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The Top 10 disruptions/innovations reshaping journalism

A key point of NewsTools2008 is to identify the technologies with the potential to reshape journalism. We've organized some of them in 10 conceptual "pods" for after-dinner coffee klatsch discussions on Wednesday, April 30. Here's the list, with the names of the folks who will each take 60 to 90 seconds to introduce the "space" and pitch the ensuing discussions. (ADVICE TO HEADLINERS)
  1. Trust and quality measurement / Fabrice Florin / David Cohn
  2. Social, civic, news and gaming networks / Dave Mathison./Jim Moore.
  3. Data mashups and portability / Bill Allison, Mary Hodder
  4. Aggregation, linking, tagging, filtering / Scott Karp. / Vineet Gupta.
  5. Personalization, localization, geocoding, geotracking / Dan Visnick / Paul Lamb
  6. Syndication, distribution, widgets and feeds / Bob Scoble. / Thomas Marban
  7. Open mobile, phone, PDA and tablet technology / J.D. Lasica
  8. Identity, authentication and audience / Kaliya Hamlin.
  9. Print on demand / distributed printing / video-on-demand / Eduardo Hauser and Chris Peck.
  10. Ownership/financing: Social investing / the new "profits" / collaboration/cooperation / Tom Stites./Bill Densmore


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Comments of Tom Johnson

EX Tom Johnson:

Seems to me that #3 ("trust") is closely related to #8 and #9.

And "every phone is a camera."

I would also suggest that GIS and GPS are driving and will drive a ton of new activities, and the industry doesn't have much of a clue about what these things are and how they can be used. (EVERY story has geographic aspects.) So how do we employ those tools as additional ways to understand phenomena and to better get the story to people who will care about it.

Additionally, we are in the very early stages of something for which we do not quite have a vocabulary yet, but there are examples. See FreeRice.com[1] or the project translating the instructions for the One Laptop Per Child project into obscure languages [2] And I'm just working on a project that will try to link persons unknown in the Spanish-speaking world to translate the manual(s) for Netlogo [3]into Spanish. All this as an open source/effort.

These are examples of some new form of global cooperation using digital tools for a common objective. They happen, I hope, with very little direct management, yet new resources -- with great but local utility -- emerge. Again, with relatively little investment except by those who (a) originally create the software and (b)those who have the time and inclination to put it to work.

If these are emergent trends, what's the impact on journalism? (1) They further undermine the elitist concept of "central authority," which journalism has long claimed. (2)These examples are taking place without concern for government authority or national/state legal systems. (3) They are taking place without the need outside traditional political systems and, thereby, presenting more opportunity to citizen participation in a way that enriches the political stew. (See this reporting on SuperDeligates [4]) (4) There are rapidly expanding tools for data visualization, which, when done well, can deliver much more insight than text. (See Music Listening History [5]