Saturday, November 10, 2012

Voting for the First Time 第一次投票

On the eve of 2012 presidential election, I gave a 6-minute talk about my experience of voting for the first time as part of a mini TED on Nov 5, 2012. The video ended up on the TED blog.

"What one does may not change the outcome of an event, but it's never in vain. To participate is to say 'yes' to life, to join the force of life." I feel really honored to be given the opportunity to tell my story. I hope it has inspired some people to vote.

视频有中文字幕,按"Select Language",选择"Chinese, Simplified"。

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How To Do News Online: Think of News as Data

Thomas Baekdal‘s critique on what newspapers did wrong in their approach to online news has attracted a lot attention. I think his suggestions also apply to us broadcasters if we want to develop a strong online presence.

Forget the limitations of on-air broadcast

“Newspapers need to stop thinking of news as an article,” Baekdal said, “People do not want a format. They want news.” Likewise, broadcasters also need to stop thinking of news as a audio or video clip with text. The Internet has no limitation on distribution schedule either. “Everything is now!”

Think of news as data
The wrong way to bring news is to create 170 articles and just post them on your website. That just wastes people time. There is no way to differentiate between topics, get the bigger picture, or dive into the details.

Instead, think of news as data. Some news, like the analysis and the insights, are perfect as an article. The stream of news, as the story develops, is perfect as a live stream. The rumors and speculations are better as a list. The quick overview is best presented like an illustration.
Here is a nice example of how that could be done for a complicated big story.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Communication Strategies and Tools from Project Argo

NPR’s Argo Network (formerly known as Project Argo) involves collaboration among 12 local public radio stations in three time zones with various numbers of bloggers and editors at each station. How its members communicate across timezones and locations offers lessons for anyone looking for collaboration strategies and tools.

One-to-One Communication


The team has been using email, phone calls, Twitter and Skype. Lately they start augmenting phone conversations with PiratePad that allows members to share document editing in real-time, more immediate than using Google Docs. "Despite the surfeit of tools to choose from, however, the most valuable one-on-one interactions we can have are in person," said Matt Thompson, Argo's Editorial Product Manager. "Of course, this is the most time- and resource-intensive way to communicate. But there’s still nothing like it."

One-to-Many Communication


The team used GoToMeeting initially, but it requires too much advance set-up and coordination, and has trouble with Mac. "We’ve since moved to a lower-fidelity approach, using free tools. Join.Me to share desktops, and FreeConference.com for voice communication," Thompson said. "For a small fee, FreeConference.com allows us to record the audio when we need to. Pair that audio up with video of the related slides, and you’ve got a webinar recording." To capture and share best practices, the team uses the Argo blog and the Argo documentation site.

Many-to-Many Communication


Webinars and phone calls help. The team is also creating a Stack-Overflow-esque board that allows members to discuss issues and solicit advice as a group. "There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to keeping in touch," Thompson emphasizes, "What’s served us best are flexibility and adaptation. Setting up a phone call over Twitter while we trade notes in a PiratePad. Using Basecamp to agree on a time for a webinar that mashes up FreeConference.com with Join.Me."