It was a few days before the end of the fall 2011 semester, and a friend at a small southern university was bemoaning the lack of innovative spirit among her students. She'd built in an entrepreneurial module into her class, but only a small percentage of the students took the bait to even try to come up with a business idea. By contrast, on that very same day, my office was buzzing with students seemingly in no hurry to pack up for the holidays and head home. And, interestingly, only one of them was my actual student. One was a...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 »
What a difference a year makes. The Online News Association Conference in Boston looked a lot more like America in terms of diversity than last year's Washington, D.C., gathering. People of color were included in most sessions, including timely discussions on elections and crowdsourcing. From the opening plenary with Vivek Kundra, the former U.S. chief information officer, to the Mini-Law School for Digital Journalists, where five of the nine presenters were women, to the workshop on Augmented Reality, the conference felt more inclusive. The Saturday morning plenary on Diversity was well-attended -- and as the moderator, I thank all who...more »
I attended the second annual Augmented Reality Event conference in Santa Clara, Calif., in May and it was ... interesting. OK, it was a huge geekfest. The opening session was interrupted by people dressed in hazardous waste -- or maybe they were supposed to be pseudo-astronaut -- outfits, yelling about "free space," while wrapping the audience in yellow caution tape. Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, composer, visual artist and free thinker best known for coining the term "virtual reality," opened his keynote speech by playing the khene, a traditional Laotian wind instrument that he says was the earliest conveyor of...more »
One of the joys of living in Phoenix, besides the winters, is the local airport. Sky Harbor bills itself as the nation's friendliest airport and, while I won't go that far, I love the fact that you can get in and out with minimal hassle. Even with construction to build a tram system linking the economy parking to the terminals and the terminals to the city's new light rail system, getting around the airport is still a breeze. The only issue I've ever had with Sky Harbor is its signage. After a long, late flight from the East Coast, I...more »
In December in this space I asked about the lack of minorities at new media conferences -- both as participants and as speakers. The blog post generated a lot of comments; a Twitter discussion, and the start of a list of wonderful experts -- all persons of color -- who can help make your next new media conference a success. I heard privately from a dozen or so white digital media leaders who confessed that they often wondered why new media seemed to be getting off on the wrong foot when it comes to diversifying staffs at operations and speakers...more »
It's been a couple of weeks since Tim O'Reilly's News Foo rolled into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, and while I truly enjoyed thinking big thoughts with big thinkers about the direction of our industry, I couldn't help but notice how lacking in diversity the invitation-only gathering was. The same thing could be said for the Online News Association conference held in Washington, D.C., the end of October. True, there were a lot more brown faces at this last gathering than six or seven years ago when Ju-Don Roberts, then a senior editor at...more »
One of the ways SeedSpeak will measure success is by the number of "seeds" that become successful projects or solutions in a community. Neighbors might suggest improvements to their community ("let's turn a community lot into a neighborhood park" or "let's paint a mural on a brick wall that faces a thoroughfare"), but unless the people who can make it happen buy into it and help make it a reality, those great suggestions might die on the vine. To that end, one of our biggest concerns in designing SeedSpeak is to make sure we get feedback and buy-in from local...more »
The excitement continues to build in the Phoenix community over a new mobile and web platform that will help people sow positive change in the community. Since the June Knight News Challenge funding announcement, my development partner Cody Shotwell and I have fielded dozens of calls and emails from local people. They can't wait to help us put together the project that will allow users to plant the seed of an idea for a community improvement project, allow others to add on or grow that idea toward maturity and, finally, join neighbors and local officials together to harvest the idea...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.
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