Posts Tagged ‘crowdsourcing


“Us Now”: as a presentation model | um modelo de apresentação

Yesterday i recommended “Us Now”, a documentary film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the Internet, which boomed across the web. It is a must see, but this post is not about the film. It’s about how they present it online, and how i feel it is a good model to be applied to major news reports and investigations. A transparency model.

Imagine you’re a reporter after a major story, it involves loads of data, there are many different sides to the issue, and people to interview that have specific knowledge about it, be it technical, scientific, or just exclusive. Good journalists always delivered good stories on their own, and covered all the necessary angles to the subject. Working alone means full control of the process, from start to end, and a fair amount of discretion, secrecy, that often resulted in exclusives, the former bread and butter of good newspapers. But what if the process was public, and open to everyone?

I’m not saying all of the process, but some parts of it. If a journalist is snooping around, asking questions about something, doors will close anyway, that will open with new information and the need to answer, retaliate, whatever –  sometimes a statement comes out of conflicting views. But the saying goes  “two heads are better than one”, and if we ask for users to help, many minds will work for the same purpose.

The crowd could gather data, process it, provide input, suggest questions, and the journalist – besides having to do all the things he’s supposed to – would coordinate all of these contributions. This would improve the relationship between the users/readers and the journalist/story/brand. But if you are not a fan of full disclosure before publishing, why not do it afterwards? Release the videos rushes, the full audio, share the documentation and data you gathered in an open database. The advantages? Trust.

Transparency goes a long way, and it prevents journalists from backing off from the story too early or to make mistakes. The liability risk is smaller, and if it is a controversial subject, it’s not the singled out figure of the journalist that is at stake, but a whole community behind the story. Of course, this does not minimize the journalists importance or responsibility, quite the opposite.

“Us Now” producers made the footage available,  transcriptions, download links for the full film, and i think this brings extra value to the work, instead of being commercially harmful. I like to see the bits and pieces that make things work, but if you don’t, just watch the finished version.

There’s a good example of this in Wired’s piece about Charlie Kauffman, and i tried something similar for the pre-production phase of my interview with Dave Cohn.

As a journalist, would you be looking forward this kind of openness? As a reader, would you participate?

Ontem recomendei “Us Now”, um documentário sobre o poder da colaboração em massa, governo e Internet, que se espalhou rapidamente pela web. É imprescindível, mas este post não é sobre o filme. É sobre a forma como o apresentam online, e como acho que é um bom modelo a aplicar para grandes investigações jornalísticas. Um modelo de transparência.

Imaginem que são um jornalista atrás de uma grande história, que envolve imensa informação, tem diferentes lados, e as pessoas a entrevistar têm conhecimentos específicos sobre o assunto, sejam eles técnicos, científicos ou exclusivos. Os bons jornalistas sempre fizeram boas reportagens sozinhos, e cobriram todos os ângulos que eram precisos cobrir. Trabalhar sozinho significa ter controlo total sobre o processo, do princípio ao fim, e uma certa dose de discrição, secretismo, que muitas vezes davam em exclusivos, o anterior ganha pão dos bons jornais. Mas e se o processo fosse público e aberto a todos?

Eu não digo que seja todo o processo, mas algumas partes. Se um jornalista estiver a investigar, a fazer perguntas, algumas portas se hão-de fechar, e só se abrirão com nova informação e a necessidade de resposta, retaliação – por vezes uma declaração surge pela discórdia. Mas como o ditado diz que duas cabeças pensam melhor que uma, se pedirmos  ajuda aos utilizadores, muitas irão trabalhar para o mesmo objectivo.

O grupo podia recolher dados, processá-los, dar o seu input, sugerir questões, e o jornalista – para além de ter que fazer todas as coisas que tem que fazer – coordenaria todas estas contribuições. Isto melhoraria a relação entre os utilizadores/leitores e o jornalista /reportagem /marca. Mas se não são fãs deste tipo  de abertura antes da publicação, porque não fazê-lo depois? Disponibilizem os brutos de vídeo, áudio, partilhem a documentação e os dados que recolheram numa base de dados aberta. As vantagens? Confiança.

O peso da transparência é grande, e evita que os jornalistas se afastem da história cedo demais ou que façam erros. O risco é menor, e se for um assunto controverso não é a figura isolada do jornalista que está em causa, mas toda uma comunidade que está por trás. É claro que isto não minimiza a importância ou as  suas responsabilidades, pelo contrário.

Os produtores do “Us Now” disponibilizaram vídeos, transcrições, links para descarregar o filme inteiro, e acredito que isto traz um valor acrescentado ao trabalho, em vez de o prejudicar comercialmente. Eu gosto de ver as partes do conjunto, mas podem sempre ficar pela versão final.

Há um bom exemplo disto com a peça sobre o Charlie Kauffman na Wired, e tentei fazer algo semelhante na pré-produção da minha entrevista ao Dave Cohn.

Como jornalistas, estariam abertos a este modelo? E como leitores, participariam?

