Archive for the ‘Technology’Category

Facebook giving in to kids

That longstanding Facebook policy prohibiting users under 13 years old from having accounts will likely be lifted.

Why?

They’re basically all using it anyway. Here are some numbers.

Consumer Reports survey indicates that as many as 7.5 million Facebook users are under the age of 13 and that two-thirds of the number are under 10. According to CNN, about half of 12-year-olds and 64 percent of 13-year-olds are using Facebook.

Read more at Digital Journal.

Facebook may lift ban on children under 13 (Digital Journal)

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)

21

05 2012

Google Glasses in the wild?

Google co-founder Sergey Brinn was spotted at a charity dinner in San Francisco sporting the much buzzed-about Google Glasses.

Curious if these come out (when these come out) what these will mean for citizen media.

Google co-founder spotted wearing Google glasses (BlottR)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

09

04 2012

Can Pinterest survive without copyrighted content?

Rapidly growing  social media website Pinterest has bowed to pressure from photographers and copyright holders who complained that the “sharing” site had allowed its users to post content that did not belong to them.

Pinterest is reforming its terms of service, asking users to only post content they created, or content they have explicit permission to publish according to The Week.com.

Read the full story on The Week.com website: http://theweek.com/article/index/226141/can-pinterest-survive-without-copyrighted-contentnbsp.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

01

04 2012

Are you YouTube’s next celebrity vlogger?

nid%3D13085%7Ctitle%3D%7Cdesc%3D%7Clink%3Dnone

Huge video sharing website YouTube is offering users an opportunity to become “internet stars” by entering their video blogging competition.

The YouTube Next Vlogger contest is part of the company’s Next Creator initiative which seeks to help promising artistes develop their skills and build up a following.

The competition is open to candidates from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and America.

Video blogging is one of the most popular types of activity on YouTube where almost anyone can submit film on topics ranging from accounts of the riots which occurred in the UK last summer, reviews of new movies and music albums to instructional “how to” blogs.

Read the full story on the Mashable.com website: http://mashable.com/2012/03/29/youtube-vlogging-contest/.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

31

03 2012

‘Twitter censorship’ raises concerns from press freedom group

Printer-friendly versionSend to friendPDF version

Head of new media at press freedom group Reporters Without Borders says Twitter’s ability to ‘withhold’ content from users based on local restrictions could have ‘real consequences’ for journalists.

They are preparing an open letter to the chief executive of Twitter, to raise concerns about an announcement that the social media platform now has the power to “reactively withhold” tweets from users to meet country-based restrictions.

Read the full article on UK website Journalism.co.uk.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Google News Changing News… again?

Justin Ellis at Nieman Journalism Lab brings up Google’s latest experiment, “Search Plus Your World.” It’s a more personalized social search, something that had been predicted from Google for a while. Ellis takes it a step further to predict what would happen to Google News, which is how many people get their news these days.

What would a Google News Plus Your World look like? (Nieman Journalism Lab)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

13

01 2012

Citizen Journalist iPhones?

People who try to foretell the secret plans of Apple use many methods. The most common is keeping track of patents that Apple registers with the US Patent Office. This was how people found out about the iPad a good while before it was revealed.

Patently Apple suggests that future iPhones could have specific citizen journalist features, such as “report” and “interview” modes. Basically, it works by detecting the direction of speech and switching on either the front or rear camera, based on who’s talking. The phone acts as technical director to your news story.

Read more about it here.

I should also note that sites like Patently Apple are good examples of data mining journalism, which we have talked about before.

Apple Invents New iPhone Features for Today’s iReporters  

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

15

07 2011

Google WDYL a Windfall for Citizen Journalists

” Google+,” (Google Plus) which is Google’s second attempt at harnessing social media was getting all the buzz this week, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that Google launched a search tool that will be useful for citizen journalists and place bloggers, without any buzz at all.

Screen shot 2011-06-30 at 11.11.55 AM

Screen shot of WDLY.com, Google's new search utility

WDLY.com is the new site, and it stands for What do you love?

I already love WDLY. The site starts with a plain looking search engine page, with the question “What do you love” a “from Google” note, and a search box. Type in a search term or terms, and WDYL returns a grid that holds a series of sub-searches on your term.

 

I discovered WDLY.com via smartphone, traveling on the subway. When I found it,  I typed “Chicago” into the search box, because that is a subject I know about. WDLY.com takes your search term and runs it through a very useful collection of what I would call “sub-searches” that it presents on one page. The design is flexible, so it scales to be readable on any size screen.

It pays to treat any new tool like any kind of information, and be a journalist. Vet it before you use or recommend it. That means, look you for mistakes, errors, and omissions and verify that it works. When you can explain it to yourself, you are ready to use that tool as citizen journalist.

