Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mid-crit feedback

Based on the mid-crit 10 days ago and in preparation for the final presentation next month, here is some feedback - general thoughts and comments based on our notes - that will hopefully useful for many/all groups and that you might want to take into consideration.

- We have said that you should aim for a date that is 10-20 years in the future (2025-2035). We have used that range for more than 10 years in the course but since few/no groups are aiming for the far future, we are considering shortening the time frame to 5-15 years in the future instead (2020-2030). Do you have any opinions about that? If so, leave a comment below.
- Remember that this year's theme is "storytelling". We believe that every project will become better if you anchor your vision/concept to, and visualise it through the telling of a good, powerful (news) story. That's the way the journalists themselves work as storytellers.
- Remember your "journalist friends" from the Montgomery week. Even if you don't cooperate with them now, they know some about your projects and might agree to listen to and bounce ideas with you. By all means reach out to them and ask to pitch/discuss your current project with them.
- Remember the guest lectures in terms of lessons, sources, theories, methods.
- Introduce, define and use key technical terms carefully in your projects and use these terms consistently instead of switching between related (perhaps undefined) terms.
- Remember the human aspects of the sociotechnical loop - try not to disappear too deeply into the technical solutions if that leads to loosing track of the people who will live in the future and use your systems/services. A set of technological developments is not a story in itself, or, at least it isn't a very engaging story. You have to imagine a future scenario that is underpinned by those technical developments and that becomes more than those technical solutions.
- This is an exercise in design fiction. An interesting aspect that you might include in your projects is "the history of the future" - what happened that lead up to the scenario that your group describes? What can explain how that future came about? You are free to describe fictive events or developments that "happened" in 2018 and 2023 - if that helps make your vision/concept more concrete and more credible.
- Get to the point quickly when you present. You will have 10 minutes to present your project and the audience should have a clear understanding of what the problem is that your group has worked within, say, two minutes.
- Get instant credibility by quickly referring to (large) companies who already today do X and Y (from which your solution follows). This is a shortcut and it increases the perceived credibility and relevance of your solution.
- Some general suggestions that could be useful: Use concrete examples. Find/tell a powerful story. Show something concrete. Be pedagogical. Fake convincingly. Play different roles on the stage (not just students presenting a project but, for example, business consultants selling a solution to a customer, ordinary users of your future service etc.).
- Some groups used cartoons instead of movies. That is a design representation that can be both simpler and more powerful than a movie with high production values.

Good luck with your projects!

Daniel & Malin

Monday, November 16, 2015

Grading - criteria for judging project groups' performance

You should at this point take an interest in the criteria we will use for judging and grading your projects. This blog post will tell you what we are looking for. You can use the criteria below as a checklist of sorts.

This might also be a very good point in time to have a look at the course PM again since there is information about examination etc there (available in Bilda).

Please note that the course formally consists of two parts:
- LIT1 (3 credits, pass/fail) - based on individual performance primarily during the start-up phase, BUT, don't forget that you will need to hand in a second essay at the very end of the course in order to get your grade reported (instructions will follow later).
- PRO1 (7 credits, A-E) - project work, see further below.

According to the course PM, each group SHALL at the end of the course:
write a text/book chapter
develop a design representation - "gestaltning" in Swedish (the form most often chosen is a short movie, but other forms are also possible).
present you project at the final presentation (Dec 17)

Some of the criteria below are more relevant to the text, some to the design representation and some to the final presentation. Do also note that not just the results (see above) of your work will be judged, but also the process - "much like a bachelor's or a master's thesis" (course PM).

Criteria 1 - Process. Running work that you have done since you were divided into groups and starting with the project plan and finishing with your last weekly status report on Friday next week.

Criteria 2 - High quality text. The text (book chapter) should be correct and easy to read (worst-case scenario: a text that requires a lot of effort to be understood). The text should furthermore have a well-developed line of reasoning and analyze, reflect and argue for whatever it is you want to say (and it's a much better to say a few things clearly than to raise too many different issues that point in different directions). The text should be coherent and with no internal contradictions. To explain and exemplify is fine. To identify, categorize, differentiate, contrast, combine, modify, conclude (etc.) is better.

Criteria 3 - Creativity. Your project (your Big Idea) will hopefully have a lot of "innovative potential" ("idéhöjd"). To what extent is the results of your work innovative, original and perhaps surprising? Are you onto something interesting and have worked in a creative way to "solving" the problem/challenge of your choice? Does your solution meet real needs? Does the underlying idea raise the pulse?

Criteria 4 - Grounding. To what extent are the project group's results credible? Are your solutions backed up and strengthened by literature you relate to, empirical material you have collected or own experiences that are relevant?

Criteria 5 - Professional design representation. Your design representation (most often a film but other forms are also possible) should be characterized by a high level of professionalism and craftsmanship. Does you design representation communicate the concept (your Big Idea) well?

