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Posts Tagged ‘techraking’

How Can Gaming Platforms Be Used For Participatory News? Conference Will Explore Possibilities

TechRaking, the conference series dedicated to “collaboration among journalists, innovators and community members at the intersection of journalism and technology” is back for round two, this time focusing on gaming platforms as a way of engaging participatory news gathering.

You may remember when we covered the first TechRaking conference at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View back in April. That conference focused on investigate reporting, bringing together technologists and muckrakers. The second installment, to be held in September just before the start of the Online News Association conference in San Francisco, will focus on social gaming’s role in public information.

And the conference itself will be gamified, too. Participants will be divided into teams and develop pitches for game ideas that connect palyers in “radically new ways.” The winning team will receive incubation money to jump-start its idea with the Center for Investigative Reporting, a sponsor of the conference.

The event will be held at IGN headquarters; registration is limited.

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15 Newsroom Tools From CIR’s TechRaking Conference

The Googleplex where TechRaking was held.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — About 200 journalists and techies gathered at the Googleplex yesterday to try to find a more perfect union between muckrakers and technologists at first-ever TechRaking conference. One of the common themes: If we have to do more with less, then technology has to make up the difference. That means we need more tools to help us do things more efficiently.

Albert Sun, a New York Times programmer, captures the problem in a blog post:

A lot of effort at journalism innovation has been focused around the product that our readers experience. People are doing great things to take advantage of the new storytelling forms and new ways of engaging with people that the web browser and the internet have made possible.

But I want to turn some attention to the opposite side of things. What about all the myriad tasks that lead up to writing and producing a story that represent most of the work that a reporter does? Where is the innovation that makes that work faster and easier?

Read more

TechRaking 2012: Three Questions To Ask Before Building A News App

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — Today at the Googleplex, a group of roughly 200 journalists and technologists are talking about how to create a more perfect union between muckrakers and technologists at CIR’s TechRaking conference. The Chicago Tribune’s Brian Boyer gave a seven-minute ignite talk directed toward “the people who are bosses of people who put data on the web.”

Boyer’s metaphor? News apps are like pottery: It’s supposed to be useable; it’s a craft. Does your mug still work when their’s hot coffee inside? Or does the handle force your fingers to touch the cup, burning your skin and rendering the cup unuseable?

The  questions Boyer’s team asks before approaching every project:

  1. Who are you users?
  2. What are their needs?
  3. What can we do for them?

The example he used was for a nursing home database. The users? People with elderly family members in nursing homes. Their need? They read scary reports about nursing home abuse and want to know if grandpa is going to be OK. What can you do for them? Give them a database so they can search for offenses at Grandpa’s nursing home.

Just because you have location data and time information doesn’t mean you need to build a map and a timeline. In the example above, Boyer had the information for nursing home locations and time of incidents, but that’s not what’s useful for people using the app.

“Our work sings when it helps folks find their own story,” Boyer said. Don’t overdo it for the sake of overdoing it.

His final four points:

  • Craft is useful
  • Fight your urges
  • Know your audience
  • Make useful stuff