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Task Discussion

  • Shaun McWhinnie   July 20, 2011, 7:56 p.m.

    Man, I suck.

    This is like 20 days late, due to being marooned in the Dordogne, but I thought I'd better get round to introducing myself. (Actually, I tried to post this from iPhone whilst I was away on Holiday, but for some reason the post button wasn't working. Technology.)

    I'm Shaun, I'm allegedly a Ph.D candidate, looking at creativity on digital mediums, but my passion is for making things. I graduated a few years ago from the University of Dundee's Interactive Media Design course(now Digital Interaction Design), where I was interested in Critical Design, design for debate, and learning just enough programming to get by. I'm interested in the MozNewsLab as I'm now looking for a direction, new people and ideas. You all seem like the good people ;-)

    Oh and I was in the anatomy of a Comment thread video that some of the UK based learning lab folk may have seen. I'm Spambot. Excruciating.

  • Phillip Smith   July 21, 2011, 10:26 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Shaun McWhinnie   July 20, 2011, 7:56 p.m.

    Thanks for that intro, Shaun, and welcome to #MozNewsLab!  :)

    Here's the embedded version of the linked YouTube above:

  • Phillip Smith   July 18, 2011, 9:22 a.m.

    When it comes to assignments, it's better late than never, right?  :)

    Here's my own video "thank you" message to those of you that have completed the introduction assignment with such pizazz.

    Also, my quick introduction for those I haven't met in the context of the Mozilla + Journalism initiative, or elsewhere along the road over the years.

    No songs, no juggling, and no freestyle rap! Just your zany #MozNewsLab co-host delivering the gospel & keepin' it real.  ;)

    -- Phillip.


  • Pippin   July 13, 2011, 8:35 p.m.

    Hey y'all. Since you guys having been killing it with some great videos I thought I'd kick start it off for the 3 shepherds here with the Mozilla team. We're here to help you guys create amazing shit and with any problems you have along the way. 


    The freestyle rap is at the very end!


  • Phillip Smith   July 14, 2011, 7:19 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Pippin   July 13, 2011, 8:35 p.m.

    Where's the freestyle rap? You totally faked us out.  ;)

  • Pippin   July 14, 2011, 7:29 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Phillip Smith   July 14, 2011, 7:19 p.m.

    We all know great things take time.

  • Jacob Caggiano   July 12, 2011, 2:31 a.m.

    Greetings Peers! Decided to write up a real intro in case you were wondering what I'm doing here:

    Part creator, part scholar, I like to go where the silence is and get the right voices to the right places (preferably at optimal resonant frequencies).

    Two sample videos I made that I'm proud of:

    1. Recent unconference highlight reel (featured by Knight Commission) from Beyond Books gathering, where we asked and demonstrated "What's possible when Librarians and Journalists meet?"

    2. Back during college in 2006 I earned the "fair use award" from American University Center for Social Media for this little short [note: some info has changed since, but message remains]

    Latest experiments include reporting and mapping the news ecology for the Seattle/Puget Sound region, partly with the help of my boy Mike Fancher (Retired Seattle Times Executive Editor, kept the ivory throne warm for almost 30 years, now seeking to embrace new media)


    I try to keep a .6 batting average or greater when it comes to my good/not-so-good idea ratio

    I get high off successful introductions and spontaneously meaningful conversations.

    Blogging at tweeting @futuresoup

    Most curious about issues surrounding data collection (intended and unintended), portability, ownership, security, retrieval, and sustainability.

    I love technology but regret to inform you that the supply chain continues to have a sad human rights record e.g.

  • Maura Youngman   July 12, 2011, 12:12 a.m.

    Good morning,

    My name is Maura. I'm generally just excited to be here.

    Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota - I received an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies and International Journalism from a little known private liberal arts college called Hamline University. Post-graduation, (2009! The joy of it!) I was lucky to be selected for an internship in Washington, DC at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, who later hired me on as a full-time staff member. I prsently serve as New Media Strategist for the Center. More of a hack than a hacker, in my spare time I do like learning about Drupal, trying my hand at Javascript and admiring ways to tell "the story behind the data." I'm interested in new models in international journalism, innovative/scalable methods of telling interactive, in-depth stories online and - again - generally just excited to be here.

