From Sourcerous to Trendable: Nine new tech prototypes unveiled next week

Nine new projects from teams of Northwestern journalism and computer science students demonstrate ways that technology could help journalists, publishers and media consumers. And you can see them unveiled next week.

The final presentations in our unusual "Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology" class take place at 6:30 p.m. (Chicago time), Wednesday, June 4 in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum. If you can attend, please let us know. If you can't, catch the live stream at

My Knight Lab colleague, Professor Larry Birnbaum of the computer science department in the McCormick School, kicked off the class in April by forming nine interdisciplinary teams out of the 31 students enrolled in the class. We gave them a list of broadly defined project ideas, asked them for their preferences and tried to assign students to ideas they were most interested in.

We promise the students that every team will have a working prototype to show off by the end of the term. The best projects may continue to be developed after the class is over by the students or the professional developers at the Knight Lab.

Here's a list of the projects that will be presented on June 4:

  • Sourcerous: a tool that finds sources for a journalist writing about a company or institution.
  • Trendable: a system that helps a journalist assemble and analyze time series data.
  • The Weekender: a tool that builds an itinerary for a short visit to an unfamiliar city.
  • Print Share: social media sharing for articles in print publications.
  • VizAnalytics: a tool allowing online publishers to benchmark their performance based on Web analytics.
  • Qwotd: a browser plug-in that surfacesthe Twitter conversation about any page a user is viewing.
  • TED 2.0: an automated system that writes the script for a TED talk by assembling information about a chosen topic.
  • Tweet Talk: a browser plug-in that finds relevant tweets from a panel of experts about a given story topic.
  • WikiNow: the news "front page" for what's trending today on Wikipedia.

We hope you'll join us, in person or on the live stream. Want to get a sense of the issues the students have been wrestling with? Check out the class blog, Tech Media Street.

About the author

Rich Gordon

Professor and Director of Digital Innovation

Journalism/tech intersection, my passion for 25 years, data journalism, Miami Herald web director, now hacker journalism.

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