My tech-punk community and some news from social j program

Chill out at the Xerox PARC ©PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, Incorporated)

After four weeks, I finally decided which will be the community that I’m going to serve and study for the entire year at the social j program. The process was slow and tough, but today I’m pretty sure that is the right choice. I will explore the intersection between journalism, hackers culture and technology in New York City. It’s a boundary place in which I’m sure I will be able to find some great ideas, maybe some vision for the future of the media industry.

It’s a community made by different actors: some of them live in the shadows, some of them work in public to spread good journalism practices. Community stakeholders could include a foundation (as Mozilla), an art institution (like the New Museum Incubator), a single person or a group of people.

In the past weeks I did one big mistake during the choice of my community. Every time, I started from the idea of a possible final project, something that looks beautiful to me but that is totally beyond the reality and, above all, in contrast with the core of social j program: listen to a community without any stories in your mind (thanks Jeff Jarvis).

I have just a list of people and groups in mind that I would like to reach and some questions to be answered. Why (or why not) they are so important for journalism? Could they be an incubator of ideas for news organizations? Finally, are they connected with big tech companies?

Cyberpunk pixel wall

The class and the tools

During the class we had the chance to work a little bit with Hearken, the wonderful Chicago-based platform that gives newsrooms access to questions from the people and respond to their curiosity. With the great help of Joe Amditis we created our first curiosity module, asking a question to the people about a topic related to our community.

We also used Canva to customize the header of our module in a incredible simple way. It is a free Internet tool to create quick graphics without any technical skills. In the last part of the class we worked on our top secret project about democracy and activism. Before talking about its critical role in the US, I have to wait a little bit. But, yes, after the information’s gathering, we will start to build our prototipe.

Curiosity module


1.Here is the Facebook page of my adventure \ Hacking Journalism

2. Talking about social media, I’m not pretty sure that the Facebook Manifesto is something to celebrate. But here I underline some Mark Zuckerberg visions about local media and engagement. However a robot will be the reporter of the future.

  • “Research suggests reading local news is directly correlated with local civic engagement.”
  • “This shows how building an informed community, supportive local communities, and a civically-engaged community are all related.”

3. is one of the great and free space for writers on the Internet. And here a piece from the Verge that explain why it is a cool and weird stuff at the same time: it’s an anonymous, social network and ads free blog platform. You write with just one font (no photo, no video, nothing), then you publish and share your link. Google and all the search engines are out of place.