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Echo Chamber Project Receives A $55,000 Grant


I'm happy to report that through a series of connections that The Echo Chamber Project has received a $55,000 grant for the next year of operations. Below is the text of the four-page grant that I submitted to the foundation, who prefers to remain anonymous.

I am also pleased to report that I have made it past the first round of the Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge competition, and am in the process of submitting a full proposal.

The Echo Chamber Project explores collaborative investigative filmmaking by using new media technologies as well as a repository of original video interviews with journalists and scholars. It is a project that details the limitations of American journalism while at the same time embodying innovative solutions through collaborative media production. In short, it is an independent filmmaker's "YouTube" combined with "Wikipedia" for serious journalism.

Radical innovation is needed in order to discover both sustainable business models for hard-hitting investigative journalism as well as new ways of maintaining influence and audience attention with trustworthy content. The Echo Chamber Project explores the two key trends of Online Video and Tapping into Collective Intelligence through Citizen Participation.

Continued below is a brief overview of the history and scope of the Echo Chamber Project, as well as a funding request for a total of $55,000 for the next year of operations...

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Breaking Radio Silence with a Quick Update

I just wanted to break the four-month radio silence here on the blog to let folks know that I intend on releasing some alpha-level collaborative editing functionality with the 15 journalist interviews.

I'm addressing some bugs and getting things ready to start having some folks help filter, tag, edit and sequence together sound bite segments. More details soon...


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Echo Chamber Project's Collaborative Editing Demonstration at Vloggercon

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Watch Quicktime Video | Watch Flash Video

This is my demonstration of the collaborative editing workflow for The Echo Chamber Project during the Politics and Social Change Session during the first day of Vloggercon. Total run time is 9:15.

This software demonstration is at the prototype phase, and I'm transitioning to a private alpha and then a public beta over the next couple of months.

Please sign up as a user if you're interested in getting more involved with the project as it evolves.

More background information can be found in this post: Iterative Media: Treating Collaborative Media Like Open Source Code

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Iterative Media: Treating Collaborative Media Like Open Source Code

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The second day of the Beyond Broadcast Conference split into smaller working groups, and I attended the "Iterative Media: Treating Media like Open Source Code" session with about 30 other people.

The idea was to draw parallels between open source software development and the trend towards interactive and participatory media.

The Echo Chamber Project has been very much influenced by the open source production model, especially after watching the Revolution OS documentary about the free and open source movements -- as well as reading Eric S. Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

Here is some of the discussion that came out of session as to how it relates to The Echo Chamber Project:


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Video: Media, Politics & Social Change: An Overview of The Echo Chamber Project

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Flash Version

This video provides explains how the media fits into political and social change and specifically addresses the following questions:

* How is the Press supposed to Work?
* How and why does the Press act like an Echo Chamber?
* How is media changing?
* What does it mean that the "news is becoming a conversation"?
* Will these new media changes affect the nature of politics?
* How does The Echo Chamber Project fit into all of this?

Featuring: Amy Goodman, Lawrence Grossman, Jim Lobe, Jonathan Landay, Richard Sambrook, Jay Rosen, Dan Gillmor, Jeff Jarvis, Doc Searls & Merrill Brown.

You can subscribe to the Interview Audio here or browse it here.

Additional interview transcripts are here.

Sign up as a user here.

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Building a Theory of Collaborative Sensemaking

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Using new media technology to make the filmmaking post-production process more collaborative has uncovered some interesting theoretical insights. It has introduced some constraints that have allowed me to abstract some broader concepts that can be applied to journalism and collaborative sensemaking.

Below I explore some of the parallels between Collaborative Filmmaking, New Media Technology, Journalism, The Intelligence Cycle, Knowledge Management Pyramid and the Scientific Method...

* Constraints Can Be Good
* Scaling Up Complexity with Folksonomy Tags & Playlists
* Towards a Theory of Collaborative Sensemaking

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Technology Audio: Conversation with Sean Coon about The Echo Chamber Project

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Listen to a conversation that I had with Sean Coon, who is a web developer and consultant that got in touch with me after listening to a good number of my interview and community podcasts. We had an hour conversation talking about some of the trends in new media as well as where The Echo Chamber Project is headed.

Sean is very excited about the project from both a technological and political view, and so I look forward for having him get more involved as the project evolves. He also recently moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where the local newspaper has been actively involved in integrating blogging and citizen journalism into their local coverage -- listen to this interview with Lex Alexander for more details.

I should also note that there will be three main end products with the Echo Chamber Project:

[1] The 90-minute documentary that focuses on the media performance during the build-up to the war;
[2] An annotated multimedia experience of the entire archive of material that supplements the film and provides a proof of concept for how new media technologies can make the press more collaborative and inclusive of many different perspectives; and
[3] The open source tools and methodologies that were used to create the other two end products.

The majority of the interview audio that I've released so far has been focused on the second end product. These interviews are more solution-oriented and forward-looking, and the interviews average around 15 minutes each.

Soon I will also be releasing the audio from the interviews that focus on the preformance of the media leading up to the war in Iraq. These interviews illuminate the problems and limitations with the media, and average around 50 minutes each.

In this conversation with Sean, I mention a speech that former New York Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent gave where he mentions that the three biggest issues that people wrote in and complained about were: Accuracy, Bias and Arrogance. I talk about how collaborative media could potentially address each of these issues.


(Photo Credit: Miss_Rouge)

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GOP Justifying the Rollback of the Press

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For the past couple of days, the Drudge Report has been running excerpts from Bill Sammon's latest book "Strategery" [sic]. Today's Drudge top headline was "Bush Cheers Decline of Mainstream Media, Rise of Alternative Press" -- which provides further validation to the trend that I elaborated in this video: Government Bypassing the Press.

Sammon interviewed Bush and a number of senior advisors about the pre-election "Memogate," where Bush claims that CBS explicitly "conspired" to harm his campaign. Drudge writes that "Memogate has helped accelerate the decline of the mainstream media, generally defined as CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York Times and other establishment news outlets."

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Technology Audio: Kent Bye's Collaborative Filmmaking Presentation at Ritual Roasters, San Francisco

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Listen to a presentation that I gave at Ritual Roasters coffee shop in San Francisco's Mission District on January 3rd, 2006. (Length: 25:28)

Chris Messina announced this meet-up with this blog post and submitted this announcment to, and there were about a dozen people who showed up to listen to this brief presentation. Jennifer Myronuk recorded the talk, and I was interviewed by Geek Entertainment TV in a piece that should be airing sometime in the future. Update 4/10/06: Here's the episode.

Here are some blog reactions from Andy Kaufman & Irina Slutsky and some photos from Tara Hunt and EFF's Jason Schultz.

This is a more general overview of the collaborative filmmaking schematic, and I'd recommend listening to the presentation while looking at the flowchart shown below.

You can also listen to a similar presentation that I gave at the Open Media Developers Summit in early January here.

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Technology Audio: Kent Bye's Collaborative Filmmaking Presentation at Open Media Developers Summit

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Listen to a presentation that I gave at the Open Media Developers Summit on October 21st, 2005. (Length: 25:01)

This is a fairly technical overview of the collaborative filmmaking schematic, and I'd highly recommend listening to the presentation while looking at the flowchart shown below.

You can also listen to a similar presentation that I gave in San Francisco in early January here.

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