Last week brought collaboration and some awesome insight on what a news room is like on the inside. The trending theme in all the lectures from mozNewsLab last week was the importance of collaborating and working together in the news room. Shazna Nessa said that at times you may have to drop everything you are doing when news breaks in order to get quality content out as fast as possible.
Aza said in the very first lecture that the hard part about software is not programming but culture. Aza is not the only one that shares this idea. It was repeated in every lecture last week. Communication, collaboration and politics can really spur innovation if they are executed improperly. So what can we do to combat those three things? I think listening to the issue at hand and breaking it down logically is one way I deal with others when they request my help. Really understanding the problem that someone comes to you with makes a huge difference when you are trying to solve things for others.
Knowing who to go to when you want to make change and how to influence the “big fish” of the news room ( or in any work environment ) is very important to the success of you novel idea. One thing I took from the lectures last week is that usually a few people really run the show in news rooms. If you want to make a change you are going to have to sell your pitch to these influential few. To do this it will take patience. You will have to really take a step back and figure out what it is that you are going to have to do to influence the ones that have the largest influence.
At the end of the mozNewsLab some people are going to be placed into news rooms. They are going to be thrown in and expected to preform. We are going in with these novel ideas that more than likely are unlike anything that has been done before in a news room and I guarantee there is going to be resistance. To the lucky few that do get selected, you better be ready to combat this resistance in the most friendly non combatant way possible. If you want to make change you are going to have to find the ones who have the power to influence change and make an impression strong enough to give them the courage to hand you the reigns. Once you have the reigns you are either going to crash and burn or you are going to make a huge difference in the way news is delivered from now to the future.
To everyone in the mozNewsLab, it has been an awesome month of talks and collaboration. I wish the best for all of you.
computers do what you tell them
programming is easy
geeks love to share
geeks take the data you give them, save it and then redistribute it to their friends in an API. In my project I am going to be using the following tools to programmatically mine geolocated social media for the web news media:
those are the only tools i need to grab up to date, user generated data and embed them into my own web page. For those of you who are not sure how to easily grab endless data using jquery and json please refer to my recent gist.
please ask me questions in the comments and let me know how i can help you get your prototype up and running
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” In the sixth century Buddha said the same thing that Aza stressed to us in our first lecture last week. An idea is worthless unless it can be communicated. It all starts with a simple thought.
Throughout the week one slide from Aza’s presentation has stuck with me. The life of a prototype. After fridays optional lecture on data visualization it made sense to create an interactive version of Aza’s slide. Based on the mojo lectures this week I have come up with some advice on how to successfully build a prototype. Below I will merge Aza’s advice on rapid prototyping and Burt’s advice on success.
Follow your passion and come up with an idea
Undoubtedly following your passion will cause you to conjure ideas, this is where it all begins. The first step in a prototype’s life is an idea. Your brain acts as an idea incubator, cradling newborn ideas until they are ready to be released into the wild. The only way to really know if an idea will influence others is to set it free and move on to the next step of a prototypes life.
Write it down and send it to everyone
So you think you have a great idea? Write it down, it is ok if it is a sloppy misspelled email in the middle of the night. Writing it down is you telling yourself that you want to bring this idea to life. By writing it down you are one step closer to making it happen. Share it with your friends and try to build a small community around your idea.
Create a wire frame with your team
Your idea has caught on and you have built a small team from the community you formed by sending out your write up. Now it is time to create a simple wireframe that will show people what your idea may look like. Once you feel comfortable with your wireframe move on to the next step and make something people can “touch”.
Hack out a proof of concept
Just build the thing! In the shortest amount of time possible create a working prototype. Prove to yourself that your idea can work. Once the prototype is complete get it out there for people to play with.
Make a video demo and prepare for feedback
Once you get a video out there it will be easy for people to connect to your idea and find some sort of use for it. Once people start to use your prototype make sure you stay flexible and listen to the users, they will have a ton of feedback so get ready for feature requests and suggestions!