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Roadmap for Open Source Documentary & Citizen Journalism Toolset Development

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The Echo Chamber is a documentary on the failures of the mainstream media, and how I produce this film will hopefully provide some solutions to this infotainment bottleneck.

I'm trying to develop more sophisticated techniques for citizen journalism by open sourcing my interview material and collaboratively producing The Echo Chamber on a Drupal/CivicSpace platform. More details are below...

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Phase 02: Coalition Building

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Keywords:

* Citizen Journalism Toolkit
* Media Reform
* Community of Practice
* Open Source Business Plan
* Symbiotic Relationships
* Ideological, Racial and Gender Diversity

Intention:

* Provide preliminary proof-of-concept by manifesting an infrastructure in Phase 01.
* Build a coalition of partners interested in reforming the mainstream media and developing a Citizen Journalist toolkit for collaborative content development.
* Open Source the Business Plan to make the strategic intentions for The Echo Chamber documentary more transparent.
* Connect this project with larger institutional agenda setters who are monitoring the progress and willing to adopt the best practices developed through the production of this film.
* Create a Community of Practice where there is enough logistical support to manifest the remaining phases of post-production and distribution.
* Create a diverse network of volunteers who are mutually interested in creating a technological infrastructure and citizen journalism methodologies that make the press more democratic.

What I have:

* I have four advisors: 1 Journalism Professor, 1 Film Advisor, 1 Communications
* Practitioner, and 1 Drupal Developer.
* A brainstormed list of groups potentially interested in collaborating.
* Contacts with some New Media leaders, Activist Technologists, and other SXSW panel participants.
* An e-mail list of contacts

What I need:

* Recruit an outreach director to help with building a broad and diverse coalition.
* Recruit producers to budget and help raise required funds for the remaining phases.
* Recruit more academic advisors from a variety of different disciplines who would be interested in the project.
* Recruit additional logistical support -- legal, technology, etc.
* Collaborate with activists and organizations who are interested in helping develop tools for the remaining phases of this roadmap.
* Help with spreading these intentions and desires to your respective social networks.
* Receive vouchers of credibility from trusted sources within the journalistic and blogging communities
* Marketing support from the center and edges of the blogosphere
* To get this project on the radar screen of small, mid-level or mainstream news organizations
* To create opportunities to speak with strategic decision-makers employed by the press as the project progresses.

On to Phase 03 Recruit Volunteers to Contribute Metadata on Interview Transcripts
Back to Roadmap

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Activist Technology M16 Meeting after SxSW

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I was invited to a gathering of Activists & Technologists on March 16th at the Ventana del Soul Internet Cafe in Austin after the last day of the SXSW Interactive Conference.


[inline:DSCN4195.jpg=Post-SXSW Activist Technolgy Gathering]

There seemed to some potential overlap with what I intend to do with The Echo Chamber Project and with what others are planning on doing with the same CivicSpace/Drupal platform.

I'm in the process of going over my lessons learned and planning my next steps for this project. I'm starting to solidify where I want to be in a year from now and what I need in order to get there. Hopefully I'll be able to form some symbiotic relationships with some of the participants of this Activist Technology group.

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Networking at SXSW Interactive

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I was able to get the word out about The Echo Chamber to a lot of people who have "social capital" in the blogosphere. My primary audience was the panelist participants, but I also found myself in many engaging conversations with people in the hallways and parties.

I was able to met a lot of great people out at SxSW, and I'm still digesting all of the different panels and post-conference Activist Technology discussion that I was invited to attend. It was a day-long gathering of activist digerati designed to build community and bridge the gap between Activists and Technologists.

I took a ton of written notes throughout the week, and I am trying to figure out the most efficient and quickest way to manage this knowledge for myself -- as well as disseminate it if possible. I'm hoping to go over my notes, make some audio recordings, and then some do some blog posts about it.

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Pitching The Echo Chamber at SxSW

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I must have pitched The Echo Chamber Project over 50 times over the last week at the SxSW Interactive Conference. I learned something new each time that I talked to someone about it because either new questions were asked or I adapted how I was speaking based upon the verbal and non-verbal feedback that I was receiving from them.

It is A LOT easier to pitch my project to people face-to-face, and by the end of the week I was able to convey the scope and relevance of my project relatively quickly and to many different people.

Here's the latest version of my pitch, and I'm sure that it'll continue to evolve over time:

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Attending SXSW Interactive Conference

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I've decided at the last moment to make the trip out to the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, TX. I've attended the film and interactive conference back in 2001, but this time I'm going to be focusing exclusively on connecting and learning with the Interactive participants.

I think that we're near a tipping point with the citizen journalism movement, and I want to come out and see what insights I can gain and provide to others.

Below is the pitch that I've been sending out to various conference participants. It's essentially three different pitches with increasing levels of detail. My hope would be that if they are interested in the hook, then they'll read the other two pitches.

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The Anatomy of Hitting the New Media Radar

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Today I got two links from some of the leaders of the New Media movement -- Rebecca MacKinnon & David Weinberger. Here's how it happened. Last week, I had a chance to bounce some of my ideas about citizen journalism with Rebecca MacKinnon at the Online Social Networking conference. We went back and forth, and I got her attention. I wanted to follow up with her this past Wednesday, but she got swamped with other things including a conference at the Nieman Foudnation called "Whose News?"

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Hitting the Radar Screen of the New Media Movement

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The Echo Chamber Project has hit the radar screens of some of the leaders of the New Media movement. Rebecca MacKinnon posted a link to my New Media Ecosystem and Dave Weinberger picks it up.

Here's an e-mail that I just sent to Rebecca.

Thanks Rebecca.

I orginally wanted to get my ideas to the people at this conference through you speaking to them, but I know that it'll get to them through these two blog posts.

Not only that, but these blog posts will trickle down to everyone else who is concerned about New Media issues.

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Deception Detection Techniques for Journalism

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Johnson et. al. provides a taxonomy for deception tactics and suggests heuristics to counter each of the tactics. I've only briefly summarized or pointed to Johnson et al's deception detection technique. I thought that it'd be useful if I provided a rough map to some of the insights from their article, and how they could be used in a citizen journalistic context -- or any other domain with the potential for human deception. All references can be found in Johnson et al's article.

I'll just give an overview of the technique and you can go and read the details more in their paper -- the juicy stuff starts on page #359 with the section called "A theory of detecting deception in financial information."

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Discussion with Transparent Journalist David Berlind

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This David Weinberger post directed me to ZDNet's executive editor David Berlind's Media Transparency Channel.

Berlind is attempting make the process of journalism more transparent by posting the complete audio of his interviews. A few weeks ago, I e-mailed Berlind a blog press release containing details of this open source documentary project. He responded to my e-mail this weekend, and I replied with a short e-mail pitch and suggested that he give me a call so that we can talk more about The Echo Chamber. He just called and we talked for about 90 minutes about challenges of transparency and the future of journalism.

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