I’ve been keeping an eye on the Mozilla Popcorn project and just tested out their Popcorn Maker app… it is incredibly easy and really cool. Here is my experiment using my Ignite talk on Horizontal Loyalty as a test.
I was invited by Nieman Lab to write a piece on rebooting J-schools. My take was bypassing the “debate” and empowering the students directly. Tell me what you think: Robert Hernandez: Reboot journalism school? Take control of your education instead
If and when I have time, I hope to Storify the reactions and add it to this post.
My favorite, though, came from Justin Ellis, who was the person that invited me to write the piece:
For geeks like me, Ignite talks are, well, a big deal… an honor, really… a rite of passage, if you will. There are so many powerful Ignites out there that have inspired, entertained and educated many… but, if you do one, bombing — in front of really, really smart people — is a strong possibility.
You have to be passionate, creative and brave. Well, in some cases, more foolish than brave.
As part of the opening of Spark Camp, I was foolish enough to volunteer to be among attendees to give a talk.
In an Ignite talk “presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.”
My “personal and professional passion” is Horizontal Loyalty. Here are my slides and my talking points (many of them I forgot!), but adapted for this platform.
Screenshot from my HorizontalLoyalty.com site.
For those who may not know, Krulwich is a legendary broadcast reporter known for explaining complex topics, often science related. He’s also the co-host of Radiolab. His speech was posted on Discover Magazine blog, where it began to spread across the Web.
First, let me tell you what Horizontal Loyalty isn’t. It’s not a cheesy stock image, an awkward high five or a corporate teaming building exercise. It hasn’t been co-opted yet.
As cheesy as this sounds — or this image is — Horizontal Loyalty is us. In the speech, Krulwich says don’t wait for a call from The New York Times. Don’t invest everything in your dream company. Don’t give your heart to strangers. Don’t wait your turn. Instead, invest in your friends. Look toward them, the ones you admire, and put your faith in them.
This is very much Web culture. We collaborate and share our work. From the concept of Open Source to in-real-life meetups, we see this collaboration coming from the Web. I’m a podcast addict and two that reflect this concept are Nerdist and WTF. These two comedians launched their own podcasts with their friends as a passion project… before their podcasts, some considered their careers were essentially over.
Horizontal Loyalty is in our circles. It’s here at Spark Camp. It’s in groups like Hacks/Hackers and the new ProPublica Pair Programming Project. I’m proud to say it is a core part of my work… in projects like #wjchat and Learn Code for Journalism.
For me, the true embodiment of Horizontal Loyalty is Tomorrow Magazine. Created by former Good Magazine editorial staffers — either fired or those who quit in solidarity — this crew decided to banned together and build something rather than to give up.
They decided to create one last magazine project and launched a Kickstarter campaign. By Friday, July 20, with five days remaining in the campaign, they have raised more than double their goal.
If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. It’s about a bunch of kids… misfits… that don’t wait their turn. They take action — go on a treasure hunt — to save their homes. To do something, because the adults in their lives failed them.
There is a scene in the middle of the film where the Goonies could turn back and give up… return to their traditional roles riding Troy’s bucket… but Mikey, lead Goonie, gives a powerful speech…
In his last words of the speech, Krulwich says “Fall in love with the work, with the people you work with… with your dreams… and their dreams. … Believe in your friends.”
In honor of the concept that Robert Krulwich spoke about nearly a ago, I launched HorizontalLoyalty.com … using some cool jQuery code called impress.js, I am using the site to explain and share #horizontalloyalty.
I’m a big fan of the poet, musician, artist Saul Williams. His albums are littered with powerful beats and brilliant lyrics.
For inspiration and motivation, I routinely listen to his albums… but today, while hearing his 2007/2008 album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation Of Niggy Tardust on Spotify, I really heard the bonus song Pedagogue Of Young Gods.
I don’t have this song with my version of the album (yet), but this song is currently my anthem for Horizontal Loyalty.
Here are the lyrics… study them and see if they effect you as they have me.
Pedagogue Of Young Gods Lyrics
Are you afraid to have someone believe in you?
Can you commit to your ideals?
Even if you think nothing of it,
are you willing to allow others to think the world of it,
and of you?
Pedagogue of Young Gods.
All slavery ever does is free you.
All anyone ever does is an example.
All power is just collective energy.
To abuse the privilege is to sell your soul
and that is to rent with the illusion of owning.
We are the landlords.
If you misunderstand us,
you’re dead and deserve your demise.
Your dominion is your overthrow.
The controllers are controlled.
Spread the word,
it will save you
and depends on you to be understood.
There is no school bell, only nursery.
Our heroes reward us with stars,
We sing to ourselves in our cars.
Music is our sanctuary.
Anywhere you put it it’s ours.
Our living voice,
our living testament.
We dream aloud,
we scream and shout.
Our courage will defeat them.
Our struggle will unite us.
Our wisdom is ourselves,
our resources our own,
our blood ocean,
our skin oil.
We are mountain and waterfall,
they cannot contain us.
Their prisons will not restrain us,
their customs will not un-name us.
We are what they know in their hearts,
you guessed it,
you knew that,
you felt it,
you tried to doubt it,
but you knew it,
ain’t nobody had to tell you.
We had them from the start.
A world apart, a world within,
ancient and luminous.
The before before and the hereafter.
We are the essence of laughter.
The comforting prayer
and the gatekeepers
and the street-sweepers.
A mountain of ports outside of a city of dreams.
A bird that prays, yet offers its wingspan to the wind.
Things are not as they seem.
We hover above while giving the appearance of scurrying below.
All is as it should be.
We are more than we know.
More than we hoped and dreamed,
a generation of generators,
a power source and supply.
The better we learn to live,
the better we learn to die.
Old as anything,
old as everything,
we are participants in a ritual
older than our collective memory,
a marriage of heart and mind,
secular and divine.
All is as it should be.
Slavery carefully bred us.
No child of Greece or Rome can behead us.
We are ahead of our time.
Slavery was simply a state of mind.
Hip-hop reminded us of confidence.
Overcoming now is simply common sense.
You deserve the ice and the riches of Solomon.
But don’t let warped values turn you into hollow men.
Education is the only thing given that cannot be taken.
Learn to think for yourself,
analyze the forsaken.
Pimp your fears,
surrender to love,
dance all night when you need to.
Play this song for a thug,
let ’em know ain’t no judgment.
We all hustle and grind,
any system against us is against the divine.
But there’s no sense of glory in repenting,
You have a greater calling.
Answering it is all it takes.
Take a second to hear this
and go back about your day.
Know that laws don’t govern us,
we’re governed by what we say.
What we think, why we think it, how we handle.
Place no blame, point no fingers, take your aim.
Shoot to kill. The bullshit.
Now hear the powerful song:
The moment I read the line — a line that was almost lost in a list of things — I knew I had found the words that captured my career and it’s challenges… in fact, my colleagues’, generation’s, students’ careers and their challenges.
It became my mantra.
It has become my religion.
“Horizontal Loyalty” has because the gospel I preach to colleagues to keep them and myself going as we try to change (and, yes, save) journalism.
And, thanks to my friend Jeremy Rue, the words come alive with the power of video:
You can find the text of the speech posted on the Discover Magazine blog: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/05/12/%E2%80%9Cthere-are-some-people-who-don%E2%80%99t-wait-%E2%80%9D-robert-krulwich-on-the-future-of-journalism/