29 Aug

Change the ratio! But I’m auditing myself first

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If I follow you on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve have added you to a Twitter list: Male or Female.

There’s also a private list for People of Color*.

Before you freak out, let me explain what I am trying to do.

A few weeks back I hear a great segment on On The Media, about writer Katie Notopoulos, who created a holiday called Unfollow a Man Day. The piece originally aired on the tl;dr podcast.

Check it out:

This segment came from Notopoulos’ decision from realizing she was following a ton of dudes on Twitter, rather than other females.

She explains it here: Why I Created The #UnfollowAMan Movement

Anyway, that got me thinking… for about a year, I have consciously been trying to diversify who I follow on Twitter.

I never want to be caught in an echo chamber, and I have learned that I get a beneficial edge when I hear outside voices, instead of hearing the same people from within the journalism industry.

But while my diverse follow was a conscious act, I still don’t know if I have struck the right balance.

So, why not find out?

And that’s where these lists come it.

By going through the 960+ people I follow and doing an inventory, I can achieve a couple of things:

1- What is my actual ratio? If I am preaching diversity and parity, am I practicing it too? I don’t know, and that’s what I am looking to find out. This self-experiment really is an audit.

2- In the interview with Notopoulos, she said she realized that some stories that were seen as newsworthy coming from “Twitter buzz,” were only a buzz for men. Meaning, because she followed dudes, dudes’ topics dominated. For me, inversely, I want to see what topics are not buzzing in my stream… or who is it buzzing with.

There is such a thing as Black Twitter. Latino Twitter, non-English Twitter… but most users don’t know (or care) because they follow people and communities they know… or reflect their experiences.

Side note: I wrote this post at 11:30PM-ish, because some people were weirded out by being added to a list. And one person, I feel, began to project some assumptions on what I am trying to do… hence this quick post.

But, let me be clear… just like Twitter, this is for me. I use Twitter for a tool that benefits my knowledge. And now I am using Twitter lists to benefit me as well. I am dying to know the results of this self-imposed audit and see if I can spot any patterns. I am coming in with NO ASSUMPTIONS, open to whatever results may come.

And, for the record, I don’t care if this is scientific or not. This is me grouping subjective follows along gender lines and see if anything emerges. I’m a hackademic, not an academic.

Now, after reading this post, I want to invite/challenge you to do the same thing. Find out if your stream is skewed by following one community more than another… hell, find out if you have a bias. Let me know if you try this thing… and, of course, feel free to share your thoughts on what I am doing. I’m trying to be open and transparent… and I am coming with good intentions.

UPDATE: At 12:21AM, I renamed my lists to be Gender Audit Proj: Female and Gender Audit Proj: Male, to be clearer on what I am doing.

NOTE: I started this “self-experiment” late this evening on a whim… and my brain is turning into mush as I add *everyone* to a list… so I assume I have made some errors. If you spot one, please let me know… thank you!

* The People of Color list is currently set to private, because there is a chance I add or leave out someone accidently and I don’t mean to offend.

// OTHER AUDITS
Feel free to tweet me your audit results as well!

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

12 Aug

Running for ONA Board reelection

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In the four years I have served on the board, ONA has gone through some significant changes. And while I serve alongside some of the industry’s best and brightest leaders, I – humbly – would like to think I’ve played an active role in the organization’s positive changes.

During my time, I have tried to truly represent the diversity of our needs as members, from different skillsets to different backgrounds.

ONA is the one journalism conference that brings diversity in digital together. Whether we do social media or data or multimedia storytelling or something emerging, ONA brings us together in the hopes of sharing our knowledge and experiences with one another. ONA believes in the strength found in the sharing of our differences.

My work reflects this core mission:

  1. Teaching professors how they can be more digital, by co-teaching at Poynter’s Teachapalooza.
  2. Outside of my classroom, talking to students as a keynote for Journalism Association of Community Colleges and Associated Collegiate Press conference.
  3. With colleagues, recently re-launching the Diversify Journalism Project, which is on a mission to eliminate the we-can’t-find-a-digital-journalist-of-color excuse.
  4. #wjchat, more than four years old, continues to bring people together to nerd out about what we do. One recent highlight was an international edition with ONA Jerusalem.
  5. Sharing my work, most recently with my Glass Journalism class. No, I’m not a Glasshole. I’m a nerd that is putting on this dorky looking supercomputer on my face in the name of journalism… and sharing via Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and IRL meetups.

What’s the point of gaining knowledge if you don’t share it? What’s the point of having access, if you don’t bring others with you? What’s the point of being part of an organization if your not actively participating?

