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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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Video: Government Bypasses Press

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Video essay in response to Jay Rosen's "Dick Cheney Did Not Make a Mistake By Not Telling the Press He Shot a Guy" bog post -- featuring Chris Nolan, Mindy Finn, Hugh Hewitt, John H. Brown, Don Beck, Steve Rubel, Merrill Brown, Tom Rosenstiel, Congressman Rob Simmons, and a virtual Jay Rosen.

You can listen to the full entire audio for some of the interviews -- and read the full transcript for the others.

Subscribe to this feed for future videos.

Subscribe to this feed to download all audio interviews posted so far.

Music: On The Moon (Trip Hop mix) by disharmonic

Here's a Windows Media version.

Full Transcript and Further thoughts are down below...

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Interview Audio: Steve Rubel, Public Relations Blogger,

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Listen to the Interview with Steve Rubel, Public Relations Blogger, (Length: 13:26)

More interviews from the We Media Conference.

Subscribe to Interview Audio

Footage from this interview is featured in this video: Government Bypasses Press

October 5th, 2005

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Interview Audio: Sheldon Rampton, &

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Listen to the Interview with Sheldon Rampton of & (Length: 14:45)

More interviews from the Personal Democracy Conference.

Subscribe to Interview Audio

Transcript Coming Soon...
May 16th, 2005

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BBC Article Has a Picture of Me on OurMedia

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There is an article on the BBC website today called, "Citizens do media for themselves" that features a screenshot of with my picture on it.

BBC OurMedia Screenshot

The article doesn't explictly mention me or The Echo Chamber Project -- it was written before my first vlog episode was featured on the front page.

The caption reads, "Ourmedia members are encouraged to be creative"

I discovered this from vlogging pioneer Steve Garfield who wrote to me saying, "the picture in this story makes you look creative."


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Launching the ECP to the World

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I spent most of yesterday sending out e-mails pitching my first vlog posting to the new media blogosphere.

It looks like it's gaining some momentum after receiving links from podcasting pioneer Eric Rice, OurMedia executive director JD Lasica and Blogumentary director / vlogging pioneer Chuck Olsen.

I also posted an announcment to the YahooGroups Videoblogging listserve, which tapped into the very friendly and energetic vlogging community.

I've been tracking the vlogging community for a while here:, and I sent it to some vloggers for some preliminary feedback earlier this week, which I got a lot of positive feedback from.

I share a lot of the same values of openness and transparency with the vlogosphere (and the larger blogosphere as well), and I think the first vlog post will continue to get more attention over the next week or so as it slowly comes out of the more technical parts of the New Media blogosphere, and hopefully over to the political end of blogosphere by the end of next week.

How far and wide it'll end up spreading is really hard to predict, but I'm pretty optimistic at this point.

I'm going to try to track the progress by tagging mentions of the vlog with the ECP tag over at found at this page: I'm going to set up an RSS aggregator in the sidebar so that it'll appear on this site.

I figure that if I'm going to be obsessing over tracking statistics of inbound links, then I might as well do something useful with it.

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Metaphors for Collaborative Technologies

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This morning I installed ChatZilla, an extension to my FireFox browser, so that I could directly chat with Drupal developers from around the world on the #drupal Instant Relay Chat channel. IRC is a way to directly chat to groups of people who hang out at different virtual water coolers.

Ross Mayfield runs Socialtext -- a company that develops wiki software for businesses -- all of his employees work from home and are spread out around the country.

Mayfield had an interesting blog post (via Nancy White) that provided some great metaphors for the broadband and social tools that his company uses to facilitate collaboration and still remain connected and productive:

* Socialtext [i.e. wikis] -- the building and garden
* IRC -- the hallway
* -- the conference room
* Skype -- the meeting rooms
* IM -- talking over the cubical
* VNC -- peeping over the cubical
* Our blogs -- the front porch
(NOTE: I added all of the links above)

So I hope to start integrating more of these different communication technologies to for my collaborative project.

From my experience with IRC this morning -- I think that the metaphor of a hallway for an IRC chat is very appropriate. There were a lot of people in the hallway, and I was able to have a quick discussion with a couple of developers hanging out. I got some leads to follow up with a more detailed conversation via e-mail, IM or Skype.

I also hope to start integrating and using podcasting and vlogging soon -- This will be easier after I upgrade some hardware at the end of this week so that I can run the latest version of Final Cut Pro.

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New Media Blogs Discuss Downing Street Memos

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A discussion of the Downing Street Memos has kicked up briefly in the New Media blogosphere after Jay Rosen's post on Sunday.

I thought I'd drop a few signposts from my daily blog surfing from this morning [my Internet connection went down delaying this post.]

All of these following posts have interesting discussions going on in their comment sections.

Dan Gillmor weighs in by excerpting the following passage from Russ Baker's Why Bush Went to War -- "Bush wanted a war so that he could build the political capital necessary to achieve his domestic agenda and become, in his mind, 'a great president."

Jeff Jarvis says that the Downing Street Memos aren't a big deal because everyone knows "the truth is that WMDs were never the real justification" and that this is all just "a scandal of bad PR."

Gillmor updates his post in response to Jarvis "What Jeff fails to note is that Congress would never have backed the war so fecklessly had the phony WMD issue been off the table..."

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Automatic Media Enclosures at

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The social bookmarking site of announced on their blog earlier this week that they are now automatically detecting media files and adding invisible "system:filetype:" tags to the post.

Bookmarked items in that end in one of a number of filetypes will now automatically get some system tags added. You can use these just like normal tags. RSS feeds that have one of those system tags added will automatically become a rss-with-enclosures file.

What the does this mean in English?

Let's start from the beginning to show how this latest development is going to further democratize the media by giving people more and more choices for how they consume their information and media diet...

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Expanding from Windows into Cafes and Bridges

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Now that I have this site Drupalized, I can now start treating it as a cafe and not just a window into the project. Blogger Hossein Derakhashan talks about blogs being a window into a community, a bridge between communities, and a cafe where people can chat about different topics.

Up until now, has served as a window for the production of this film for transparency's stake. It can now take it to the next level by treating it more like a cafe where conversations can happen within the internal blogs. It can also now serve more as a community of practice where this virtual space can be used more for collaboration.

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