What would “Vox Local” look like?

News explainers have been a hot topic of discussion recently, with the Upshot, Vox, and FiveThirtyEight all launching this year. At first I was skeptical–shouldn’t all journalism be explanatory?–but after reading things like this post by Jay Rosen, I’m convinced of the need. And Vox’s Ezra Klein explains the problem with a focus on “news” at the expense of explaining:

It’s trite to say it, but…

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The Newman Resident Campaign

Announcing the Newman Resident Campaign:

The Newman ResidentI’ve been working on a strategy to help get the word out about my dad’s new book. Starting a few days ago we started circulating custom altered copies of The Newman Resident. Each copy is hand laminated (a fancy way of saying that I make the front/back covers more durable) and includes a note on the inside front cover.

May_07__2014_at_0742PM (1)

Here’s the text that we’ve added to the inside front cover:

You have in your…

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What is the role of comments in an “explainer” site?

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 4.43.12 PMI’ve written about the potential I believe news comments have. So what is the role, the potential, of comments under explainers?

First, the difference between “news” and “explainers”:

Ezra Klein explains the problem with a focus on “news” at the expense of explaining:

It’s trite to say it, but the news business is biased toward, well, news. There are plenty of outlets that tell you what happened…

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The People’s Lobby: A Model for Online Activist Deliberation

My dissertation explores and theorizes online activism and deliberation. I analyzed the Internet Defense League, Action Network, Reddit, Wikipedia, and other communities and initiatives. I also included the designs for two activism/deliberation tools. One of these designs has been published in the Journal of Public Deliberation as The People’s Lobby: A Model for Online Activist Deliberation, and

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Antifragile Digital Activism

Antifragile Digital Activism, based on an excerpt from my dissertation:

Currents in Electronic Literacy recently published a special edition focused on digital activism. I was honored that they accepted a selection of my dissertation for the issue. I’ve included a small portion of the article below, and you can read the full text here. My thinking has evolved–improved, I hope–since I wrote this, but I think the core insights are still useful.

Image from Currents in Electronic Literacy

Image from Currents in…

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Strategies for Equality in Comment Sections

Principles of Equality in Comment Systems

A great discussion on Twitter yesterday morning with Matthew Ingram, Quinn Norton, Alex Howard, and Zeynep Tufecki (you should follow all of them) explored issues of internet comment moderation. All agreed that moderation is important, but I was exposed to intriguing ideas about the dangers of placing the brunt of moderation duties on authors themselves. Here are a few key tweets:

@digiphile @qui…

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Why do we even need comments?

Seriously, though. Why do we even need comments under news stories? Most engagement about a story happens on Facebook and Twitter,[ref]A recent NiemanLab post, for example explained that “a typical story of ours might get 300 tweets, 150 Facebook shares, and one comment.”[/ref] comments sections are troll paradises, and they can often feel like a hopeless waste of time and resources.

I will…

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My thoughts on The Great Internet Comment Section:

Commenting systems: they’re ubiquitous, they’re maligned, and yet they’re still here. There is huge untapped potential in internet commenting sections, and I want to explore that potential by first taking a step back.

My thoughts on The Great Internet Comment Section:

Commenting systems: they’re ubiquitous, they’re maligned, and yet they’re still here. There is huge untapped potential in internet commenting sections, and I want to explore that potential by first taking a step back.

Report: Online News Commenting Systems

Report: News Commenting Systems

When the news broke over the weekend that the Chicago Sun-Times is temporarily shutting down its comments section, some took it to mean they were giving up on comments altogether. But, as the paper’s managing editor Craig Newman wrote in a blog post on Saturday:

Again, we are not doing away with comments. But we do want to take some time and work on the qualitative aspect of how they are handled…

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Comments Section Q+A with Equality NC

Imagine a world where you could actually learn from the comments section! Report from our first Comments Section Q+A:

SpeakUp NCI blogged a couple of days ago about a project I’m working on as part of the innovative and ambitious SpeakUp NC initiative of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. I’ve been working with Shannon Ritchieon SpeakUp NC for months on the problem of internet comments: they have (often deserved) stigma of being the gutter of the internet, which discourages good commenters, which makes the comments sections…

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