October 13, 2011
There’s been a bit of interest, but I’m still looking for 3-4 other people to champion this idea. Again — minimal time involvement, help start something cool, learn new tech skills and be able to put “co-founder” on your resume!
I initially was wanting to start a City Spark group to brainstorm ideas to improve journalism technology, with the goal of entering the best idea into the competition and perhaps eventually the Knight News Challenge. Despite some initial interest, I quickly got the impression that most people in my programme are just too damned busy to craft a finely-tuned proposal and do all sorts of stuff that’s interesting to MBA students but not interesting in the slightest for journalism majors.
Thus, I propose something better: CULJTEG!
CULJTEG, or the City University London Journalism Technology Exploration Group (and trust me, I’d love for somebody to come up with a better acronym than this), would be a monthly meetup group emphasizing innovating the use of technology within the journalism field. We’d essentially meet for an hour or two the first Tuesday of every month at Saddler’s Bar or where-ever to discuss things that bug us about technology — and, more importantly, ways to make that technology work better. Some months we’d just have an open discussion; others, we could have a specific goal, whether that’s to run a workshop (I’d be happy to spend an hour or two teaching folks how to make their portfolio site really sizzle) or brainstorm ways to build some highly-disruptive technology before letting it loose on the London media environment.
It doesn’t even have to get that technical — if nothing else, we could just use the hour to expend huge amounts of public resources by making a bunch of FoI requests through WhatDoTheyKnow.com. “Dear Islington Council — what taxpayer funds are spent on toilet paper every year? And is Islington Town Hall single-ply or double-ply…?”
You get the idea.
If we’re going to do this, I want at least three other people to champion the idea. This would mean you’d try to be at every meeting — even if you’re really not feeling it that Tuesday — and would promote it to others via the usual channels. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, please either contact me on Twitter (@aendrew) or leave a comment below.