    Very best,
    Maura (@mauramaura)

  • Phillip Smith   July 12, 2011, 9:50 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Maura Youngman   July 12, 2011, 12:12 a.m.

    Welcome! Great to have you on-board.  :)

  • Cole Gillespie   July 11, 2011, 11:53 p.m.

    i had to get one last thing in to try and 1 up jacob. ^_^ 

  • Jacob Caggiano   July 12, 2011, 12:31 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Cole Gillespie   July 11, 2011, 11:53 p.m.

    Ode to the sickness! Nicely done.

    Keep up the multimedia people! At this rate we're gonna get more than just great software prototypes...does anyone else smell an awesome mashup music video by the end of these four weeks...?

    If you don't feel comfortable with a musical instrument, freestyle a two min. lecture -- instead of slam poetry do some slam theory.

    Maybe (just a maybe now...) talk to the camera like it's some reality show...or you're filming a documentary (what happens when you take 71 knowledge hungry strangers and put them online to solve society's greatest challenges...???)

    We want to not only build stuff, but show people how to come together and build stuff.

  • Trina Chiasson   July 11, 2011, 9:46 p.m.

    And here's my intro video response to Chris and Jacob's "three-chord" programming analogy.

    WARNING: Major dork alert. Just be glad that I didn't introduce siteswap, a.k.a. the mathematical sequences that jugglers use to describe object manipulation patterns.

  • Phillip Smith   July 11, 2011, 10:47 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Trina Chiasson   July 11, 2011, 9:46 p.m.

    Love it!  :)

  • Jacob Caggiano   July 11, 2011, 10:57 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Trina Chiasson   July 11, 2011, 9:46 p.m.

    rad! Now regretting that I didn't bust out my contact ball & isolation hoop...perhaps next time...

  • Jason Spingarn-Koff   July 11, 2011, 8:08 p.m.


    Greetings from Cambridge, MA.  I’m really happy to take part in this course and meet the many talented folks here. I was born and raised in the Boston area, and have also lived and worked in Berlin, San Francisco, and (for most of the last decade) New York City.  My background is mainly in documentary filmmaking and journalism --  on topics ranging from global public health to robotics to East German architecture.  I recently spent three years making the feature doc “Life 2.0”, which investigated the impact of the virtual world Second Life on people’s “real” lives, relationships, and identities.  Then I came here to MIT as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow, which provided me the wonderful opportunity to take classes including interaction design and social television at the Media Lab and cyberlaw at Harvard.  In this rich intellectual and creative environment, I’ve become increasingly interested in digital journalism innovation, and have had a chance to turn some outlandish ideas into design prototypes.  I’m especially excited about CrowdCam (my Unlocking Video entry, a crowd-sourced mobile video platform), which I’ll continue to refine here and hope to launch by end of the year.  Last but not least, I’m the proud father of a 3-month old baby boy... so if you hear some baby crying or squealing in the background of our online chat sessions, you’ll know why.  

  • Cole Gillespie   July 11, 2011, 3:49 p.m.




    video intro ( looks like a japaneese tanslation at the end d^_^b oh well) 


  • Phillip Smith   July 11, 2011, 3:55 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Cole Gillespie   July 11, 2011, 3:49 p.m.

    This is great.  Be sure to tag your video with #MozNewsLab on YouTube!  :)  

  • Jacob Caggiano   July 11, 2011, 6:55 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Cole Gillespie   July 11, 2011, 3:49 p.m.

    I believe Phillip needs the "#" symbol in the video tag, just to be safe I would tag all videos with MozNewsLab and #MozNewsLab until he says one or the other to make sure they show up in the stream he's making

    Phillip, "#" symbol or no?

