Flutterby™! : Not necessarily the news

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Not necessarily the news

2010-06-09 16:27:53.970995+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Last night I went up to KRCB public television to help out with their election night coverage, at the request of Jake Bayless. So in a busy studio filled with hot lights and incessant chatter, I mashed reload on various web pages 'til numbers changed, then copied those numbers into a database, pressed "submit", and a process was started whereby Targa file slides eventually ended up in a place where the director could choose to use them.

The problems with this?

  1. I can't believe that there isn't a standardized way for counties and the state to publish this stuff. If ever there were a specific "useful" need for the "semantic web", this is it. I'll be asking a few questions around Marin and Sonoma to see if we can get something in place there for November.
  2. This is exactly the sort of "news" I loathe. There was 2 hours of "male answer syndrome", newscasters and commentators making stuff up and prognosticating on a very small amount of actual data. I did get a different view of some of the candidates, and boy I don't like either contender for DA...
  3. Looking at SFGate.com this morning shows how bad "news" is: I have to actively read headlines and decide what to click through on to figure out how the various propositions faired.
  4. The workflow for generating those slides involved us mashing reload on web pages, typing that data into a Filemaker Pro web interface, which triggered something which output that data into some sort of pseudo-XML which got fed into Motion, which got dumped to .TGA files, which... So at the end of the night I thought "we should have been Twittering the results", and I asked where we could stick that in the process, and... yeah... It may be more pain to build your system on top of open source to start with, but it'll pay off when you're a non-profit publishing in a dying medium trying to figure out how to stay relevant to the current generation.

[ related topics: Journalism and Media Databases Content Management Free Software Bay Area Macintosh Interactive Drama Technology and Culture Television Current Events Web development Apple Computer ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-10 18:01:40.492222+00 by: other_todd

I just wanna know if Prop. 14 passed. I guess I'll have to do a Google search.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-10 19:29:47.764185+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yes, it did. Third parties are now toast, and primary shenanigans and the need to raise shloads of money to get elected to office are now in high gear.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-10 20:16:29.468435+00 by: other_todd


Well, you know, I've already had arguments with everyone around me today, and in my foul mood I probably don't need another. I'll just link this without comment and assume you disagree with it. I don't.


Then again, they did also post this:


I also suppose the matter hinges on whether you think "more moderate candidates" is a good concept or a bad one.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-10 20:34:04.624725+00 by: Dan Lyke

Thanks for the articles. I think it'll be interesting to see whether this does result in more moderate candidates.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-10 23:03:22.777751+00 by: ebradway

I find it funny that the Economist describes the state that gave us Presidents Nixon and Reagan a "quintessentially blue state".

#Comment Re: made: 2010-06-11 08:38:03.796008+00 by: spc476

I don't get this. Californians are now electing people to ... run for election? Why not just make it easier for anyone to run? Or just abolish parties altogether?