2010-06-09 KRCB

  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.
  • 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...
    1. 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.
  • 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.
  • Category: Dan Lyke life