Live Blogging The Computation+Journalism Symposium

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Off to a roaring start at the Tech conference. Not. I can’t get on the Tech wi-fi! Typical academics. Making easy stuff hard for little people.

Professor Aaron Bobick talking now about stories. Only thing is, he’s Chair of Interactive Computing College! Maybe he loves O’Connor too. BTF outta me.

Conference is being webcast live here though, so maybe I’ll just Twitter. Google News guy getting ready to speak, Krishna Bharat.

1:26pm ET. Bharat: “We don’t want humans to rank the news. We want machines to do it.”

1:30pm ET: How does Google News work? They have a crawler that groups articles by story. They create a story cluster. Sounds like a candy bar. Bharat using a stem cell research example. I wish he’s use the McCain/NYT public relations wrangle instead! That’ll put that crawler through its paces.

1:35 Bharat: “Story importance in a given edition is based on: Editorial Interest, Local Relevance, Story Freshness. Article ranking is based on: Originality, Freshness, Quality/expertise of source, Localness (huh?) of source.”

1:41 Bharat just made a teriffic example that highlights how important it is to dispute, online, something that is wrong in the media… any online rebuttal WILL show up on Google News, as it relates to the alledgedly “wrong” material too. They’re just that damn good at Google!

1:46 David Eckoff kicks off the first question at Q&A time. He’s at davideckoff.com, where else?!

1:47 MSM editor from the Memphis paper asks should commerical journalists be concerned about Google News? Guess he hasn’t figured out that Google News drives traffic based on timeliness and that “localness.” If Katrina happened in Memphis for instance, Google News would drive traffic to the reporting coming out of Memphis. Take away? Do Not Fear Google. They Are Merely Here To Help.

1: 55 NEXT SPEAKER: A (former?) NPR journalist now speaking. They don’t have his name up yet. But that’s ok, because any foreign journalist always kicks off with an itinerary of super-duper global hot-spots over the last 25-years of their lives. Yawn. NO wait! He’s taking on MSM for going only, over and over, to the same well of pundits for their “expert” analysis, when the whole world is available too them, via the Internet of course. (That explains how that hideous Dick Morris and Ralph Reed keep hogging all the political air time then!)

Msytery speaker now saying there’s a drop in news viewing on TV. Uh dude, we know that.

Oh, great quote from old journalist dude: “Old journalism created for a culture that lived on the SCARCITY of news.” Of course now there is hardly a scarcity of news in our faces, so the whole old way is… well, simply an old business model.

2:01 Mystery solved via dead-tree item: He is Michael Skoler, Exec. Director of The Center for Innovation in Journalism @ American Public Media. I assume this is all NPR-related stuff.

2:03 Minnesota Public Radio is asking people to help them… work their budget! And then they can send it to, for instance, the Governor. Wait ’til Sonny gets ahold of a GBP budget, or the people’s version of it.

2:05 Another cool public (radio?) tool will let you imput your own issues and concerns, and then match you up with a candidate who reflects your issues. Now that’s cool new stuff, making something like the political ad, well, irrelevant? Not this year at least!

2:07pm Battery power low. Going to power-down until I can re-charge.

4:27 David Cohn, the everywhere man, is up now. He’s talking about the pro-am concept of NewsAssignment.net. Cohn is also an Off The Bus contributor, Shelby. I didn’t realize that. I’ll go look for his stuff.

Oh yeah, the panel now is called “Social Computing and Journalism.”

Cohn talking about how journalists can build a network around their sources. Say, green technology…

4:20pm ET – Back at it. Digg guy speaking. Here the numbers. 26 million unique visitors a day to Digg. Or is it digg?

NOTE TO JULIA WALLACE and Atlanta Mag: Not a soul here has yet to use the term “readers.” It’s all “audience” here folks.

Digg Dude explaining a digg, vs. a “bury.” I wonder how many people here this is new information for? Only the journalists!

Digg guy prefaced his remarks that he was all computer background, and NOT a journalist. Although he has great respect for the journalists at the WSJ and the New Yorker.

I’m going to Twitter the rest of this social computing and journalism panel. Come over to Twitter and find me at SpaceyG.

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