It's January, which means it's time for Fun-a-Day. I've dabbled with Fun-a-Day in the past and always enjoy the wrap-up show. Last year I wrote zine-related journal entries. Didn't want to just write again this year, but I have no skills in the visual arts so, photo captions! It's still writing, but will get me thinking about images and thinking about documenting events.
I marvel at that map. OpenNews sponsored 21 hack days around the world during 2012. Mozilla, of course, is an international organization, and that map shows so clearly how international it and the journalism technology community are. And, 2013 is already on track to include events in Africa and in areas of Europe and Asia where OpenNews has not been before.* So, what all do those pins on the map represent?
Looking back - Hacking 2012 by the numbers
In the same way that all kids love dinosaurs, I think everyone spends at least some portion of life loving words. Whether it be their commandment power over parents that is more effective than vague crying or the aggressive quality when wielded against classmates or the way a well-written assignment could earn the admiration of teachers or the transporting power of a psychedelic school bus.
As Mitchell Baker put it in her Mozilla Festival keynote, "imagine if you had to ask permission every time you wanted to write something on a piece of paper." The liberating power of writing is what gets a lot of people into journalism and into programming. A pen and a pad. A keyboard and a command line. Simple items that hold power to inform, engage, motivate.
Baker was referring to the work Mozilla is doing to open up mobile, but that concept is also applicable to the work of OpenNews. Throughout the Festival, some of the brightest folks in the journalism-technology community showed the possibilities for journalism when you have the skills to analyze, develop, and report, without needing to ask permission.