This year's primary election upsets in Alaska, Florida and Utah and the volatile Congressional campaigns currently underway -- all of which take place amid widespread voter discontent and the rise of the Tea Party movement -- illustrate the growing need for easily-accessible and easily-updated portals for political data and analysis. Election-season data visualization is traditionally cast in the form of public opinion polling data delivered through the red/blue/purple national maps of state and district races. Although that is a useful shortcut to inform the classic horse-race electoral narrative, it leaves us hungry for context. Dividing the U.S. into blue and...more »
Idea Lab is a group blog by innovators who are reinventing community news for the Digital Age.
Each Idea Lab blogger is a winner of the Knight News Challenge grant to reshape community news.Learn more about the Knight News Challenge »
You will love our powerful, intuitive Knight-funded data visualization toolkit: VIDI. Go to the website and try it out! The site includes Drupal modules and a playground where you can work with pre-loaded data or upload your own data and generate embed code to place the visualizations you create on your blogs or websites. A "My VIDI" page shows the history of a user's visualizations so they can go back and edit at will. We had a bit of a challenge recently in balancing our workload and the visceral drive to watch the World Cup games, so we came up...more »
I was honored to be invited by the EastWest Institute to attend in Dallas a Cyber Security Summit, which gathered a fascinating collection of tech elites including Michael Dell, Esther Dyson, Ross Perot Jr., and Randall L. Stephenson; current and retired military and intelligence like James L. Jones, Tom Ridge, and T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley; and financial titans like George Russell and Francis Finlay. The mantra of the event was that cyber-security will be the new big obsession of our various security services for the next century -- an obsession on par with the human and material resources that went...more »
The most elegant, user-friendly data visualization program is useless without data to visualize; and, historically, those who possess data are reluctant to share it. Massive data has been dominated by a thin layer of elites, and sophisticated data-visualization tools -- such as heat maps, motion charts, time maps, and tag maps -- generally have remained within the domain of those elites. This monopoly has allowed very few to decide which data were important to visualize. They've created some dazzling digital narratives, but it was a one-way street -- very high-tech, but also very news 1.0/web 1.0. Data Visualization For All...more »
A good friend of mine forwarded me this essay (PDF) from the Copenhagen Institute of Future Studies, which presents an important set of ideas. Although it belittles intellectual property using straw man arguments, it does a nice job of assembling the array of "knowledge as public good" arguments. An even more utopian future, which featured a backdrop of Eastern philosophy, was set out by James Burke and summarized nicely in his "the day the universe changed" series. In essence, it is a vision that holds the transcendental equilibrium of the individual in and with the collectivity of everything -- in...more »
Non-profit status is often cited as an exciting new option for struggling local news outlets. ProPublica, MinnPost, and the Voice of San Diego are inspiring examples of non-profit startups, while the Christian Science Monitor, NPR and other organizations are all long-standing examples. It's not difficult to see that old and young non-profit platforms alike are among the leaders in news innovation. I agree that there are many upsides to the non-profit path, but it also carries significant management risk. The business environment of non-profits is often deeply misunderstood, even by the managers of tax-exempt companies themselves. More worrisome, boards are...more »
We at the Jefferson Institute began our experience as a 2009 Knight News Challenge winner with one of the more exciting and misunderstood elements of the grant cycle: monitoring and evaluation (M&E). When done properly, M&E begins with the grantee setting out clearly the objectives of the grant, the activities necessary to achieve the objectives, and the resources applied to make these activities happen. So, for example, blogging for Idea Lab is an activity. An objective might be to create a thriving community, or to help guide the way for community news in transition. For our Knight project, the objective...more »
I think newspapers, blogs, and magazines should all be doing audio versions. I grew up enjoying and listening to audiobooks and now I don't have the same option for the short form content that I prefer to consume.
MediaShift delivers the best news on media and technology directly to your in-box.