Us Now website

Continue a ler ‘“Us Now”: as a presentation model | um modelo de apresentação’


WiFi Spots @Público: Collaborative Map | Mapa colaborativo

The map is user generated | O mapa é criado pelos utilizadores

The map is user generated | O mapa é criado pelos utilizadores

Público created a GoogleMap for WiFi hotspots in Portugal. So far it doesn’t sound like a  big deal, but this project relies on the contributions of their users. Better? It’s a simple crowdsourcing solution for a very practical matter.

According to the experience i have with collaborative maps it’s a tough task to supervise the data and keep them tidy, but it’s worth it.  Kudos!

Note: i know it is stil in Beta phase, but the map page remains untitled. It’s just one basic HTML line.

O Público criou um GoogleMap para os hotspots de Wifi em Portugal. Até agora isto não parece nada de especial, mas e se vos disser que é feito pelos utilizadores? É uma solução simples de crowdsourcing para uma questão muito prática.

Tendo em conta a experiência que tenho com mapas colaborativos, a tarefa mais difícil é supervisionar os dados e mantê-lo arrumado, mas vale a pena. Parabéns!

Nota: eu sei que ainda está em beta, mas a página do mapa ainda está sem título. É só uma linha básica de HTML.

Continue a ler ‘WiFi Spots @Público: Collaborative Map | Mapa colaborativo’


Analisys: experiment with a crowdsourced GoogleMap | Análise: experiências com um GoogleMap em crowdsource


Click image to visit the map | Cliquem na imagem para ver o mapa

Last Friday Portugal was going through one of the coldest days in the last decades: there were temperatures below zero and snow, conditions rather unusual for our mild winters. So i decided early in the morning to do something that would keep me busy and warm throughout the day: a map built by users, using their pictures showing the weather in their cities.

The first call for collaboration was sent via Twitter. Many of the tweople i follow were already discussing the issue, and all i had to do was to ask for their photographs and  videos. They just had to look out the window, use a camera or cellphone and post them on Twitpic, Flickr or Picasa.

A few took the challenge early on, and there was a small frenzy about the map i just had setup. When the first contributions arrived  someone let me know that some online newspapers were asking for pictures too. No maps though.

The map i created was open to anyone to add  their own pictures and locations,  and i “templated” it with the first pictures. The word spread out mostly by retweeting. By lunch hour i had a few contributions, not as many as the news websites of course, but some visually compelling. The public news channel – that has a very effective Twitter participation – picked up the idea and on their web segment at night news talked about the map. At the end of the day i had a cool 1,000 visitors. I decided to use that publicity to take the experiment into the weekend, and see how it would work.

The good stuff

The first impression i got was that there was a will to participate and share with others the  personal experience on the weather.  There were a lot of contributions on the news websites  and blogs that  also requested pictures of the cold wave, so there was a lot of material to work with.

The idea caught on pretty easily too among my Twitter contacts, which helped to drive traffic to the map and get links to pics and slideshows. There was some quality stuff there.

Functionally, the map was quickly set up, and there were no major technical issues, although i was asked to place the pictures quite often, instead of being the users posting them themselves.

The number of visits was also surprising: in three days of useful life it had over 2,500 visitors. And it got my name on television.

The not so good stuff

Despite noticing some initial interest on the project, it faded away rather quickly. It was a stand alone feature, and not associated to any other type of narrative content. It might have worked better as a mashup with weather info and readers comments, or local news rss feeds about the weather, twitter hashtags, etc.

I also had all the work, i expected more independence from the users when it came to place the pics on the map, but i had no tutorial explaining how to do it anyway. So maybe i expected too much. The contributions came not only as pictures but also as links to blogs who had some, and i asked bloggers to share their own crowdsourcing efforts.

I took too much time to define a domain name to the map, i had a tip from a  fellow tweeter to use a free domain ( Easier to remember, easier to use.


For a project like this to work it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone, but integrated in a streaming narrative, open to collaboration, and easier to interact. There was a real interest on the user side to participate, so the power of the crowd is still strong. I could have used more publicity, or have access to a wider audience, even with a reference on TV.  But it was easy, fast and cheap to set up. And as far as i can tell it was unique here in Portugal. There were a lot of requests for pictures, but no maps. Originality wins extra points.

To finish this short analisys i’d just like to thank all the people who participated and spread the word. More and more the creation of web contents depends on the users input.

And a question: what else could have been done?

Sexta-feira passada Portugal estava a meio de uma das maiores vagas de frio das últimas décadas: temperaturas abaixo de zero e neve, condições raras nos nossos Invernos amenos. Por isso decidi logo de manhãzinha fazer algo que me mantivesse quente e ocupado ao longo do dia: um mapa feito por utilizadores, que mostrasse fotos do frio nas suas localidades.

O primeiro apelo à participação foi feito via Twitter. Muita da tweople que sigo já discutiam o assunto, e tudo o que precisei de fazer foi pedir pelas suas fotos e vídeos. Bastava-lhes olhar pela janela, usar uma máquina fotográfica ou um telemóvel e postar as fotos no Twitpic, Flickr ou Picasa.

Alguns aceitaram logo o desafio, e houve alguma agitação à volta do mapa que tinha criado. Quando as primeiras contribuições chegaram houve alguém que me disse que alguns sites informativos também andavam a pedir fotos. Mas nada de mapas.

