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18 Nov

My latest G+ Hangout experiment: Watch it with me

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So, ever since G+ Hangouts came out, I’ve written and talked about different ways of using it… some of my projects include Learn Code for Journalism and the short-lived (but I hope returning) Talk Journalism with Me vodcast.

When this tech first came out I also pitched the idea of a Google+ Clip Club. It has nothing to do with journalism, but everything to do with watching TV and movies together socially.

So, that’s my new experiment.

I, and whomever wants to join me, will be watching The Net, a beautifully horrible movie about technology, the Internet and how it can destroy lives.

The movie’s tagline: Her driver’s license. Her credit cards. Her bank accounts. Her identity. DELETED.

Anyway, I’m going to watch the movie and screenshare my desktop via a G+ Hangout… enabling the ‘on air’ feature.

No clue if this will work, or if it will be completely awkward… but I have a few extra hours on my hands, so let’s see how this goes.

NOTE: This movie is so bad I’m not sure I’ll watch it all the way through… BUT the opening sequences that invoke technologies from 1995 are well worth it!

Here’s the trailer:



If I can, I’ll post the G+ Hangout here, or embed it even. But, I’ll be using Talk Journalism with Me page: http://gplus.to/talkjournalism

24 Jul

How to live broadcast your Google+ Hangout

The moment I played with the Google+ Hangout function I, like many others, immediately had a ton of ideas: communal movie-watching experience, a new form of Web chat, a vodcast and more.

The first question, though, was how do you record a hangout to make a simple, informal vodcast? That was answered right away. (While not ideal, the answer is screen capture software, like Camtasia or screencast-o-matic.com.)

The next immediate question was, why stop there… while there is a ten-person limit in a Hangout, how can I broadcast this and make it a live talk show?

Today, I found the answer!

Some background: I’ve been experimenting with livestreaming at locations for a few years. At Seattletimes.com we experimented with a few setups that led to live shots from bars, outside Safeco Field and an MST3k-style commentary of a governor’s debate.

Oh the challenges we faced… but the setup has been pretty much perfected by the crew since I’ve left, but I recall the hacker tools like the “Wok-Fi.”

Justin.tv, Qik, UStream and Livestream have been the key players exploring the live streaming space, each one releasing something new and advancing the technology.

I flipped when UStream released their mobile app that allowed streaming directly from your phone over the 3G network. There are more apps that offer this now, including Twitcasting.

But today’s tech development goes to Livestream.com (formerly Mogulus) that has been owning the desktop/laptop broadcasting space. They have a downloadable application called Procaster.

The piece of software has a simple interface and is loaded with a ton of features, including the ability to broadcast your desktop. What’s also great is that you can zoom in/out to frame your shot, which makes it the ideal Google+ Hangout broadcasting tool.

Here is the video of my test with Kate Gardiner earlier today:

The first minutes of the video are of me setting everything up, but jump 7:30 minutes in to see the start of the finished product. The main need to tweak is to amplify your Hangout colleagues’ audio, but that’s an easy fix.

All you need is a free livestream account, a Web cam, strong audio speakers and people to join you in a Hangout.

Let me know how your experiments go!

11 Aug

“Why All Your Students Must Be Programmers” – The #AEJMCBattleRoyale

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I was fortunate to be on a lively panel for this year’s Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Conference in D.C.

The session was titled “Why all your students must be programmers,” but I named it The #AEJMCBattleRoyale.

Organized and moderated by Medill’s Jeremy Gilbert, the panelists included:

and me.

Here is a G+ Hangout of the talk… as expected, strong language was used and knowledge was dropped.

Here are the latest #AEJMCBattleRoyale tweets:


12 Mar

Learn Code Project: A year ago…

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It was about a year that I was boarding my plane headed back to the West Coast, recharged and inspired by SXSW12.

By the time I landed, I had coded and launched this new project.
learncodeforjournalismwithme-logo-thumbnail
Man, what a difference a year makes.

Frustrated (and starting to get desperate) with finding partners to collaborate/experiment with, I figured I should put off the inevitable and teach myself code. I know I wouldn’t be the best coder — like I’m not the best audio storytelling or photographer — but I respected the craft and know its power.

I had been director of development for seattletimes.com where we designed and built cool shit, which was ahead of its time… and now feels… so… quaint.

