Mobile Journalism: class blog


Readings, links + reactions for 10-7-09


A mobile connection for the Hispanic community
Urban Architects: How Mobile Changes the City

CNN introduces $1.99 iPhone app
Distributing films on the iPhone
Starbucks introduces mobile commerce

A great overview of paper prototyping
Some good tips for prototyping
Why low-fi prototyping kicks ass
A shorthand for designing UI flows


Filed under: readings

lecture links 9-30-09

Public Radio Player explained:


Paper Prototyping Examples:

A basic paper prototype:

An iPhone-specific prototype:

OK, really, this is JUST PLAIN AWESOME:

Filed under: lecture links Our Group Notes

Our mobile observation notes are being collected at:

I have also included a feed from the drop as a sidebar on this site during this process.

Don’t forget that the notetaking process ends on end-of-day Sunday!

Filed under: Homework

Africa/Japan Brainstorming

We spent two hours of class today learning about the many innovations happening in the mobile space in Africa and Japan. The two approaches couldn’t be more different–Africa takes a decidedly low-tech approach, while Japan takes an almost laughably high-tech route–but they both have generated an incredible amount of innovation that simply doesn’t exist here in the states. While some of it is out of reach, others can be easily adapted for mobile use here.

Taking what you heard–and researching further, if you’re so inclined–do some speed brainstorming around ways to adapt African and Japanese innovation for domestic use.

POST A TOTAL OF 15 IDEAS IN THE COMMENTS (no more than 2-3 sentences per idea) .

Spend NO MORE than 10 minutes on this brainstorm–part of the point is to train yourself to think quickly, as we will be doing more brainstorming next week.

Here are some very good tips (on a very ugly website) on how to brainstorm.

Filed under: Homework

Mobile/Local: assignment one

For the first assignment in our Mobile/Local project with Chicago Public Radio, I’d like for you to do a survey of the current local media landscape. This will help us to figure out new directions, define well-trodden ground, see obvious holes, etc.

This means looking at local media—the big ones and the small ones, from the Tribune to Gapers Block, Channel Five to Chicago Defender.

Choose FIVE–go for diversity, not everyone needs to do the Sun Times–and do the following:

• Define their coverage area both in terms of geography and in terms of audience. Who is this site for and where do they live? How are they catering to those needs?
• Define their focus. Are they covering every aspect of life in Chicago, or only focusing on certain aspects?
• What are they doing well? Consider this question carefully.
• What are they doing poorly? This one too.
• What is their mobile strategy? Define this by:
–visiting their site from a web-connected mobile device. What happens? Is it usable?
–visiting their website from a computer and see if they’ve clearly defined mobile instructions.
–figuring out if they’ve got an app, or are partnered with an app (for instance, what local stations are on the Public Radio Tuner?)

Post your findings in the comments here, so we all have access to this information..

Filed under: Homework

readings, links + reactions for 9-23-09

Readings for this week will fall across three themes for our new project: Public radio’s place in the world today, how mobile devices are transforming the idea of “local,” and the design process.

How One iPhone App Could Save Public Radio
Public Radio Dangerously Close To Making Public Radio Obsolete
Why National Public Radio’s Mobile Web Approach Works

Mobilizing For Mobile: Are News Organizations Lagging
Your Digital Content is Worth Zero to Consumers
Mobile Internet Use Shrinks Digital Divide

Experience the World Instead of Talking About Experiencing the World
See and Hear With the Mind of a Child
Plus–and this branches between Design Thinking & Journalism–a note from the creator of the Pulitzer-Winning Politifact about the design process: Demos, Not Memos


Filed under: readings

Your Mobile Blog. Link it up

Get set up on Posterous. It’s so easy.

Please paste a link to your new mobile blog here. Give a quick two-sentence description of what its topic is. Here’s an example, which happens to be mine:

Scenes from a Commute: a photo blog documenting the daily commute from home to downtown through two photos: one for Inbound commuting and one for Outbound.

Filed under: Uncategorized

App Reports: due 9-16-09

As talked about in class today, Apps have been a major differentiator for the iPhone, and has kept the platform as an innovation leader. While there are all sorts of inventive and interesting apps, browsing through the app options, you’ll see that there are very few that deal specifically with journalistic concerns.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the many Apps available don’t provide some interesting concepts for adaptation for journalism. For instance: What’s a Foursquare for news look like? Or a Yelp for city services?

For this assignment, choose ONE App from the Apple App Store, Google Android Marketplace, Blackberry App World, or other mobile app store (some will be pretty slim pickings through). And:

• Document what the app is, how it works, and what is innovative about it.
• Give FIVE ways that some of the core concepts or technologies in the application could be adapted to serve journalism. This can be a basic list, calling out each piece.
• Using that list as a starting point, flesh out the user experience of this new journalistic application in narrative form. How does a person use this application? What do they do with it? What services does it bring them? What is the experience like?

The total report should be around 400-500 words. Please post it to the comments of this post.

Filed under: Homework

Readings + Links for 9-16-09

We will be joined by someone from Ushahidi, a company that’s taking SMS information and adding geolocational information in order to report on elections, humanitarian crisis and more. Started in Africa, this open-source initiative has it’s been used around the world. Please familiarize yourself with their site and some examples of the way it’s being used, including in the recent Afghan elections.

A good overview of mobile reporting in Nairobi:

Would something like this work in the US?

Mobile Media in Africa
Extending Google to Uganda

Japan offers an interesting case study: massively advanced phone hardware, pretty low-rez phone software. And almost no traction outside of the country, says the New York Times.

A good example of both Japanese phone interfaces and some of the next-gen stuff they can do:

Cell Phone Novels in Japan

These readings are a complement to your App reports, and speak to a larger picture of open systems vs closed systems and technical dominance over a space.
How big is the iPhone economy?
App store censorship issues (a single case–be sure to read the followup linked on the post)
Apple: Rotten to the core?
Google says App Stores are a temporary solution
Before the iPhone

Please give your reactions to these readings in the comments below, to help get our conversations started on the 16th.

Filed under: readings

Lecture Links 9-9-09


We’ll be joined briefly today by Kelly Niknejad, the founder of Tehran Bureau, one of the best news sites during the post-election protests in Iran. Here’s a story from the National Public Radio about her.

Chants from the rooftops captured on cell video
The Wall Street Journal on #CNNfail
Andrew Sullivan’s collection of Tweets from Iran

Iran’s Cell Phone Shopping Mall:

A Brief History of the Mobile Web
Apple introduces the iPhone
Smartphone sales to beat PC sales by 2011
iPhone users pick mobile web over newspapers
Mobile marketshare chart

Filed under: lecture links

class documents

other mobile news