24 Aug

Hurricane Katrina and VR Journalism

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Tech has always been dorky. Long before Google Glass, nerds were looking like geeks in the name of innovation.

I’ve done my share of looking foolish, but I do it in the name of journalism.

This week marks the start of my latest innovative, hackathon style course… this year it’s Virtual Reality Journalism. (Last year it was Glass Journalism and Augmented Reality Journalism before that.)

This week also marks the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

There are a lot of things to remember and reflect on, especially in regards to journalism. I remember the amazing work done by the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, that literally saved lives.

But, perhaps because I am a dork, I mostly remember this photo:

VR is something that I’ve always kept my eye on. My experience began with Apple’s QuickTime VR Studio and I managed to work that tech (paired with ambient sound) into some multimedia coverage I did at the Seattle Times.

Those links are pretty much dead, but the Bering Sea and the Olympic Sculpture Park were two projects I did this with.

That said, the first time I saw 360-degree video in news was ten years ago when MSNBC’s special Katrina project Rising from Ruin.

I saw the video and was blown away (video no longer works… they killed it, I think, for their year anniversary).

But they kept this page… a page I looked at in awe.

Direct link: http://risingfromruin.msnbc.com/2005/11/you_write_the_c.html

It never occurred to me to reach out to the guy in the photo (Ashley Wells / @DangerWells), but I did today:

He replied:

While impromptu and we both don’t have the time, I asked him for an interview. I’ll keep you posted.

21 Feb

NENPA: My #realtalk presentation to newsroom leaders

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I was invited to speak at the New England Newspaper Publishers Association in Boston to talk about industry challenges, pulling no punches. “We would be quite interested in your views on what most newspapers appear to be doing right or wrong, and the best path forward,” the invitation said.

I had been invited to speak at a different newspaper publishers association in the past.

It didn’t work out. (I got uninvited when I told them my topic.)

But NENPA was committed and even wrote a piece on what I was going to say in my talk.

This talk, for me, was years in the making… one that I imagined giving when I was in the newsroom and one I wanted to give if I have a newsroom leader asking for advice.

Here, for those interested, is my talk*:
[ Hour and 15 minutes ]



Direct link: http://youtu.be/Hc6ZwLKDLP4

* Sadly, the projector changed the color of the slides… it’s not perfect, but it’s the content that matters, right? Right??

For those not interested in watching the entire video, here’s an animated GIF of the nutgraph from my talk:

realtalk-with-news-leadership

12 Feb

#wjchat: Five years of thank you

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instagram-wjchat

It’s crazy to think that every Wednesday for the past five years, the Web/Digital community has come together for 90 minutes on Twitter to talk about their craft, sharing their knowledge and experiences.

The most important thing I cherish about #wjchat is the community.

I am grateful to be a part of it.

The next important thing I cherish is the incredible team of volunteers who, over the years, make this weekly miracle happen, often from behind the scenes.

Your past and current team #wjchat crew members are:

(I hope to god I haven’t left anyone off the list… if so, please contact me!)

And, of course, there are countless people who have supported our weekly efforts along the way.

Thank you to each and every one of you. Here’s to five more years and temporary tattoos that are a bitch to take off!

Note: You can read about the making of #wjchat here: http://blog.webjournalist.org/2010/02/27/the-birth-of-wjchat/

06 Feb

The inspirational quote mystery

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There are a million Robert Hernandezes in this world.

I should know, I’ve been accidentally confused with nearly half of them.

Some are tattoo artists and some are journalists (not to be confused with these Hernandi)… some have financial “issues,” some have children they’ve “forgotten,” some have arrest warrants based on interesting life choices that can pop up in background checks.

I’ve been put in awkward situations multiple times because my namesakes make bad decisions. (Ask me about Marisa sometime.)

I thought I would stand out when I became a professor at a prestigious university.

That lasted a few months until I got email for Professor Robert Hernandez from another school on campus. (The school actually added me to their faculty listserv!)

Like everyone, I google myself and I even have a Twitter search for “Robert Hernandez.”

Dude, some of them are creeps.

But the most dominate one on Twitter is known for this quote:

“It’s not about having the skill to do something. It’s about having the will, desire & commitment to be your best. -Robert Hernandez”

It’s an inspirational quote that gets tweeted every hour, every day and I have no clue which one of the namesake said it.

So, I googled.

And haven’t found anything.

I did find this site that collects quotes from people and makes them Pinterest-style images.

While the site had a couple from Robert Hernandez, I feel like this one is the most appropriate:

robert-hernandez-quote-i-havent-the-slightest-idea-who-he-is (1)

Whoever he is, I do agree with Robert Hernandez’ inspirational quote… so, I’d like to be credited with this one:

“‘It’s not about having the skill to do something. It’s about having the will, desire & commitment to be your best. -Robert Hernandez’ -Robert Hernandez”

 

//// UPDATE: This happened

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 7.56.06 AM

https://twitter.com/santabantaquote/status/576362959934345216

Categories: Personal, Social Media, Twitter
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14 Oct

#GetupOffaThatThing and vote

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Today is the last day to vote for the Online News Association board.

If ONA has ever done anything for you — led to a job, given your skills/training, connected you with a new colleague — you owe it to the organization (and the industry) to take five minutes and vote.

#GetupOffaThatThing and vote here: http://journalists.org/about/board-of-directors/board-election/2015-board-of-directors-slate/

Brown Logo

DEADLINE IS 11:59 p.m. ET <-- Pacific folks have three hours less!

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07 Oct

My ONA14 Talk: Wearable Tech, Augmented Reality and Journalism

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Watch my entire #ONA14 on Wearables + AR + Journalism here: http://ona14.journalists.org/sessions/wearables-ar/

ONA14-wearables-ar-talk

My slides are here: http://bit.ly/ona14-wearables-ar-journalism

14 Sep

If you are an ONA member…

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Google---Get-up-offa

Voting will open Friday, Sept. 26, and end Oct. 14. All ONA members in good standing as of Sept. 24, 2014, are eligible to vote. More details here.

Categories: Journalism, ONA
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10 Sep

My teaching style? Nerding out (video bio)

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So, I did this cool project for USC called Connecting with USC Scholars, in which I lead a micro seminar course about Augmented Reality. They did a fantastic job producing some slick videos… seriously, go check them out.

Among the videos was one “about” me… and I kinda like it. (Is that vain?)

I managed to track down (from a secret location) and have embedded it here (don’t judge):

29 Aug

Change the ratio! But I’m auditing myself first

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NOTE: A version of this post ran on PBS MediaShift on Oct. 10, 2014. Lessons Learned from a #GenderAudit on Twitter

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 with Buzzfeed 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 ‘holiday’ 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.

// UPDATE & ADDITION (5/14/15)
A student recently told me about TWEE-Q, which analyzes which gender you retweet more. If you think about, having a balanced gender feed is a great step, but how you engage with the feed is an important metric.

What’s the point of following a balance if you only engage with one side?

So, I ran my Twitter name through the web app and got this result:
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.49.04 AM

“@webjournalist retweeted 48% men and 52% women.” I am proud of this result!

// 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
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