Matt Stempeck

Matt's a Research Assistant at the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. He has spent his career at the intersection of technology and social change, mostly in Washington, D.C. He has advised numerous non-profits, startups, and socially responsible businesses on online strategy. Matt's interested in location, games, online tools, and other fun things. He's on Twitter @mstem.

by Matt Stempeck

A talk by Upworthy’s Sara Critchfield and Adam Mordecai at Netroots Nation (#nnupFTW) was less-than-standing-room only, so I’ve combined the parts we were able to catch with a similar talk by their colleague Peter Koechley at the Conversational Marketing Summit. Thanks to Deepa Kunapuli for her notes. Upworthy’s goal is to amplify content worth spreading […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

It’s 2012. Nerds are in, and Internet memes can actually make you famous IRL. But way back in 2000, things were different. YouTube didn’t exist, and a video had to be sent around as an email attachment. (Remember RealPlayer?) Your mom yelled at you for tying up the phone line, and GeoCities plastered banners all […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

ROFLCon returned recently to MIT, bringing together the things and people who are famous on the Internet. Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media and co-founder of the citizen journalist network Global Voices, was the moderator. He’s probably best known for the Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism. There […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

A longer version of this post first appeared on the MIT Center for Civic Media’s blog. A recent lunch at the Center for Civic Media and MIT Media Lab featured a graduate of the program, Leo Bonanni, and his beloved SourceMap project. He channeled professor Hiroshi Ishii’s description of the ideal Media Lab project being […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

A longer version of this post first appeared on the MIT Civic Media Center blog. Lawrence Lessig sees the American people, enthroned as sovereign of the nation by the U.S. Constitution, as a sleeping giant. It’s OK to sleep; in general, we’d all rather focus on things other than politics. But there are times when […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

Like most things in Boston, the Globe has a rich history with many innovations throughout the years. Moriarty talked about Charles H. Taylor’s prototypical content innovations in 1873, when the Globe added sports coverage, stocks, and many other sections that we now consider essential to a modern, family newspaper (and sections we may not expect […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

A longer version of this post first appeared on MIT’s Center for Civic Media blog. In our ongoing quest to trace the outline of the phrase “civic media,” we began the Center for Civic Media’s 2012 lunch series with Paul Wright, editor and co-founder of Prison Legal News, and executive director of the Human Rights […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

A version of this post first appeared on the MIT Center for Civic Media blog. I was supposed to speak on a panel about SOPA recently with the Northeast chapters of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. It was to serve as an educational discussion for local members, […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

Good ideas aren’t enough. They need champions and constant vigilance, or Congress will take them from you. Many problems arise when your country’s legislature is consistently more responsive to its donors than its constituents. One of these problems is that simple good ideas can’t just be left alone to bask in their goodness. The Internet […] more »

by Matt Stempeck

The standard U.S. Food and Drug Administration nutrition label is well-known here in the United States because it is both consistent (for better or worse) and ubiquitous: You’ll find it on almost all packaged foods, excluding certain foods like fresh meat (until 2012) and fresh-baked goods (creating an opening in the market for cupcake detectives). […] more »