Over the past 2-3 years I’ve made a conscious effort to optimize and focus my time on social media, partially from recommendations in The Information Diet partially from just trying to find a better life balance. There was a time in the aughts when I was combing through thousands of RSS feeds and blogging until all hours of the night. That was good for a time to read and process everything possible about the evolution of digital journalism, but in my older age I’ve found I’d prefer to do the work, rather than talk about the work. Especially in recent years, I’ve been frustrated by the journalism tech media’s hype-driven focus and that pushed me in the opposite direction. Perhaps too far. I realized I need to come back, open up and find a better balance after I discovered this:
TIL: Two people I consider good friends had no idea of what I do. …Not sure how to feel. Shipping > talking but maybe I need to talk more
— Will Sullivan (@Journerdism) March 31, 2014
So if you’re wondering what I’ve been doing, here’s a brief presentation I did a couple months ago at the RJI Mobile First summit back in Columbia, MO at the University of Missouri, where I had my fellowship studying mobile and emerging technology back in 2010-2011:
This presentation doesn’t go into deep detail — it was supposed to be a quick overview — but it at least gives you a feel for what I do. And while I don’t think we’ll ever be the media darling like Buzzfeed to the industry journalism/tech sites like Media Bistro and the like, I do believe we’re doing important, innovative work day-in-and-out (and our journalists have been ground doing this for decades) in really difficult circumstances (with challenges from tech, government, infrastructure, culture, violence and extremism) in these emerging markets that the big name media companies only parachute in and out of when there’s an horrific incident that draws their attention away from Kimye or cat gifs… like recently in Nigeria.
…Or the Ukraine.
…Or the Central African Republic.
I guess what I’m saying is I need to get back to one of the reasons I was drawn to journalism and part of the SPJ Code of Ethics: to give voice to the voiceless. I’m going to start talking more about the important, unparalleled work we’re doing to make a difference in the world and try to not let the clowns get me down.