A primary takeaway from John Resig’s excellent lecture this week:
We can’t build better communication tools if we aren’t talking to each other.
I’ve been considering this point in a few ways. From narrow to broad:
1> How it relates to “Pop! - The Filter Bubble Project” (Don’t worry, the name is tentative.)
Shareability was always going to be an important in constructing the Filter Bubble Project - one of the goals of the project is to promote a clearer idea of exactly how personalized our results are. Much like the BBC Click listeners who gathered together on a Facebook page to share & compare search results. But the vital part here is cutting the number of steps in half. Instead of 1> searching 2> taking a screenshot of the search 3> logging into Facebook 4> signing up for the Click group 5> uploading the screenshot. The idea is this: 1> search 2> share your search using said filter bubble app. The hope is that the decrease in the number of steps will lead to an increase in the amount of results shared.
2> Relating to MoJo generally
We’re typically given advice to ignore the concurrent chat box streaming by during lectures. That’s pretty sound advice, and advice I never listen to. For John Resig’s lecture last week, neglecting that advice paid off.
While John was making some stellar points in actually operationalizing the term “engagement,” highlighting what it can look like for our projects, and pounding home the importance of documentation, I felt like he was talking to an audience that isn’t me (yet). As if the assumed audience had much more technical prowess than I do, an audience with knowledge/experience in building powerful open-source projects, and an audience that would write the documentation, not have to hopelessly keep it by their bedside in hopes of gleaning insight from it to move their project/learning process forward.
That said, if I felt like sections of the presentation were over my head, the complementary streaming comments were busily fulfilling the role of “documentation” for the lecture. I think we’ve seen this several times in the lectures, but the knowledge process went something like this:
3> Communication/knowledge sharing - part of building a new ladder?
Talking with my Senior Editor Tom Hundley, we found ourselves discussing paths into journalism. During Tom’s 36 year career in journalism, he moved from a small town newspaper to bigger US based newspapers and then on to the Chicago Tribune where he served as a foreign correspondent from 60 countries for twenty years before coming on as at the Pulitzer Center. In discussing his path, he said something to the effect of: I climbed a ladder to get where I am, but now I think the rungs are gone. It seems like MoJo can and does help rebuild the rungs, particularly for technically-inclined (“aspiring hackers?”) journalists. If the Knight News Challenge is a high rung on the ladder, where does MoJo fit, and what are the others?