The value in smashing together two fields -- like ballet and football or journalism and software -- goes beyond the products created through unexpected fusion. The most lasting result is the change in perspective that occurs through removing industry-related blinders.
My favorite four ideas:
- jQuery uses community input to make decisions about future strategy and direction.
- They make deliberate efforts to keep users after they’ve shipped products (a major time for people to forget about jQuery and move on).
- They treat their users as a resource. The best users become contributors.
- jQuery is successful is because it has the best documentation.
- We base our editorial decisions on reader input: What stories do they want? What do they want the newspaper to look like?
- We work to keep readers after they’ve read a story. (This is especially important with readers who get to stories through Facebook or Twitter. We focus on keep them here, and bringing them back, after they’ve gobbled up social media-fed links.)
- We give our most engaged readers -- the ones making the best comments and giving us the best tips -- opportunities to be contributors.
- Well, this one has a story...
“I can't think of a direct journalism analogue to code documentation, but the closest might be story notes.”From @epilepticrabbit,
“Process journalism partly addresses it but isn't always ideal. News has legal/privacy issues coding does not.”
“Journalists keep records of sources and what they say, right? so documentation = these records. Maybe?”From @k88hudson,
“Most efforts very low tech though. We're trying to experiment with a wiki for contributors this year”Two ideas emerged:
“Internal documentation is necessary for student papers, because there is so little continuity (people graduating, etc)”
- Documentation on the organization level -- how a publication works.
- Documentation on the story level -- how it goes from idea to story. The reporting/newsgathering notes are the meat.
This isn’t possible without “story documentation.”
In fact, the problem I am trying to solve could be boiled down to:
Create a tool that makes it easy for reporters to clearly and simply share their “story documentation” (i.e. story notes and process).
Once we have that, the re-mixing and re-mashing can follow.
As I make my idea more concrete by moving into the prototyping phase, this will be my guide