Thumbnail

The first time I hiked up Mt. Baldy, the tallest peak in L.A. County at a little over 10,000 feet, it was a slog. Today @nathanmasters and hiked it—my second time up—using the rest step technique when it got really steep (which feels like the whole way, really). It made it really enjoyable the whole way and we were able to keep a predictable, good pace (Naismith rule for any of you WTCers). The lesson? You don’t have to race up the mountain if it’s not enjoyable. Because what’s the point then? (at Mt. Baldy)

Blooming on Bloomfield. (at Valleyheart Riverwalk Greenway)

You only adequately learn by doing, not by being told.

Just one of the many great quotes in Emily Bell’s Columbia Journalism Review commentary about the leaked New York Times’ digital innovation report. Read it now.

Brow beating and guilt tripping haven’t worked.

Desert tortoise biologist Tim Shields on crowdsourcing and the gamification of environmental protection in a January 2014 TedxBerkeley talk. “It’s time for us to invite everyone to play. Human survival is ultimately a crowdsourced enterprise.” 

Via ReWild — "Drones: Making Wildlife Fun Since 2013" — a blog I edit at KCET.

Although I am a former Police Commission president, I never realized what a profound effect such a negative encounter could have on someone until this happened to me.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III in “UCLA police clear officers accused by judge of excessive force” by Richard Winton, L.A Times, February 3, 2014.

[Y]ou have to know your blind spots.

Jack M. Silverstein on an important journalistic practice that did not happen when Grantland published “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.” The controversial story drew a huge response — the reporter outed Essay Anne Vanderbilt as a transgender woman — which Silverstein has catalogued thoroughly at his blog ReadJack (and where the above quote originated).

Of course, this practice is ignored every single day in the media world: from blowing local geography to missing critical context that changes what readers walk away with. As such, it results in a poorly informed audience and a public condemning of the reporter in the comments section and on social media. But this time, something much, much worse happened: Dr. V had committed suicide during the reporting process. (Dr. V’s ex-girlfriend and business partner “blames the reporting of the story for ‘90 percent’ of the timing of [the] suicide — but not for the suicide itself,” according to The Arizona Republic.)

Silverstein continued: 

It should not have mattered that [reporter Caleb] Hannan and the Grantland team did not know anything about transgender issues. It should have only mattered that they knew that they didn’t know anything about transgender issues. When that happens as a journalist, you do your due diligence. You cover your ass. You find someone who knows what you don’t, and you make damn sure that by the time you publish your story, you’ve filled in the gaps in your knowledge.

"There is really no other way to do this job. Of all of their errors, as journalists, that was their first.

A lesson for us all. 

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor.

Uruguay President José Mujica quoting Roman court-philosopher Seneca in “After Years in Solitary, an Austere Life as Uruguay’s President” by Simon Romero in the New York Times on January 4, 2014.

Big media institutions go to great lengths to feed the egos (and pockets) of their growing stars, cultivating their image and reaping the rewards of high traffic. But when that brand becomes too expensive, or so big it threatens to outshine the institution itself, the institution is forced to let it go.

Dylan Byers and Hadas Gold on personal brand in "Why The Washington Post passed on Ezra Klein Read" on January 21, 2014 in Politico.  

exactly the opposite is happening

That’s Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic talking about a 2013 analysis of mobile app usage in 2013. “[A]pps were a chance for media companies to wrest at least partial control of the distribution channel back from Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit,” he said, per the chart. But this isn’t the case. 

I’ve always been mostly on team responsive design, that is designing a website to respond to the reader’s environment, whether that be a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Why put the resources in building an app if it replicates the normal web experience? In a lot of cases, the app is limited and I find myself frustrated and launching the web version, however mobile unfriendly, because I can browse the way I want. 

That’s not to say there’s not a use for an app in the news and magazine market. The apps I keep coming back to act like apps, as in tools. Think Circa, which pushes update alerts to stories I requested to follow, many of them months ago. I recently received the latest about Twitter’s stock, a story I’ve been following — and have been interested in — since its IPO plans came out. And when I went to read the short update, I was sucked into finding more stories to follow. For Circa, the core might be news, but the app has function. And that’s what makes it worth their investment.