I thought some of you might be interested in a talk I gave today on behalf of Knight Foundation.
This morning, my colleague Robertson Adams recorded my presentation of the News Challenge Garage (the incubator site I helped build for the Knight News Challenge contest to fund innovative digital news delivery ideas) at the Communications Network 2008 Conference in Chicago: (note: it’s 9:50 long; promise it’s slightly better than the video still below indicates)
After a storm, suspended rain drops reveal hidden webs on plants, dot the insides of flowers.
On my way to the University of Virginia this morning, I paused at a small outgrowth that held up a canopy of interlaced threads, much like I was about to do for a small audience of colleagues in the faculty lounge of the English department.
For my dissertation presentation, I talked about food interactions and shifting patterns of consumption in online networks.
These are the slides from today’s talk,
and I’ve posted the working draft from the presentation on a new blog where I will, from time to time, post new working drafts and ideas.
The title of my project is Culture Modding: How We Play With Our Food, Money, and Beds in the Twenty-First Century and the blog is culturemodding.com.
After the talk, Dana and Will whisked me away to lunch (how I adore these two beautiful people), and then I walked back past the dewy webs to Ben’s, where the debris of a long night spent discussing theory, interventions, and counterpublics spread over the coffee table, my sense of gratitude renewed for this network of startlingly smart friends.
Here’s to a weekend of old friends, new areas of critical inquiry, and intriguing, flexible networks—
When not chasing spider webs, you might find me dodging grates in downtown Miami sidewalks as my high heels carry me toward the tall building where I work managing online community for the Knight Foundation.
As most of you know, I was hired three months ago to architect and implement a large community area that will span many the multiple project categories that Knight funds; I’ll share more about that closer to launch (likely late this fall).
For the past month, though, I have been working on another project that we’re calling the Garage. A brief overview:
The News Challenge is the contest most people associate with Knight Foundation; it’s a yearly contest that awards up to $5 million for ideas about local news delivery mechanisms.
This new Garage site is to help potential News Challenge applicants think through their ideas with the people in the best positions to advise them: past contest winners and expert mentors.
It’s an “incubator” site, and we (the Knight News Challenge team) hope it will be a place where ideas mature and strengthen, emerging from the Garage raring to apply, win, and implement.
Though an intentionally simple Drupal (an open source content management framework) site, this is an experiment that may serve as a model for how foundations can stage grant applications and help proposed notions solidify into ideas with longevity.
And I jumped at the chance to work with Susan Mernit, who continues to mentor me, and who let me lead the project.
An ambitious timeline, the chance to work with a tech diva I admire, projects that connect those who can improve local information chains for all of us—can you tell why I’m happy to dodge those Miami grates on weekday mornings?
As of this morning, if you look below kthread posts, you’ll see lovely little pictures of yourselves.
These are called gravatars (for globally recognized avatar) and the groovy part is when you make one here (thirty seconds, tops) then your gravatar image will automagically appear when you post a comment on any blog that has gravatars enabled.
I’m using a WordPress plug-in called WP-Gravatar, which lets me choose what will appear next to your name if you don’t have a gravatar.
I picked the shapes for now, as they remind of a summer I spent thinking about emoticons and hieroglyphics with Professor David Golumbia at the University of Virginia (read his great, short piece on Gray Kid skewering megapharma here; more David, a video on genre, here)—now that was a great summer research assistant gig.
So what does your shape mean?
According to the identicon creator: “It’s a randomly generated assortment of shapes that is specific to a commenter’s email (or if you prefer IP address)…With 40 possible shapes (about 70 with inversions) in 3 possible positions, around 8000 distinguishable colors and four different rotations for each part, there should be several billion possible shape combinations.”
But, hey, if you’re more into monsters, let me know in the comments. We can switch it up.
I’ve also added openID, which is a way for you to keep the same username all over the internets. It’s a shared identity system to let you control how you log in where. You may already have one (your Flickr account is one); there’s a list here. You can also “claim” your blog in about five minutes; details in this tutorial.
And, just so you know, your comments make my day. I think of each one as a little satellite of love, orbiting around kthread; here’s to our next revolutions…