Trying something different this week for my Twitter stream. Figure I’ll post a “follow Friday” pick here and just let my blog software tweet it automatically. That way I’ll have a little more room than the standard 140 characters to explain why I’ve picked a certain account to FF, which is a Twitter tradition in which users recommend good feeds to one another.
My FF pick this week is Story Corp, a great nonprofit that facilitates they recording, sharing, and preservation of personal stories by Americans of all backgrounds. Story Corp material appears regularly on NPR’s Morning Edition, though I subscribe via podcast.
Without fail, I find the regular 5-minute vignettes on the podcast make me laugh, cry, or just stop — really stop in my tracks — and think about some vital episode in American history witnessed through the eyes of everyday folks. Typical is this recent installment about a pair of black men whose whole lives were transformed for the worse by an innocent incident when they were kids playing with some white neighbors in the Jim Crow-era South.
Copied below, a Twitter “conversation” I had yesterday with one of my followers, personal-finance maestra Barbara Bryn Klare, who writes at Upside of Money. She asked a good question about Roscoe Labs, the “mobile first” news startup I’m working on with partners Lawrence Patrick and Katrina Miles.
For strategic reasons, the team has been keeping mum about most details of the company’s plan. But Barbara’s questions struck on a philosophical point that I do think is worth talking a bit about publicly. It’s one of those things that cuts right to the future of journalism as a public trust, in my opinion. One could write a much longer post about it, or maybe even a book, but I think the tweets and links from yesterday will suffice nicely for the moment:
First links in the tweet above refers to a Poynter Institute story on Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s speech at a journalism conference in April 2010. Second link refers to a column Schmidt wrote for the Wall Street Journal in December 2009.
I love this recent Wired story on a much-overlooked issue: Whether and how tech companies stick up for their users’ rights, especially in the face of government demands.
Specifically, Wired gives Twitter props on its successful challenge of the feds’ recent request for user data they claim relates to their WikiLeaks investigation. The story also runs through the history of a few cases involving other biggies like Microsft, Yahoo, and AOL. (Sorry, no Facebook mentions, good or bad.)
Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in protecting your online privacy, as we all should be. I don’t advocate paranoia on this sort of stuff, but I do believe people should at least be aware of their favorite sites’ ground rules, both explicit and implicit.
Last night, I re-watched this great video of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey explaining the value of literally sketching out what his famous creation would look like before he began engineering it.
The video link, from the blog of venture capitalist (and Twitter investor) Fred Wilson, isn’t new. But it’s just one of those gems I keep coming back to on the Web, especially since I began work with a few friends on the startup Roscoe Labs recently.
I’ve already drawn up some early designs for our mobile news app. When the actual build-out is done, I’ll be elated if it has a fraction of the success of Jack’s projects.