So I took it through its paces and here is what I found out about WDYL.com. First it is a Google-centric tool. The sub-searches it conducts are on Google-related sites, for example, it includes:

  • Measure Popularity (Google Trends)
  • Explore Chicago 3-D (Sketchup)
  • Make a Photo Album (Picasa)
  • Find Books (Google books)
  • Translate (Google Translate)
  • Watch videos (Youtube.com)
  • Call someone (Google Voice)
  • Scour the Earth (Google Earth, KML)

The searches were fast, and what you expect from these tools. For a citizen journalist, the news tool is a quick way to monitor what’s going on and see if there is breaking news. It is not the kind of exhaustive, custom search you need to do when you are doing in-depth reporting.

The 3-D was more useful than I thought, because Chicago is a center of architecture, and most of our major skyscrapers have been rendered in 3-D. I’d pull those in if there was an emergency or perhaps to illustrate a zoning variance story. If you are writing about phyical objects, be sure to try the 3-D and see if it has images that could illustrate your story.

The trends search is more useful if you narrow your search term, for example, I could search for “Chicago mayor,” and see that topic was trending up as the last mayoral election was held. I think “Trends” searches can add to a story, but it is easy to forget to do one when you are using Google’s regular search page.

An important thing to remember, is that if you are signed into Google, when you do a WDYL search, it will customize some of the searches based on your login. So the “Make a Photo Album” brings back only your photos if you are logged into Google. If you aren’t logged in, then you will see all the public albums that meet your search criteria. This could prove confusing if you work with shared computers, or switch between Google accounts.

For some of the offerings like Google Voice, or Calendar, you will have to login or sign up for an account in order to use the feature.

The pros of WDYL are its speed, ease of use, it scales to any device, and you can customize it to work with any Google login. Because the sub-searches are in boxes in a grid view, the sidebar can feature a navigation grid that makes scrolling up and down a bit more precise and easier to accomplish. Cartoonist Scott McCloud’s pioneering work on visualizing images on the web, used a sidebar navigation grid that was way more elegant than WDYL’s, but I’ve always found that style of navigation to be intuitive and user-friendly.

The cons of WDYO are that it is Google-centric, and that because it customizes to your Google login, it could confuse a user. While Google is generally “good,” it should give all of us pause to trust any single site or company as our information source. For journalists, this is very important to remember.

WDYL.com isn’t going to beat blekko.com for elegant, scholarly, and specific searching, but it is easier to use than blekko, and its multiple search dimensions give you a quick and easy overview of your search domain.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

01

07 2011

No Internet, no news?

The riots in in Egypt have led to the government shutting down all Internet systems, and blocking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. So what of the citizen journalists? Well, they are finding a way. Despite SMS disruptions, thousands of people have been sending photos of the dead bodies, messages that scream: “Yes, this is a bloody war.” Many tourists on vacation in Cairo, and bloggers from around the world are stepping into the battle zone and proclaiming that they will get information out, regardless of the bullets being shot at them.

Here are links to some of the (VERY GRAPHIC) images that Egyptian citizens journalists are sending out: http://yfrog.com/h2k7satj http://yfrog.com/h71e4mmj http://yfrog.com/h3b3uyoj

Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) is a blogger in Egypt and he recently tweeted: “This is how you know the Egyptian government is worried: it just shut off tourist access to the Pyramids. #Egypt

To make matters even more difficult for citizen journalists of the world, the word “Egypt” is now blocked in China. Nobody can search Egypt, or read about the riots. Perhaps this is the the Chinese government saying, “Don’t get any ideas, folks.” And still, the Chinese are attempting to use various microblogging systems to see more.

No, despite Internet interruptions, news is getting out, and it is making the Egyptian rulers look like foolish beasts.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The identity crisis of Julian Assange

Dear Mr. Assange,

Congratulations. You are out on bail now. The sexual charges against you have been laid to the wayside, while your team of Wikileakers (hackers? citizen journalists?) are continuing business as usual. And by usual I mean, of course, the business of releasing top-secret Federal records into the hands of the general public.

Your desire for truth and transparency have led some to call you the supreme citizen journalist and a First Amendment hero (excluding the fact that your rights are void since you are Australian). Others have called you a scammer, a thief, a wannabe, and an attention whore. I would love to know, what title have you given yourself?

While the information you have released is interesting, thought provoking, and has certainly revealed flaws in the security systems of the US Government, I’m not sure what the information is useful for. I’m not sure of why you, especially, have such a strong desire for this kind of outing. I wonder why you do the work you do?

Does the general public, and in turn, do the citizen journalists of the world really need to know the meals ordered by the Prince of Saudi or dates of the imprisonments of Middle Eastern murderers? What purpose is there in allowing trained and untrained media professionals to spread this supposed news? And further more, is confidential information safe in the hands of citizen journalists?

I don’t expect you to answer these questions for me, Mr. Assange. Something tells me your interest is not in that of the citizen journalist, or the citizens in general; rather, you are more intrigued with the title you’ve been chasing for so long: anarchist celebrity hacker.

YouTube Preview Image

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)