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Blogs > Ivan Lajara

Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hudson Valley tech meetup in Kingston draws scores


An estimated 200 people and at least one Peruvian Life and/or Engagement long-hair editor from a ~news~ organization came to the Senate Garage in Uptown Kingston on Thursday night for the Hudson Valley Tech Meetup to get inspired, talk all things tech and exchange emails printed on "business cards," whatever those are.

Keynote speakers for the January kick-off event were Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley, who is a Mid-Hudson Valley weekender (and co-founder of Kingston Stockade FC); and Lately founder and Stone Ridge resident Kate Bradley-Chernis, who showcased her marketing campaign manager startup.

For his part, Crowley gave a passionate presentation, equal parts auto-biography and inspiration, with a couple of sprinkles of #realtalk thrown in for good measure. The lesson? Do that thing you want to do, even if people tell you that it's crazy. It will be hard. Persist and learn from your failures.
I'm not doing it justice here, it was rather lively and Pacmanhattan funny.

Here's a bit more detailed background on the event itself and the presentations, via Evolving Media Network.

For my part, I went to take a 360-degree photo from the main stage and somehow managed to literally drop the mic and subsequently get some very stern looks from the event organizers. So much for fly-on-the-wall reporting, but hey here's a photo so there's that?



The mic survived.

From left, Lately CEO Kate Bradley-Chrernis, Forsquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and meetup organizer Dan Stone take questions from the audience. 
It was an impressive event with an impressive turnout and impressive attendance, which showcased the diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of the region — and a quite a lot of energy.


Local startup founders, tech and non-tech people, along with ~content~ producers and creatives exchanged ideas, asked for help and pitched their goods and services (there was also food and drink, which the organizers noted so I'm noting that, too).

Although centered around technology, the meetup brought a range of industries from across the mid-Hudson Valley, the Catskills and a bit beyond. There were some familiar faces (you know who you are; no name dropping here), but fresh and recent talent was very present and quite refreshing.

I went in skeptical, as I'm wont to do, but I left rather surprised. Yes, there's a bit of self-marketing and promotion in all of these events, but these cats know what want and know what they're doing.

So if you are a human person (or otherwise) living in the area and with a modicum of interest in tech, I'd recommend you pay a visit to one of these meetups.
Do it for the networking or do it for the camaraderie or do it for just yourself. Heck, do it for the food and drink.
You won't regret it.

*drops mic*






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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

DFM chat on working remotely

Hard at work at the office.

Journalists, Digital First Media peeps, anyone who wants to are going to be taking part on our Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are talking working remotely! What do you need to have to file ~content~ from home and from the field? What is the most efficient way to publish copy, photos and video? Let's disrupt the content management system.

You don't like it, anyway.
Bring your tools, your links and your #realtalk.

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Read more »

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The future that passed me by


The photo above is the very first Google Glass shot I took, during orientation in New York City's Chelsea Market, inside Google's hub in June of  2013. The video below is the last thing I've taken with the device, yesterday, even though I'm trying to stop using it.
As I've stated in this space before, but in other words, the augmented reality face computer is not working the way it used to and has become as obsolete as a Sega Dreamcast, which I also have. 

Or maybe I'm wearing it 
because the future passed me by 
and I didn't notice. 
I was distracted 
trying to keep up with it
forgetting to discard the unrealized hypothesis of, 
'Maybe this will be the world we'll live in.'

This is the world we live in now. 




Commence the content.
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Inside the Freeman

Come inside!

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Over my head


The big #snowzilla of 2016 skipped Kingston  and I'm pretty sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere, but it's gone over my head. Sometimes, a big snowstorm that didn't hit you is just nothing, and that's OK.
Still, there's a weird, lingering calm, waiting for a storm that never came.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DFM chat on how and where to do breaking news

The former Freeman press. Pretty cool, but not the fastest way to break news.

Journalists, Digital First Media peeps, at least one twitter cat and  anyone who wants to are going to be taking part on our Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are talking about #breaking news! What is the most effective way to break news online? What's a good workflow for this? Should you give your ~content~ away to social media? Should news organizations break news on Facebook or Twitter without links? Let's assess our goals and mission and chat!

