile phone infrastructure." (suggested facilitator - Chris C?)

Mobiles and Radio -- the Perfect Combination? I would love to see a session with some use cases on mobiles/radio -- synergies, tools (most mobile sin India, for example, have radio built in), best practices, and new ideas. Possible use cases: Lindaba Ziyakfika project in Grahamstown South Africa.(happy to facilitate but more eager to learn! Katrin Verclas), Brenda Burrell is also interested.

We've got some interesting ideas from Iindaba Ziyafika to combine mobiles and Radio Grahamstown, the local community radio station, but its an area where we are hungry for new ideas and approaches.

Entreprenerds and Entreprenews -- Growing new ideas in news and technology from concept to viable business

I (Rick Borovoy) am a Visiting Scientist at the Center for Future Civic Media with experience doing a VC-funded start-up based on innovative wearable computer technology that came out of the Media Lab. I've thought a lot about the entrepreneurial process, particularly as it applies to seeking out new intersections between a technology, a user community, a development team and a funding source. I'd love to co-lead a session on these issues.

Rick Borovoy, Vikki Porter, Pam Fine, Paul Bass, Jacob Colker

civic media as a tool for place-based community building & organizing

implementing digital storytelling/ interpretive history / participatory media for community building in various university-community based initiatives

Danielle Martin, Alexa Mills, Jacob Colker

Participatory media and security

Reporting is a dangerous profession in much of the world, and citizen media can be an extremely risky activity in repressive environments. What issues do projects working in areas where citizen media may be a dangerous activity need to consider? How do we make citizen media safer to participate in, both through technical and other techniques?

Ethan Zuckerman, Brenda Burrell

International participation and social translation

How do projects - international, domestic, local - make themselves open to participation from people who come from different cultural backgrounds and speak different languages? How do we deal with issues of language and translation in communities? Can web-based projects provide a space where people who speak different languages find common ground and discuss common issues?

David Sasaki, Ethan Zuckerman

Attracting and Landing Technical Talent for Your Project

For many News Challenge winners, the first thing they will have to do is find and hire a technical team or a tech lead. We will discuss how to find, evaluate, and hire programmers/web developers/designers.

Organizers: Lisa Williams, David Ardia, Brenda Burrell

Knight's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Barcamp requested by the Knight Foundation for the 11 am-12:30 pm session. Details to come.

Organizers: the Knight Foundation

Ideas for the Knight Foundation (with the Knight Foundation's Journalism Advisory Committee in attendance)

Barcamp requested by the Knight Foundation for the 3:30 pm-5 pm session. This barcamp will take place in room 141, Stata Center.

Organizers: the Knight Foundation

Intro to Mobile Platforms

A lot of people seemed to express interest in a 'hands on' mobile development session. We are proposing doing one that would be part of a larger mobile track, including the proposals that are already posted above.

With the abundance of mobile platforms, programming languages, and design approaches, how do we decide what to choose? Android, Symbian, iPhone or Mobile Linux? C or Python? Server or Handset? Infrastructure or Peer-to-peer? In this session we will try to give an overview of different mobile flavors - For each, we aim to have an expert developer give a brief intro, pros and cons, and a quick tutorial. The goal is to have a quick presentation (10-15 minutes) for each topic, and have the presenter give pointers and links for further details.

So far we are thinking about doing intros to all or some of these (time permitting): Symbian, iPhone, Android, Linux Based Internet Tablets/PDA, Freeswitch, thin-client approach, peer-to-peer approach.

Organizers: Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Nadav Aharony

Models for Sustaining Journalism

Discussion of the business of sustaining full service professional journalism. Who is going pay for feet on the street? How can sites be modeled to generate revenue? Show approaches by Village Soup, Printcasting and others, and discuss alternative and complementary approaches.

Organizers: Richard Anderson, Dan Pacheco, Elven Tree

Evaluating Evaluation and Fielding Questions: Field-design and Evaluation Session

From our perspective, the MIT Center (and all the other Knight groups) are strongly focused on developing new tools for civic engagement, learning and action in communities. So we want to use a barcamp session to ask a few questions: What is a community? How does community centered iterative development work? How do you evaluate the success of new civic media tools within communities? What is a successful civic media tool?

This session is about trying to come up with answers to these questions (or better questions!). Me, Matt Hockenberry and Karen Brennan will examine a range of methods for engaging with communities, examine some case studies from within the Center of iterative design and development and talk about methods for testing and evaluation.

Sara Wylie, Karen Brennan, Matthew Hockenberry

Youth and Civic Media

A discussion on the ways college aged people are interacting with and sharing information. We will begin with examples from Tumblr and Facebook, then move on to other social media sites like Google Reader and Twitter. How are young people utilizing these tools to share information and interact online? Which features on these platforms do young people choose to take advantage of, and which are ignored? We will follow these examples with a discussion about youth job prospects in the current economy.

Anthony Pesce and Dharmishta Rood

Environmentalism and Advocacy

In recent years we've seen a growing number of projects dealing with environmental issues, and we'd like to propose a barcamp on environmentalism and advocacy to compare notes and find opportunities for future work. The public dialogue around these issues is stunted; at the same time there is a critical need to advocate around environmental sustainability. How can we unravel, understand and represent the environmental issues affecting local communities given our current channels of communication? What tools are missing for advocacy around environmental issues? There are a number of approaches to dealing with environmental problems in the social context - which are effective? Journalism, policy, education, and science all play a role: how do we avoid the inconsistencies and inaccuracies that plague our current discourse?

It would be great to bring together a number of individuals working on various themes of advocacy and the environment to discuss their approaches, collect references and brainstorm new techniques that could enrich this domain. Let us know if you'd like to attend, what you think you could bring, and what you'd like us to contribute from MIT.

Leo Bonanni and Grant Kristofek

News Challenge 101: Legal Issues to Consider

Not a session, but a set of links to materials from the Citizen Media Law Project's presentation.

David Ardia and Kimberley Isbell

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