Tag: bob stein

New York Times and Bob Stein


The first visit of the fantastic New York Trip was the New York Times. The interior hallway had an incredible piece on display. It was the first sign that this trip was going to be incredibly memorable.  The piece consisted of multiple small displays that would display live feeds of the New York Times website. In the department itself, we discussed the R and D at the New York Times, and their approach to analytics and relationship with readers. Everything they use is stream based, allowing for live feedback. This allows for excellent feedback which is integral to running a news oriented service. They have many other feedback sources told through beautiful looking data visualizers. These help identify what he called “postures” in the readers, allowing them to discover and analyze trends. The goal is to deepen the relationship with the readers as opposed to increasing web traffic. “They aren’t chasing after clicks”

For me, this was by far one of the most influential visits for me. I never realized that the R and D department for something as big as the New York Times would be so open and friendly. The work ethic was incredibly powerful to me. Their focus on transparency and being honest to their readers and subjects was such a relief amidst all the speculation of piracy scandals. It was also a very collaborative environment. Everyone was always bouncing ideas off of one another. One of the incredible things however was how they aren’t pressured by the higher ups to create something that will increase revenue or readership. They are given breathing space which sounds like an incredible change from most corporations.

  1. Is the workspace a collaborative environment where you share ideas and make decisions together?
  2. What are the development times from prototyping to actually using something in the workspace?
  3. How do you feel about the scandals popping up about privacy and transparency?




(The game that I mention. It is one of the most powerful games I’ve ever played)

On the same day we visited the ITP department within one of the New York University buildings. We listened to a lecture by the amazing Bob Stein on the nature of publishing and fiction. Bob Stein believes that modern publishing is clueless to certain trends in the modern world. He showed that the trends are moving past static and non-interactive mediums for more interactive and collaborative mediums. Publishing companies are still stuck in past of non-interactivity and static-ness when everything is pointing in the opposite direction. In particular, he strongly believed that gaming is going to become the dominant form of fiction and literacy in the future. He cited games like World of Warcraft as an example of collaborative fiction, as each player works together to create their own worlds and stories. He also noted that games are introducing new forms and techniques of storytelling.

                This was another very interesting discussion that is actually quite relevant to family. I read from time to time but I am by no means a heavy reader. However, my father adores literature and is pretty much always on a novel or three. We don’t really see eye to eye on gaming as a source of well written narrative. Games such as the Last of Us has taught me that games can be an incredibly tool for storytelling. I agree with Bob Stein on many of the points he made. I also found his metaphor of the mountain to be quite profound. It has me looking into the past now to see if what he says is true.1

  • My dad believes that games are not a powerful form of narrative. What do you think is a good way to convince him otherwise
  • What are some games that you feel really push the boundaries of storytelling?
  • Where would you recommend starting in terms of looking at the past?



((I have no idea why its formatting my posts to squish the photos like this??????)))

Bob Stein Lecture

Bob Stein reinforced the point that Noah Feehan made at New York Times about the importance of analyzing interaction with their articling system. He said we need to look at the past in order to grow and succeed in the future. Bob Stein also said that a better understanding of history equals a better future. He introduced us to a powerful concept that truth is several information gathered from a collective of people. This is used when competing ideas are presented. The digital age, where information is accessed by all, allows the age of the collective, where everyone contributes. More people are included in this conversation of truths, changing age old standards into a flexible, contributable wealth of knowledge with websites like Wikipedia.

Bob Stein also introduced us to the Mother of all Demos, a revolutionary operating system with a format and applications like none seen before. This OS used many different kinds of user input that hadn’t been used together creating the powerful format we use today. The Mother of all Demos enabled people to do many of the same tasks, such as video-conferencing, and document editing. Even the mouse we use today was first unveiled at the Mother of all Demos in 1968. I found this demonstration especially fascinating because I’d often wondered how exactly we got to computers today from the archaic computers from decades ago.

The debate the class had had some interesting topics. I agree with the observance that technology should be available specially designed for non-adept people, many of whom may be part of the older generation. I perceived today’s interface as simplistic, so I had not imagined how it could be complex for an older generation. I did notice this when visiting my grandmother, who has long been able to use her email. However when sending an email on a tablet, she cannot recognize the same symbols used to send emails. From this I can guess that she can’t identify new or similar symbols as easily, which is understandable since the tablet is filled with them. I can also see why many people spite change in general so much. I know for sure that large words would be more useful to her on her tablet, though that would be ugly in today’s design standards and so would never be done. Hopefully we can change this, and develop ways we can help older generations and let them enjoy the freedom the internet offers- after all, they are our biggest population and we will join them someday.

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