My presentation before a room full of talented programmers next week Thursday will include hair salons, semi-trailer trucks and sidewalk chalk.
It's TimesOpen 2.0
, where digital tinkerers gather to talk about online data from the New York Times and the latest trends in information technology.
Next Thursday is Mobile/Geolocation
night (which is free
). Presenters will include Mano Marks
from Google, John Britton
from Twilio, Matt Kelly
from Facebook and me. I'll be talking about The Takeaway's Sourcing Through Texting
My preso will likely be the lowest-tech of the bunch. Our aim was, and is, to connect journalists and citizen-sources using basic text messages, and our method was brainstorming, learning and prototyping in two neighborhoods -- Southwest Detroit and Miami's Little Haiti. We absorbed a ton. (And we sparked an investigative series
on illegal truck traffic.)
There are certainly opportunities here to mash up APIs and build on some nifty platforms. I'll talk about that, too. But as we continue working toward connecting with sources via texting, some of our best insights have come from coffee shop conversations, church bulletin announcements and short-codes scrawled on sidewalks.