9 Mar 2014

All posts from 9 Mar 2014

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SXSW Day 3: That’s a Wrap

Something We Will All Do in 10 Years

We will all make better infographics. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration but it seems more than likely that data visualization will become a mainstream activity. Three trends point in this direction. First, and we have heard this before, data is collected at unprecedented levels, so raw material is available. Second, current tools are still clunky and often have a high learning curve but newer ones will be more intuitive. Finally, visuals do better across the web, so infographics (especially the interactive) fill and growing need.

Best Surprise

Imaginary Radio’s Drennon Davis and Nick Stargu busted out their beatbox chops in an interview with Presarah Evans at the Paypal Lounge.

Mind-blowing Thought of the Day

Much of the wearable technology I’ve seen so far has had something of a nerdy cool-in-a-vacuum vibe, but the three SXSW Accelerator finalists who gave their final pitches today showed that they were designing for the real world. The stand-out in terms of shattering paradigms was the ultra-chic design of Dutch fashion designer and PhD student Pauline van Dongen, who weaves solar-receptive fibers into her sophisticated designs. When exposed to the sun, the clothing stores energy that can be used to recharge the user’s devices. Imagine high tech capability from the most traditional energy source we have.

Weirdest Moment

Mashable let house guests come in like a wrecking ball on a la Miley Cyrus, but not before they signed a liability release!

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Biggest Disappointment

The public transportation. Our taxi laughed at us: it had better things to do so the our team decided to bus it. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out… Flip contributors Katya and Jenny both almost missed their must-see sessions for the day.

Celebrity Sighting of the Day

Flipster Jenny Burns met SXSW celebrity Randi Zuckerberg before her featured session interviewing Dana Burnetti.

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Interruption of the Day

Dozens of people got turned away from a popular session on transmedia storytelling–an interview with Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge, who are known as “The Goggles.” The Vancouver-based duo are best known as creators of “Welcome to Pine Point,” an interactive documentary that has won international acclaim. They are working on new long-form digital documentaries. “Touch” is an interactive story about the death of print. “Chasing the Sun” is a transmedia tale about issues facing the Arctic. The long line to get into the session looked all too familiar. Many popular talks have had to turn people away in recent years and grumpy conference goers talked about needing bigger venues. Given that the badge costs at least $795, it’s sad that organizers still haven’t addressed the problem.

Best Food Choice

A long over-due lunch, Texas-style BBQ

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Outfit of the Day

In his cat-tastic top from LINKUrban Outfitters, and an evil queen homage on his wrist, Douglas was killin’ it style-wise.

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SXSW Day 3: That’s a Wrap
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How Journalists Can Make User-Generated Content Work

Associated Press social media editor Eric Carvin and Digital First Media managing editor Mandy Jenkins after their SXSW Interactive session.

Associated Press social media editor Eric Carvin and Digital First Media managing editor Mandy Jenkins after their SXSW Interactive session.

When news breaks, many media organizations turn to social media to find members of the public who become a reporter’s eyes and ears on the ground.

Collecting information in this way has many challenges – for example, verifying that a photo posted on Twitter is real. The key to solving these challenges is holding contributions from citizen journalists to the same ethical standards as work by professional journalists.

That was the main focus of a SXSW Interactive session by Associated Press social media editor Eric Carvin and Digital First Media managing editor Mandy Jenkins.

“If you don’t hold citizen journalists to the same standards, you are disrespecting social media as a tool for journalism,” Carvin said. Figuring out the best way to apply those standards is the hard part. The panelists shared some helpful tips:

  • If editors want to use a photo posted on social media, they should get in touch with the poster to ask permission and to verify that the poster took the photo. If the poster didn’t take it, he or she may not have a right to give permission. If you can’t reach the poster, it still may be in the public’s best interest to publish the photo, however.
  • When crediting a photo or video, editors need to be as specific as possible to let readers know where the content came from. Saying “Source: Twitter” isn’t good enough.
  • If you are asking citizen journalists to get you information, make sure they understand the ethical guidelines they need to follow. Most importantly, make sure they are safe. For example, are you asking people in a war zone to do something that will put them in danger, like give out their location?
  • Developing relationships with readers online helps build a trusted network of contributors. This means getting to know experts and citizen journalists in your area or industry. Have a list of social media accounts that you know are trustworthy. When readers contribute content, be responsive and treat them respectfully. When news breaks, these same readers are likely going to be the ones to reach out again.

Citizen journalism is only going to grow, and news organizations need to find a way to work with user-generated content, Jenkins said.

“There is a tendency in the journalism world to look down on people who are not journalists,” she said. “But you look at someone […] who runs their own blog, and a lot of times they are operating more ethically than all of us.”

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How Journalists Can Make User-Generated Content Work