Smartphones and war reporting – a crowdsourced list of research

Last week I was contacted by Emanuele Ballacci a Multimedia Journalism Degree student in Rome. He’d come to a talk I’d given earlier in the year in Perugia discussing the use of mobile phones and social media in reporting. As part of his graduation thesis about war journalism and new technologies he wanted to discuss ‘the usefulness of smartphones and new generation mobile phones on reporting from war contexts’, and wondered if I could suggest any books or reading on the subject. To date, he’d only found books that discuss the subjects separately.

This didn’t surprise me in some ways as using smart mobile devices in journalism is still fairly new and war zones aren’t often known for their 3G signals. You also know you’re onto something possibly interesting when a Google search comes back with results for smartphone wars (think iPhones v Androids). No immediate books came to mind. So I replied that I’d see what I could find out, as I was also interested in the answer.

Thankfully I do know people who at least may know the answer to such things. So I put a shout-out on Twitter and cc’d in the likes of Paul Bradshaw, Kevin Anderson and Ilicco Elia, who then asked those they thought might know and so on. The net widened and others such as Daniel Bennett chipped in. In combination we came up with the following:

Everyone who responded wanted to know more.

I suggested to Emanuele that he could end up being the expert in this area, judging by our findings, and said I’d be writing up what little we’d found, and happy to include anything further that he’s aware of. He got back to me with the following wider reading list as follows:

Other food for thought that I found during my research:
Online newsgathering, Quinn & Lamble
Always On, Chen
Multimedia Journalism: A practical guide, Bull
In the Hot Zone, Sites
– An ironic but interesting suggestion: http://goo.gl/ZdFf9

If anyone knows of any other research, blog posts or books in this area please do suggest them in the comments below.

Calling grandma in 3D: Kinect consoles create telepresence

Ok, so they didn’t call grandma (although that would have been far cooler than a man waving a red cup which is who they did call), but these researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have strung together a few Microsoft Kinect games consoles to create a 3D video telephone (conference) call – or in tech speak ‘Kinect Driven 3d Telepresence System‘.

Continue reading → Calling grandma in 3D: Kinect consoles create telepresence

Glue

Gluing the social web back together

Every now and then I’m asked what I think the latest trends or the future of the web might be. Often depending on what I’m thinking about or researching that week will depend on the answer that I give.

So what’s the answer at the moment?
As some of you will have noticed over the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with quite a number of new tools and services, to see what they’ll do. I’ve mentioned a few already such as ifttt and wajam, but I’ve also been experimenting with Chirp Story – which enables you to create stories with Tweets – and begun to have a look at Bundlr – a service that enables you to bring (bundle) content from across the social web together into one page.
Continue reading → Gluing the social web back together