PopTech: Robert Fabricant’s Graphic Doodles

“One day I was passing through Terminal 5 at JFK on my way to a conference in Austin and I stumbled upon these peculiar notebooks in the Muji store. They had little boxes that were meant for storyboarding. Just like the 140 characters in a tweet, these boxes have provided the frame for condensing discussions to their essential bits. Since then it has become a bit of an obsession for me in meetings as I try to get the most out of each square. And it has spread to friends and co-workers, one of whom bought them for her son who was having trouble focusing in school.

In the digital age, when every interaction is captured in a steady stream of 1s and 0s, it is critical that we pay extra attention to the human and personal qualities of each situation. It is too easy to retreat into the ether. Thats what these notebooks do for me.”

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What makes a meeting, a conversation, or a PopTech talk memorable? Why bother to write down anything these days when it all ends up recorded in the cloud? A few years ago I realized that all it took were a few simple things – a particular turn of phrase, quote, story or image – to capture the essence of these moments. Leer más “PopTech: Robert Fabricant’s Graphic Doodles”

Helping Journalists Become Hackers and Entrepreneurs

Journalism schools are useful for many things, including research into ethical standards, traditional skill development, and so on — but increasingly, some journalism schools are focusing just on building their students’ digital chops and entrepreneurial spirit alongside interview etiquette and the correct use of the off-the-record comments. One of the most recent projects in that vein is called Local East Village, a joint venture between the New York University’s journalism school and the New York Times that launched on Monday.

The website describes the venture as an attempt to “help foster a journalistic collaboration with a third partner, our neighbors in the East Village,” and to “give voice to its people in a wide-reaching online public forum and create a space for our neighbors to tell stories about themselves.” As NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen — who helped create the project — notes in his blog post about the launch, the area of the city that the site aims to cover is already well-covered by local blogs, but the LEV site states that it hopes to bring the “academic and intellectual resources of NYU [and] the vast journalistic experience and high professional standards of The Times.” It also adds that:

We hope, too, to provide innovation: For years now the lines between those who produce news and those who consume it have become increasingly blurred. And so we hope to bring our readers even more into the process of producing news in ways that few other sites have tried before.


Journalism schools are useful for many things, including research into ethical standards, traditional skill development, and so on — but increasingly, some journalism schools are focusing just on building their students’ digital chops and entrepreneurial spirit alongside interview etiquette and the correct use of the off-the-record comments. One of the most recent projects in that vein is called Local East Village, a joint venture between the New York University’s journalism school and the New York Times that launched on Monday.

The website describes the venture as an attempt to “help foster a journalistic collaboration with a third partner, our neighbors in the East Village,” and to “give voice to its people in a wide-reaching online public forum and create a space for our neighbors to tell stories about themselves.” As NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen — who helped create the project — notes in his blog post about the launch, the area of the city that the site aims to cover is already well-covered by local blogs, but the LEV site states that it hopes to bring the “academic and intellectual resources of NYU [and] the vast journalistic experience and high professional standards of The Times.” It also adds that:

We hope, too, to provide innovation: For years now the lines between those who produce news and those who consume it have become increasingly blurred. And so we hope to bring our readers even more into the process of producing news in ways that few other sites have tried before.

One of the most interesting features of the project is what it calls the “Virtual Assignment Desk,” which is an application — essentially a plugin for the WordPress blog-hosting platform, which the site uses to publish its content — developed by a team led by Daniel Bachhuber, who is the digital media manager for the City University of New York graduate journalism school. The plugin makes it easy for anyone who wants to contribute to the site to see what stories or events need to be covered, so that they can volunteer. Readers can vote on the topics or news stories they want to see covered as well. Leer más “Helping Journalists Become Hackers and Entrepreneurs”

Replacing a Pile of Textbooks With an iPad

When I’m not blogging away about technology for the Bits Blog, I’m also an adjunct professor at New York University in the Interactive Telecommunications Program.

The program is a technology-focused graduate course, so it came as no surprise when four of my students walked into class in early April with fancy new Apple iPads in hand. After the students got past the novelty factor, a debate ensued about how the iPad would fit into their school life. One factor the students discussed was the ability to carry less “stuff” in their backpacks: the iPad can replace magazines, notepads, even a laptop.

