Techno flashback time, here’s The Cure, with their big hit “Just Like Heaven.” It’s an impressive mix, but electronic music should have a good mix. Decades before the really heavy techno and house productions brought in booming bass and robotic beats, the guitars and bass and drums of The Cure might not sound overly produced to today’s ears. But those chorus keyboards, high and lofty above the mix are the pioneering sounds that put them in the synth pop bin back in the day, right next to The Eurythmics, Depeche Mode and The Pet Shop Boys. This song’s intro starts right off with a huge drum hit and the bass line. The bass holds it all together while the rest[…]

There is a lot of hope that tablets will save journalism as we know it. That hope is by current industrial providers of news content. Here’s a clip from Pew’s recent State of the Media report on magazines: The good news for magazine publishers is that the newest mobile devices, particularly tablets, may provide a particularly good environment for magazines. Research shows that people read more long-form content on the new devices and that they spend more time on magazine apps specifically than with those of other media. The bad news for magazine publishers is that the number of platforms they must compete on is proliferating.  Keeping up with the rapidly growing array of new technologies that consumers are adopting[…]

  Revolution Yoga Draws Cyclists for a Double Workout | Fitness Classes | Washingtonian. I shot this for the photo gallery of Gabriella’s website when we were putting it together. I didn’t like the background then, but it has been appreciated since. Washingtonian asked to run it with a story they did on G’s Revolution Yoga classes that combine spinning and yoga.

Sorry, one of my primary rules of journalism comes from Jim Lehrer: “No anonymous sources, because no one should ever be able to do harm anonymously.” I stand by that. No anonymous comments. You want to sling hash, you put your name on it. Ryan Broderick has a job I suspect would make me flee the grid after about two days: He’s BuzzFeed’s community manager, responsible for combing through about 22,000 comments a month, reports Adweek’s Charlie Warzel. Broderick says comments, even the worst ones, have a socio-biological explanation: “There is a social realm where things are rationally sorted and then there’s the anonymous place that brings out a person’s base instincts. It can become a frothing, bubbling cauldron of insanity,”[…]

Since Matt is a friend and a colleague I highly respect, it isn’t a surprise that I am overjoyed to see that his drone project is being funded. But I cherry pick this quote from the story because it really reflects my philosophy towards tools and skills in journalism as one of the professors who are dedicated to teaching technology in the communication space. Read it and see if you get what we are talking about. The lab isn’t a class unto itself, as many have assumed. Rather, Waite and Kebbel consider drones a “tool” that helps teach and build on basic reporting skills. “Could we teach ‘smart phone journalism?’ ” Waite said, drawing an analogy to another journalism “tool.”[…]

We used to say that content was king. Really, it is the user who is king and always has been. The user is the sole, undisputed and perpetual ruler of their own time and attention. In social media, it isn’t the content that’s at the center, it is that the user who liked the content or shared it that is at the center. In social traffic driving, it is that relationship between the sharer and the story that makes us check out the content. We observe first and then look to get information about why our friend thought it was worthwhile. We consume all or part of it along the way, but the users are still kings. They are, after[…]

These are great general guidelines that apply to all storytelling: narrative, non-linear, game-based, documentary, journalism, or straight creative fiction. For truelife or reality-based storytelling, the guidelines are the tightropes of storytelling bias – how the lens and perspective used to view and depict reality to another distort the reality. For fiction, these tips help your characters and plot be more real, more engaging. #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. #2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different. #3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at[…]

When people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. These shortcuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether. Asked about the bat and the ball, we forget our arithmetic lessons and instead default to the answer that requires the least mental effort. via Research Shows That the Smarter People Are, the More Susceptible They Are to Cognitive Bias : The New Yorker.

I wondered whether she could suggest a strategy to deal with the online civility issue, so I e-mailed her at her office, at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. Her courteous and thoughtful reply followed straightaway: Dear Jeffrey – I wish I could offer a solution to this one! Groups that have some chance for occasional discussion either directly and through representatives have much greater chances for cooperation. One strategy used by some groups successfully is “shaming.” Some housing co-ops post the name of any member that did not attend a workday or is behind in voluntary payments on a prominent board for posting announcements. Helps keep these infractions down. Shaming has to fit the[…]