Applying to the Knight News Challenge

We just applied to the Knight Foundation's News Challenge.  It might be a stretch, but the program is so interesting, and of course we think Story Capture is one of the most innovative and potentially profound ideas in the "citizen creator / citizen journalism" area.

Here's some text from our preliminary application:

Describe your project:

"Substantive" and "Responsive" Communications

We've been thinking about the different aspects of social media conversations, and how to characterize them in a useful and purposeful way. 

One dimension might the following:

  • "substantive" communications (relevant to a specific field)
  • "responsive" communications (relevant to a specific dialogue or situation)

They're not mutually exclusive; in fact the best conversations combine both.  But they are distinct values that seem more relevant to social media than to traditional media. 

The Community Manager vs. Small Town Editor

The Community Manager is an interesting role that is evolving in the "Enterprise 2.0" world.  It sounds a lot like the "community editor" role we've been discussing as part of the storycapture process.  (We're seeing an important function for someone who's an "encourager" and curator in the collaborative / content collection process.)  Below are two articles discussing (and debating, to some extent) what that role is.

From Dion Hinchcliffe ...

Community management: The 'essential' capability of successful Enterprise 2.0 efforts | Enterprise Web 2.0 | ZDNet.com http://bit.ly/xn3hv

... and from Dennis Howlett:

The burnout risks for E2.0 community managers | Irregular Enterprise | ZDNet.com http://bit.ly/2TiLH


Enterprise 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 ("social tools and technologies that help make companies more creative, agile and productive") seems like it is tackling a lot of the same issues as we're facing with storycapture process. 

That makes a lot of sense, since enterprises are communities (really they are constellations of communities, each with their own culture and boundaries) of busy people who have the same challenges in stopping to communicate and share as a Red Cross volunteer or a City Year corps member. 

Here are some links re: the Enterprise 2.0 concept ...

Enterprise 2.0 2009 - Enterprise 2.0 Conference in San Francisco http://bit.ly/LymMa

Enterprise 2.0 Blog from  Steve Wylie http://bit.ly/u3aa

Discussion on this topic from Oliver Marks and Sameer Patel:

Tag Management

 We're working hard on integrating the "metatpainter" concept into the storycapture process, as the "tag manager" function.  Better tag management is (in our humble opinion) critical to mining social media for persistent content and value.

As the trickle of substantive and useful conversation on social media swells to a flood, people are struggling to capture the content of the conversation and make it useful in a persistent way.  RIght now that's mainly being done in a manual, cut-and-paste, ad hoc way.  (For example, collecting transcripts after a Twitter conference.) Machine logic is being applied, of course ... more and more complex search techniques and algorithms.  But machine logic can only take us so far towards meaning in human terms.  

Stories of Transformation

We had a great evening event where we captured "stories of transformation" as a way to explore the relationships between social media and narrative structure. 

People took a variety of approaches, including long form (single post, complete story); quick links to other sites and images; and discursive video.  We used blog entries, email, and video capture and uploading as input.  The results are on test.storycapture.org. 

We'll try to analyze what we've learned and post later today.  Thanks to everybody who attended!

Success Stories & the Value Equation

Here's an hypothesis:

The success story is central to both program evaluation (on the not-for-profit side) and product marketing (on the for-profit side) just as the brand story is central to corporate marketing. It's the core promise of the program/product ... the "value equation" that funders/purchasers use to make a decision about what they're getting from their investment.

Success stories (well done) are peculiarly transformational.  They are how we communicate the potential of an idea or solution within a community.  They are how we scale up positive outcomes to achieve a significant impact. 

Story Capture in Health Care

 We're exploring the uses of a "story capture" (in small caps) process in healthcare-related communities.  One pilot project under discussion is with the Community Healthcorps.  

The ability to aggregate and weave together a wide variety of conversational media (email, Twitter, blogs, even SMS) into persistent stories could have applicability in many aspects of provider workflow as well as patient/provider communications and program evaluation.

We've been talking to a variety of professionals and program administrators, and there's a lot of resonance.  We'd be very interested in finding more groups and individuals to talk to about pilot projects and developing the methodology in this area.

New Features and Interface Changes

Adding features madly to storycapture.org, and tweaking the interface.  

We're working on ways to roll up tagged posts, and not just posts associated with a story.  Trying out the idea that when you make a query and show a list based on any tag, there's a button that turns that into a story, and then you can edit it as a story.  Makes it a more general way to find posts and turn them into stories.

Consolidated all the links to find features into the right hand panel, and added links at the top for email and RSS.  We want to highlight these as ways to input content.  We're working on the Twitter feed, and it does function, although we're still figuring out how it would be used.

Great progress is being made!  Thanks Hal and everyone!