Archive for the ‘Online Tools’ Category

Democrats and the War – 2002 to the Present

February 5, 2007

Trolling through some of the videos from the DNC Winter Meeting today, I was struck by how much Mike Gravel in 2007 sounds like Al Gore in 2004 endorsing Howard Dean. Gravel has called his fellow Dems to the mat on Iraq and it will be interesting to see how they respond and if his populist message lifts him out of obscurity.

Of course, John Edwards, another populist, has already disavowed his vote authorizing the Iraq War. Edwards is also the politician making the most use of YouTube. Most of the candidates have created web video and some have even created their own channels, but Edwards is the only one who seems to actually be engaged in it. His was the only channel to upload snippets of his speech at the Winter Meeting.

Of course, if you want to catch all of the candidates speeches in their entirety, the best place I’ve found to do that is the politicstv channel on YouTube. It’s a progressive group, so don’t expect anything but parodies of Republicans. And speaking of Republicans, where are they? So far they haven’t made much noise on the “user-generated” scene.


New blog, same as the old blog

October 10, 2006

For my second blog, I want to start a group blog covering the neighborhoods of SW Brooklyn – Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Red Hook.

I suppose that I could go ahead and launch a blog on something non-threatening like sports or music or books. I’m interested in all of those things, perhaps I’m interested enough to even blog about them on a semi-regular basis.

Why do I say non-threatening? I don’t mean any disrespect to those subjects or the people who cover them. In fact, all of those people I’ve linked to above do a much better job at covering those subjects than I ever could.

I say non-threatening because I fear that blogging now may prejudice my future career. I feel that I am too new to this journalism thing to commit myself to a certain subject or to voice strong opinions in them.

Putting the Atlantic Yards online

September 17, 2006

I met Veronica Whaley last Sunday on Pacific Street, between 6th Avenue and Flatbush, as she was loading bags into the trunk of her car from a shopping trip to Atlantic Center. A resident of another, far-off neighborhood of Brooklyn, Whaley expressed her hope that the Atlantic Yards development would bring good jobs and housing to the area, but confessed to having some “mixed feelings.”

When I told her that, according to the current plan to “demap” certain streets in the footprint, the section of Pacific Street where she had parked her car would be center court of the Nets arena by October 2009, Ms. Whaley’s jaw dropped: “No, really?”

Most Brooklynites have an opinion about AY, but from my unscientific experience it seems that the further you move from the “footprint” of the Atlantic Yards, the less people know about how big the project will be and how much it will change that 7 block section of Brooklyn (leaving aside any spill-over effects it may have on other neighborhoods). Several blogs have covered the Atlantic Yards project very well, and even given some graphical perspective on how big the buildings will be.

Atlantic Yards Footprint MapHowever, I think that there could be much more done to give a fuller picture online of how the project will change the footprint area. The tools available online can really give a sense of how the space will change, that straight print, radio or even video alone cannot provide. An interactive treatment of Atlantic Yards should include:

  • Video, interviews with current residents, non-residents, construction workers, future residents.
  • Photographic slideshows – before (current buildings, blighted and not) and after, panoramics
  • Interactive maps of the footprint
    • Current population and real estate data compared to Ratner’s proposals
    • Current traffic patterns compared to Ratner’s proposals
    • Follow-ups on each with actual data, before and after
  • Timelines: Of proposal process and how the plan has changed AND of the projected construction timeline
  • Links to the outside, to “get involved”

What not to do:

  • No Audio
  • No need for RAW footage or photo outtakes
  • This would be a deep story, no need for a thin version
  • No polls or surveys