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Peter J. Westwick on Aerospace in Southern California | The ICW Blog
"The Aerospace History Project, under the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, is an effort to document the history of the aerospace industry in Southern California and the economic, cultural, and physical effects on the region and beyond. The project collects the papers and oral histories of key individuals and institutions across the aerospace industry, creating a permanent, central resource.

The Director of the Aerospace History Project, Peter J. Westwick, is Assistant Research Professor in the History Department at the University of Southern California. He received his BA in physics and PhD in history from UC Berkeley, and has taught at Yale and Caltech. His research focuses on the history of science and technology in the twentieth century U.S. He is the author of several books including Into the Black: JPL and the American Space Program, 1976-2004, and The National Labs: Science in an American System, 1947-1974. He is also editor of Blue Sky Metropolis: The Aerospace Century in Southern California.

In the following interview, Peter reveals how he became involved with aerospace history, some of the most interesting things he came across while working with the Aerospace History Project, and current projects."
california  socal  aerospace  2015  peterwastwick  economics  culture  environment  aerospaceindustry  jpl  skunkworks  lockheed  shermmullin  harveychristen  benrich  claencejohnson  pasadena  huntingtonarchives  planetarysociety  tomjones  alhibbs  caltech  charlesgilmore  lymangilmore  grassvalley  history  kellyjohnson 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The year of the splinter site » Nieman Journalism Lab
“Journalism shouldn’t live or die by the number of eyeballs or the number of shares it attracts. Focusing myopically on scale and continuing to optimize for the largest possible audience compels us to the lowest common denominator of editorial quality.”

"2016 will be the year of the splinter site.

To continue pushing forward and shape their future, media companies need to be constantly looking for new opportunities, new approaches, and new platforms. It’s partly how we’ll crack new markets.

A splinter site is an editorially independent venture, a media product built to stand on its own and designed for a specific audience. They will start modest and many will fail. Some may take on a life of their own, becoming sustainable in their own right, while others may be folded back into its parent. The splinter site is a way of increasing journalistic surface area. And despite the name, the word “site” is being used rather loosely here — a splinter site doesn’t necessarily mean it has to live on a website or be an entirely sectioned-off space. Some of these “splinter sites” will be entirely distributed, exist only in apps or social products.

News organizations will shift their focus away from trying to adapt the same content for different platforms. Instead, they’ll put their minds to creating entirely new editorial experiences — content designed for specific audiences, delivered through specific channels.

We’ve already seen a handful of media companies pursue this strategy to varying extents. The New York Times revealed a glossy new Cooking site and app. BuzzFeed expanded from entertainment and lifestyle coverage into serious journalism, longform and investigative reporting, releasing their news app this past July. We saw Vice launch Broadly, their female-centric channel, covering the multiplicity of women’s experiences through original reporting and documentary film.

We also see this splinter site approach in the portfolio of sites owned by Vox Media — Eater for food and restaurants, Racked for shopping and retail, Curbed for real estate, Vox for general news, Polygon for gaming, SB Nation for sports (which is itself a collection of individual blogs), The Verge for tech, culture and science, and Recode for tech. The Awl network, too, is a collection of sister sites — eponymous The Awl, Splitsider, The Billfold, and The Hairpin — each with their own unique tone, audience and sensibility.

As readers and distribution mechanisms continue to get more and more fragmented, the less it makes sense to contort and reshape one editorial approach for different groups. We’ve seen the seeds of specificity in the launch of new verticals and channels spun off from existing media companies, but 2016 will be the year news organizations fully embrace this construct.
Splinter sites serve an underlying trend: Publishing is converging on specificity. So much of content online today has been roped into this rat race for growth, competition for mass media metrics like clicks, pageviews, and shares. This has led us to a sterile, centralized web. By focusing on a particular, specific lens for content, journalists can create and deliver more meaningful stories. Journalism shouldn’t live or die by the number of eyeballs or the number of shares it attracts. Focusing myopically on scale and continuing to optimize for the largest possible audience compels us to the lowest common denominator of editorial quality.

But a splinter site is an opportunity to start from scratch. It frees a news organization from the weight and legacy of an existing name, and gives you the opportunity to think outside your CMS.

When you’re working within an existing brand, there’s a set of associations and preconceived notions you sometimes have to work against when trying to develop new audiences. You can be set up to fail because you’re fighting a deep-rooted notion that your publication — say, my idea of what The Washington Post is as a thing — is not for me.

But what about about sites that are built from the ground up for a specific type of reader? This invites a different type of relationship, one that’s more emotionally resonant and compelling, laying the groundwork for developing depth and habit with an audience. Consider BuzzFeed’s Cocoa Butter, a distributed project that “focuses on making fun stuff for and about brown folks.” Cocoa Butter exists in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, and is a station within Facebook Notify.

Splinter sites are a means of identifying new opportunities and adjacent problems with the potential to impact journalism in a big way. They can help inform future efforts and give better clarity about entering new markets.