O mapa que criei estava aberto a toda a gente que quisesse adicionar as suas fotos e locais, e formatei o conceito nas primeiras fotos. A palavra espalhou-se principalmente através de retweets. À hora de almoço tinha algumas participações, não tantas como nos sites de informação claro, mas algumas visualmente interessantes. A RTPN – que usa muito bem o Twitter –  pegou na ideia e falou do mapa no segmento web do À Noite As Notícias. No final do  dia tinha uns 1,000 visitantes. Decidi aproveitar a  deixa e prolonguei a experiência pelo fim de semana, para ver no que dava.

A parte boa

A primeira impressão com que fiquei foi que existia uma vontade de participar e partilhar com outros a experiência pessoal desse dia. Houve muitas contribuições nos sites informativos e blogs que pediram imagens da vaga de frio, por isso havia muita matéria prima com que trabalhar.

A ideia pegou facilmente entre os meus contactos no Twitter, que ajudaram a gerar táfego para o mapa e obter links para fotos e slideshows. E havia coisas com qualidade.

Funcionalmente, o mapa foi fácil de montar, e não houve grandes problemas técnicos, embora me pedissem para pôr as fotos, em vez de serem os utilizadores a colocá-las por eles mesmos.

O número de visitantes também foi surpreendente: em três dias de vida útil o mapa teve mais de 2,500 visitantes. E apareci na TV.

A parte menos boa

Apesar de reparar num entusiamo inicial à volta do projecto, ele esmoreceu rapidamente. Era uma criação isolada, não associada a qualquer outro tipo de narrativa. Poderia ter funcionado melhor como mashup com informação meteorológica, comentários, feeds rss locais, hashtags do Twitter, etc.

Também tive que fazer grande parte do trabalho, esperava que os utilizadores pusessem as fotos no mapa, mas também não tinha nenhuma explicação sobre como fazê-lo. Talvez as expectativas fossem altas demais. As contribuições não foram só fotos mas também links para blogs que tinham outras imagens, e ainda pedi algumas a mais uns bloggers.

Demorei demasiado tempo a criar um domínio para o mapa, mas tive uma dica pelo Twitter para usar um gratuito (, mais fácil de lembrar e usar.


Para um projecto destes resultar não pode funcionar de forma isolada mas integrado numa narrativa contínua, aberto à colaboração e terá que ser mais fácil de interagir. Houve um interesse real por parte dos utilizadores em participar, por isso o poder da multidão é forte. Podia ter tido uma maior divulgação, mesmo com a menção na TV. Mas foi fácil, rápido e barato de montar. E até onde pude ver foi algo de único. Muitos sites pediram fotos e a colaboração dos utilizadores mas nada de mapas. A originalidade ganha pontos extra.

Para terminar esta curta análise, só queria agradecer a todas as pessoas que participaram e passaram a palavra. Cada vez mais a criação de conteúdos web depende da contribuição dos utilizadores.

E uma pergunta: que mais poderia ter sido feito?

Continue a ler ‘Analisys: experiment with a crowdsourced GoogleMap | Análise: experiências com um GoogleMap em crowdsource’


Autópsia de uma entrevista aberta e em crowdsourcing | Autopsy of an open crowdsourced interview

Entrevista com Dave Cohn

Uma análise a uma experiência


Analisys of an experiment

Eu sei que já devem estar fartos de ouvir falar disto, mas este post encerra o assunto. O que me proponho fazer é uma pequena avaliação a esta experiência de fazer uma entrevista aberta e em crowdsourcing: o que correu bem, o que correu mal, e o que se pode retirar daqui.

O objectivo era entrevistar Dave Cohn, antes do lançamento do seu projecto de jornalismo em crowdfunding ,oficialmente lançado esta semana. Parte das perguntas seriam feitas por leitores deste blog e eu assumiria a edição e a produção do trabalho.

Antes de mais, uma cronologia do processo:

a ideia foi lançada a 4 de Setembro; o Dave aceitou na hora fazer a entrevista; seis pessoas colaboraram e enviaram as suas próprias perguntas para juntar às minhas;

-as perguntas foram enviadas a 3 de Outubro;

-o video (de 30 minutos!!) com as respostas foi recebido dois dias depois e editado durante a semana seguinte;

a primeira parte do video foi publicada a 9 de Outubro, a segunda no dia seguinte;

-a versão em texto foi publicada em inglês primeiro no OJB e no Lago a 29 de Outubro; a versão portuguesa a 31;


Vamos começar pelas coisas que na minha opinião correram mal:

-DURAÇÃO: apesar de estar a jogar com a data de lançamento do projecto, todo o processo demorou demasiado tempo. O Dave foi muito rápido da parte dele e muito atencioso, por isso ele não tem responsabilidades nesta demora. Não se esqueçam que a entrevista não foi presencial e que todos os contactos foram feitos por email. O que acabou por levar mais tempo foi juntar um número razoável de participações, e depois editar a entrevista em vídeo e para texto. Isto leva a outro ponto.

