Google’s Digital News Initiative – some thoughts

My interest in Google’s Digital News Initiative

Those of you who have been following me and my stuff over the past ten months or so will know I like experimenting with technology – as far as my limited knowledge takes me – and ideas.

I signed up to be on the mailing-list to be told about Google’s Digital News Initiative, and so it was that I received an email the other day saying the application process was now open.

You can only apply once, and so I find myself in a bit of a quandary.  There’s so much I think could be interestingly done, and so little time in life to do it.

Two projects – which could become one

But I think it’s time to be clear about two projects I’d like to get involved in – an either/or scenario,  of course, as per the rules of the game:

  1. Something I’ve entitled YouMake.news:
    • It would involve a media cooperative like The Bristol Cable model
    • It would not involve traditional news-gathering
    • Each flagship project would have a three-month arc, in a similar way to The Bristol Cable’s flagship newspaper/magazine
    • At the centre of each project would be the affected individuals, empathetic artists and digital tools
  2. A concept called “sousveillance” which I’ve recently discovered via its inventor Steve Mann, who on Twitter goes by the moniker of @Hydraulist – a subject which, as a result, I’ve written about at the following two links:

As you can see, with respect to Google’s DNI, from here to the submission deadline of 4th December 2015 there is rather a lot to be done.

Conflation, collaboration and cooperation

Personally, I think there are opportunities for conflating the two projects – more than simply opportunities; perhaps actually an imperative to do so – but in order to achieve this goal I would need to find a small core of people:

  1. who would be interested in working with me (a challenge I think in itself – maybe fairly so, too, in the light of my recent history);
  2. who would be able to work quickly and happily with each other (clearly thinking in the same way, even if not thinking the same things); and
  3. who would be able to speak the language of the judges (extremely important in terms of the constraints of the many submissions which will almost certainly be received in such a short timeframe, as well as the workload this will place on those whose responsibility it is to assess them).

Conclusions, and a kinda call to action

So what do you think?  Is there anything in the above which fires up your enthusiasm?  Anything that makes you think, maybe, that “Hey yes, this is something worth broaching …”?

If you do, please do get in touch.  I really really do not bite; am really really open to all kinds of approaches – just so long as they are constructive, legal and interesting of concept.

And I think either of the above proposals – or, indeed, even both – could fulfil exactly all three criteria.  Don’t you?

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One Comment

  1. […] Google’s Digital News Initiative – some thoughtsMy interest in Google’s Digital News Initiative Those of you who have been following me and my stuff over the past ten months or so will know I like experimenting with technology – as far as my limited knowledge takes me – and ideas. I signed up to be on the mailing-list to be told […] Miljenko Williams […]

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