Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Rick's Startup Whiteboard #3: Designing a Validation Trajectory for your Startup

[If the video is not embedded above, go here]

Everyone knows that creating a startup involves a carefully-ordered sequence of steps -- eg, don't start selling your product until you have a product (actually, that's surprisingly easy to screw up). However, there's a guiding principle about designing the right sequence that doesn't get talked about enough. You need to think about designing your "Validation Trajectory". Here's the deal:

Why would bees need free honey?

Hey, the FTC just made it illegal for bloggers to accept kickbacks for writing puff pieces about products on the internet. Good. Maybe the discussion about this will make people call out for independent, non-profit, verifiable product information. I put puff journalism and greenwashing in the same sentence. Hey bloggers, if [...]

Communications Forum featuring NPR's Juan Williams: "Race, Politics, and American Media"

The election of an African-American president in November 2008 has been hailed as a transforming event. But has Obama's ascension transformed anything? Many people's answer to that question changed this summer when a famous Harvard professor was arrested at his home in Cambridge. Are the harsh realities of race and class in the U.S. clearer now or murkier, following the media tsunami of Gatesgate? And has this polarizing event given greater visibility to racial minorities in the media's coverage of politics? How are race issues and racial politics covered in our national media, and what are the implications of the demise of major city newspapers for the coverage of race and politics?

Juan Williams of NPR and Fox News discussed these and related questions in a candid conversation with Phillip Thompson, associate professor of urban politics in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, and David Thorburn, Professor of Literature and Director of the MIT Communications Forum. This forum is the first of two this term in our ongoing civic media series, a collaboration of the Communications Forum and the Media Lab's Center for Future Civic Media.

An audio version is also available via the CMS Colloquium Podcast in the iTunes Store.

Rick's Startup Whiteboard #2: You Need Partners, Not Employees

Welcome to Episode #2 of Rick's Startup Whiteboard (the video is at if it's not showing up above). This one focuses on the importance of working with partners -- not employees, not contractors -- when you're the pony-diving stage of a startup project, still trying to figure out the key pieces of the puzzle (see episode #1 on pony diving).


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