So, although I haven’t been posting much the past little while; or at least I haven’t been posting much here. I’ve been doing some blogging and chatting and other social media stuff, both officially and unofficially, for my employer, a public radio station in San Francisco.
The two weekends before this, I did a live blog for the San Francisco 49ers NFL playoff game against the New Orleans Saints and then a sort of hybrid live blog/chat for the 49ers game against the New York Giants last week (along with a couple other posts before and after each game).
Then this weekend, when our newsroom was unstaffed, things started to happen in Oakland. The Occupy Oakland movement, which had been evicted from the plaza outside City Hall after repeated clashed with police and other authorities, had announced its intention to go out and seize a vacant building in the city. Its target was a shuttered convention center near downtown. Yesterday was “move-in day,” and a crowd I’ve heard estimated at 1,000 to 2,000 showed up for a march across downtown to take over the, building, which they said they wanted for a meeting space and social center. The police were ready for the move and blocked the takeover. All they had to do then was deal with the crowd of demonstrators. When push came to shove, as seems inevitable in Oakland, protesters threw stuff at police, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, etc., and before the dust settled, 400 people had been arrested.
I sat down early in the story and started following what was happening through online sources and writing it up on yet another live blog. Along the way, I decided to try an experiment with Storify, a platform that essentially allows you to build a running narrative of an event or subject using online media–Twitter and Facebook posts, blog entries, video, audio and photos from whatever online source you can find. The result is embedded below. One surprise: It actually kind of took off in a minor way, traffic-wise. It became the featured post on the Storify home page and was also picked up by an Oakland community news blog. Anyway, here’s to experimenting (and yes, many questions of journalistic practice are raised by all these tools and the ability to become a one-person newsroom. I’m thinking about all that):