Tag Archives: innovation

Cheezburger Network’s Ben Huh asks why we consume news like it’s 1899

Posted on by sbhatt

Ben Huh, a former AAJA member and Northwestern University journalism grad, is founder and CEO of Seattle-based Cheezburger Network. He’s recently blogged about problems he sees with how news is presented online today, and ReadWriteWeb reports on a new news platform Huh is developing – The Moby Dick Project. Be sure to add your comments to the conversation!

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Hacks/Hackers Seattle kicks off Nov. 11 with free food

AAJA Seattle members Sharon Chan and Karen Johnson are joining forces to hold a kickoff event for Hacks/Hackers Seattle on Nov. 11 at Havana in Capitol Hill.

Come out and show your support and learn about this interesting group!

There will be FREE food from Marination Mobile sponsored by Patch.com!

Hacks/Hackers is a group that was started by former AP bureau chief Burt Herman (now CEO of Storify), Aron Pilhofer of The New York Times, and Richard Gordon of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Read a piece Herman wrote about Hacks/Hackers’ origins. Gordon has written on PBS’ MediaShift blog about the first truly national gathering of Hacks/Hackers last spring in San Francisco.

Hacks/Hackers meetups have become common now at national journalism conventions, including at this year’s Investigative Reporters and Editors convention in Las Vegas. (We gathered at the hotel bar, of course.) The group has received sponsorship from the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge and has attracted journalists and technologists from all over the country. Former New York Times reporter and AAJA member Jenny 8. Lee is a key organizer for Hacks/Hackers now.

Hacks/Hackers chapters are forming one by one across the nation, and our own Sharon and Karen have taken the initiative to get the Seattle one off the ground.

Chan, who covers Microsoft for The Seattle Times (and finishing her term this year as AAJA National President), sent out this invitation:

If you’re a journalist who cares about technology and the future of media, you should come. If you’re a technologist who cares about journalism and the future of media, you should come. Journalists call themselves “hacks,” someone who can churn out words in any situation. Hackers use the digital equivalent of duct tape to whip out code. Hacker-journalists try and bridge the two worlds.

Hacks/Hackers Seattle will bring all these people together — those who are working to help people make sense of their world. It’s for hackers exploring technologies to filter and visualize information, and for journalists who use technology to find and tell stories. In the age of information overload, all their work has become even more crucial.

We aim to help members find inspiration and think in new directions, bringing together potential collaborators for projects and new ventures.

RSVP and get your free ticket at http://seattlehackshackers.eventbrite.com.

For more information about Hacks and Hackers check out http://hackshackers.com.

The event is in partnership with AAJA Seattle and the Western Washington Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Calling all AAJA Seattle entrepreneurs!

Posted on by sbhatt

Have you launched your own company recently? Do you have a story to share about your media company?

Our AAJA Seattle membership has many talents, and more and more of them are pursuing their passions as a business. These entrepreneurs are working day and night, seven days a week, to get their ventures off the ground and achieve profitability.

It’s time for them to be recognized for taking a risk and trying to create a new product, service or adventure they can call their own.

Let’s meet three of them.

Calvin Tang, AtlasOmega

Calvin founded social media news web site Newsvine.com in 2005. Two years later, MSNBC bought Newsvine for an undisclosed sum, marking its first acquisition ever. He continued to serve as chief operating officer of Newsvine for the next three years.

From 2005 to 2010, Newsvine grew to over 4 million users, 15 million monthly pageviews and came to power virtually all of interactive features across the MSNBC Digital Network family of brands, including properties such as the NBC Nightly News, TODAY Show and The Rachel Maddow Show.

He also is founder of the Northwest Dive Club, a passion that turned into his next career move.

Earlier this year Calvin left MSNBC to launch AtlasOmega.

Here’s how the site describes its value:

“As we enter the virtual age of ‘the real-time web,’ where stories are packaged into successfully smaller sound-byte sized units, repurposed and republished with little value added – AtlasOmega swims against that current, by producing original, feature quality stories and images about the wildest and least known parts of the world.”

