As the digital landscape becomes increasingly complex, and as businesses become ever more comfortable using the web to bring their product and audience closer, the techniques and principles of museum curatorship can inform how we create online experiences—particularly when we approach content.
I’m pretty proud of this product, as you might tell, but I’m a partner at a distance. I basically cobbled the equipment together and made it work and then stood out of the way as a small group of volunteer student journalists – all students I have taught in my online-journalism courses – have taken the reins and set off on the path to the future.
The livecast, which is open to any student that would like to participate (no auditions), is captured through a single $200 web cam, connected to one of the 20 Lenovo PC’s in the NewsHub in Dempster Hall. We use the free Livestream.com web service to enable and distribute the livecast. It’s rough around the edges and totally representative of a pioneer web ethic.
Students are encouraged to report in video and in text for each article they cover for NNL. Many stories are done with both. The videos are simple interview captures and are not heavily edited.
Flip Cam Videos Are the Reporter’s Kit
The streamcast producers use Flip camcorder video that has been shot by NNL student reporters during their reporting and publishing to NNL over the previous week, and use the student journalists’ text stories to create a script, collaborating on it by using Google Documents. The process starts at noon and goes until the script is complete and everybody is ready. The streamcast is run in a live newsroom, thus the laughter and noise you hear in the background. It’s live and it’s a newsroom.
The first streamcast of the semester is always a wonder to view — and sometimes a wonder that it happens — as the students do this out of love and pure dedication for journalism. They are all busy with full class loads, internships and jobs outside of the university.
Anna Gallese, a senior from Bennington, Vt., is the behind-the-scenes producer of the webcast this year. She handles the Livestream dashboard and calls the shots. She got the job last year when the former producer wasn’t able to make one production day, and she happened to be around. She liked it, learned how to work the board in an hour and now runs it.
Tim Robertson, a graduate student from Maine who has been editor of Nassau News Live since its inception in February 2009, is the leader of this effort. It’s been my pleasure to teach Tim in two classes and work beside him on the student-run, hyperlocal Nassau News Live. He oversees this operation of over 100 student reporters and nearly a dozen volunteer editors, any one of whom would be a great addition to any journalistic organization.
Chari Bayanker and Michael Salerno are our high school and college sports editors, respectively. They write and record their segments earlier in the day.
Tayla Holman is the anchor this semester with script writing help from Samantha Eng, a graduate student and assistant managing editor of NNL, as well as Felicia Cruz, Jaymes Langrehr, Jory Heckman and Lisa DiCarlucci, who is our community supervisor, managing our Twitter (@nassaunews), YouTube and Facebook presences. The StatsThe livestream newscast has logged over 108,000 user hours since becoming operational in April 2008, one of the first college programs to use the sophisticated service then called Mogulus. Nassau News has had over 280 student members producing over 860 articles since January 2009. According to our Google analytics, the site has hosted 38,000 visits and served nearly 100,000 page views to visitors from 140 countries, while covering the news in four media under-served communities surrounding the university — Hempstead, Uniondale, Roosevelt as well as Garden City. While the site has a global reach, 25,00 visitors have come from New York, and the majority of these from Long Island. It is a joy to see and I can’t wait to see what the last streamcast of the semester will look like as the students always improve it each time out.
“We, alas, in too many ways, have been what the writer Kurt Andersen called “The Grasshopper Generation,” eating through the prosperity that was bequeathed us like hungry locusts. Now we and our kids together need to be “The Regeneration” — the generation that renews, refreshes, re-energizes and rebuilds America for the 21st century.”—
Tom Friedman in Sunday’s New York Times (Feb. 21, 2010)
The other day I went to my C-Town to get some groceries and I noticed that each register had a printed out piece of paper haphazardly taped to the pole with the lit aisle number on it. It said “Check into C-town on foursquare and receive a free canvas reusable shopping bag.”
And now, that same C-town is on tumblr. Please go there. There’s this weird tiled image macro background, that, if not for it being in Helvetica, would look like some sort of microsoft word clip-art malfunction. The fact that it is in Helvetica makes it look like some weird anti-consumerist piece of modern art.
Which is kind of the balance I would use in general when discussing my grocery store’s recent foray into social networking. Is this some kinda silly attempt at being cool? or are they SO cool that they infiltrating what we think is cool and dramatically revolutionizing it forever?
“I made my bucket list while I was serving in Baghdad. Its odd how a list of things to do before you kick the bucket could motivate you to stay alive. Instead of having my troopers write death letters, I had them write bucket lists. One of my guys unfortunately lost a leg, before that he had stated in his bucket list he wanted to learn how to snow board. You can now see a one legged man snowboarding all over Colorado.”—A Guide To Creating a Proper Bucket List | The Art of Manliness
“all the goods of the Information Age—all of the expressions once contained in books or film strips or records or newsletters—will exist either as pure thought or something very much like thought: voltage conditions darting around the Net at the speed of light, in conditions which one might behold in effect, as glowing pixels o transmitted sounds, but never touch or claim to “own” in the old sense of the word.”—Selling Wine Without Bottles