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Sunday, 29 Aug 2010

Misreading Tehran: The Twitter Devolution

Foreign Policy has a fascinating article on the role of Twitter in the Iranian protests.

A number of opposition activists have told me they used text messages, email, and blog posts to publicize protest actions. However, good old-fashioned word of mouth was by far the most influential medium used to shape the postelection opposition activity. There is still a lively discussion happening on Facebook about how the activists spread information, but Twitter was definitely not a major communications tool for activists on the ground in Iran.
Posted on Aug 29, 2010 | 6:23 pm EST
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Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009

Is the economy really this bad?

cbs

This screenshot of yesterday’s home page of CBS.com pretty much says it all. We’re not sure if this is a mistake or what. But really, is this the answer?

variety

Update: This is today’s (June 11) home page of Variety.com. The site is awash in Emmy ads. It’s bad enough to get this ad once it covers the entire home page. But if you click any story on the home page, you get this ad again.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 | 10:16 pm EST
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Wednesday, 04 Mar 2009

Roundup of We Media Miami session: In search of a new kind of story

For those who were unable to join the “Storytellers Caucus” at We Media this year, here’s some of what you missed:

I started with a brief history of how our traditional ideas of story have proved a remarkable tool for making order out of the chaos of the world and our experiences in it. (PDF)

The world is a messy place but a quick look in, say, your local library shows you something else. You’ll see thousands of book neatly ordered in a precise arrangement on shelves. Aardvarks to Z particles sit in a quiet, Dewey-induced harmony.

But there’s a sense that order is unravelling. And more importantly, our ability to share knowledge in a networked world requires some brave new storytelling techniques.

More to the point, the participants brainstormed new metaphors for story. Metaphors help us see possible solutions to a problem even if we can’t fully understand them.

We were lucky to have four creative journalists share their experiments with new story forms.

By the end of the session we had identified some new story forms:

Nesting or Spiral stories

Eduardo Danilo Ruiz shared his latest work on the webzine, Flyp. He has blended rich multimedia within a linear magazine format, which delivers both an engaging and substantive storytelling platform. One caveat that the group brought up was the need for helping visitors keep trak of which layers they had already visited of a particular story.

POV stories

David Dunkley Gyimah (viewmagazine.tv) thinks it’s critical for the post-modern journalist to experiment with new story forms. Otherwise, he or she is at risk of not connecting with the changing attitudes and habits of their audience. David’s tools are an HD handheld video camera, Adobe Premier Final Cut Studio and a plan.

Unlike a typical documentary, which might shoot 30 minutes of video for each minute of final cut, David hardly wastes a frame. He brings a hungry eye that is not caged by standard video journalism parameters. His work has a crusade quality about it - part Frontline, part first-person shooter.

The Gateway

Nathalie Applewhite of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting showed two examples of how the Center is approaching storytelling, specifically focused on new ways of presenting the “news.” Like David, her work focuses on revealing a tangible human experience, which leads to a “gateway” of understanding the broader and complex global issues at work.

LiveHopeLove.com is a synthesis of news, documentary and poetry combined in an interactive narrative that redefines what “news” looks like. As a whole the presentation is non-linear, with distinct linear elements “nested” within. The Water Wars Gateway presents multi-media news elements on a platform that allows direct participation on the site. Contributors respond to and ask questions, and are invited to put their own story “on the map.” This balance of traditional and user-generated content provides a gateway to, and from, under-reported global issues, allowing viewers to make connections between the local and the global in a unique way.

Story as API

In a very different approach, Zach Brand of NPR showed what happens if your think of your stories as things that can be assembled, sorted or conjured on command.

His work on NPR’s API initiative is giving technologists the tools to use NPR’s content in unexpected ways. Thinking of stories as something that can be accessed and analyzed like financial data or the weather can be both liberating and terrifying. The API has already encourage many intriguing projects like All Tweets Considered.

Here are some examples that were shown:

In the end, we learned a few things:

First, an hour-and-a-half is not nearly long enough to talk about this.

Second, the explosion of data and perspectives is driving a lot of experimentation in new narrative forms. Technologists continue to work tirelessly on their dream of a “semantic web.”

Is it time to desire the same for story?

Posted on Mar 04, 2009 | 10:09 pm EST
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Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008

Introducing Footnote Pages

It’s live. Try it.

image

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 | 7:55 pm EST
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We're launching something at TechCrunch 50 today

image

Around 2:15 Pacific Time, CEO Russ Wilding, will be on the TechCrunch 50 stage to launch our latest project. Anyone will be able to kick the tires of this new thing immediately after the talk.

Watch live coverage:








Posted on Sep 10, 2008 | 5:37 pm EST
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Wednesday, 06 Aug 2008

Why I hate Flickr

Excerpted from a Flickr email sent to me today...

image

Posted on Aug 06, 2008 | 9:29 pm EST
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Wednesday, 02 Apr 2008

CNN: Vets pay tribute to fallen comrades at virtual Vietnam wall

Footnote.com ended up on the home page of CNN this afternoon (then migrated to the Tech section). It was an unexpected surprise, which kept us on our toes.

image

The story gathered ten Vietnam veterans at an American Legion Post 911 in Atlanta, Georgia to test the online Wall for CNN.com.

The bottom line: They say the new Wall gives a face to each of the names, and helps keep their memories alive. They have hopes it will help bring back those veterans who have yet to get back on their feet.

image

Posted on Apr 02, 2008 | 2:31 am EST
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Saturday, 29 Mar 2008

First 48 hours of The Wall

It’s been both surprising and humbling to observe how people have interacted with The Wall since it’s announcement on Wednesday.

After discovering some issues with our clustering providers and optimizing code on the site, we’ve been able to keep the site humming. It’s not easy to quickly serve up a 20GB image - one of the biggest, if not the biggest on the Web - to thousands of people anxious to explore and contribute to it.

Despite some hiccups at the start, we saw a remarkable ratio of visitors contributing highly compelling comments and photographs. Here are just a few:

The Last Footsteps

The last footsteps

Soldiers on Hill #376 in Tam Ky (1969)

Soldiers on Hill #376 in Tam Ky (1969)

Tiger Hunting

The Heart of a Tiger - Vietnam

Gary Lee Smith

Gary Lee Smith

Posted on Mar 29, 2008 | 12:46 am EST
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Thursday, 27 Mar 2008

The Wall on CNN

The Situation Room’s Abbi Tatton does a great job of summarizing the idea of The Wall.

image

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 | 11:08 pm EST
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Free Vietnam photos from Footnote and The National Archives

As part of the release of The Wall, Chris and Footnote.com are going to be making 1 million Vietnam era photos and documents from The National Archives for free.

Here’s a sample from the first 50,000 photos:

image

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 | 1:34 pm EST
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