“All of our explorers and adventurers spend enormous amounts of time and energy in the nitty-gritty details of preparation, equipment selection, technique and safety. Yet, these critical aspects are oftentimes never known by the person who enjoys the final result, be it an in-depth story about a pioneering expedition or a stunning set of images that bring to life a lesser known part of the world.”

“AtlasOmega tells the story behind the story, and sets out to answer the question, ‘How did they do that?’”

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Caroline Li, EarthWalkers

Caroline is founder of social media travel web site Earthwalkersmag.com and its print edition, Earthwalkers Magazine. She is also vice president of events for AAJA Seattle, freelances stories and works for TD Wang Advertising Group, a full-service marketing agency that helps companies reach the Asian-American market.

Here’s what Caroline says about her venture:

“I started Earthwalkers because of my love for journalism, travel and international issues. It’s also my answer/vision to next generation journalism.”

“Earthwalkers Magazine and the Earthwalker Community were created so that travelers could make the most out of their travel experiences and continue learning when not traveling. Earthwalkers’ mission is to educate and inform readers about the world through in-depth features and first person stories from the Earthwalker Community. We’re not only building a network for travelers, but a magazine that writers and local bloggers can call their own.”

“The website is a hybrid of user generated content and social network where members are encouraged to share their appreciation for travel by sharing their stories, joining groups and being available to other like-minded travelers around the world.”

“The content on the Earthwalkers website and in the print edition is written by members of the social network. Most stories are written by Earthwalkers that are local bloggers and travel writers while more in-depth features are written by freelance journalists and our Common Language Project team.”

“Through our travels and the people we meet, we hope to unravel the wonders, the forgotten, the shadows, the beauty and the truth about our world. We believe that the world is about more than trade negotiations, poverty and luxury vacationing, but full of people just like you and me that are celebrating, surfing or struggling through life – because in the end, we are all just passing through.”

Who does Caroline expect will use her site?

Journalists & Bloggers: Earthwalkers Magazine is a platform that bloggers, journalists and travelers can use to promote their writing, photography and video. Your user profile is your writing resume/history with Earthwalkers. Writers also have the opportunity to be published in the print edition of Earthwalkers, receive paid writing assignments, and join our Earthwalkers core reporting team on stories around the world.

Like-minded Travelers: So you’re an Earthwalker. You’re going to visit another country but you don’t know anyone there. You don’t want to do the typical toursist thing while you’re there. Get on Earthwalkers, search for other Earthwalkers around the world and connect with them to get insights, advice or even plan to meet up.

The Curious Learner: Just browsing? The stories on Earthwalkers are insightful, informative and inspiring. Regardless if you are traveling or not, it’s important to be informed about world issues.

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Christine Chen, Chen Communications

CEO, Chen Communications

Christine is founder of Chen Communications and frequently requested moderator of business and community events.

Christine is an 18-year veteran of broadcast journalism, launching shows on FOX and PBS in Seattle. She launched her marketing consulting group in January 2007 and has built an impressive list of clients in a relatively short time, including Microsoft. She was a speaker at the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles.

“It’s more important than ever to tell an engaging story, define relevance and pick the right places to share that story,” according to her site.

Christine is in great demand as a moderator of community events. In October 2009, she moderated TechFlash LIVE: Women in Tech, an event that brought together a who’s who of women in technology.

And this past August, Christine moderated the Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network Event on the Eastside, an event that drew more than 300 people. The panelists included Kirk Nelson, Washington President of Qwest Communications; Bob Donegan, President of Ivar’s; and Anne Fennessy, Partner at Cocker Fennessy.

Christine says her marketing communications consulting firm specializes in connecting companies and communities for business through strategic thinking, messaging and outreach.

The firm offers these consulting services:

    * product and service key messaging/positioning
    * presentations and media training
    * content production for web, print and video
    * social media messaging/strategy/tactics
    * traditional PR strategy/pitching.