In my quest for dev skills, I tried a variety of different non-journalism, code classes… from video to web-based tutorials. I, as ONA pre-conference and NAHJ conference coordinator, recruited friends and colleagues to craft custom journalism focused all-day coding workshops.

I even offered a (nearly free) all-day, intro to Python bootcamp at USC Annenberg thanks to the awesome PyLadies.

For the record, while this benefited the community as a whole, I was doing it for me. And none of it worked… for me.

But after SXSW, inspired by Codecademy‘s Code Year (even though I had given up on it like other New Year’s resolutions) and a curious user of Google+ Hangouts, I created the Learn Code for Journalism with Me project.

Yes, it’s a loooooong name. My partner-in-crime Kim Bui openly hates it. I know.

But it comes from a series of projects I’ve hung around the domain journalismwith.me.

Anyway, the idea was a simple one and the reaction to it was overwhelming. I was clearly on to something… and I wasn’t the only one trying to solve this.

Cindy Royal of Texas State University was trying to build a curriculum, Dave Stanton (who was joining two other friends and myself in launching a cooperative consulting firm) had expressed interest and I’m sure others were trying to grapple with this issue.

But, again, what a difference a year makes.

As I wait for my plane to take me back to the City of Angels still recovering from SXSW13, the landscape for this has completely changed.

There are two projects I want to point out:

First is Sisi Wei‘s Code with me project that offers weekend coding bootcamps for about $85.

Second is For Journalism, the successfully-funded kickstarter from Stanton, which will create journalism-focused coding tutorials.

Outside giving money to For Journalism and being a cross-country supporter of Code with me, I had nothing to do with their launches.

Even if their project names sound familiar, as people have point out … to be fair, my loooong title clearly had all the right words required for any successful coding for journalism project aimed to empower the community.

For my little project that is reaching its year anniversary, I didn’t have the bandwidth to make tshirts to use crowd funding.

It was just me.

Actually, it’s not just me anymore.

It’s me and my amazing cohort of determined classmates-turned-friends that still meet every Monday at 3PM PT via Google+ Hangouts since April of last year.

We’ve abandoned Code Year and have been developing our own journalism-based, project-focused coding lessons. We’re teaching each other code and hoping to share what we learn with others.

You can hear about the LCFJWM phase 2 in this View Source podcast interview or read about what I’ve learned in this post.

What a difference a year makes. And I am so glad talented people have come into this mix and found ways to address this need… in ways I couldn’t have for lack of the bandwidth or connections.

God only knows what the next year will bring, but we all know we’re going to benefit from this work.

18 Jun

An update on my Learn Code project

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I wrote a quick post offering updates and information I’ve learned since launching the Learn Code for Journalism project.

This the experiment project that mashes up Codecademy’s Code Year with Google+ Hangouts, enabling journalists to learn programming socially.

Read it here: http://learncodefor.journalismwith.me/2012/06/18/what-i-have-learned-from-launching-the-learn-code-for-journalismproject/

15 Nov

An inside look at Unity Programming

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While it sooner than you think, the deadline to propose a UNITY 12 workshop is this Friday, November 18. All proposals are welcomed, but to help solicit strong submissions co-program chairs Paul Cheung and Robert Hernandez interviewed themselves to create a collaborative Q&A blog post.

Q: How is this Unity programming different from previous years?
RH: Well, for me, we’ve reached a point in journalism that feels like we’ve risen from the ashes and are hungry to push journalism forward. I think the programming needs to reflect that by being progressive and diverse in every respect.

What it will be: Our sessions will include a lot of hands-on skills training; some crowdsourced best practices; some controversial panels that make us uncomfortable; some discussions that lead to practical take aways.

What it won’t be: Routine discussions about the lack of diversity. Routine PowerPoint slideshows where the presenter talks and the audience only listens. Complaining and harping that the “good ol’ days” are behind us.

This is an exciting time for journalism and this conference will not only reflect that, but prepare you for it. I will admit, Paul and I were disappointed with the past programming. That’s why we signed up. UNITY 2012 is for me and all the like-minded journalists that want to advance journalism in this exciting digital age – together.

