Data-driven journalism: approaches to interactive storytelling (at #ISOJ)

The session that impressed me most at last week’s International Symposium on Online Journalism was this one, led by Aron Pilhofer of the New York Times. Major innovations are possible in data journalism;the key is getting or creating the requisite databases. The journalism is in extracting meaning.

http://storify.com/jonl/data-driven-journalism-approaches-to-interactive-s

Richard Gingras at the International Symposium on Online Journalism

Richard Gingras, Google News

Richard Gingras, Google News

The leader of Google News gave an insightful talk about the current state of online journalism. Here are my tweets during his keynote. Appreciated his visionary thinking about the state and future of news, especially the extent to which the concept of a “news story” is being redefined and reshaped as the Internet evolves past old media paradigms (page/periodical/book) and new forms of distribution emerge that are a more natural fit for technical and social networks. One caveat: he doesn’t really have to think the same way as some of the other speakers about finding a new business model – Google already has one that works. Also note that he was feeling good about Google+. (You think Facebook has Google+ beat? We used to think that Apple was never going to be a leader.)

(Pardon my typos.)

http://storify.com/jonl/richard-gingras-at-the-international-symposium-on

Gamification of HIV Research

Online gamers playing a game called Foldit “cracked a key protein structure problem that has had scientists scratching their heads for years…in three weeks.”

Foldit invites players to predict protein structures. The game was developed by researchers at the University of Washington, as a deliberate way to get gamers to compete by solving scientific problems. The game requires they use spatial and critical thinking skills to build 3D models of protein molecules. In this case, they were invited to build models of M-PMV, a protease enzyme that plays a key role in how a virus similar to HIV replicates in cells. Few of the players had any background in biochemistry.

By solving the mystery of the 3D structure of the protein, the gamers have helped scientists move a step forward in developing a drug that could stop viruses like HIV from spreading.

[Link]