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Releasing All Interview Audio Soon -- Help by Listening


I will be publishing more Interview Audio as soon as this technical issue is resolved.

So please subscribe to the Interview Audio Feed -- or the more inclusive All Media Feed -- and start listening.

There is 50+ hours worth of quality information and knowledge that I've collected so far, and people need to start digesting it. That's because I'm going to need your help with editing sound bite sequences -- as well as gathering a larger context for the footage by you becoming familiar with material and then sharing what it means to you through the various mechanisms that are put into place.

So I'm going to be releasing the audio in the following four chunks.

[1] 13 interviews conducted at the Personal Democracy Forum -- Post-production is completed and will be posted soon.
[2] 10 Media & Consciousness interviews
[3] 8 We Media Conference Interviews
[4] The 45 interviews with Journalists, Media Critics, Journalism Professors, Think Tank Scholars, Retired Government Analysts. International Lawyers and Other Perspectives.

The first three chunks are the solution-oriented interviews that are investigating how to more tightly integrate the latest new media trends into journalistic practices. The are all of fairly short 5 to 25-minute interviews that I conducted at conferences throughout 2005 and 2006.

The bulk of the 45 sit-down interviews were conducted during the summer of 2004 right after the New York Times Mea Culpa, and before all of the media controversies leading up to the 2004 election. These were much more extensive and in-depth 30 to 90-minute interviews focusing on both the systemic and specific problems with the media during the build-up to the Iraq war.

So hopefully the technical development of the collaborative filmmaking infrastructure will eventually be completed and converge with a large community of volunteers who have listened to the source material and are all eager to start editing sequences together for the first-ever, massively scalable collaborative documentary.

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What I Have, What I Need & What You Can Do To Help

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Momentum is building for The Echo Chamber Project, and it is time to share my assessment of What I Have. What I Need. And What You Can Do to Help.

I believe that I've collected a critical mass of value, and I'm hoping to leverage this towards taking this ambitious project to the next level.

My biggest need at the moment is help recruiting PHP developers to help implement some of the collaborative editing infrastructure for sequencing sound bite sequences. This infrastructure will enable even more people to get involved.

The biggest thing that everyone interested in helping out can do is to start listening to the Interview Audio (via Audio Feed or All Media Feed) that I'm publishing as well as reading through these interview transcripts.

I am going to need your help with making sense of all of this information and insights that I've collected once the tools are finally in place for you to do so. The more familiar you are with the material, the more that you'll be able to get involved and participate.

So take a look at the assets that I've gathered below, and think about the following:

* What are some next steps that you can take to help me fulfill some of my immediate or long-term needs?

Finally, let me know that you're listening by either sending me an e-mail at -- leaving a comment below -- or signing up as a user to this site.

*** WHAT I HAVE ***

* A very hot topic concerning how the media covered the build-up to the war in Iraq.

* 5 months of ABC, CBS and NBC footage & transcripts leading up to the war.

* Over 40 hours of interview footage & transcripts filled with problem-oriented insights about the media from scholars and journalists.

* Another 10+ hours covering the future trends of the media and solution-oriented insights from thought leaders in the field.

* The willingness to publish all the interview audio underneath a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license of all of my interviews to spur innovation and collaboration.

* The willingness to release all of my video footage underneath a Creative Commons Attribution license after I finish and release my version.

* A lot of ideas and theories for how collaborative filmmaking could work.

* The attention of many different journalists, scholars, new media thought leaders and media technologists for my project and how I'm going about it. This success of this project can make a profound impact on how journalism is produced.

* A lot of contacts with bloggers and activist technologists from various technical conferences who have a fair amount of social capital.

* An unspecified strategy for how DVD sales will provide a revenue stream and return of investment for this project.

* An unspecified grassroots marketing strategy that involves the open and collaborative production of the film to help spread the word about the project.

* A part-time Drupal czar for emergency site maintence.

* Boundless passion and determination to make this project work and to have it make a difference in the world.

* My own personal salary and living expenses covered.