With that in mind, I’d like to declare my candidacy for re-election.

And I’d like to call on you to do one simple act: participate.

How? Step one: vote.

I don’t care if you vote for me or for one of the other amazingly candidates are running, but please vote.

In addition to voting: Speak up.

Using your voice to express what you want from ONA is vital to the organization’s future and relevance.

Lastly: Act.

Don’t be on the sidelines simply complaining about or just benefiting from this community. Give back. In fact, take over. This is yours.

I’m asking for your vote.

I’m asking you for your voice.

I’m asking you to act.

This organization works for me. As a board member, I work for you. As a whole, this community works for us. I am proud and honored to have had a seat at the table shaping how this community grows and develops.

There is still more work to be done. I’d like to continue to help.

Categories: Journalism, ONA
Tags: ,
07 Apr

My ISOJ talk: Life After Television + Mobile is Dead

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I was honored to be asked by Rosental Alves to chair/moderate a talk with some amazing panelists (Rahul Chopra, senior vice president video at News Corp; Daniel Eilemberg, senior vice president, chief digital officer at Fusion; Rebecca Howard, general manager video, The New York Times; Riyaad Minty, project lead of AJ+ at Al Jazeera; Katharine Zaleski, managing editor at NowThis News), under the topic of Life After Television, a book written by George Gilder.

After Alves explained his vision in planning the panel around the book, I went to the library and checked out both the hardcover and book on (cassette) tape.

For my intro talk, I wanted to summarize and try to explain Gilder’s book and, inspired by its predictions (and the 80s), I decided to add my own grand prediction.

Here are the slides, in animated GIF form, with some text to explain my thoughts.

NOTE: Gilder is known to have said some controversial things about women, people of color and more. While I vehemently disagree with his statements, let’s focus on the book, which was quite impressive.

// Slide 01
The book, which was published in 1990, has many innovative ideas… the first being that it contained advertising for FedEx every five or six pages.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide01

 

// Slide 02
The short book had a collection of fantastic lines that I wanted to quote. Here is a small a collection. What is impressive is that he essentially describes today’s major players of the Web. He was, however, a bit off with the type of quality, educational and informative content he hoped would be created.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide02

 

// Slide 03
Perhaps it was the timing of Harold Ramis’ death, perhaps it is that I am overly influenced by the 80s, but the book reminded me of the infamous scene in Ghostbusters where Egon (Ramis) declares “print is dead.” (But it appears that print outlived Egon. How nerds react to that joke.)

I took Gilder’s book as an Egon-esque declaration television is dead. So, I was inspired to make a bold – and clearly early – declaration too.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide03

 

// Slide 04
Mobile is dead!!! And by that, I really mean, mobile phones… the devices we carry in our purses or back pockets. Wearables – which have been around since the 80s thanks to the work by Steven Mann – have finally begun to mature. It’s not about white guys wearing glass… or brown guys, despite the coverage.

The future is… STOP! It’s not the device.

isoj-mobileisdead-slide04

 

// Slide 05
If you believe that content is still king, then it’s not about the device. It’s about the content that we optimize on that device. (Please don’t say the ‘medium is the message,’ because I believe that is wrong.)

isoj-mobileisdead-slide05

 

// Slide 06
So, if it’s not mobile… and it’s content… what the hell am I talking about? One type of technology that I do believe will play a role in the (not-so-distant) future is augmented reality.

This tech we’ve seen in Sci-Fi is real. Re+public labs have used it to augment art/murals in public spaces, with this example in Austin during SXSW. (Learn more here: http://www.republiclab.com/projects)

And my students and I have produced AR Storytelling + Journalism, by augmenting the downtown Los Angeles Public Library. (Learn more here: http://arjournalism.tumblr.com and watch the video)

isoj-mobileisdead-slide06

 

We live in the future. So, journalism better adapt.

P.S. I’m trolling here… kinda. I do believe mobile PHONES will die sooner than we think and replaced by what’s next, like wearables. It’s inevitable. This “declaration” was made in line with the hyperbole from Gilder and “Egon.”

03 Apr

My keynote for JACC 2014

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Tonight I gave one of the most important talks I have ever given in my life.

In 1996, while a student at Pierce Community College, I attended my first journalism conference: Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC).

Now, nearly 20 years later, I returned to be its keynote speaker.

This was an intense, historical talk for me… and I knew I wanted to document it. So, while the audio isn’t perfect, I did a screen capture of my talk.

NOTE: The first 30 minutes is my talk, the second 30 minutes is the Q&A.

