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NEWS UPDATE: NewsTools2008 ARRIVAL DAY -- bullet-point summary

This is the last all-participant note before we convene at NewsTools2008 / Yahoo on Wednesday at 4 p.m. You can read it as a bullet-point reminder of key issues and logistics, with links back to appropriate detail on wiki pages. If you have last-minute questions, call us at the numbers listed on the bottom of this note.

You can view earlier countdown messages at:



We begin together at 4 p.m. *sharp* on Wednesday at Yahoo! Inc.'s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters. There's no parking available to us on Yahoo's campus. But we expect to have arranged a facility about two blocks away. As of 7 a.m. on Wed., we are still awaiting final word on a parking option about two blocks from the Yahoo headquarters where we will be meeting on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday (701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale.) The best option is going to be to look for public parking adjacent to the Lockheed Martin Transit Center at Mathilda and Fifth avenues -- then walk about two blocks north to Yahoo. Here's a LINK TO DETAILS.

Please go to our transportation page for mass-transit options. Check that page before you get in your car for an updated parking advisory -- or call 413-458-8001. Here's the URL: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-transportation

Did we forget to tell you? ... dress casual

Did we forget to tell you? It's perhaps a little late now. But dress is casual.

Piano players -- we've got you covered, not American Idol

For the "untalent show" on Thursday after dinner at the Domain Hotel, we've secured an upright piano. That service as an indication that while business and serious three-to-five-minute presentations are fair topics on Thursday, we're also hopeful we'll have some entertainers in our midst. The cardinal rule on Thursday -- this isn't American Idol -- you won't be judged on your performance -- whether giddy or profound.

Registration from noon at the Domain Hotel

Yahoo asks that we not begin arriving at their campus until after 3 p.m. We will have registration materials ready to be picked up by noon at the Domain Hotel and there are comfortable spots to start meeting-and-greeting fellow participants -- whether you re staying at the Domain or just arriving in the area earlier from elsewhere in the Bay Area. If you join us early at the Domain, you should be able to leave your car there and take our van shuttle to Yahoo (below).

Van service from the Domain Hotel

We have hired a commercial livery service, Mosaic Global Transportation Services (a black mini-bus says "Rollz Royce Limousine Service" or there is an unmarked white full-size van), to move us back and forth between the Domain Hotel and Yahoo, about a 15-minute ride. Please check the schedule at: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-van . . . the hotel itself also has a smaller, seven-passenger van that may be able to make some one-request trips. Ask for a copy of the van-services schedule if you check in at the Domain.

The program -- and posting reports

We want to capture as many of the ideas, applications and next steps as possible -- for the benefit of colleagues who can't attend NewsTools2008. So breakout convenors are asked to make sure they designate a notetaker for post. We're setting up templates linked from: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-sessions

REMINDER: Did you indicate meal attendance / about Friday night

Both at Yahoo and the Domain Hotel, we've developed meal and break-out food options with choices which include options for vegetarians. From Wednesday afternoon until Friday suppertime, you won't have to worry about meals. And after an on-your-own evening Friday night, we'll feed you continental breakfast and a bag lunch on Saturday. If you haven't done so already, please complete our food-planning form, so we have accurate meal counts. There will be complementary dinner wine on Wednesday evening at Yahoo, and a cash bar on Thursday evening at the Domain Hotel. If you are a NewsTools2008 registered participant, and haven't already done so, please make your meal reservations: http://mediagiraffe.org/newstools2008_reg.php

Meet you in the Bytes Cafe on Friday?

An intentional feature of NewsTools2008 is an open period on Friday night starting after our end-of-day reception at Yahoo. From there, shuttle vans will provide a ride back to the Domain Hotel. Take some time to plan dinner, work or fun with new colleagues on Friday. If you don't make a plan, we have one for you: The "Bytes Cafe" at the Domain Hotel. This just-opened restaurant has a full bar and a light a-la-carte menu and it's open exclusively for NewsTools2008 participants and our guests on Friday night. Do you have a friend in the Bay Area who didn't have time for NewsTools? Invite them for dinner to meet our collaborators! For details see: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-restaurants

Location change -- Saturday programs at Domain Hotel

Note that all NewsTools2008 activities on Saturday will take place at the Domain Hotel. The program and attendance for the NewsTools2008 / Northern California Society of Professional Journalists "Innovations in Journalism” segments grew too large to be staged at Yahoo. Details are at: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-spj

Tapping into the network -- the roster

In your registration packet will be names, phone numbers and email addresses of all participants. In the room on Wednesday will be at least 160 people, all of whom know more about something than you do. Tap this NewsTools network next week and in the future. If you want to print the list now for pre-event review, send an email request to jtm@mediagiraffe.org and we'll shoot you back the download URL (not posted here to avoid email spam-collection bots!)



