Wick Communications

Open up to open source

In Online media on 7 Feb 2013 at 3:49 pm

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 11.24.32 AM

Hey everyone! Ready to build a JavaScript mapping library?

Well, me neither. I confess that the very language of the computer coding world turns my head to mush. I’m trying hard to get over that. I know that I am not now ready to build code for the kinds of cool data visualization projects I can envision in my head, but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk a good game. And you can too. You just have to open your mind a little and follow the developments happening all around us.

Twitter is perfect for this.

In fact, @kevinschaul has already done much of the heavy lifting. Schaul is a University of Minnesota student and one of the first Online News Association AP-Google Journalism and Technology scholars. He has created a list of the Twitter handles of some of the best thinkers on the point at which journalism and technology meet. Just log in to Twitter and click follow. (I learned about Schaul here.)

Then let it wash over you a bit. This isn’t an intensive study assignment. I just want you to look at the range of possibilities and to understand that, while relatively sophisticated for us, these projects are doable — Maybe not today, but quite possibly soon.

The important thing is to stay current when it comes to the arc of the delivery of news. I want you to understand the exciting times we are living in and to consider your next step. Think about how you might use open source code in a perfect world. Sooner or later, you’ll figure out how to use it in the far from perfect world we live in. Keep these kinds of skills in mind when there is a new hire at your place. Ask potential interns if they have created cool web tools. …

And follow Kevin and his pals. It’s the first step on an interesting journey.



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