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.
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):
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.
I’m starting a new Twitter/Diversity experiment on myself… I’m putting everyone I follow on a gender list to see the difference and ratio.
— Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist) August 29, 2014
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!
@webjournalist Audited my follows. 255 male, 115 female, 90 other (spoofs and, mostly, collectives/institutions, eg publications
— King Kaufman (@king_kaufman) August 29, 2014
— Wendy Sawatzky (@wendysawatzky) August 29, 2014
@webjournalist My gender audit: Following 446 men, 409 women. Thanks for the idea.
— April Burbank (@aprilburbank) September 2, 2014
Completed #genderaudit: I follow 409 men vs 289 women, or 59% vs 41%. (Twitter analytics guessed 71%/29%)
— Daniel J Bentley (@DJBentley) September 3, 2014
— Amy L. Kovac-Ashley (@terabithia4) September 12, 2014
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:
- Teaching professors how they can be more digital, by co-teaching at Poynter’s Teachapalooza.
- Outside of my classroom, talking to students as a keynote for Journalism Association of Community Colleges and Associated Collegiate Press conference.
- 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.
- #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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
// 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.
// 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.
// 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.
// 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.)
// 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)
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.”
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:
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 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
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/
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.