What differentiates her firm from other PR/MarCom consultants?

According to Chen, her firm “fuses traditional and new media approaches at a senior level, with an editorial eye and unique perspective on branding. Practical experience and tactical execution power a virtual team that is called on for projects, as needed, keeping overhead down and passing the savings on to the client. We are able to work with C-level executives as well as larger teams, as an outsourced service provider or as integrative team members.”

She’s also the creator of the blog xboxbride, which catalogs what happens when a non-video gamer weds an avid video gamer.

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I’d like to have AAJA Seattle host a workshop in the not-too-distant future on entrepreneurship.

We led the way in January 2009 by holding the Choppy Waters workshop at the University of Washington in association with its Communication department.

And several of you have joined startups in our area, like Patch.com. We want to hear about your experiences too. Send your story to us.

If you would like to become more involved in new experiments in journalism, you can!

AAJA Seattle participates in Journalism That Matters, which meets once a month to discuss current startup ideas in the region and to support their leaders. If you’d like to participate in JTM, please email me at sbhatt[at]seattletimes.com.

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Sea Beez meetup: Best practices in journalism

Posted on by sbhatt

The “Sea Beez” ethnic media project is holding a roundtable on best practices in journalism from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 23 at KOMO’s Fisher Plaza.

In May, AAJA Seattle and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ) co-hosted the launch party for the Sea Beez project, which aims to build the capacity of Puget Sound area ethnic media and empower them to strengthen their business and journalism practices.

Julie Pham, managing editor of Northwest Vietnamese News, directs the project. Pham invites AAJA and SABJ members to the event on Sept. 23. The project’s website is seabeez.com.

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Keep an eye out for jobs in mobile news, product development

Posted on by sbhatt

Just days after attending a panel discussion on mobile advertising, I spotted a blog post on Poynter about news organizations hiring people to develop strategy for delivering news on mobile devices. Apparently, the Orlando Sentinel, CNN.com and Philly.com have each dedicated resources to paying attention to their presence on cell phones – particularly smartphones like the iPhone – with an eye toward capturing more traffic and eventually ad revenue.

And if you know how to develop mobile apps, well… let’s just say you’ve got full employment for the foreseeable future. Gannett and News Corp. are looking for mobile app developers, while The Washington Post is searching for someone with the right chops to be their new mobile product manager.

The folks in the Poynter blog post have some interesting points about the mobile platform. For years now, newspaper editors have talked about how their journalism is “platform agnostic,” which means they don’t define themselves by how they distribute their content. The leading news organizations have been cultivating their skill at leveraging the unique strengths of those platforms on big breaking news stories. The web story has immediacy, virtually infinite flexibility for updates and crowdsourcing, and viral distribution. Print has the weight of that first draft of history, lovingly composed page designs, and longer, in-depth reportage for those who make the time to appreciate it.

I love this quote:

“Having a mobile manager has helped everyone realize how we have to treat content differently on the platform,” said Roger Simmons, director of content/East Coast for Tribune Interactive. “I love the fact that at any given time the top stories on the newspaper front page, website and mobile site might all be different — all tailored to the needs and expectations of our readers.”

The next platform – mobile – offers newspapers a second chance to avoid the mistake they made with the web, according to Ken Doctor, the author of  Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. The prevailing norm on mobile is one of paying for useful content, unlike the web browser.

“For local newspapers, this is the biggest opportunity in a decade for a do-over,” Doctor said at the ASNE convention this year.

And just the other day, the chief marketing officer of Unilever told an audience at the International Advertising Festival that the Number 2 advertiser worldwide plans to double spending on digital marketing this year. The company spent only 4 percent of its $864 million in measured media last year on Internet spending, according to an article in Advertising Age. But the company is rapidly moving to shift its marketing spend to be proportionate to the amount of time people spend with digital media.

So you do the math: How much time do you spend consuming content on your television? at your PC? on your iPhone?

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