Miranda, welcome to the chat! Thanks for taking some time away from your busy travel and work schedule to talk with DFM.
I am really happy to be able to do this with y'all
Personally, I am really looking forward to seeing the Lightning Talks Derek is running on Friday evening
Also, we are bringning such a big crew because we feel that most of our core audience attends the NICAR conference annually so we are all really looking forward to talking with the news devs as well as the investigative reporters, and etc
Yes! Most of the lightning talk presenters are pretty experienced speakers, so this should be a high energy session
Plus, I really like the idea of the quick sharing of ideas, so that if you are interested in something someone has talked about you can follow up with them later
Looks like you’re giving a talk on data visualization and responsive web design, too. Can you give us a preview of what you'll be discussing?
We are talking about how hard it is to design and create meaningful storytelling when trying to publish to a complicated data-driven interface or data visualization on a mobile (small viewport) or a responsively-designed wbesite
We are used to having more real estate to push a lot of information on to wider, desktop sized viewports … and have a smaller (mobile) viewports are forcing us to really rethink or design process and just how much information is necessary to illustrate a data story
So we are going to talk about some best practices. Some optimal workflow choices
We'll look at examples and critically assess what is working and how they may or may not have been improved
Ok. First thing, responsive web design is not a fad
Basically, its a web design technique that tries not to make any assumptions about how the device or view-port size a reader/user might be using to access your content
In my mind, the fact that we even talk about this at all will eventually stop. It will just be how we make the internet moving forward.
Ok, I know we are all sick of hearing the, now tired, "will ______ save journalism?" But I believe that journalism first and foremost suffers from a design problem and that design-thinking WILL SVE journalism. So for the past six months or so, I have been giving talks about that idea.
(You can see one of those talks at the beginning of this chat.)
So the reason that the brick-and-mortars are not innovating in the development of news products, is that we do not utilize design-thinking practices while we come up with them … well, sort of
Lets me explain it this way … Twitter is doing breaking news better than any news organization I can think of … and "breaking news" is one of the core ways that we define ourselves. Twitters valuer is in its platform. We do not value our platforms the way that Twitter values theirs. Make sense?
I, regularly, find myself in conversations with technologists and they say to me, "Look I just had an idea. I computer science geek. And then as my idea got popualr, I suddenly got asked to start participating in journalism conferences. I am not a journalist."
So, I came to the conclusion that until journalists start to self-identify as technologists as well we are going to keep getting our butts handed to us
Hi Evan! Great question!!
So as a hiring manager at the Globe, I became increasingly concerned by the disconnect of what our young journalists were being taught and what the industry needed. And while I have taught for over decade, I didn't necessarily want to go do it full time. This lab at Northwestern allows me to be closer to some brilliant students … to nudge them, and mentor them … without having to develop courses or deal with changing curriculum.
Its absolutely terrifying that, in 2013, most journalists barely understand how the Internet works.
By now, every journalist should know the history and background of the Internet, the key terms of digital media, how data can tell a story, that social media is just “what we do now” as communicators, that “mobile” is very important, as well as how browsers work + enough HTML and CSS to understand the constraints of the web.
So I figured being closer to where the young journalists were being produced, I could have some influence on that … or at least be a part of the conversation. OR at the very least desperately get people to listen to me if I buy them coffee and/or meal. (lol)
Those students are lucky to have access to you!
Hi Chris. I like to talk about Northwestern University Knight Lab like: what if MIT Media Lab, Nieman Lab and Reporters' Lab procreated? It would produce NU Knight Lab.
I have only been with the project for a little over 6 months and I inherited one stable product (timeline ja) 7 deployed system and 32 prototypes.
In 2013, Northwestern Knight Lab will be focusing on a couple of key initiatives:
o We'll be announcing our new, editorial-driven website as Northwestern University Knight Lab’s primary Web presence. It is a place for our core audience to learn more about our projects/prototypes/experiments from concept to completion, as well as other efforts, as well as thought-leadership and education
o The Social Loupe Project: Technology that seeks to find meaning and utility in social media data. Some of the current projects aligned with this initiative are TweetCast Your Vote and BookRX
o The Reporters’ Notebook Project: Technology to help someone write a novel exists – we need technology to help reporters do journalism. These tools are geared toward helping with information gathering, notes and data management, recording and correlating information found in online data repositories, virtual beat reporting, etc … They will be mobile friendly and we've already got a couple of collaborators interested in seeing this initiative succeed.
o The Publishers’ Toolbox: These are tools and serves intended to help with content publishing and aid in faster and easier web development around storytelling. Since 2012's Timeline JS was so popular, we are in the middle of building a step-by-step mapping tool we hope y'all find equally if not more valuable. We are also work on a new in-text audio player that works with SoundCloud and that should be ready to announce very soon. We have a couple other ideas in the hopper, but please don't be shy if you have a request!
Hi John! And yes, of course. But it would be helpful to me if you expand on your question so I understand a little more where you are coming from …
We'll move on to another question for now until John replies.