Now there’s an iPad application that could further lighten the load. A new company called Inkling hopes to break the standard textbook model and help textbooks enter the interactive age by letting students share and comment on the texts and interact with fellow students.


By NICK BILTON

Inkling's biology textbook

When I’m not blogging away about technology for the Bits Blog, I’m also an adjunct professor at New York University in the Interactive Telecommunications Program.

The program is a technology-focused graduate course, so it came as no surprise when four of my students walked into class in early April with fancy new Apple iPads in hand. After the students got past the novelty factor, a debate ensued about how the iPad would fit into their school life. One factor the students discussed was the ability to carry less “stuff” in their backpacks: the iPad can replace magazines, notepads, even a laptop.

Now there’s an iPad application that could further lighten the load. A new company called Inkling hopes to break the standard textbook model and help textbooks enter the interactive age by letting students share and comment on the texts and interact with fellow students. Leer más “Replacing a Pile of Textbooks With an iPad”

The use of digital media comes at a price

A 21st century addiction … The digital world is having an effect on our brains. Photo: Illustration by Michael Mucci

If you’re tired and forgetful, and finding it hard to concentrate, log off the laptop and take a digital detox, says Dan Roberts.

As a writer, I spend a lot of my time glued to my computer screen: researching and pitching ideas, dealing with emails, keeping abreast of breaking news and, occasionally, even writing. While recently trying to launch an online magazine, my screen time increased still further and, unable to resist the temptation any longer, I also answered the call of Twitter. Setting aside BlackBerry time at evenings and weekends, I was devoting eight hours a day to digital media.

After a month, strange things started to happen. I found it difficult to concentrate on any given task for more than a few minutes. My mind felt scattered and my focus wandered from email to web page to tweet to email and back again.


DAN ROBERTS

Internet addiction.

A 21st century addiction … The digital world is having an effect on our brains. Photo: Illustration by Michael Mucci

If you’re tired and forgetful, and finding it hard to concentrate, log off the laptop and take a digital detox, says Dan Roberts.

As a writer, I spend a lot of my time glued to my computer screen: researching and pitching ideas, dealing with emails, keeping abreast of breaking news and, occasionally, even writing. While recently trying to launch an online magazine, my screen time increased still further and, unable to resist the temptation any longer, I also answered the call of Twitter. Setting aside BlackBerry time at evenings and weekends, I was devoting eight hours a day to digital media.

After a month, strange things started to happen. I found it difficult to concentrate on any given task for more than a few minutes. My mind felt scattered and my focus wandered from email to web page to tweet to email and back again. Leer más “The use of digital media comes at a price”

Link Round Up


AuthorLindsay

We wanted to try something different this week.

Every day we come across dozens of inspiring, insightful, or just plain entertaining links. Here’s some of our favorites we wanted to share.

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Flame

Holy wow. This experiment created by Peter Blaskovic has left us with mouths ajar. He’s created a painting program that allows users to create their own flaming masterpieces! Check it out –try your own and be sure to check out the Flame gallery.

Should Managers Know How To Code?

It’s a common debate amongst the management-side and the ones in the trenches. Scott Berkum explores this topic in a recent blog post.

Project 15

Fifteen rules I live and design by” as declared by our Creative Director’s alter-ego Dixon Garett. My favorite is 12: Those who see the glass as half-full or half-empty aren’t seeing the whole picture.

Making Magic

Mike Arauz explains what makes magic – when tricks and storytelling combine. Take Rick Jay for example, a great slight-of-hand artist. He’s equal parts storyteller and equal parts trickster, making him one amazing magician.

The Shirky Principle

Wired’s Kevin Kelly builds on the observations of NYU professor, Clay Shirky. “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”  When is it time to let go of the problems we’ve grown so accustomed to solving?

Mark Twain on Writing

A link passed on by our Copywriter, Faelan: Nothing helps me write good copy like reading the advice of a master. Almost always the same rules apply (both of us are telling stories after all), and they make me stay focused and keep my message clear.

Come across anything shareable? Feel free to post it in the comments. Have a great weekend!

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