Q: Talk about your experiences running AAJA’s and NAHJ’s conferences. What do you hope to bring over to the UNITY 12 convention?
PC: It’s important to be think demos and not memos. Instead of speakers telling us how great their project are, we want them to show us HOW it was done. At the AAJA conventions, we look for experts from within and outside of our industry. In UNITY 12, you can expert us to raise the bar in presenters.

RH: For the last six years or so I’ve been running the New Media track for the NAHJ conference… if you’ve attended, you’ve seen how we’ve doubled hands-on sessions and really have pushed to prepare our attendees with some great skills – from intro to advanced. I’m proud to be on the Online News Association board, where I know they were “inspired” by my NAHJ workshops and brought those types of sessions to its conference. I organized and was proud of the pre-conference workshops offered at ONA11. Paul and I will bring these types of workshops front and center to the conference. That said, we want thought-provoking sessions as well, not just skills and tech… but these thought-provoking topics need to be framed and presented in a more engaging way. And, because we are UNITY, we want every panel to reflect diversity as much as possible. Side note: There will be the Geek Out session.

Q: What advice do you give someone who wants to submit a panel/workshop/session for UNITY 12?
PC:

  • Be specific on a problem or a question you want the workshop to answer and not to be too general.
  • More speakers does not equal better panels.
  • Keep the tracks we have in mind.

RH: I agree with Paul. Also, like the modern news consumer, no one wants to be dictated to so make sure you factor in true engagement with the audience. Don’t re-hash old debates, but bring the topic and discussion forward. Offer practical take aways. Be passionate about the topic. Remember, this may be the only training a journalist gets in a year… make your session well worth it!

Q: Can you elaborate on the tracks (Current News/Hot topics, Multimedia, New Media, Platforms, Professional developments and Personal developments)? For example What’s the difference between new media and multimedia?

RH: Well, let’s try to answer the second half of the question first. We look at Multimedia as cross-platform storytelling. Something every journalist — regardless of whether they mainly work on print, broadcast, pixels, etc — needs to be able to do.

  • Examples: Photography for non-photographer, Producing an Audio Slideshow or How to shoot video with your pocket camera

New Media, for me, is about technology and how it advances our journalism. Its applying the latest technology to our daily jobs.

  • Examples: Real-Time Reporting through Social Media, how to use free webtools to do datavisualizations, the latest hardware and software or apps that help you simplify your life.

PC: Platforms, for me, is about development and topics that is specific to the platform.
Examples: How to you transport your skills from print to broadcast, the art of one person anchor / TV producer

The other tracks I feel are somewhat self-explanatory. While these are somewhat ‘traditional’ tracks to help organize our conference, we expect and will be looking forward to those progressive sessions that truly advance the discussions and lessons.

  • For professional developments: A session on how to write a business proposal or the reality of start-up business
  • For personal developments: A Rachel Ray like demo on how to eat healthy on deadline or financial planning
  • For current news: Ten innovative ways of reporting 2012 US Elections or the London Olympics.

Q: This a lot of work for just the two of you? Who is helping you organize and shape this conference?
We are not alone in this. The programming committee is comprised of a diverse group of journalists from AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA.

  • AAJA: Ted Kim and Victoria Lim
  • NAHJ: Elizabeth Aguilera and Hiram Enriquez
  • NAJA: Tom Arviso and Rhonda LeValdo
  • NLGJA: Sarah Blazucki and Barbara Dozetos

If you have specific questions, concerns suggestions… please join us for a Google+ Hangout Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 3:30PM PT / 6:30PM ET. Go here: http://bit.ly/unity12-hangout

To submit your proposal go to: http://bit.ly/unity12-proposals // The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 18, 2011

21 Sep

Talk Journalism with Me

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I’ve written about experimenting with Google+ Hangouts before, and finally did a project inspired by Jon Favreau‘s Dinner for Five on IFC and Talking Funny on HBO: http://talk.journalismwith.me.

@talkJournalism or #tjwm hopes to be an entertaining and insightful look into the minds of some of the country’s leading journalism thinkers/doers. The informal ‘show’ is held through a Google+ Hangout and broadcasted out using UStream.

Here’s the first episode… you will notice it’s a work in progress… it did not pick up my audio for some reason.

There *will* be another episode. Trying to align the schedules of the next panel.