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Read more »

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Monday, January 18, 2016

The awkward reality of being


Find a recent, terrible photo of yourself. Post it on social media.
Can you do it?
The point is not the potential for embarrassment, but to shuffle off this social media coil and to dismantle the alterations of carefully crafted personas.
Or it could be to take power away from perceived judgements and digital pitchforks.
Or for fun.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

DFM chat on ethical ways to share and aggregate from social media


This is a metaphor for something

Journalists, Digital First Media peeps, at least one twitter cat and  anyone who wants to are going to be taking part on our Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are talking ethical aggregation. What's the proper way to use content from social media? How do you verify? What about stuff posted by minors? There's more than just following terms of service. Let's explore the ramifications of augmenting other people's stuff.

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Read more »

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Let's do one thing

Ok glass, you can rest now.
The bitter winter days of long ago last week took a toll on good ol' Google Glass, and the device's display is not quite in working order anymore. I'll still take some photos here and there, but the device is pretty much done. 
OK, Glass, you had a good run. 

***
Experiment: Do one very small and simple thing. Do so once a week for the year.
It could be taking a a photo. Or writing one sentence or paragraph. Or sending an actual letter or sharing a song. Maybe saying hello to a random person or run a mile or even drive somewhere you've never been.


For my part, I'll save one sentence and one picture. And I'll also retroactively do that for 2015, from the master archives of Yesterday's Internet, Today! and see what I'll come up with. In a sense, this very newsletter is a form of that exercise.

Read more »

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DFM chat on the essential apps for mobile journalism



Journalists, Digital First Media peeps, at least one twitter cat and  anyone who wants to are going to be taking part on our Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today is the first chat of the year, so we're going back to basics to update an old favorite. What are, currently, the essential apps for mobile journalists? What's in your phone? What are you looking forward to? Join us and share your home screen?

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Read more »

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Let's dance


A huge flock of very coordinated birds greeted me along the ride to work this morning, and it momentarily reminded me that even in the face of the bitter and angry elements, life dances.
Let's dance.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

'You've got to start with yourself'

The Day 1 Walk in Kingston
The holidays can be a wonderful time, but they can also be hard. I don't have any particular nugget of wisdom for those who suffer during these times, and I wouldn't dare to try.
But I've come to recognize that simply talking can be helpful.

How are you doing? Let's talk.
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Virtual reality viewers test: Homido Mini Vs. Google Cardboard (Knox viewer)


Homido mini
Pros
* Incredibly portable; it folds and fits in your pocket.
* Works with most phones (iPhone 5 and up and most Android phones)
* Great for quick sharing or videos or panoramas. I've shared some quick panoramas on the street and the reaction is priceless. This makes accessibility a big plus. Sharing was very cumbersome to do with cardboard, and created unnecessary awkwardness. With the mini, sharing is a breeze.
* You don't have to take the phone off its protective case.


Cons
* No button (you'll have to hit the screen for those); and this means some games or apps won't work properly.
* You'll likely have to cup your hands to see a lot of stuff, especially outside.
*  Not as well constructed. The glue on one lens started to come off after 10 days. Duct tape did the trick, but you lose cool point if you have to duct-tape your glasses.

Price: $14.99 in Amazon. (It's more at Homido's own site.)

Verdict: I carry this with me whenever I want to show virtual reality to others. As such, it's become invaluable. This portability carries its own limitations, however, so I still would want to have another viewer for more immersive experiences.

Knox viewer V2.

Pros
* Quick immersive experience. Easy to assemble.
* Button.
* Works with most phones (iPhone 5 and up and most Android phones)


Cons
* It's made of cardboard. It will start to deteriorate with use, especially in the forehead and nose areas.
* Bulky so a bit cumbersome for casual sharing, It's not like anybody's going around town with your Google Cardboard.
* You have to take the phone off its protective case.

Verdict: A great introduction to virtual reality. This should be your first choice.

Price: $23.95 via Knoxlab.

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