* Some upcoming press from interviews with's Robin Good and an upcoming episode with


* PHP coders to help implement some of the technical infrastructure for browser-based sound bite sequencing within Drupal.

* More systems-level technical help with putting these theories into action.

* A producer who can help collect the necessary resources -- whether it be human or financial resources -- to help manifest this technical infrastructure.

* A film producer who can help tap into the energy of a technology-empowered collaborators to help craft the 90-minute film product.

* A multi-media producer to think about creating more interactive online experiences with the material, and mechanisms for how to continually add knowledge and value to the footage archive.

* A lawyer and accountant to create an LLC or other umbrella organization.

* Fiscal sponsorship from a non-profit to make donations tax deductable

* Philanthropists who are willing to invest in this type of open source infrastructure, and who can add value to the project with the connections and relationships that they have.

* I have an emergency Drupal administrator, but it would be nice to have a PHP/Drupal website administrator who has available time to help troubleshoot and maintain the site.

* Potential editing volunteers to start listening to the interviews that I've conducted

* Help with spreading the word in trying to locate any of the type of people above.


* A graphic designer who can make come up with a Drupal theme that much more aesthetically pleasing that the current one.

* A user interface specialist who can help make advise how features and the site can be more user friendly

* An information architect who can help make the information on this site more

* An information visualization guru who is willing to help implement some open source data visualizations to the social networking activity

* Artists to make graphics and logos that help communicate more visually.

* Academic Advisors from a broad range of different disciplines who have an interest in my project, and want to help gather help and support for the project -- Communications, Film, Journalism, Sociology, New Media, Politics, Law, International Relations, Peace Studies, Computer Science, etc.

* A more defined timeline once some of the above immediate needs are satisfied

* Community developers and outreach coordinators for the project

* Job descriptions for different tasks that volunteers could help out with

* Fair Use Copyright legal advisors

* * * * * * * *

I know that's a lot of stuff, but this interview material, technology assets and theories that I've gathered has the potential to snowball and manifest every single one of these desires.

We can do this together.

So what's your next step for helping it happen?

kentbye's picture

Community Audio: Kent Bye Interview by Robin Good

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New Media trendspotter Robin Good conducted a 24-minute interview with me last week talking about pre-war US media, the collaborative aspects of The Echo Chamber Project, and the Open Source Intelligence Conference that I attended.

Good has put together the most comprehensive launching pad to The Echo Chamber Project so far filling by his post with a lot of good pointers and graphics. He introduces me and the project by saying:

Kent Bye, is the author of a unique film documentary in progress that may become a future model for grassroots citizen journalism, while showing how to invest filmmaking skills and ideas in a production that has some real informative values and developing the first web-based collaborative video editing approach to build open-source movies and documentaries.

Check out the rest of the post, and the complete transcript for the interview here.

kentbye's picture

Filming Interviews at Open Source Intelligence Conference

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I will be attending a conference next week put on by Robert David Steele's Open Source Solutions called Information Operations, Open Source Intelligence, & Peacekeeping Intelligence.

There will be an interesting mix of government intelligence professionals, corporate competitive intelligence professionals, knowledge management experts and embassy representatives from around the world.

Steele has granted me permission to film interviews with various speakers throughout the conference, and I will be particularly interested in capturing insights that professional intelligence analysts can provide to investigative and participatory journalism.

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Community Audio: Yeast Radio Interview with Kent Bye

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Madge Weinstein interviewed me last week about the Echo Chamber Project, and I thought I'd send it down the Community Feed since it is a great encapsulation of the project so far.

Wired featured Madge's Yeast Radio show, which was picked up by Podshow Network that is broadcast on SIRIUS radio.