  • Phillip Smith   July 11, 2011, 7:15 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Jacob Caggiano   July 11, 2011, 6:55 p.m.

    Yep. Just like on Twitter: #MozNewsLab

  • Laura Hilliger   July 11, 2011, 3:16 p.m.


    Complete with failed attempted to upload...should work now

  • Phillip Smith   July 11, 2011, 3:56 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Laura Hilliger   July 11, 2011, 3:16 p.m.


    Excellent.  Be sure to tag your video with #MozNewsLab on YouTube!  :)  

  • Jeremy Gilbert   July 11, 2011, 3:12 p.m.

    I'm @jeremygilbert and I teach media product design at Medill, Northwestern University. I hack around a little, but basically I'm a designer at heart. I teach classes that pair journalists and computer scientists, help people understand prototyping/usbility and how to think about telling online stories. In my spare time i do some design work for mobile/tablet applications. 

  • James Greenaway   July 11, 2011, 2:53 p.m.


    Hello there! My name is James @jvgreenaway
    I am a student at Ravensbourne, London studying graphic design. I also work for a small design studio and freelance creating websites using the newest technologies the web has to offer for clients who mostly are un-interested :(
    I work on projects in my own time and want to start developing realtime web applications, specifically in node.js.
    I have a lot of ideas for projects and like the idea of being able to collaborate with people like yourselves with enthusiasms and a spectrum of experience.
    From this learning lab I hope to learn how to get my ideas into fruition and start making things, faster, brush up on my coding knowledge and socialise with other creatives.
  • Bello David   July 11, 2011, 1:33 p.m.


    My name is David. I’m a professional web/mobile developer living in Bogota, Colombia. I have experience with development with Javascript/JQuery, .NET and Java technologies.
    My interests are social interactions/networking analysis in any social activities such as social networks, forums and conversations, scientific production, among others.
    You can check my blog here.
  • Rhiannon Coppin   July 11, 2011, 1:06 p.m.

    Thought I'd say hi before the first lecture gets underway!

    I was working over the weekend posting web items for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC's) British Columbia and Alberta web sites. This is the second place I've worked as a web writer, photo editor, web editor, etc. so I have some insight as to what news organizations are facing or thinking when it comes to online presence. (It depends a lot on the internal newsroom and management culture.)

    I used to think I wanted to be an engineer of the computer/electronics variety, but decided in 2003 to go into journalism. I've since completed a master's degree program with an investigative focus at Columbia University's journalism school. I'm still looking for a place to use both sides of me -- the nerdy number coding side and the wordy story people side -- and I think I want to keep poking around in journalism to find it.

  • Cody Shotwell   July 11, 2011, 12:56 p.m.

    Greetings, fellow learning labbers!

    I'm Cody Shotwell, coming at you from charming, evergreen Olympia, Wash., conveniently located in the Learning Lab's 'most official' time zone!

    Right now I'm corralling the creation of a social-networking web application, SeedSpeak (funded by the Knight Foundation). I'm an Arizona State University grad, and my fascination with digital storytelling began at the Cronkite School's New Media Innovation Lab.

    Though a storyteller at heart, I've recently developed an interest for interaction design and user experience design (there's definitely a connection there, no?), and I look forward to building those skills over the next month.

    I'm excited to learn and collaborate with all of you!

  • John Tynan   July 11, 2011, 12:37 p.m.

    Hi everyone!

    I fully encourage you to NOT watch the YouTube Video that I recorded for my introduction.

    Instead, I suggest you check out the the popcorn.js presentation here:

    Look forward to learning and working with y'all!


    The YouTube video can still be viewed here:

    But really, you'll be missing out on the "snarky me" as well a preview of some amazing html5 video technology:

    "Popcorn.js is an event framework for HTML5 media... Popcorn.js allows video, audio and other media to control elements of a webpage. Combining our library with a mixture of standard HTML + JavaScript, authors can let their media be the “conductor” of interactive and immersive experiences."  

    You can create your own presentation using Butter, the popcorn.js authoring tool here:


    And it's from Mozilla!