-DIMENSÃO: a entrevista foi demasiado extensa. É um hábito que tenho, mas quando sei que os entrevistados são pessoas inteligentes com coisas para dizer gosto de tirar o máximo deles. Mas depois isso traz problemas: o Dave teve a bondade de me gravar um video de 30 minutos, para responder de forma brilhante a cerca de 15 perguntas; na edição tive que dividir o video final em duas partes (mais de 10 minutos cada) , e reestruturar um monte de informação para a versão em texto. Para quem vê ou lê a entrevista acaba por ser demasiado.

-EDIÇÃO: se o vídeo até resulta pela presença e personalidade do Dave, a versão escrita acaba por estar desiquilibrada, confesso que tive pouco tempo durante a edição do texto e há partes que se ressentem. Mas experimentem trabalhar em duas línguas ao mesmo tempo, e vão ver que não é fácil.

-PARTICIPAÇÃO: a parte que me preocupou mais foi o número reduzido de participações. Posso ter sido demasiado optimista tendo em conta o número de leitores do blog, mas também espalhei (e espalharam) a palavra pelo Twitter. Pensei que tivesse mais por onde escolher mas no fim usei as questões de todos os participantes.

O que correu bem:

-PARTICIPAÇÃO: foram poucos mas foram bons, o que parece ser regra aqui entre os meus leitores. As perguntas eram difíceis e muito interessantes, e vieram enriquecer a entrevista. O objectivo era mesmo esse, ter mais do que eu sozinho poderia dar.E aproveito para agradecer a todos pela sua participação – a lista das perguntas creditadas aos seus autores está aqui.

-O ENTREVISTADO: se a entrevista vale alguma coisa é pelo Dave que foi excepcional no tempo que dedicou a isto. Felizmente tenho tido a oportunidade de entrevistar pessoas que respeito e admiro e todas têm correspondido. O show é dele e espero que esta entrevista tenha contribuído para divulgar o seu trabalho. Eu estou imensamente agradecido pela paciência que ele teve.

-PUBLICAÇÃO: a entrevista saltou os limites deste blog e foi publicada no OnlineJournalismBlog e ambos os vídeos foram postados no Houve algum feedback também em outros blogs.

Como balanço final, só posso dizer que podia ter sido melhor. Eu queria abrir o processo de realização da entrevista ao público, não só dando-lhe acesso aos diferentes passos mas convidando-o a participar.

Depois, acho que podia ter feito um trabalho final melhor, a nível de estrutura e tratamento a entrevista tem algumas falhas, mas foi o melhor que pude dadas as circunstâncias em que me encontrava na altura. Há coisas a melhorar sempre.

É engraçado reparar que a ideia de processo aberto é utilizado dias depois numa experiência da Wired com um trabalho sobre o Charlie Kaufman. Para se poder dar esta abertura é preciso pensar melhor nos formatos e nas plataformas a usar, mas tudo também depende das dimensões das publicações.

Creio que este pode ser um modelo de trabalho que pode ser utilizado eficazmente através do online: a transparência de processos e a participação dos utilizadores na produção de entrevistas traz mais valias ao trabalho final, numa perspectiva de consumidor. Os elementos chave são a confiança, a identificação e a integração.

Mais do que na criação de conteúdos, o futuro dos cidadãos no jornalismo está na colaboração em crowdsourcing, e o jornalista será a ponte entre o entrevistado, a redacção e o público, assumindo os papéis de editor e produtor.É realmente uma profissão em transformação.

E vocês -os que chegaram até aqui- que pensam sobre tudo isto? Dêem as vossas ideias e opiniões.

I know you must be sick and tired of hearing about this, but this post will put an end to it. What i propose to do here is a short evaluation to this experience in crowdsourcing an interview: what went wrong, what went great, and what we can take from the whole thing.

The goal was to interview Dave Cohn before launching,  his crowdfunded journalism project, which happened just a few days ago. Some of the questions would be proposed by the readers of this blog, and i would take the edition and production of the interview.

But, first, a small chronology:

the idea was set on the September 4th; Dave immediatly said he would do it; six people participated and sent their own questions to add to mine;

-those questions were sent on the October 3rd;

-the video (30 minutes long!!)  with the answers came two days later and the editing took part of the following week;

the first part of the video was published on the 9th and the second in the following day;

-the english text version was posted at OJB and at The Lake on the Oct.29th; the portuguese version was available on the 31st;


Lets start with the things that – in my opinion- went wrong:

-DURATION: despite taking in account the date when the project would be launched, the whole process took too long. Dave was very quick and thoughtful throughout the process, so he has no responsibilities on this. Don’t forget the interview wasn’t made in person, and that all the contacts were made by email. What ended up taking more time was to gather a reasonable number of contributions, a then editing the interview in video and text. This leads to another item.

-SIZE: this interview was too long. It’s an awful habit i have, but  when i know the subject of the interview is an intelligent person with things to say i like to take the most out of them. But that brings problems later: Dave had the kindness of recording a 30 minute video to answer brilliantly to about 15 questions; i had to cut it to a two part final version (with more than 10 minutes each), and restructure a whole lot of information for the text version. For those who watch the video or read the interview online is a bit too much.

-EDITING: if the video works because of Dave’s presence and personality, the written version came out a bit unbalanced. I admit i didn’t have much time while editing the text version, and some parts resent that. But try to work in two languages simultaneously and you’ll see how hard it is.

