“Participant reporter”

Another topic that came up at Sunday’s Commie J-School, mostly as people introduced themselves, was that of the roles and labels we choose for ourselves. “Advocacy journalist,” “citizen journalist” and “citizen reporter” are some of those used. A major network reporter once derisively called us “iPhone journalists,” a term I find quite apt and endearing.

For the first time ever, the tools to report facts, opinions and analysis using print, video, photography and graphic art, both recorded and live, are in the hands of virtually anyone with a modest income. This is revolutionary and is an integral part of both the open, transparent character of Occupy and a harbinger of the emerging hyper-networked democratic society. The means prefigure the ends.

Read more, this one is shorter than the previous, really

Commie J-School in Oakland

Last Sunday, I was one of 11 people who attended what got nicknamed “Commie J-School” in Mosswood Park in Oakland. Initiated by two of Occupy Oakland’s most active reporters, journalist and cartoonist Susie Cagle and journalist and journalism teacher Justin Beck ( @susie_c and @pixplz respectively on Twitter), it was billed on the Facebook page as

A workshop on journalism law, ethics, best practices, tips & tricks. We’ll cover livestreaming, tweeting, blogging, photographing, interviewing, investigating, and the tools needed/best used for all.

That, of course, sounds like a couple years’ worth of journalism school curriculum, not a two-hour workshop. Nevertheless, quite a bit of ground did get covered as it applies to amateur, citizen and freelance journalists covering topics like, but not limited to, Occupy Oakland.

Read the rest of this fabulous post

“Twitter Jail”—Oregon style

In order to defeat spammers and to save their servers from being overloaded, Twitter sometimes temporarily suspends an account from further posting for a short period of time—usually under a couple hours. To get thrown in this “Twitter Jail,” as it’s known, you have to send over 100 tweets/hour or 1,000/day.

Recently the Oregon State legislature introduced—and, for now, killed—Senate Bill 1534, a bill that would have put most of us in actual jail for sending ONE tweet if the content involved soliciting “two or more persons to commit a specific crime at a specific time and location.” The crime you would be charged with under this law is “aggravated solicitation.”
Read More…and weep

No livestreaming at Sundance (huh?)

Besides the obvious and well-known films, Sundance Film Festival also includes panels at Filmmaker Lodge and special multi-media installations at New Frontier. Today I nearly missed out on a panel on indie film distribution at the Lodge because it was over-capacity. Luckily I was first in line, so when a few people left, I got in, missing only the first ten minutes.

While I was waiting, I checked in to Twitter on my iPhone to see if anyone in the audience—or if Sundance officially—happened to be livestreaming it. If so, I could just watch it there or go back to the condo and watch it on my laptop. Not only was it not livestreamed, but doing so is prohibited without the written permission of the Sundance Press Office.
read more

Occupy and “Augmented Revolution”

Back in November, Salon.com had a very interesting piece titled:
Welcome to the “augmented revolution”

I just saw it this evening when one of my Tweeps RT’d a link. (Okay, let me translate: One of the people whose posts I follow on Twitter re-posted someone else’s post with a link to the Salon article.)

The author also has an interesting blog with some clearly cutting-edge thinking on the subject of our relationship with the digital world. (Ugh, another must-follow blog!) The site link is to a particularly interesting post about the fallacy of what he calls the “digital dualist” view—the idea that our “virtual” lives and “real” lives are separate—promoting instead his view of life as an augmented reality, summed up somewhat in this excerpt:

I am proposing an alternative view that states that our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once. We are not crossing in and out of separate digital and physical realities, ala The Matrix, but instead live in one reality, one that is augmented by atoms and bits. And our selves are not separated across these two spheres as some dualistic “first” and “second” self, but is instead an augmented self.

read for more revolutionary ideas

Clarification on charges of misinformation on Twitter at Occupy Oakland

“People with good info were drowned out by your ignorance @MikalJakubal”

Yesterday, the police raided the Occupy Oakland vigil and tree sit, arresting around a dozen people, three at the tree-sit and the rest at the vigil area or on 16th Street just to the north. I was in the area for most of this and tweeted and livestreamed throughout. I was later accused of putting out misleading information. What happened, instead, was a small cascade of miscommunication, based on assumptions, information gaps and protocol lapses, that led to misunderstanding of and false accusations against my reporting. At the end of the day, none of it was of any consequence to the outcome but, in another situation, it might have mattered. I’m posting this hoping that others can glean some bit of experience from it.

I own my mistakes and challenge the other parties to own theirs. read on!

Occupy Oakland and OPD campaign of arrests and harassment today.

Last night I went to the Alameda County Jail at 7th & Jefferson to cheer-on the folks getting released after the bust of the 10th and Mandela foreclosed home occupation. Afterwards, part of the small crowd went to Oscar Grant Plaza as part of the ongoing vigil. During the night, a new tree-sit was started in one of the sycamores on the north edge of the plaza, this time a different tree than the one Running Wolf and others had been occupying earlier. Three people went up, with two ultimately staying the night there.

Whole lotta more words and action videos and stuff

More on gadgets for “Drone Journalism”

The previous post got a friend and I talking on Google+ this morning. He suggested RC blimps as platforms for live aerial videography. It’s an intriguing thought. Since a helium-filled blimp is self-lifting, much less power is needed, thereby vastly extending battery life and aloft-time. It would also be a very quiet and stable platform, especially for long, static events like large demonstrations that don’t involve a fast-paced march. Keep reading, there’s way more

Update on previous post “Drone Journalism—Occupy Airspace”

According to an article on Alternet, Occupy Wall Street livestreamer Tim Pool is using a Parrot AR drone to livestream aerial images of protests, exactly what I’d been fantasizing about in my previous post on the topic.

Parrot AR drone

(Okay, well, not exactly. See further down in the post for “exactly”.)

The small, lightweight, four-rotor craft is controlled with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or Android phone. Two cameras, one facing down and the other facing forward, are built in, allowing control from your phone’s touch video screen. keep reading, more cool videos and stuff

iPhone Journalism

“I call them ‘iPhone journalists,'” one corporate news reporter said derisively to another, describing the crowd of us citizen reporters at the November 14th eviction of Occupy Oakland.

In the pre-dawn hours of November 14th, 2011, the Occupy Oakland encampment experienced its second eviction. This one was less traumatic than the previous one, partly because we all knew it was coming, partly because the cops exercised a bit more restraint—refraining from tear gas and steel-shot-bag guns, for example—and partly because they came in with such overwhelming numbers that any active confrontation would be pointless.

I was awakened by my phone buzzing with texts about the raid from street-medic comrades, but by the time I got there, the area was sealed-off two blocks away on all sides but one. I made my way through the buildings to the south of the Plaza and ended up on 14th Street, west of Broadway, directly across from the tree that was still occupied by Running Wolf as the last arrestees were brought out without incident. Continue reading