Criteria 6 - Professional presentation. Your presentation should be characterized by a high level of professionalism; you have to be able to clearly communicate your message (your Big Idea) to the audience. Was the presentation well structured, was it fun and did the presenter(s) do a good job? You should also be able to provide good answers to potential questions you get from the jury.

Criteria 7 - Credibility. How easy is it to understand your solution? Are your conclusions/solution believable and convincing? NOTE: your conclusions/solution doesn't have to be probable or even desirable, but it has to be believable!

Criteria 8 - Coherence. Does the text, the design representation and the presentation cohere and interlink? Do they support each other (or do they instead pull in different directions)? Can the results be regarded as a well-integrated whole where the sum is more than the sum of the parts?

Good luck!

/Malin & Daniel

Friday, November 6, 2015

Send in a project summary to the website!

The executive group kindly asks each project group to send them a summary (50 words) of their projects. With each summary they also need 3-5 keywords.
The deadline is Wednesday, Nov 11 at midnight, and the summary should be submitted via the following link:

Thank you!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mid-crit schedule

- The mid-crit will be held in lecture hall V3 between 09.00-17.15. We will have three outside guest critics - please impress them by being on time!
- Each group has 25 minutes for their presentation + questions and discussion. Please use no more than 10 minutes for your presentation so that there is plenty of time left for discussions.
- There are only five groups in the morning session and eight groups in the afternoon session. No group wanted to switch to the morning session so the afternoon session will be one hour longer.
- You should attend all the presentations in your session. Feel free to ask questions for clarifications or pose questions to other groups!

Here is the schedule for the mid-crit presentation:

Session 1

  • 09.00-09.15 Introduction
  • 09.15-09.40 Future of Advertisement
  • 09.40-10.05 Moving images
  • 10.05-10.30 Point of View
  • 10.30-10.45 BREAK
  • 10.45-11.10 Eyewitness 
  • 11.10-11.35 Virtual Reality
  • 11.35-11.45 Wrap-up/concluding words (teachers, jury)
  • 11.45-13.00 LUNCH

    Session 2

    • 13.15-13.30 Introduction
    • 13.30-13.55 Big data
    • 13.55-14.20 Personalized
    • 14.20-14.45 Computer games
    • 14.45-15.10 Audio
    • 15.10-15.25 BREAK
    • 15.25-15.50 Interactive
    • 15.50-16.15 Human senses
    • 16.15-16.40 Attention span
    • 16.40-17.05 Cross-cultural
    • 17.05-17.15 Wrap-up/concluding words (teacher jury)
    If you have any questions about the schedule or other practical aspects around the Friday mid-crit event, please post them as a comment to this blog post!

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015

    Please register this week for the News Impact Summit, Nov 24

    As mentioned at the recent coordination meeting, we have been invited to speak at a conference, organized by the European Journalism Centre and Google News lab, on November 24, in Stockholm (Odenplan).

    The topic for our speech is the collaboration between KTH, JMK and SvD in this course. Anna Careborg, Matilda E. Hanson and I will talk about the challenges and benefits of our recent collaboration, and consequences for the media industry.

    This is a full day conference, and the rest of the day a number of (other) prominent speakers are talking, among others:
    – Louise Roug, Global News Editor, Mashable
    – Susan Mcgregor, Assistant Director, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, N.Y.
    – Ove Joanson, Chairman, European Journalism Centre
    – Chris Moran, Digital Audience Editor, The Guardian UK
    – Fredrik Laurin, Special Project Editor, Sveriges Radio (Radio Sweden)
    – Raphael Satter, Journalist, The Associated Press
    – Marina Petrillo, Reported.ly, First Look Media
    – Matt Cooke, European Lead, The Google News Lab
    – Jonas Nordling, Chairman, The Swedish Union of Journalists

    You can read more about the conference here.

    The conference organizers want to see as many of you there as possible, and I have promised to fill at least 10 seats for the whole day. They have also asked me to send them the names of the students from KTH, which means that you need to e-mail me if you like to go, and I will forward your names to the organizers.

    Please do this no later than November 6, by e-mailing: picha@kth.se
    Thank you very much in advance.

    I know this is a full day event, but I think it might be worth it if you are interested in the media business and want to get some good insights and valuable contacts.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Instructions for the weekly status report

    Each group should post a weekly status report on the course companion blog. Every course participant has gotten an invitation to post/contribute to the blog.

    Here are the instructions for the weekly status report.

    Deadline: Please submit your weekly status report every Friday at noon with the exception of this Friday (Nov 6, mid-crit presentations). The noon deadline will allow us to the chance to provide you with feedback the same day/before the weekend. 

    Content of each weekly report:
    • Group name. 
    • What we have done. What you (your group) have done during the previous week (since the previous weekly report)
    • What we will do. What you will do next (next step(s) in your project)
    • Challenges encountered. Either challenges within the group or in relation to you plans and "external" entities. 
    • Changes in the project. "Evolution"/change of direction of your project (optional). If you have altered or changed the direction of your project (compared to the project plan or to previous status report) - please tell us what and why.
    • Resources. We encourage you to also append other materials, for example a photo of your work process, a drawing/diagram you have created or a link to some excellent resource you have encountered (a text or a video for example). 
    • Other. Whatever you feel is important or necessary to add to the status report. 