-COLLABORATION:  the thing that worried me the most was the low number of participations. I may have been a bit to much optimistic regarding the regular number of readers of my blog, but i (and others) spread the word out on Twitter. I thought that in the end i would have more to choose from, but i got to use all the questions left.

What went well then:

-COLLABORATION:  they were few but they were good, which seems to be a pattern among my readers. The questions were tough and really interesting, and added value to the interview. That was the goal, to have more than what i could give on my own. And i take this opportunity to thank you all who participated – the list of the questions credited to their respective authors is here.

-THE INTERVIEWEE: if the interview is any good is because of Dave who was amazing in the time he spared to do it. Fortunately i’ve been having the chance to interview people that i admire and respect and all of them have lived up to the expectations. It was his show and i hope this interview helped to make his work better known. I’m so grateful  for all his patience he had with this.

-PUBLISHING: the interview wasn’t confined just to the limits of this blog, and it was posted at the OnlineJournalismBlog and the videos at There were references in other places too.

All in all , i just can say it could have worked better. I wanted to open the process of making the interview to the public, not only giving them access to the different steps, but also making them a part of it.

Then, i guess i could have done a better job in the end, structurally and on a treatment level the interview has some flaws, but it was the best i could given the circumstances i was at the time. There are always things to immprove.

It’s also funny to notice that the idea of open process is used a few days later with a Wired experiment over a story on Charlie Kauffman. To do something like this you have to really think through the formats and platforms to use, but it also depends on the size of each endeavour.

I believe this could become a working model that can be used effectively online: the transparency in the process and users participation in the production of interviews adds value to the final result, in a consumers perspective. The key elements  here are trust, identification, and integration.

More than in the creation of contents, the future of citizens in journalism will be in crowdsourced  collaborations, and the journalist will become the bridge between the subject, the newsroom and the audience, taking the roles of editor and producer.It is a job in transformation indeed

And what about you – those who got this far. What do you think about all this? Share your thoughts and leave your opinion. Thanks.

EXTRA : full unedited video

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Continue a ler ‘Autópsia de uma entrevista aberta e em crowdsourcing | Autopsy of an open crowdsourced interview’


Reviewing a review on a review

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Carlos Saucedo (the fellow on the video above) wrote a review on ,  and while doing so, he referred to me as a “representative from”, relying on my own post reviewing that website. And though he was innacurate, i think he raises a few good questions.

But first of all, let me clarify a thing or two: i’m not a “representative from”. The text Carlos refers to, is my own review for, a project created by Paul Bradshaw. I don’t know where Carlos Saucedo got the idea i was representing NewsTrust, since we can read at the top of the post “Review: – Another JE review“. But it probably slipped his attention.

But what Carlos does well is to question the principles of websites like and and the ethics of journalism. His point is: why should some website proclaim that it has the best unbiased juornalism, if things should already be that way? That was the question i did when i reviewed the website. My findings? Those projects rely in the power of the crowd to pick the best articles out of the news cloud, which may not be always right, but it’s far more democratic than leaving that choice to a small bunch of people. Added to the crowd factor, i verified that the “people in charge of NewsTrust are experienced, reputable professionals, which gives extra credibility to the project.” They have journalism backgrounds, and a past of civic engagement. NewsTrust is the marriage between those two sides, to provide the best news chosen by the people, for the people. Do i think it’s an interesting idea? Yes i do. Do i believe it’s perfect? Not at all, but it’s good, and it is also a good example of how things work now in news distribution: we no longer rely in just one brand, but we also follow the recommendations of others, we go to one website to find views and news from different sources. The fragments all glued together by ourselves and the crowd, to build our own news reality, instead of the monolithic model that ran for decades.

He also questions ethics: “Has the field of journalsim changed so much that no one can be trusted anymore?  I guess we are all to assume that journalism and ethics in the same sentence is an oxymoron.” He’s being naive, of course. Or he never saw Fox or any other TV station, radio, newspaper, website pursuing a biased perspective. No, that wouldn’t happen in the United States. Journalism is powerful, because it shapes people’s perception of reality, and that is what rules people’s actions, or inertia, for that matter. Journalism is not always ethical. I’m sorry to say that out loud because it can break a few hearts, but that’s the truth. Most journalists try to do things right  though (i hope not to be the naive one now). And it has never been so powerful, because we can know in seconds about something that happened across the world, and there has never been such a great load of information. Should we leave the choice of the important news to the crowd? Well, what makes news is something that will affect the largest number of people. If the crowd doesn’t know what is important for them, who will? And if the crowd can choose from the noise, why won’t they? Maybe there aren’t many people with the proper training to be journalists. But even the “respected news organizations that have prefessional experience in journalism” must be questioned by the amateurs, because they are the destination, but no longer the end of the line of the news cycle, because now the amateurs can ask, comment, give their input back.

Unlike Carlos, I have journalistic experience. Not as much as i wanted to, but enough to recognize that this is all grey area. Carlos admits: “I have no professional or student experience in journalism whatsoever!”. And he is not the paradigm of impartiality: “As the ardent activist I was on campus, I plan to continue my enthusiasm for change into the field of journalism.  The lack of diversity in American newsrooms is a call for drastic change.” So he has his own agenda. And for what i’ve seen, Carlos has little knowledge of how things work nowadays. But now i’m just being biased.