Please, feel free to send me feedback. Email: talk [at] journalismwith.me or tweet us by using the #tjwm hashtag.

12 Jul

Google+ Clip Club

Well, here’s an idea… let’s have a ‘hangout’ on G+ and watch films together that are on YouTube.

There are plenty to choose from… In the past I wrote about seeing the classic journalism film Deadline, U.S.A., which sadly has been removed. But there are many others to watch.

Maybe it’s a clip showcase… maybe it’s reviewing our work… maybe it’s a meme off, in the but-have-you-seen-this style? Maybe it’s a version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Anyone interested? Send me a note!

And, if you have an idea for a film/clip, submit it here!

Thanks for trying this out with me!

Robert

10 Dec

About

Hernandez_USC_mug_twitterAssociate Professor of Professional Practice
Robert Hernandez
email: r.hernandez [at] usc.edu
twitter: @webjournalist
213.280.5187 c | 323.761.9054 gv
Text “webjournalist” to the number 50500 for contact info

 
 

Short bio:

Robert Hernandez, aka WebJournalist, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue. He is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg, but he’s not an academic… he’s more of a “hackademic” that specializes in “MacGyvering” digital journalism through emerging technologies. His most recent work includes Augmented Reality, Wearables/Google Glass and Virtual Reality — he and his students produce VR experiences under their brand: JOVRNALISM. Their work can be seen in The New York Times, NPR, ProPublica and in their own iOS/Android app. He has worked for seattletimes.com, SFGate.com, eXaminer.com, La Prensa Gráfica, among others. Hernandez is also the co-founder of #wjchat and co-creator of the Diversify Journalism Project. He has served on boards that have included Chicas Poderosas, InquireFirst and the Online News Association. He is a Journalism 360 ambassador and a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is the recipient of SPJ’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. He has made it to imgur’s front page more than once. He connects dots and people.

 

Resume: Web format | PDF format

Complete bio (Updated: August 25, 2014):
Robert Hernandez, one of the few true veterans of Web journalism, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism – to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue.

Hernandez is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice, aka a Web journalism professor, at USC Annenberg. He’s not an academic… he’s more of a hackademic. He describes himself as a mad scientist for journalism, and likes to “MacGyver” Web journalism solutions.

He believes in “open source,” sharing knowledge and experiences among journalists. To that end, he has taken the leading role in uniting and building a community of digital journalists and technologists, as a national board member of the Online News Association, the leading organization focused on developing digital journalism. He’s also a co-organizer of the Los Angeles chapter of Hacks/Hackers, an international network of journalists and technologists that is rethinking the future of news and information.

Many journalists know him as the co-founder of #wjchat, a weekly forum on Twitter that engages participants from around the world. Or the curator of his Tech & Tool page, a collection of tools aimed at inspiring innovation in Web journalism, recently featured in CJR’s Future of Media issue. His latest project is called Learn Code for Journalism with Me, mashing up Google+ Hangouts with Code Year lessons. These virtual gatherings are perhaps the best examples of his commitment to collaboration and crowdsourcing. Others may know him as the intrepid questioner who asked AOL’s chairman and CEO if Patch.com is “evil.”

He serves on the Online News Association board. Hernandez also is passionate about diversity in journalism. He is co-chair of programming for the UNITY conference (Las Vegas, August 2012) and is a lifetime member and former board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

He is the recipient of SPJ’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. He has presented and spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country and internationally. Hernandez was most named CU’s Hearst Professional-in-Residence for Fall of 2012.

As director of development for The Seattle Times, where he worked from 2002 until 2009, he helped shape and execute the vision for the Web site and company, leading a team of engineers and designers in creating innovative tools and applications for readers as well as staff. He also worked as a Web designer and consultant for El Salvador’s largest daily newspaper site, La Prensa Gráfica, Web producer for The San Francisco Chronicle and online editor of The San Francisco Examiner.

Hernandez has made it to imgur’s front page more than once.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife of more than 10 years, young son and Boston Terrier. He hopes to restore his 1960 Volvo 122 that the freeways of Los Angeles killed one extremely hot summer day.

Find out more about Hernandez at www.webjournalist.org or follow him on Twitter at @webjournalist.

Photos: Download images of Robert Hernandez

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