My last blog post was all about MozFest and how fantastic I found it. It’s taken me some time to write it all up as there was so much to take in and how all that applies to what I’m doing with my final year project.
Journalism is story telling, but is Social Media really citizen journalism? I think this is a misconception that can be easily made about sites like Twitter and what purpose they serve. These sites are not curated; they are not verified.
The aspect of story telling is something which I hadn’t given a great deal of thought to. The presentation from Colin Burns earlier in the semester focused a lot on telling stories. A lot of the work that he did with Elmwood was around telling the story of a brand, and that was often through highly engaging visuals.
Popcorn, and more importantly Popcorn Maker, was one of the key takeaways for everyone at MozFest this year. So what does it do? To me, it’s interactive story telling. That sounds a lot like what I want to do, right?!
Time-based media is one of the greatest things which the internet delivers to us, and it is one of the greatest things we can contribute to the internet too. I hope to help tell stories about events that are happening right now, with engaging and interactive real-time media. This media will be sourced from people. Citizen Journalists.
What was happening when that interview was filmed? Where were they? Who else was near by? How did these events unfold? What’s happening right now?
Consisting of a desktop computer site, and a mobile site, possibly the same document achieved through responsive web design, users will consume and contribute content to build a better understanding of the world around them.
Right now I’m working on a couple of S.W.O.T analyses. First of all looking at existing contribution and consumption networks for citizen journalism. I will then look at services that help people create and consume real-time data visualisations. Combining the outcomes from these two, I plan to start feature-finding to identify where others are failing and succeeding. I had planned on spending some time visualising this with some graphic design, but I might make something interactive.
After a tutorial with Graham I’ve focused where the current fork in my current project is. As I see it, I’m either creating a service for people to create content and upload. Alternatively I’m creating a curation tool which will bring in content which people are already creating on the internet.
At the same time I have to consider whether what I am building is a tool, a medium, or both. For the likes of journalists my service could work as a tool for visualising and understanding user generated content, and applying interrogation to withdraw and specific information that they are looking for. Or it could simply be somewhere for people to read about events that interest them, in a visually engaging way.
There is not a pressure to decide this straight away, but there will likely come a point when I have to make this solid commitment.
We are finally into our new studio and it’s lovely. Freshly painted and full of eager 4th years.