Thanks to everyone …

… including the nearly 200 attendees who helped make the “first annual” USF Interactive media / social media conference a success.

Read all the tweets  at

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Important information for Attendees

Dear Attendee,

We are looking forward to seeing you at SF-IM at the University of San Francisco. Here is some important information.

1. If you are attending any “hands-on” sessions in the “Fundamentals” or “New Tools” track, it would be helpful if you brought a fully-charged laptop computer to the sessions. That way you can directly follow along with the presentation.

2. Good news! Your registration to SF-IM includes free parking in Hayes-Healy underground garage at USF.  No payment or permit is required. The garage is located on the main USF campus near the intersection of Golden Gate Ave. and Tamalpais Terrace.  If you are going by public transit, take the 5 Fulton bus to Cole Street, and then walk north east toward the center of campus.

3. Registration begins at 8:30 in the lobby outside the classroom at 106 Cowell Hall, which near the center of the Main Campus, and a short walk to the south-west of the parking garage.  Please arrive early to pick up your name badge and a program with updated session information. The meeting begins at 9AM sharp in 106 Cowell.

4. Please check the conference website for updates.  There you can find a current list of sessions and presenter biographies.

5. If you have questions, please contact Prof. Edward M. Lenert by email at or call the Department of Media Studies at 415-422-5152

Your hosts,

Edward Lenert and Michael Robertson, Department of Media Studies at The Univesity of San Francisco

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Getting to the University of San Francisco

Good news! Your registration for SF-IM includes parking on Saturday March 5 in the Hayes Healy underground garage (Golden Gate Avenue). No additional payment or permit is required.  Need directions? (Or this link).

SF Muni bus lines, 5 Fulton and 31 Balboa, run parallel to the University of San Francisco on Fulton and Turk Streets.

The conference registration is in the lobby of Cowell Hall, which is centrally located on main campus. It is adjoined to Kalmanovitz Hall, directly across from Harney Plaza and neighbors Harney Science Center. The closest cross-streets are Fulton and Cole.

Cowell Hall is near the intersection of Fulton and Cole Streets in San Francisco

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Cools Tools for Communications at SF-IM


Q. Why should I attend SF-IM on March 5, 2011, at USF?

A.  Meet leaders in social media who will show you how to use free powerful tools such as:

  • Appmakr:  Make an iPhone app without knowing any computer programming.
  • Topicmarks: Quickly and accurately summarize complex documents in minutes
  • Dipity: Create an interactive, visually engaging timeline with video and photos
  • Cohuman: Coordinate and manage people in a dynamic online workspace

Learn how to use these cools tools, and more.

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Upcoming: “New Tools for the Public Good”

San Francisco Interactive Media Summit (SF-IM)

A one-day conference and program of events on Saturday, March 5, 2011, from 9:00AM – 3:30 PM, at the USF campus in San Francisco that features “New Tools You Can Use for the Public Good.”

Just updated 03.04.11:

Get the full program now!  (2.8 MB PDF file for download)

We’re featuring presenters like Susan Piper, who will share her thoughts on creating a communications infrastructure for the City of Oakland that incorporates social media, and Kwan Booth who will talk about how the Oakland Local website uses social media to make journalism more of a two-way dialogue. We’ll also hear from Ana-Marie Jones, who will discuss how her organization uses social media as it trains and supports nonprofits and their special needs clients in disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities, and Alicia Upano of “Not In Our Schools,” a peer-to-peer learning program that uses social media to provide students and teachers with real tools to counter hate and create respectful environments on their campuses.

Also the Aspiration team will facilitate the “fundamentals of social media” sessions that include “Facebook and Twitter 101”, “Intro to blogging”, “Beginning and Intermediate WordPress”, “Listening Online with a Social Media Dashboard”, “Managing Online Channels with a Publishing Matrix”, and “How to Build a Good Nonprofit Web Site for Almost Nothing.”

SF-IM: New Tools/ Public Good
All this and more!  Meet and network with people at the leading edge and learn best practices from people like yourself. How are leaders in journalism, public information and PR, and government using New Tools for the Public Good? How are they making themselves and their organizations more effective? Find out by attending SF-IM on March 5, 2010 at USF.

