EchoChamberProject

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Interviewed by Personal Democracy Forum Podcast

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I pitched my project to Brian Reich, the official Personal Democracy Forum podcaster, and we sat down for a quick 11-minute chat about the state of the Press and how I plan on applying emerging new media trends to the production of The Echo Chamber documentary.

They're technically unsyndicated MP3s as opposed to RSS-embedded podcasts, but here are links to the interview & MP3 files:

http://www.personaldemocracy.com/node/610
Kent Bye.mp3 (10.29 MB)

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Blog Philosophy -- Roadblocks of Overintellectualizing

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I went through my first big blogging dryspell throughout the month of April. I have been writing all of these really long and intellectually dense blog entries in the name of planning out the theories for a new paradigm of journalism.

The lesson? People want to see a proof of concept -- Theory is too abstract and -- well, theoretical. I've had a ton of people say to me, "You know, I try to read you blog, but it's just too confusing. I don't know what you're talking about."

I would usually discard these criticisms by saying, "Well, I'm trying to reach a specialized audience of the movers and shakers of the New Media movement." And then when I actually got to talk face-to-face with a lot of these technologists at SXSW I realized that they understand me when I talk to them face-to-face, but that they still aren't gleaning some of the major ideas from my writing.

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Networking at SXSW Interactive

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I was able to get the word out about The Echo Chamber to a lot of people who have "social capital" in the blogosphere. My primary audience was the panelist participants, but I also found myself in many engaging conversations with people in the hallways and parties.

I was able to met a lot of great people out at SxSW, and I'm still digesting all of the different panels and post-conference Activist Technology discussion that I was invited to attend. It was a day-long gathering of activist digerati designed to build community and bridge the gap between Activists and Technologists.

I took a ton of written notes throughout the week, and I am trying to figure out the most efficient and quickest way to manage this knowledge for myself -- as well as disseminate it if possible. I'm hoping to go over my notes, make some audio recordings, and then some do some blog posts about it.

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Pitching The Echo Chamber at SxSW

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I must have pitched The Echo Chamber Project over 50 times over the last week at the SxSW Interactive Conference. I learned something new each time that I talked to someone about it because either new questions were asked or I adapted how I was speaking based upon the verbal and non-verbal feedback that I was receiving from them.

It is A LOT easier to pitch my project to people face-to-face, and by the end of the week I was able to convey the scope and relevance of my project relatively quickly and to many different people.

Here's the latest version of my pitch, and I'm sure that it'll continue to evolve over time:

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Hitting the Radar Screen of the New Media Movement

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The Echo Chamber Project has hit the radar screens of some of the leaders of the New Media movement. Rebecca MacKinnon posted a link to my New Media Ecosystem and Dave Weinberger picks it up.

Here's an e-mail that I just sent to Rebecca.

Thanks Rebecca.

I orginally wanted to get my ideas to the people at this conference through you speaking to them, but I know that it'll get to them through these two blog posts.

Not only that, but these blog posts will trickle down to everyone else who is concerned about New Media issues.

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Discussion with Transparent Journalist David Berlind

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This David Weinberger post directed me to ZDNet's executive editor David Berlind's Media Transparency Channel.

Berlind is attempting make the process of journalism more transparent by posting the complete audio of his interviews. A few weeks ago, I e-mailed Berlind a blog press release containing details of this open source documentary project. He responded to my e-mail this weekend, and I replied with a short e-mail pitch and suggested that he give me a call so that we can talk more about The Echo Chamber. He just called and we talked for about 90 minutes about challenges of transparency and the future of journalism.

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Citizen Journalism at PRWatch

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PRWatch.org is starting to do some more collaborative journalism, such as this discovery of photoshopped propaganda found by a volunteer citizen journalist in Spain.

This pro-Liberation photo is of a US soldier holding an Iraqi child with the added caption of "She's glad he's there. Are you?" This citizen journalist finds another version of the same scene that has a caption that says that the girl is actually a boy, and that his mother had just killed by crossfire.

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Using Blogs to Supplement a Direct Marketing Campaign

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I've been conducting an experiment over the last week to test how blogging can supplement a mini-marketing blitz directed at a specialized target audience.

Within 4 working days, I was able to contact the moderator of a Sundance Docs & Blogs panel discussion, contact and receive a response from all of the panelists, and receive an e-mail response from the editor-in-chief of indieWIRE who had just commented on his blog that "there is so much going on that the competition for attention is fierce."

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New Advisor -- Dr. Andrew R. Cline

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The Echo Chamber Project has secured its first advisor from the Academic world.

Dr. Andrew R. Cline is an assistant professor of journalism at Southwest Missouri State University and a specialist in rhetorical analysis and web-based journalism.

Cline has agreed to provide his journalistic and rhetorical insights throughout the post-production process of The Echo Chamber documentary. Specifically, he will provide comments on The Echo Chamber interview transcripts and give feedback throughout the treatment, scripting, and editing phases of this independent film.

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Back from the Holidays

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I have returned from my three-week holiday hiatus and travel to Indianapolis (family) and San Francisco (friends). I'm starting to reply to e-mails and get back into full gear.

I had a number of meetings of the break to receive feedback on my business plan, and one of the items on the To Do List is to try to integrate all of the feedback into the next version of the business plan.

Another priority on the list is to continue searching for a producer and other advisors for the project.

I had a chance to read through some of the 25 completed transcripts that I have received, and I've started brainstorming how to piece everything together. Another upcoming challenge is to condense the essence of the project into a four to five-minute trailer.

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