Thank you to JACC for inviting to speak.

And thank you to everyone who has changed my life. I mention many of you.

I did not do this alone.

The video (unedited):

Some of the pics from the event:

A ‘helfie’ as the students walked into the room for the keynote.

I apologized and warned the attendees that I would probably break down from the feels.

Great photo as I talked about my life where ‘stuff happened.’.

Someone sketched a cartoon of me during my talk.

I took a (forced) selfie with my first journalism professor Rob O’Neil. This man changed my life.

24 Mar

Twitter bot vs misinformation = @accuracybot

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I made this icon by hand in less than two minutes, so I know it does not look cool. But you get the point.

I made this icon by hand in less than two minutes, so I know it does not look cool. But you get the point.

We’ve all seen them.

We all hate them.

But what if we created a “spam” Twitter bot for good?

Here’s my latest idea: What if we create a Twitter bot account that actively tweets at people who are spreading misinformation via Twitter?

We know that vaccines don’t cause autism, why not tweet a response (with a link) to someone making that claim?

We know that Obama was born in the US. Let’s tweet a response to someone tweeting about his birth certificate.

Let’s then move the bot – or bots – into breaking news situations where misinformation, including images, spread quickly on Twitter.

The way I see it, this isn’t too “hard” to do… but it requires a few things:

Step 1: Create an account
Step 2: Identify misinformation
Step 3: Define pattern of misinformation tweets
Step 4: Craft 140 character response to misinformation tweets
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 for the next set of misinformation.

Oh yeah, that whole coding a Twitter bot is perhaps the most important step.

If this works, I can for see news organizations creating accuracy bots of their own battling misinformation.

What do you think?

More importantly, are interested in helping create this?

I already did Step 1: @accuracybot

02 Mar

Storify of my AMA/Keynote experiment done mid-flight

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Categories: Journalism, Twitter
Tags:
28 Feb

Launched! [blank] is the future of journalism

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blank-is-the-future-of-journalism-animated

[Blank] is the future of journalism is bar game for jaded journalists, created by Kim Bui, David Cohn, Maite Fernandez, Robert Hernandez and Matt Thompson at a DC bar in January 2014.

The premise is that you have two minutes to become a pundit and seriously preach/defend/sell the randomized concept, or [blank], to your jaded friends.

Go play and send us feedback: http://blankisthefutureofjournalism.com/

16 Jan

Remembering Raul Ramirez

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Raul Ramirez Journal


Raul Ramirez

1946-2013

Raul was my professor.

Raul was tough.

I am not sure how I passed that investigative reporting class at San Francisco State… but he taught me about the integrity, the power and responsibility of journalism… and of those who practice it.

Raul was a mentor.

Raul was a friend.

The image above was from the back of the card handed out at his memorial held in Berkeley on January 12, 2014. It’s an excerpt form his journal, written in the early 1980s:

Yes. It is difficult, but not impossible if your heart and mind remain open to life, to people and to the possibility that Love can be. Not difficult, if you are willing to risk, to grow, and perhaps to hurt.

Raul was truly a great man… a mentor to so many… a role model, on many fronts.

He will be missed.


-30-

Categories: Diversity, Journalism, NAHJ, Personal
Tags:
10 Jan

MUST SEE: Video of Brad Frost’s ‘Death to Bullshit’ talk

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Brad Frost (“web designer, speaker, writer, consultant, musician, and artist in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA”) gave an amazing talk I shared last year, but I just realized I never posted it here for me to remember and refer to. (If you haven’t noticed, this blog is for me… a collection of reminders, inspiration, random thoughts and occasional rants.)

So, see this. It’s AWESOME. So f*cking good.

2013/4 Brad Frost from CreativeMornings/PGH on Vimeo.

Paper is bullshit.
Jargon is bullshit.
Sensationalism is bullshit.
Opportunism is bullshit.
QR Codes are bullshit.
Disruptions are bullshit.
Cruft is bullshit.
Spam is bullshit.
Anti-patterns are bullshit.
Advertising is bullshit.

The talk was part of a series put on by CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh. See more of their videos here: https://vimeo.com/cmpittsburgh/videos.

CreativeMornings talks are happening in many cities, including international. Go to one near you: http://creativemornings.com/

12 Dec

Guest on O’Reilly Radar Podcast

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I was fortunate to join Jon Bruner and Jenn Webb, co-hosts of the Radar Podcast for a roundtable discussion with Mark Trammell (of Sonos, previously of Obama HQ and Twitter) and Rebekah Monson (of the University of Miami) during NewsFoo last month.

π