Register online today – and lock in your place at low cost: just $30 for a day of learning and interaction, including lunch.  (USF Faculty and students can register at reduced rates.)

Who is presenting? | What is the schedule? | What is in the spotlight? | How can I learn the fundamentals of social media?

Register for “San Francisco Interactive Media Summit” at USF:<br /> Interactive Media for Public Purposes in Journalism, Government and Public Relations in San Francisco, CA  on Eventbrite

For more information, see below or please email: melenert (at) usfca (dot) edu or call the Department of Media Studies at (415) 422-5152.

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Crowd-sourcing cheaper textbooks

Knowledge wants to be free; textbooks want to be expensive

Based on a recent study,  The Student Public Interest Research Group says “it’s no accident that textbooks are so expensive.  Publishing companies have been raking in huge profits while engaging in bad practices that drive up costs.” How best to fight back? Tara Bernard at the New York Times has updated an excellent guide to finding cheaper text books online. Note that she has used crowd-sourcing to help with the task of identifying the best sites. “Since then, we’ve learned of several more options, in part through the informative nuggets left by more than 200 readers who chimed in with their own suggestions. So in this latest edition, we have highlighted some of those and have taken an even closer look at comparison Web sites that do much of the legwork for you.”

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Investigative journalists are just “scraping” by …

New tools for shining light on complex public data

'Refined' tools for shining light on complex public data

Dan Nguyen at ProPublica, discussing the topic of public records gathering as a programming challenge, has an excellent summary of how to use advanced tools for what used to be called computer-assisted reporting.  For example, check out Google Refine, which is downloadable software, can quickly sort and reconcile the imperfections in real-world data.

ProPublica used these tools in their  investigation of the financial ties between drug companies and doctors, Dollars for Docs.  Dan observes that several drug companies had been ordered to disclose who they paid to speak and consult on their behalf, “but they made the records hard to analyze, seemingly making the data “impossible to download.” In the end, ProPublica is proud to report that ”There is no data on the Internet that is actually impossible to download.”

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SF-IM Summit 2011: Interactive Media for Public Purposes in Journalism, Government and Public Relations

SF-IM at USF, March 05

“New Tools for the Public Good” On Saturday, March 5, 2011, from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM, the Department of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco is hosting a one-day conference and program of events titled, “San Francisco Interactive Media” Summit 2011 (SF-IM).

The theme of SF-IM is using social media and other emerging technologies for the public good. Sessions will feature opportunities for discussion and hands-on learning. Importantly, the focus of SF-IM is on peer-to-peer learning and conversation, not tech-talk and PowerPoints. SF-IM’s programming is ideal for anyone interested the public possibilities of the emerging media technologies, and is suitable for a wide range of abilities, from beginner to advanced.

Scheduled events include:
  • Fundamentals of dynamic publishing platforms, mobile-social media, and visual design for the web
  • Best Practices for journalism, public relations and government
  • Demonstration and discussion of new tools and techniques.

In sum, attendees of all levels and abilities will leave the SF-IM with a stronger sense of “how to use Web 2.0 and social media in their organization for public purposes.” SF-IM begins with Registration at 8:30 AM in the lobby outside Cowell Hall Room 106 on the main USF campus.

Who is presenting? | What is the schedule? | What is in the spotlight? | How can I learn the fundamentals of social media?


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How can voluntary micro-payments help fund the public good?

Image credit:

Jeffrey Tucker, a guest blogger writing for the Mises Economics Blog in the CS Monitor, wonders whether we are we beginning to see the emergence of a new culture of giving, made possible by the emerging technologies of micro-payments that makes it ever easier to give small amounts or micro-donations.

He observes that giving in this way doesn’t make rational sense according to neoclassical economists, but is hoping that emerging technologies of micropayments will help foster a new culture of donations that could become an important part of economic life for everyone.
Posted in Best_Practices, News, Tools | 1 Comment

Social media “needs to be part of everyone’s job.”

Poynter reports that New York Times Social Media Editor Jennifer Preston’s job has ended.  The article says that now Times staffers regularly use social media to publish real-time news and updates for breaking stories and live events.

Here’s what the former Editor had to say: “Social media can’t belong to one person; it needs to be part of everyone’s job. It has to be integrated into the existing editorial process and production process. I’m convinced that’s the only way we’re going to crack the engagement nut.”

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