The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided special support for "Drupal Day" breakout activities on Friday. The foundation is seeking worthy Drupal development projects through the Knight Drupal Initiative and digital news and information projects through the Knight News Challenge. Both programs aim at helping citizens be better informed to participate actively in their communities. Knight believes that open-source content-management platforms and digital innovation can help build online news resources that have an impact in real communities. Knight was a supporter of DrupalCon in Boston. http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-drupal

Video plans . . . and we're "on the record"

Kara Andrada of the Maynard Institute is the "go-to" person for our archive video and video-streaming plans. Please let her know if you’re bringing gear (kara.Andrade@yahoo.com ) Kara has created a video-streaming site which we'll be trying to use for some of the key sessions and breakouts. Here's the link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/newstools2008

In addition, several people will have video cameras and may be recording. We encourage posting of YouTube-style event video, using the tag "newstools2008. -- We may produce one or more post-event video wrap-ups.

We are declaring the entire NewsTools2008 event to be "on the record" and available for non-commercial, public use. If a particular breakout convenor would like to put their session "on background," it's their responsibility to clearly say so at the start, and get buy-in from all participants. In that one instance, we'll respectfully ask that recording devices not be used. Otherwise, your presence at NewsTools2008 represents consent to use of your image and speech for non-commercial, research, analysis and review purposes in any medium and form.

Report tagging / Flickr / Twitter / Technorati / Del.icio.us etc.

Our earlier note told you about or social-networking plans. Kara will take a moment on Wednesday night to go over these options. If it's all too confusing for you, remember the email adress jtm@mediagiraffe.org -- you can use that to email us reports and observations for us to post appropriately.

One new note -- the folks at Youth Radio in Oakland have agreed to try and audio record some of our sessions -- and particularly the events on Saturday. Thanks to Mishat and her team!

A busy Saturday -- broadcast keynote

Josh Wilson and the rest of the crew from the Society of Professional Journalists organizing the program for Saturday at the domain hotel report that KQED Public Radio will be taping for broadcast the keynote panel and KALW may cover the rest of it Saturday’s “Innovations in Journalism” event. Many of the participants in NewsTools on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are part of Saturday’s panels.

The 1:45 p.m. panel, “JOURNALISM BEFORE PROFITS: The Future of Public Media,” will be video recorded and available on the web so that NewsTools2008 participants participating in a concurrent wrapup session won’t miss it.


A reminder that several folks will be snapping still photographs throughout NewsTools2008 and we’ll be posting them on Flickr and elsewhere. You’ll be able to find them by searching on the Flickr tag “newstools2008” – like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/newstools2008

Kara Andrade writes: “Bill, I just finished setting up our newstools Flickr. The group name is "newstools" so just have folks add us on as a friend and start tagging EVERYTHING with "newstools2008" and than whatever other tag after that.”


We’ve improved the links on the transportation page to highlight how to get to Yahoo using CalTrain and light rail: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-sv-transportation#Public_transit_links


Sheldon Rampton, co-founder of the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison, Wis., will be joining us this week at NewsTools. He has written this op/ed piece on the Pentagon pundit scandal, broken by The New York Times: http://www.prwatch.org/node/7261

Faye Anderson regrets to help community

MGP/JTM alumn Fayne Anderson will not be able to join us this week. She wrotes: http://www.blackvoices.com/blogs/2008/04/28/reactions-sean-bell-verdict

“In the wake of the verdict in the Sean Bell case, community leaders have scheduled meetings to plan and coordinate the community's response. The response will include direct action and mass mobilizations. I have been invited to participate in the meetings to help tell their story.”


Should last-minute questions (or suggestions!) arise, Newstools2008 organizers will be staying at the Domain Hotel starting Tuesday night:

  • Bill Densmore's cell: (617) 448-6600
  • Yahoo event coordinator, Julie Wildhaber: (408) 336-0984
  • Domain Hotel event coordinator, Christina Henshall: (408) 260-3606
  • Stephen Silha's cell: (206) 819-3755
  • Peggy Holman's cell: (206) 948-0432