26
May 12

My first video game using Stencyl

I’m trying to learn how to create video games using a tool called Stencyl. This is the game you make from the first tutorial. To play, click on the game first. Then use the space bar to jump, and the left and right arrow keys to move. Not fancy, but it’s certainly easy to grasp the basics.


08
Mar 12

NBC examines how Nick Denton and Gawker have reinvented (subverted?) the newsroom

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


07
Sep 11

Technology as the Architect of our Intimacies

MIT professor Sherry Turkle, who has studied the relationship between people and technology for 30 years, spoke at the Berkeley Cener for New Media last night. Jen Schradie, a Berkeley graduate student and doctoral candidate, tweeted a summary of the talk.
RT @STurkle: Technology is the Architect of Our Intimacies. I am speaking tonight at Berkeley Center for New Media. http://t.co/Oq78FFH
schradie
September 6, 2011
@sturkle now speaking at #calnewmedia standing room only – Colbert told her "why don’t you teach at the Mass. Institute of Friendship"
schradie
September 7, 2011
@cturkle : At MIT in 1977, she went to a retreat entitled, "How to keep computers busy," @calnewmedia Ah, the irony.
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle at MIT retreat in 1977: only academics would write on a computer. One suggestion: a calendar (dismissed) All agreed on games
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle @calnewmedia: We have become computer’s killer ap
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle in talking about the evolution of computers: "We have become the killer app" @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle re: computers and technology: No such thing as just a tool. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
2 things happened that made @sturkle more cautionary w/ tech in 1995: socialable robotics and mobile connectivity revolution @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: I’m very prorobot I’m not a luddite. I love robots. What I don’t like in a robot is Take care of me and I’ll love you @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: identity exploring online Life on the Screen was a bit naive b/c assumed on and off in virtual/real wrld @calnewmedia.
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: My model had not taken into account the "always on culture." @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
Re: Life on the Screen – @sturkle: I had not taken seriously how we could bail out of the physical /real anytime we wanted to. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle. Just b/c we grow up with the Internet doesn’t mean the Internet is all grown up. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: Texting at funerals is major. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: Parents complain about kids texting at the dinner table but it’s really parents who are doing it. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle. We’d rather text than hide. It’s a technology we can hide. Online we can be who we want to be. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: We don’t allow ourselves the time to explain complicated problems. We train ourselves to answer simpler questions. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: People measure success by e-mails, calls, texts answered. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: We tell our children that world is inc. complex but we have created a com. medium that reduces time to sit & think. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: We have gone from "I have a feeling, I want to make a call" to "I want to have a feeling, I need to send a text." @calnewmedia WOW
schradie
September 7, 2011
What’s not being cultivated with new media is the ability to being alone to gather oneself. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011
@sturkle: What’s not being cultivated with new media is the ability to be alone to gather oneself. @calnewmedia
schradie
September 7, 2011


10
Aug 11

Knight offers lessons learned from News Challenge winners

The Knight Foundation has released an assessment of the impact of the first two years of the News Challenge program, of which The Next Newsroom Project was one. I received my grant during the first year, in 2007. And while my grant only ran one year, the lessons I learned and the people I met during that time still guide my thinking about the future of news.

You can read the full report here. The above slide deck contains a summary of some of the data related to the projects, and their impact. And there’s a neat infographic here.

And if you don’t have time for all that, the Knight Blog has a summary here.

It’s especially good to see Knight posting some of the lessons the foundation learned, including the need to speed up the grantmaking process, and helping applicants build better budgets.

Otherwise, the lessons learned are worth reading for anyone thinking about launching a venture to address the future of news and journalism.


17
Feb 11

Carnival of Journalism: Let’s increase the flow of local government data

The Carnival of Journalism is back for month two, under the guidance of ringleader David Cohn. The question this month:

“Considering your unique circumstances what steps can be taken to increase the number of news sources?”

I expect there are a nearly limitless number of ways to approach this. I’m going to start with an example close to home: Oakland, CA. And I’m going to suggest we lean on an actor that tends to make most folks in journalism nervous: Government.

I’m often struck, living out here in Silicon Valley, about the disconnect between what people believe is available in terms of information online, and what the reality is.  I can’t even recall how many times I’ve been speaking to a group about the future of journalism, and someone will say something like, “Well, now that all the information is available online, why do we even need journalists? Can’t we just do everything you do with better tags and filters and feeds?”

The answer: No. And we are perhaps decades away from anything that resembles that fantasy world.

But there are things we can do to move in that direction. Let start to explain with a story. Two years ago, my car was stolen. I had to go to the Oakland Police Department to get a copy of the police report for the insurance company. As I approached the window to talk to the attendant, I watched her working on her manual typewriter, stopping to fix a mistake with some white out. Eventually, she paused to help me. She fetched the paper copy of my report and then went to the copier to make me a copy. There were some parts of the report, such as where the car was eventually found, that never made it to the file.

This was the Oakland Police Department in January 2009. Now, the Oakland cop shop does eventually digitize some information and make it available on its own mapping system. And one group, Stamen Design, has created a more elegant version of that information here. But both versions provide only the barest of details about the incidents. There is no narrative, no names of the people involved, and no identities of the police who responded. It’s a baby step forward, but only just.

As a former cop reporter, I can also say that these systems require us to depend on the accuracy and the truthfulness of the police. While I hate to be cynical, even when I was reading through stacks of police reports in the mid-1990s, the real scope of an incident or the real impact was not apparent until you cornered a cop and got them to talk. And even then, their stories, in certain circumstances, differed from witnesses, especially where accusations of police brutality were involved.

Technology can’t fix all of that. But in following Mr. Cohn’s advice to “Bite small, chew well,” I’ll start with the Oakland Police’s dilemma. What is needed is a massive investment in their infrastructure, something that would increase their efficiency as a department, but also expand their capacity for transparency. That, in turn, would bolster the amount of crime information they can put online, which in turn would amplify the effectiveness of services like the Oakland crime maps.

Take this small example, and now expand it around the San Francisco Bay Area, to the dozens of police and sheriff’s departments that are still only just barely in the digital age. And now widen the lens to include all aspects of local and county governments. Big investments in the infrastructure are needed to get the information of these agencies online, and in formats, like structured data, that would open them up to wider consumption and interpretation.

As the reach of metro and local papers continues to ebb, I’m guessing many of these police departments haven’t seen a cop reporter in years. So this type of investment seems like a great opportunity to dramatically increase the flow of information that is also urgently needed. Of course, that flow would quickly become a flood, creating a secondary challenge of finding ways to filter it, provide context, and make sure there was community-wide access for all citizens. It would need to be packaged in forms that make for easy and convenient consumption. But that shouldn’t be a reason to not try.

However, the more immediate problem, of course, is who will pay for this? State and local governments across the country are facing historic financial problems. Many state governments are bleeding red ink. The federal government seems the best bet, despite the current focus on cutting the budget. President Obama has taken some steps to promote a Government 2. 0 agenda, and in his recent State of the Union address, he called on making strategic investments in infrastructure to “win” the future.

Over time, such a program would cost billions, if not trillions, to bring every government into the digital age. But in terms of impact on increasing sources of news, it strikes me as one of the smartest investments we can make.