I admire enthusiastic young journalists who believe that this job is fitted to induce a change for better in the world. Carlos is one of those, and i am too, apart from the fact i’m not as young as he is. The role of journalism is to present facts so that people can exercise their rights: the right to vote in their favorite candidate, the right to demonstrate against or for public decisions, the right to be aloof.

What i liked about the post Carlos wrote is that he is willing to pose the questions that bother him, and makes them public for the common good: “Are we so idle nowadays that we need a site to tell us what is bias and what isn’t in news?” Well, Carlos, sometimes we do, but i like the  question, because it’s thought-provocative . I wish the best for him, and i hope he keeps enthusiastic about journalism and the power it has to improve things, but i’ll leave one piece of advice: get the facts straight before publishing them, or you’ll be paying journalism a poor effort.

Alexandre Gamela, who appears to be a representative from, wrote in a blog that the online site provides “quality news feeds, news literacy tools and a trust network to help citizens make informed decisions about democracy.”
Well, isn’t that what the press is for?  Has the field of journalsim changed so much that no one can be trusted anymore?  I guess we are all to assume that journalism and ethics in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
Are we so idle nowadays that we need a site to tell us what is bias and what isn’t in news?
You would think that respected news organizations that have prefessional experience in journalism, would have the capacity to produce unbiased, high-quality reporting and not be questioned by amateurs.



Entrevista em crowdsourcing | Crowdsourcing an interview – Dave Cohn

Heidi Miller of the Knight News Challenge recently interviewed past Knight News Challenge winner, David Cohn, to explore how he succeeded in getting funding for his great idea for digital communication innovation.

Real winners with really great ideas – David Cohn interview, founder of

September 11, 2008

Acabou o prazo para colocarem as vossas questões ao Dave Cohn. A todos os que participaram, obrigado. Durante a próxima semana irei partilhar  a versão final antes de falar com o Dave. Até lá fiquem com esta entrevista que o Knight News Challenge lhe fez.

The deadline for putting your questions to Dave Cohn is over. To all of you who came forward and participated, thank you. During next week i’ll share with you the final version before talking to Dave. Until then listen to this interview that he gave to the Knight News Challenge website.

What advice would you give to others with a great idea they want funded?

The advice I would give is not to hold your idea and try and treat it like a secret. Make your idea public. Start writing about it. Talk to other people about it. A lot of people that I give this advice to of just being open with your idea have a fear that someone else is going to steal it. That won’t happen. So the best thing you can do is just talk about what you’re doing.

Real winners with really great ideas – David Cohn interview

Continue a ler ‘Entrevista em crowdsourcing | Crowdsourcing an interview – Dave Cohn’


Entrevista aberta | Dave Cohn | Open Interview


Knight News Challenge winner David Cohn of gets geeky at the MIT Media Lab. - Amy Gahran

Continua em andamento a preparação da entrevista ao Dave Cohn, criador do, um projecto que promove o jornalismo em crowdfunding.

E continuo à espera da vossa participação nesta entrevista. Já sabem o que têm que fazer e até quando. Temos uma participação mas são precisas mais. O Dave Cohn ficou muito interessado no que pode sair desta entrevista por isso, mãos à obra.

O timing é perfeito: o está prestes a sair de uma fase (pré)beta bem sucedida, e apresenta em breve o seu site definitivo.

Ficam abaixo mais uns links para a nossa investigação.

It’s in process the interview i’ll be doing to Dave Cohn, the creator of, a project that promotes crowdfunded journalism.

And i’m still waiting for your participation in this process. You already know what to do and what’s your deadline. We already have one participation, but we need more. Dave is looking forward for what may come out of this interview, so get to work.

The timing is perfect: is about to terminate it’s rather successful (pre)beta phase, and will move forward to the official webpage.

Below, a few more links for our research.


A Phenomenal Day for Spot.Us « “Community Funded Reporting” Spot.Us

David Cohn answers questions about and community funded reporting — Eat Sleep Publish

Green Options

Conversations in Media: David Cohn on Spot.Us | The Journalism Iconoclast

Innovation in College Media » Blog Archive » ICM interview: David Cohn,

Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » Premature spotlight on

Rick Burnes’ Blog: Excitement, Questions About

Poynter Online – E-Media Tidbits

Continue a ler ‘Entrevista aberta | Dave Cohn | Open Interview’


Entrevista em | Crowdsourcing | an interview – Spot Dave Cohn


Um dos projectos desta semana é preparar uma entrevista ao Dave Cohn, um dos contemplados com um prémio Knight News Challenge, com o seu

No espírito comunitário do projecto do Dave e do próprio KNC, vou abrir a oportunidade de colaborarem comigo na preparação de entrevista que lhe vou fazer. Isto não é uma forma de ter menos trabalho, é apenas uma maneira de vos dar a conhecer o trabalho dele, e se quiserem, colaborar neste trabalho.  Mas há regras e directrizes:

– em baixo vou deixar uma lista de links sobre o Dave e o Se encontrarem outros pertinentes, contribuam;

– juntamente com essa lista estão meia dúzia de perguntas que não são definitivas, por isso, deixem as questões que gostariam que o Dave respondesse. Só aceito UMA questão por pessoa, por isso, pensem bem no que querem saber;

– há um limite para o número de perguntas que lhe vou fazer, no máximo 12/15, por isso o grupo final de questões serão escolhidas por mim, por motivos de sequência lógica de entrevista. Todos os autores das perguntas escolhidas serão creditados;

– ainda não discuti com o Dave qual será o meio da entrevista, mas por motivos práticos deverá ser por email. Mas tentarei que seja noutro formato mais interessante, depende tudo da disponibilidade dele;

– para contribuirem, basta só deixarem o vosso link ou pergunta na caixa de comentários deste post com identificação e email válidos. Não há espaço para anónimos;

– o prazo para as vossas contribuições termina às 15 horas da próxima segunda terça-feira TMG;

E é tudo. Colaborem e descubram como e por quem foi feito um dos mais interessantes projectos do jornalismo moderno.

One of this week’s project is to prepare an interview with Dave Cohn, one of the contemplated with a Knight News Challenge award, with his project

In the communitarian spirit present in Dave’s project and KNC itself, i’m giving you the chance to work with me preparing this interview. This is not a way to work less, or live off of your effort, it’s just a way to get you acquainted to his work, and if you want, collaborate in this assignment. But there are rules and guidelines:

– below i’ll be leaving a list of links about Dave and If you find others that may turn out useful for this work, add them;

– along with that list there is half dozen questions that are not the definitive ones, so , ask your  own questions to Dave. I’ll only take ONE question per contributor, so think carefully about what you want to know;

– there’s a limit for the number of questions to be asked, 12/15 tops, so the final group of questions will be chosen by me, in order to keep a logic sequence for the interview. All the authors of those questions will get a byline;

– i haven’t discussed with Dave what will be the medium for this interview, but for practical reasons  probably it will be by email. But i’ll try to present it in another format, it depends on Dave’s availability;

– to contribute, all you have to do is to leave you link or question in the comment box for this post with your name and a valid email. There’s no room for anonymous;

– the deadline for your contributions is next Monday Tuesday , until 3 p.m. GMT;

And that’s it. Collaborate and find how – and by whom- one of the most interesting projects in modern journalism was (is being) made.

Novo Prazo | New deadline – Quarta-feira 20.00 TMG | Wednesday 20.00 GMT


Home |
Spot Us » home » discussion » community directed journalism
Spot Journalism | Knight News Challenge
About “Spot Us” « “Community Funded Reporting” Spot.Us
DigiDave | Communication is Key
Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » Premature spotlight on
DigiDave | Communication is Key: Spot.Us in the New York Times – Not “Victory” by any means – but kinda cool
US: tests “community-funded journalism” – editorsweblog
Crowdsourcing: Spot Us Reporting: Crowdfunding in Journalism
Crowd Funding – A Different Way to Pay for the News You Want –

Perguntas | Questions

How was it for you when you knew you won the knight news challenge award?

I’ve been following the evolution of, with all it’s episodes. Has it become a more daunting task than you expected?

Has corporate journalism become too biased? Do you think this way you escape the kind of pressures traditional media suffers?

Is the picture of the world brought by traditional media too narrow?

How has your perspective on journalism – as a business and as a service (or as a process, like you say) – changed since the beggining of

What about the expectations from the “crowdfunders”? How do you manage reporters so they can bring a good story that lives up to them?

Continue a ler ‘Entrevista em | Crowdsourcing | an interview – Spot Dave Cohn’


Crowdsourcing Inc.

Crowdsourcing: A Definition

I like to use two definitions for crowdsourcing:

The White Paper Version:Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

The Soundbyte Version: The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.

O Ebbsfleet United é um modesto clube de futebol das divisões secundárias de Inglaterra, um entre tantos outros. Mas a diferença, é que, em vez ter um magnata russo como dono, tem 28,250 proprietários, espalhados por 72 países.

A ideia nasceu num site criado por Will Brooks, chamado MyFootballClub, que assentava no princípio de que se milhares de pessoas pudessem contribuir com uma pequena quantia, poderiam adquirir um clube de futebol e geri-lo. O negócio ficou a 35 libras por participante.

Esta é a mais recente e vistosa acção de crowdsourcing e provavelmente a primeira de cariz corporativo. Quando muitos se questionam sobre a sobrevivência dos jornais, não pude deixar de pensar sobre o que aconteceria se houvesse um movimento semelhante para comprar uma das tantas empresas de comunicação à beira da falência que andam por aí.

O conceito seria muito semelhante ao MyFC : abriam-se inscrições para futuros mini-William Randolph Hearsts e fazia-se uma lista de empresas-alvo. Depois de decidida a compra e feita a aquisição, passávamos à parte de gestão. O que se iria decidir logo a início seriam as questões de fundo: grafismo, software (open source sempre que possível para cortar nos custos), linha editorial (nada de imposições à la carte!), formatos de conteúdos – investimento em new media, claro- , escolha da equipa redactorial, preços para publicidade, etc. Tudo de forma a manter a liberdade e o profissionalismo dos jornalistas intactos.

