Q&A: Rusty Lewis on CMN’s new business model

Q&A: Rusty Lewis on CMN’s new business model. It just hit me: College Publisher inadvertently made it cost-effective to hire a developer and host it yourself. Student publications who don’t, and instead pay $2K/year for a terrible CMS while also donating their advertising revenue to CMN, aren’t long for this world. I can’t believe College Publisher would stick this to 80% of their clients.

Ev Williams: The Challenges of a Web of Infinite Info

Ev Williams: The Challenges of a Web of Infinite Info. According a co-founder of Twitter, “what’s ‘dead’ is the original model of the web, which was completely distributed and decentralized.” Instead, large corporations will own huge tracts of land of which netizens sharecrop small plots. The corporation will control how the community operates and how individuals form their identity.

This future is slavery.

Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell on the future of software

The biggest thing for the near future is auto-cars, which will change everything… The costs are there right now. The Google car actually was cost-effective. Think of no traffic congestion, highways that can hold 30 times as much traffic. Half the energy costs. It just goes on and on. The only issue is how powerful will be the Luddites.

[The chief objection of the Luddites will be] the Schumpeterian creative destruction of entrenched interests. For example, every Teamster, cab driver, UPS driver, all these drivers will need to be retrained. Insurance will drop to a fraction of what it costs now. People don’t understand how horrible the average driver is. The number of body shops will be 20 percent of today. It’ll be disruptive, and they will not go away without a fight. Of course, bars will do a great business because drunk driving will be OK.

The first phase will be to keep the seat belts and seats facing forward. After a while the passenger compartment will become a more communal experience, with a table, a desk, a video screen, etc. Think about being dropped off at a restaurant and the car parking itself a mile away for $3. In San Francisco, as I remember, it’s currently over $20 for parking.

CNET Q&A with Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell (via Kurzweil A.I News)

Thoughts on Twitter (as it applies to education)

Susie Bartel, a University of Oregon journalism student in Feature Writing 1, is writing an article about instructors using Twitter as a part of their curriculum. She requested I offer my opinion on Twitter as it applies to education. The questions are hers via email; I thought I’d respond on my blog so she could link to it as primary source material (even paragraph by paragraph thanks to WinerLinks).

Susie: When did you start using Twitter? Was it for personal, professional, or educational purposes?

I’m almost positive I joined Twitter in April 2007, although I don’t think I started using it regularly until that summer. Since episode 1, I’ve been a regular listener of Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech. I believe I heard Twitter mentioned first in this episode, and signed up shortly after.

In 2007, all use of Twitter was experimental. There was no distinction between personal, professional, or educational. It was a new tool, and people had to invent how to use it. Since the beginning, up until about three weeks ago, I used Twitter as a mix of all three. I posted images from awesome vacation sights, scored a two-year gig at Publish2 by tweeting “I want to live in startup land”, and tapped the knowledge of people smarter than I by tweeting questions I’ve run into.

Susie: Have you always been open to using Twitter?

Yes, until three weeks ago.

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Public Media Collaborative != Portland Media Lab

Both, however, are highly complementary projects to increase media fluency that will be able to build off each other in many ways.

On Friday afternoon, I had the chance to connect with Susan Mernit of Many Hats, Inc. for the very first time and Cornelius Swart of the Portland Sentinel and Portland Media Lab. I’ve been invited to work with Cornelius on the Portland Media Lab; our very first meeting is tomorrow, Monday the 15th, and I thought it would be worthwhile to talk with Susan about what they’ve learned in the several months the Public Media Collaborative has been developing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The goal of the Public Media Collaborative is to educate local communities, non-profits, and grassroots movements on how to use a lot of the social media and publishing tools that are now available to empower people and build democracy. In Susan’s opinion, this is a bit different than the mission of the Portland Media Lab, but both Cornelius and I agree that tools training is at least a half of what we’d like the media incubator to be.

Our conversation with Susan about both projects is the first thirty minutes or so of the audio. We cover the origins of the Public Media Collaborative, what type of training it has accomplished thus far, and Susan’s community news startup of the very new future, Oakland Local. After she leaves, Cornelius and I talk a bit about ideas for the Portland Media Lab and what the future of journalism might hold in general.

As a note, I started editing the first fifteen minutes of audio before I realised how much I want to be a production engineer. If you find any major kerfuffles, let me know and I’ll update the production value.

Interview with Cornelius Swart of the Portland Media Lab

Cornelius Swart, Publisher of the Portland Sentinel, talks about the takeaways from this morning’s journalism sessions at BarCamp Portland, introduces the ideas behind the Portland Media Lab, and presents one reason why he’s optimistic for the future of news and journalism in Portland. Learning about the Portland Media Lab on Thursday personally made my day. The skeleton of what Cornelius is proposing seems very similar to the type of community empowerment work Jackie Hai and Richard Caesar are doing with the Amherst Wire, and I can very easily see the Portland Media Lab becoming an incubator for the type of journalism Portland needs.

Ryan Knutson on J school and optimism

Ryan Knutson on J School and Optimism from Daniel Bachhuber on Vimeo.

I had the opportunity to get lunch today with Ryan Knutson (@UOknutson), a former colleague at the Daily Emerald that I respect and consider a friend. He’s several weeks away from graduating with a double major at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. Given the current state of the newspaper industry, and thus the education industry that feeds it, I thought it might be interesting to ask him about his perspective on the situation, where his felt his J school was successful and where it needs to improve, and why he’s optimistic about the future of news.

When he discusses the journalism school, I think there’s an important note to be made: most of the value in the education he obtained was from the skills he learned, not necessarily the academic side of journalism. As the tools and methods needed to do journalism change at a greater and greater pace, the four year approach of the university becomes an inappropriate and ineffective mechanism for delivering knowledge. I think this is a large root cause reason for why J schools are having such difficulty in trying to figure out what to teach. They have an idea of what will be applicable today, but not four years down the road. On the plus side, though, there will be more and more demand for weekend or short-term workshops to learn special skills such as Flash, database design, Final Cut Pro, and the basics of editing audio.

Interview with Deo of Village Health Works

Video removed on the request of Village Health Works.

Isaac Holeman chats with Deo, the Executive Director of Village Health Works in Burundi, about his clinic in Kigutu supported by Partners In Health, what the need is (Burundi is the poorest country in the world according to a 2006 World Bank report), and where he hopes to take the project in the future. If it isn’t conveyed in the interview, Deo has had a tremendously lucky life that he’s taken full advantage of. At the conference Isaac and I attended last week, we were fortunate to hear Deo speak on two occasions, a panel on “How Poverty Enters the Body” and a Saturday keynote. The PIH bio on Deo is another good source of information on his experiences and current work.

A couple of notes on from my end. First, apologies for the shakiness. I’ve learned that, for Flip interviews over 5 minutes, tripods are a must. Second, I didn’t realise at the time how distracting the background noise would be. We’ll make sure to find a quiet place next time.