(53:00 / 34.6 / Subscribe to Community & Technology Audio)

Click here to listen to the MP3

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Thirteen Interview Transcripts Posted

I spent a lot of the last week proofreading a number of transcripts, and I just posted these following 13 interview transcripts:

* John R. MacArthur, Harper's Magazine, Publisher
* Pamela Hess, United Press International, Pentagon Beat Reporter
* Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! Host
* Robert Dreyfuss, Investigative Reporter, Nation, American Prospect, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone
* Jack Nelson, Los Angeles Times, Retired Washington Bureau Chief
* Lawrence Grossman, NBC News & PBS, Retired President
* Tom Rosenstiel, Committee for Concerned Journalists, Director
* Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media, Contributing editor
* Susan Moeller, University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Associate Professor
* Todd Gitlin, Columbia University Professor, Graduate School of Journalism
* John Prados, National Security Archive, Senior Fellow
* Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies, Fellow
* Karen Kwiatkowski, Retired Pentagon Policy Analyst, Near East South Asia

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Screenshots of User Interface for Distributed Editing

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I have some preliminary screenshots for what the volunteers will see when they help order sound bites into sequences.

This has been some of my first Drupal development, and I'm sure that this interface will continue to evolve -- but I just want to show what I have so far.

More below...

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Progress on Collaborative Filmmaking Infrastructure

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In order to have more volunteers get involved with this project, then I need to build the infrastructure in order to put them to work in helping edit the film.

Lately, I've been able to make some promising advances and gain some new insights on my original plan for Collaborative Filmmaking. I completed some milestones that have allowed me to prototype the workflow and make alterations to the original flowchart.

Once I get these tools into place, then a lot of my writing will become less technical and geared more towards creating videos that will instruct others how to participate.

This is what my plan for collaborative media currently looks like:

Collaborative Filmmaking Flowchart Version 2.0

There are more details below...

kentbye's picture

Received Fellowship for We Media Conference

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I got an awesome surprise for my 29th birthday today -- I was awarded with a fellowship to attend the We Media Conference in New York City!

This is really great news for me and The Echo Chamber Project.

Not only does it does is waive the $695 fee, but more importantly the American Press Institute's Media Center will be publishing a statement from me about my project on their website as one of the 15 fellowship recipients.

UPDATE: He is the We Media announcement about the 15 fellowship recipients.

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Warren Strobel Interview Now Posted


The Echo Chamber Project interview with Warren Strobel is now posted here.

Echo Chamber Documentary Interviews

Strobel is the Foreign Affairs Correspondent for Knight Ridder, and the primary collaborator with Jonathan Landay on their award-winning investigations into the intelligence surrounding the justifications for the war in Iraq -- described briefly here.

Simply put, Strobel and Landay are the best evidence that it was possible for journalists to dig out information that contradicted the master narrative coming from the White House, Pentagon and State Department.

Here Strobel talks about their sources, and how other major news organizations passed up on following up on important leads that their sources were trying to introduce into the public discourse.

We had people talking to us who are -- as you said "the blue collar workers" -- we tend to call them "the professionals." And when I say "professionals," I mean intelligence analysts, uniformed military and US diplomats who were expert in Iraq, expert in the Middle East, had done this stuff their whole careers. And they kept telling us over and over again that their views were being ignored, that the process was being politicized, strange things were going on, that a separate, almost alternate government was being set up, different reporting channels, and so on and so forth. And I think what happened was -- They were talking to other members of the media as well, obviously they just didn't come to Knight Ridder, but we took them a lot more seriously. We followed very aggressively on what they had to say. And in the end we found that their version of reality was more accurate than the version of reality that the White House was trying to put out.

Showing his diplomatic nature, Strobel politely asks how things might have turned out differently had other news organizations shown as much skepticism as he and his Knight Ridder team did:

And you know, it's not for me to criticize any members of the media, but you do have to wonder what would have happened if the entire media establishment in this country had taken a different stance -- from the time of let's say the end of the war in Afghanistan in December / January 2002 and the start of the invasion. Would it have changed history? Would Bush not have invaded? Would Congress not have gone along? I don't know, but it is a question worth asking.

Indeed. We'll never really know.

But other journalists have a lot to learn from how this Knight Ridder team collaborates on stories -- as well as how they're able tap into the intelligence of "the professionals" who have a much better idea what is going on, than the filtered information that is coming out from the top of the chain-of-command.

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