In 2015, we saw a continuation of testing, experimentation and iteration in developing novel approaches to journalism. But next year, we’ll see more bold moves — new, edgy, experimental splinter sites from news organizations that that break the mold of our expectations and the status quo. They’ll help to chart territory that’s not just down the block from where we are as an industry today, but rather, will survey the broader landscape and see what’s up in an entirely new city."
katiezhu  scale  journalism  2015  news  media  spintersites  fragmentation  small  socialmedia  twitter  facebook  buzzfeed  instagram  experimentation  skunkworks  statusquo  sbnation  polygon  theawl  splitsider  thebillfold  thehairpin  audience  multiplicity  nytimes  pop-ups 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Hannah Higgins: The Ghosts in the Machine: The Secret Lives of Experimental Artists in the Mainframe Era // Mobile Processing
"What do IBM, Bell Labs, the Jet Propulsion Lab and National Security have in common with dust, dead chickens, the Czech avant-garde and Vietnam protest? This talk will present the secret lives of experimental, performance and protest artists on the mainframe computers of the 1960s. Through a series of seemingly unlikely friendships, an international constellation of engineers and artists collaborated in the emergence of the digital arts"

[I hope there's a video of this eventually.]
skunkworks  experimentation  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  history  digitalarts  interdisciplinary  2012  towatch  1960s  mainframes  art  jpl  belllabs  ibm  hannahhiggins 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Our Interview With Dieter Rams, The Greatest Designer Alive [Video] | Co.Design
From the third interview video: "Design has to be insulated in a company at a high level. Otherwise you can forget it. It's not design... it's fashion." [via: ]<br />
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Something there to apply to my experience with adding a new program or division to a school. Will need to write about that sometime over the summer.
design  dieterrams  apple  fashion  lcproject  tcsnmy  education  learning  administration  leadership  management  skunkworks  xeroxparc  towrite 
may 2011 by robertogreco
tlc hothouse
"The hothouse project is a new way for the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University of Canberra to support faculty staff. The basic concept is to get 14 innovative and respected educators from across all faculties and bring them into a nice shiny new space where they can work on their ideas. The result being a list of teaching resources available for all faculty use.
teaching  universities  colleges  leighblackall  innovation  skunkworks  sharedspace  lcproject  pedagogy  research 
february 2010 by robertogreco
adaptive path » blog » Brandon Schauer » use of concept: the best proof of concept
"If you’re trying to get a better experience out in the world, the best proof of your ideas is probably just doing it. It can take months & years to plan, spec & align organizational bureaucracies around a strange new idea. But making your idea concrete enough to be used by real people can remove obstacles, win hearts & create real traction. The San Francisco city government is like other governments, not particularly known for its speed & nimbleness. But recently they’ve discovered the power of calling projects “pilots” to eschew the normal policies and procedures in favor of quickly learning if an idea is in fact a good one. ... #To get permission, call it a “reversible pilot”. Worst case = learn a lot & you’ll know the idea...isn’t worth pursuing. Best case = hot new experience on your hands. #Clarify what you want to learn. It’ll help you focus on what to pilot & for how long. #Control costs, not details... [no] need [for] perfect implementation. # Plan the next step."
design  urbanism  sanfrancisco  prototyping  skunkworks  reversiblepilots  urbanrenewal  adaptivepath  adaptivereuse  grassroots  tcsnmy  innovation  community  change  business  bureaucracy  architecture  concepts  ideas  via:blackbeltjones 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Unboxed - Even the Giants Can Learn to Think Small -
"By breaking huge business units into smaller, nimbler teams, companies stand a chance of rekindling the creative spark that got them rolling in the first place...companies seeking to foster creativity must find ways to break apart the bureaucratic hierarchies now smothering it. Optimizing a company for creativity involves helping individual employees of every rank develop an entrepreneurial spirit...most creative work environment is one where every employee, regardless of job title, has enough freedom to develop that sense of personal initiative...enable a creative environment where there’s a good degree of experimentation...optimize...for small-group collaboration"
leadership  management  administration  small  skunkworks  innovation  creativity  hierarchy  entrepreneurship  freedom 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Skunk Works - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"term first coined in 1943 by Lockheed, currently trademarked by Lockheed Martin and widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, taske
innovation  skunkworks  engineering  design  definitions  language  management  administration  change  learning  experiments  development  productivity  organization  leadership  research  autonomy 
june 2008 by robertogreco
This Blog Sits at the: multiplicity watch
"Small works well because it reduces the number of people who have to be party to (and sign off on) the act of creation. The corporation often has really good ideas but these are murdered in committee, the victims of silos, turf wars and bureaucratic iner
innovation  branding  small  lcproject  management  administration  learning  leadership  gamechanging  skunkworks  grantmccracken 
june 2008 by robertogreco
This Blog Sits at the: C-Schools: further thoughts on branding, creativity and education - "skunk works approach to creativity, where a group inside a corporation works according to its own agenda, communes with its own gods"
"Some of the best "schools"of creativity, strategy and innovation are inside the corporation. If someone were just finishing an MBA or a design program, and looking for "higher education," he or she could do worse than to spend a year or so at a corporati
business  creativity  innovation  education  mba  design  universities  colleges  work  experience  skunkworks  altgdp  leadership  management  small  administration  grantmccracken 
june 2008 by robertogreco

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