Gary Kebbel, of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, opens the Knight Innovation Seminar. (Photo by Aaron Roberts) Slideshow
After a morning filled with training sessions, the annual Online News Association conference kicked off Wednesday afternoon with the 25 winners of the 2006 Knight News Innovation Challenge presenting his or her projects to a packed conference room.
Technically, it was a pre-conference gathering, but clearly the conference has begun.
“In essence we want the projects to give back and keep living,” said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation’s journalism program officer and News Challenge coordinator. He introduced the winners at the panel.
One of the winners, Chris O’Brien, is creating the “Ideal Newsroom” at Duke University. He said the challenge is “not just a digital media project, but something with a geographic attachment that has an affect on people.”
Steve Yelvington of Morris Digital Works has benefited from “Related Items”, a Drupal-based “idea blog” created by Ben Melancon.
Yelvington explains the community as being similar to mynytimes or igoogle. A user is able to pick which Drupal features they will benefit from and then they can add to the community by commenting, adding tips, etc.
“That’s the way a really good open source community really works,” says Yelvington. “You have people who are collaborating and bringing ideas.”
Kebbel says he hopes the Knight Foundation can continue to fund projects and idea blogs. He expects to add another $5 million to the already $12 million program.
- Jen Monroe
Here's an open letter letter of sorts to Gary Kebbel.
It elaborates on a comment I made from the floor, several follow up questions, comments from panelists, and much of the buzz from the post-session chatter.
Please, oh please, -- from the bottom of my heart and the depth of my soul --
RECONSIDER YOUR "RELIGIOUS" POSITION
MANDATING OPEN SOURCE ONLY CODE.
I can't believe I find myself on this side of this issue, since much of my career has been
spent preaching the virtues of open source. And, yes, I understand that you have a proprietary code /VC track for some of your projects.
But why the sharp distinction? Why not a few exceptions that would allow applications such as flash on the open source track?
Consider some analogies:
1) When I lived in New York City, I used to chuckle at radio announcements to the effect that "alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect, with limited exceptions. Check the signs in your neighborhood" . But it made sense.
2) Some people keep kosher. Except when n they eat out.
3) Some people are vegetarians. Except when they visit their families for Thanksgiving.
4) Some people always vote for a particuluar
political party. Except when they don't.
So why not a "flexitarian" approach, within the general open source track? Flash is free to the end user and costs the developer only a few hundred dollars. Prohibiting its use out of ideological zeal is not the wisest approach.
Why spend precious time and money replicating something that already exists?
You might tweak the rules to permit flash and one or two other commonly used proprietary applications -- while still remaining true to your vision and principles.
October 17, 2007 10:45 PM by Daniel Freedman (Permalink)
We will definitely look at our religious issues again. We love religion. But, athiests are more fun.
October 18, 2007 08:26 AM by Gary Kebbel (Permalink)
Post a comment
Back to 2007 conference page