    Comment: As stated before, it is not just the final results but also the process that is important in the course. Please see the weekly status reports not only as us (teachers) examining you (students), but as your opportunity to tell us (and impress us with) what you have done lately in your project group. You can also use it as a backchannel to point out obstacles and problems you have encountered.

    If you encounter problems that hinder you to progress in your work as a group, do not hesitate to get in touch with Malin and Daniel so that we can set up a meeting and discuss these issues!

    Monday, November 2, 2015

    Mid-crit information

    The mid-crit will be held this coming Friday (Nov 6). The lecture hall V3 is booked for the whole day. Here is some important information. 

    The day is divided into two sessions; a morning and an afternoon session. Please state if your group prefers to present in the morning or afternoon session below (in the form of a comment to this blog post). Do note that we need a more less even distribution of groups so we will divide the 13 project groups into two sessions with 6 or 7 groups each and you should attend all the presentation in your block. For further information, see the detailed schedule that will follow this blog post.

    If you take another course which collides with this event, it is our firm belief that you should prioritize this course over the other course on this one occasion. Do note that the mid-crit presentation is the one and only occasion between mid-October and mid-Dec when you are required to be someplace special at sometime special in this course.

    Each group will have 25 minutes at their disposal. We suggest you use around 10 minutes at the most to present your project and reserve the remaining 15 minutes for feedback and discussions with our external guests ("guest critics"). Please use your time wisely to pitch your basic ideas and (hopefully) brag about the work you have done this far (read literature, perhaps interviewed experts or ordinary people, done a focus group, a survey, drawn sketches, built mock-ups or prototypes, brainstormed a storyboard for a movie etc.).

    At the mid-crit, you should thus concentrate on presenting:
    - Your group's fundamental ideas, concepts, logic, business models, scenarios, vision etc.
    - Describe work you have done in the group to support your ideas, concepts, vision (etc.) in terms of reading literature, collecting materials (or planning to do so) etc.
    - Please also say a few worlds about your ideas for a "design representation" that demos/visualizes your concept and that you will use during the final presentation (see further the course PM) 

    Do note that the emphasis is on the soundness of your concept and your ideas. A successful presentation and a benign reception can be regarded as a go-ahead to continue your work on the path you have (already) taken. Another alternative is of course that you get feedback that encourages you to veer some from the direction you are heading in (ranging from timid suggestions and fun ideas to forceful "recommendations" that you most certainly should take into account after the mid-crit).

    We have invited three external guests ("guest critics") for this event - see below. They will listen to each group's presentation/pitch and then ask questions and discuss your work. Students from other groups are of course also welcome to chip in to comment or ask questions!

    This is the premier occasion for you to get an idea about what other groups are doing in the course. Perhaps you will realize that there is a need to coordinate your work with the work of another group (for example if you overlap, or if there is a "natural" progression or fit (or contradiction) between your topic and that of the other group). This might also have implications for the order in which we will schedule groups to present their projects at the final presentation in December.

    Our three external guest critics for this occasion are Åke Walldius (KTH/Media Technology and Interaction Design), Anna Careborg (Svenska Dagbladet) and Björn Thuresson (KTH:

    About: Åke Walldius is a researcher in Human Computer Interaction at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He earned his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at Stockholm University after having worked for 20 years in video production and information visualization. He is team leader for the Socio-technical Practices team at the Media technology an Interaction design Group and is an appointed expert in standardization. His main interests are socio-technical visualization, genre analysis and design pattern composition and use. Åke has been responsible (2008) and co-responsible (2007, 2009, 2011) for the course Future of Media at the Media technology programme at KTH.

    About: Anna Careborg (https://twitter.com/annacareborg) is head of premium content at Svenska Dagbladet, including digital storytelling (see SvD Story – story.svd.se). She has worked in journalism for 15 years and in managerial positions at Svenska Dagbladet since 2007. She has a special interest in investigative journalism, storytelling and in developing new ideas.

    About: Björn Thuresson is the manager of the KTH The Visualization Studio (VIC). The studio is a resource for teaching, reserach and business liasions in advanced graphics, interaction and visualisation. Thuresson has a background in Cinema Studies, Journalism and Communication Studies and professional experience in production of film and educational multimedia as well as in concept development for new media, software development and IT-management. He has acted as researcher and coordinator in several national and international projects. 


    Protocol from the Coordination meetings

    We have "coordination meetings" with 1) Malin and Daniel, 2) the executive group and 3) one representative from each project group every second week. We will have the second lunch meeting today.

    Project leaders should communicate the results of these meetings back to the their project groups but it is also possible for anyone with the link to have a look at the outcomes of these meetings and that document can be found here (it is also possible for anyone to leave comments in the document).