Na gestão contínua do nosso jornal (rádio,tv,site noticioso) , os vários “editores” iriam escolher sobre os temas que gostariam de ver em destaque, que personalidades seriam entrevistadas, tudo a partir de propostas do corpo de jornalistas, o que criaria um espírito mais empreendedor dentro da redacção. Seria criado também um blog onde todas as opções e reportagens seriam comentadas pelos múltiplos donos.

A esta altura alguns de vocês estão a abanar a cabeça e a dizer que apanhei demasiado sol na cabeça, mas pensem desta forma: tirando o conceito de propriedade e de gestão logística da empresa, is já está a acontecer . Os media sempre foram ao encontro não só do que o público precisa de saber, mas do que quer saber, e a internet permite aos utilizadores fazerem as suas escolhas e aos editores adequarem o seu conteúdo às preferências do seu público.

Soa a vendido, eu sei, mas estamos a falar de um negócio. E quantas histórias surgem a partir de dicas de leitores ou das suas próprias experiências? E o que faz um consumidor quando se deixa de identificar com um produto? Além disso, imaginem que o Ebbsfleet United não é um clube de futebol mas um jornal médio. Um jornal com quase 30 mil leitores garantidos- os donos- fora os familiares e amigos e todos os outros que já iriam comprar o jornal,fosse como fosse. Se quiserem vender espaço para publicidade podem acenar com estes números. Não me parece muito diferente de uma assinatura anual…

E que melhor forma de saber o que o público precisa entregando a edição(em linhas muito gerais) ao próprio público? A transparência aumentaria, já que as relações privilegiadas entre proprietários de media e empresários, partidos, governo, não existiriam. Se houvesse algum favorecimento ou má conduta, as reacções seriam públicas, pois todos participam e todos podem discordar. As possibilidades de compadrio estariam diluídas.Falando de dinheiro, o Ebb.United custou um milhão de libras. Quanto custa um jornal?

As possibilidades da gestão comunitária já foram pensadas há muito mas não tendo em conta o potencial da internet. Experiências como o MyFC vêm levantar novos conceitos de negócio, cidadania e comunidade.

Crowdsourcing ou crowdbossing?

Ebbsfleet United is just one out of the many small-sized minor british league football clubs. But what sets it apart is that, instead of having one russian tycoon for the owner, it has 28,250 owners, scattered through 72 countries.

The idea was born on a website created by Will Brooks, which was called MyFootballClub. It sat on the principle that if thousands of people could contribute with a small fee, they could buy a football club and manage it. The deal was settled by £35 each.

This is the latest and more noticeable crowdsourcing action, and probably the first one with corporate characteristics. When many wonder about the survival of newspapers, i just couldn´t help thinking of what would happen if there was a similar movement to buy one of the many near bankrupt media companies around.

The concept would resemble to MyFC : future mini- William Randolph Hearsts could sign in, and a target-company list would be made. After choosing and acquiring the most suitable one, we would go right to management. First decisions would be taken on general matters : design, software (open source whenever possible to cut expenses), editorial direction (no a la carte imposings!), content formats – new media investment, of course- , selection of the news team, publicity prices, etc. All in a way that would keep the journalists liberty and professionalism untouched.

On the daily management of our newspaper (radio, tv, news website, whatever…), the several “editors” could choose which issues they would like to see in the headlines, which personalities would be interviewed, all of this out of suggestions from the news team, which would create a more enterprising spirit in the newsroom. A blog would also be created, where all the stories and options were commented by the miriad of owners.


By now, some of you are thinking that i totally lost my mind, but take a look at it this way: apart from the property concept and the enterprise’s logistic management, this is already happening. Media always met what the public needs to know, but also what it wants to know, and the internet allows users to express their choices, and the editors to adjust their content to the public’s preferences.


It sounds like selling out, i know, but this is a business we’re talking about. And how many stories come from readers tips or from their own experiences? And what does a consumer do when he no longer identifies with a product? Besides, imagine that Ebbsfleet United is not a small football club, but a midsized newspaper. A newspaper with almost 30 thousand guaranteed readers- the owners- not counting with their relatives and friends, and the whole lot that would buy the newspaper anyway. If you need to sell a publicity slot you can wave these numbers around. It really doesn’t sound that different from a anual subscription…

And what better way to know what the public needs than by handing the edition (in general guidelines) to the public itself? Transparence would increase, since the priviledged relationships between media owners and business men, political parties, government, wouldn’t exist. If some sort of favouring or misconduct would ever occur, the management reactions would come out in the open, because everyone can participate and disagree. The chances for protection woud be diluted. Talking numbers, the Ebb.United cost one million pounds. How much is a newspaper?

The possibilities for community management were thought long ago, but without considering internet’s potential. Experiences like MyFC come to raise new concepts for business, citizenship and comunity.

So, crowdsourcing or crowdbossing?

Mais sobre crowdsourcing | More on crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing @ Wikipedia

Chapter Two: The Rise of the Amateur

What Does Crowdsourcing Really Mean?

I moved | Mudei-me


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