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Blog:mozfest

MozFest 2014: Finding inspiration in video games to teach technology

Man, I’m still in love with MozFest. I know I sound like a kid who can’t quit talking about summer camp, but it’s my third MozFest and I’m as excited now as I was two years ago. Back in 2012 MozFest was was intimidating, exciting and incredibly fulfilling by the time all was said and done. It was a tough act to follow, but 2014 seems to have done it. Why? Probably because

MozFest 2014: Gotta lotta analog data? Crowdsourcing may make it useful for you and fun for readers

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When we think of data, we almost always think of computers. But when it comes to data that was created before the digital area —  handwritten notes, ancient maps or printed documents, for example — nothing beats human eyes to quantify and verify. And when many human eyes are needed, journalists have the option to crowdsource their data. At MozFest this weekend, Mike Tigas of ProPublica and Jeremy B. Merrill of The New

MozFest 2014: My first time — a rookie’s Mozfest experience

On Wednesday night I was en route to London and getting nervous. “I’ve never attended a conference or a festival before,” I told Knight Lab’s Joe Germuska as we sat at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport just two days before MozFest kicked off. Joe assured me that MozFest was a good one, but I still had nerves. It wasn’t just that it was my first festival. I’d also had a proposal to facilitate a

MozFest 2014: Designing products for news with the Werewolf game

Yesterday I attended a fun and interactive MozFest session led by Melody Kramer, a digital strategist at NPR, in which she used the game Werewolf to teach how she makes products for NPR. Only, in our game, the scary Werewolf didn’t kill people, it killed features. In a traditional game of Werewolf: The moderator divides players into two secret teams – the werewolves and the villagers. The werewolves’ goal is to kill all

MozFest 2014: On community, and why it’s not just a buzzword

A couple years ago a 13-year-old boy in Ireland started to learn to code and built a game so successful it knocked Angry Birds off its No. 1 spot in the Irish App Store. At 13, I’m pretty sure I was still listening to Hilary Duff and fighting my sister for AIM time on the computer. I know why CoderDojo Global CEO Mary Moloney shared the story of game-making Harry at the MozFest

MozFest 2014: Thinking about (and soon building) sentient articles

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On the first day of MozFest, I went to an intriguing session called “Rise of the Sentient Articles.” Led by ProPublica’s Sisi Wei and Ryann Jones, the session encouraged participants to brainstorm the future of news powered by algorithms. What if articles modified themselves based on an individual reader’s needs? What if, rather than building news applications and interactive graphics that rely on user input, the content was automatically restructured or personalized based