natematias

Recent blog posts by natematias

How To Choose The Best Way to Create Change

"Sometimes you wake up and realise that you want to change the world."

Last week, Mark Simpkins wrote a blog post about how hard it is to know what to do if we want to create change. "When do I create a pledge? When do I contact my MP? When do I take to the streets?" he asks. "How do we move from someone who cares about an issue to taking action that will be genuinely meaningful? Might search or lists help people decide what to do?"

This blog post is my response to Mark.

CHANGE

Making Data Useful: Projects from the Microsoft Design Summit 2013

We live in a world alive with sensors and data. The big data, sensor networks and transparency movements have left us with a supply-side glut of potential useful free data that is lying fallow. How can we use this to improve life, local community and the world at large? Today, the Microsoft Design Expo, part of the annual Faculty Summit, showcased projects along this theme from design students at 8 universities.

Christian Hackathons? 14 app ideas from Code For The Kingdom

Is there such a thing as Christian hacking? The organisers of Code for the Kingdom, a 48 hour hack day with cash prizes, certainly believe so.

Last month, almost 150 people gathered in San Francisco for Code for the Kingdom, a hackathon that gave away $11,000 in prizes to teams developing Christian projects. The event also offered networking opportunities with Christian organisations and a team of 15 mentors that included VCs, religious leaders, and senior employees at major American tech companies. Projects focused on social organising, fundraising, social reading, quantified self, content filtering, and open data.

13 Latest Projects at the MIT Center for Civic Media

One of the most energetic sessions at the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference last week was the Civic Media Ignite, which presented thirteen projects by MIT teams and our partners.

(this session was reported with NewsPad, experimental software I'm building for collaborative live-editing of articles. Participation is currently anonymous. The quality in this post may vary.)

Mapping the News (Catherine D'Ignazio)

Ethan Zuckerman presented this session for Catherine, since she just gave birth.

What does media pay attention to? Mapping The News visualizes the connection between the geography of events paid attention to, and the geography of those paying attention. In this visualization of news coverage, we see that Boston Globe focuses on places that are a bit more privileged. Mapping the Globe also shows word clouds based on location, illustrating the differences of coverage received by a place, whether it's sports, business or violence.

Unflattening: Thinking Through Comics, Nick Sousanis at Microsoft Research

I'm here at Microsoft Research in Seattle for the summer. Today, we had a visit from Nick Sousanis, who was opening an exhibition of his work. Nick is writing his dissertation (on visual and verbal discourse) entirely in graphic novel form. His project has recently been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/article/article-content/131393/).

Before coming to NYC, he was immersed in Detroit’s thriving arts community, where he co-founded the arts and cultural web-mag http://www.thedetroiter.com; served as the founding director of the University of Michigan’s Work:Detroit exhibition space, and became the biographer of legendary Detroit artist Charles McGee.

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