Findings

Interesting links, found when looking for information related to the homeless:

Street Papers: A Guide to Getting Started (PDF, but it loads pretty quickly), from the North American Street Newspaper Association

Taxi developed a jacket designed for homeless people to stuff with newspapers to keep warm.

That was posted by Springwise, which has a category for innovations in media and publishing. Here’s the top 10 from 2008:

  1. MagCloud — Magazine publishing for everyone & every niche
  2. Faber & Faber — Out-of-print books, printed on demand
  3. Flat World Knowledge — Open source approach to textbook publishing
  4. Blurb — Marketplace for book makers
  5. Kidmondo & BabyChapters — From online baby blogs to printed baby books
  6. HarperCollins — Publisher hopes crowds will spot next bestseller
  7. Relay & WWF — All-you-can-read digital magazines
  8. Random House — Selling books by the chapter
  9. Kluster — Crowdsourcing platform
  10. Offbeat Guides, Tripwolf, HSBC & Dorling KindersleyPersonalized travel guides

That’s all from Springspotters – the “world’s largest idea-spotting network.”

“The Springspotter Network consists of more than 8,000 global business and marketing-savvy spotters, who recognize a new business idea when they come across one. A vibrant mix of cool hunting, new business ideas and trend spotting, findings are sent to our team of researchers and editors, and may be featured on sites like Springwise new business ideas or trendwatching.com. Anyone can join, and accepted contributions get rewarded with cool gifts.”

Published in: on February 15, 2009 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Findings: mixing it up for mental stimulation

On my computer monitor at work is a saying from a fortune cookie: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

 But sometimes it’s hard to imagine doing something else. I don’t mean just “I am fill-in-the-blank-occupation and this is what I’ll always do.” I don’t mean just work, and I don’t mean deliberate resistance.

I mean that it can be difficult to perceive or to think in a different way from what we as individuals normally do.

And that can be a drawback, because grooves can become ruts.

My friend Anna Haynes pointed me to a New York Times article by Janet Rae-Cupree, who says, “it becomes nearly impossible to look beyond what you know and think outside the box you’ve built around yourself.”

This is called the curse of knowledge. Some examples are: “It’s why engineers design products ultimately useful only to other engineers. It’s why managers have trouble convincing the rank and file to adopt new processes. And it’s why the advertising world struggles to convey commercial messages to consumers.”

I think it’s good for people in general and journalists in particular to do things we don’t ordinarily do, to travel outside our comfort zone, in order to broaden our exposure and stretch ourselves.

I acknowledge that I should get out more, but there are many ways to poke outside your natural self. My paper, The News & Observer, requires that all journalists have some training outside their own field every year.

But we can step outside ourselves by doing something as simple as randomly changing the radio station and listening to whatever pops up. Or for the 21st century, we can do it with random web pages.

Published in: on January 2, 2008 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Findings: E-Paper, BBC, etc.

Via Read/Write Web: The BBC plans a streaming version of its online video player. The Beeb also made a deal with a wi-fi hotspot vendor for free access to its site.

Via e-mail from the Media Giraffe Project: video on “The State of Citizen Journalism,” the opening session of Journalism That Matters — The DC Sessions.

Via Slashdot: the first in a series of interviews about e-paper. Nick Sheridon worked on e-paper at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, and he says Xerox flopped with innovation because it had little vision past its core business.

“Much has been written about the incredible myopia of Xerox executives of the time,” Sheridon said, “so I won’t go into that except to say that there were numerous other opportunities to enormously expand Xerox’s business that were similarly fumbled. Xerox had enough money to create an incredible research lab with top-notch people, but Xerox management could not shake off the copier mentality.”

Published in: on October 17, 2007 at 5:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knight News Challenge

Less than two weeks are left to enter the Knight News Challenge. The grant program is awarding up to $5 million over five years for digital innovations for geographic communities.

The deadline is Oct. 15.

(more…)

Published in: on October 4, 2007 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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