Posted in Conferences & Conventions, News, Social Media

Meograph Revolutionizes Storytelling with a Few Clicks

Misha Leybovich, Meograph CEO


By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Multimedia Journalism Professor, DJTF Contributor

Imagine being able to tell a story in four dimensions on one media platform that includes Google maps, video, audio and photos.

Misha Leybovich has created such a tool that he hopes will appeal to anyone who has a story to tell.

Leybovich’s new enterprise is called Meograph and the geospatial data curation program goes public in early July.

It allows users to incorporate audio, video, photos, Google Maps and Google Earth into a simple one-page interface that creates a four-dimensional story or Meograph as Leybovich has coined and publishes instantaneously to the Internet.

Leybovich, who has degrees from MIT and University of California, Berkeley, in engineering, has been thinking about Meorgaph since he read Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland when he was 8-years-old. His fascination with space, time and communication led to Meograph’s creation.

“I think that everybody is creative and everybody has a story to tell,” said Leybovich. “We want to make it so everybody can take the stories they have and have an easy way to tell them.”

Meorgaph has already been put to test.  Several stories are on the demo site at, including one that documents the events in the Trayvon Martin case, the Sanford, Fl. teen killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed crime watch volunteer, who claimed self-defense.

The Meograph appears in a 707 by 450 pixel frame with an interactive Google Map and narration from a reporter. A timeline takes the viewer through the events in the case while showing images of Martin, Zimmerman and audio from 911 police dispatch tapes. YouTube videos, multiple images and maps of the community, where Martin was shot are included in the Meograph timeline as a signature “M” mobiles across each location.

Click the Meograph image above to see story

As of June 29, more than 9-thousand viewers have watched the Meograph titled Trayvon Martin Case.  Other Meographs on the demo site include “The Arab Spring, Whitney Houston’s Life, Facebook’s Timeline and Gay Marriage Rights.”

Journalists produced many of the stories on the demo site; however, Leybovich hopes that Meograph will appeal to everyone. He says the site is so user friendly that it would take anyone about 10 minutes to produce a multimedia story.

“Whether it’s a personal story, a travel story, your company story or teaching… your students,” Leybovich said Meograph revolutionizes storytelling with a few clicks.

Leybovich said Meograph would be free to use; however, special customization and premium platforms will be available too.

Leybovich, who grew up in Irvine, Ca., visited 70 countries and lived on four continents, said there are so many great stories to tell and he can’t wait to see how people use Meograph to tell their own stories.

See Misha Leybovich talk about Meograph here.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, multimedia journalist

Missed #NABJ12? Check Out Storination!

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

We know that everyone couldn’t join us for this year’s fantastic convention in New Orleans.  In a perfect world, we would have had live streaming of the workshops, similar to what they do at the Online News Association’s annual convention.

But since that wasn’t an option due to budget considerations, NABJ went all out with social media.  So many of our members and attendees were on Twitter that at several points last week, we were a trending topic.

Right before the convention, I learned about Storination, a cool web-based tool that allows you to put all the Storifys from a single event — like #NABJ12 — in one place for folks to read and share.  I went on Twitter and begged for a beta code, then sent an email explaining exactly what I wanted to do with the tool. 

I want to thank all those members who did Storifys on key sessions, along with two plenaries, the board meeting and the business meeting.  Click here to see all the Storifys done from New Orleans.  If you did one and it wasn’t included, please email me and I’ll include it. Enjoy!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

NABJ Social Media Checklist #NABJ2012

– NABJ Social Media Team 

For many of you this will be your first NABJ convention on twitter. That means it will be your first time using an NABJ Convention hashtag, your first time retweeting convention tweets, your first time enjoying the “backchannel” that often dominates the digital conversation during major events. Your digital self will be alive during this convention and the NABJ Social media team will do everything to keep you engaged.

This year NABJ has a robust social media program and we want to make sure that everyone knows how they can engage and share what they’re learning, or better yet, how they’re enjoying New Orleans.



NABJ is on twitter and we’d love to hear from you! Tweet us! NABJ has two regularly updated twitter channels, @NABJ and @Nabjdigital. The PR student project team of Christopher Nelson and Bartees Cox will be manning the official @NABJ channel. You can expect announcements, live-tweeting, questions, scavenger hunts and NABJ student articles tweeted from this account. As usual, Benet Wilson will provide her unique and enlightening tweets on the @nabjdigital account.

Hashtags Hashtags!
The OFFICIAL hashtag of the conference is #NABJ12 (not #NABJ2012). To promote engagement among members who are at the conference and who aren’t able to attend, please tweet all panels and events with the official hashtag. Each workshop will also have it’s own hashtag which you should also include. This will aid people who want to go back and seek information from the panels.


Twitter Scavenger Hunt
Starting on Thursday, the @NABJ will be running a twitter scavenger hunt at NOON on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Prizes include the following:

  • VIP Ticket to the Sports Task Force Jam
  • Tickets to the Gospel Brunch
  • Meet & Greet opportunity with Cedric The Entertainer, Niecy Nash, Rosie Perez, and Viola Davis

Follow the @NABJ account for clues to find Bartees Cox, who will be within a half mile of the Hilton. Once you find him, you’ll have to answer some trivia questions.

Join us on Facebook!

Stay up to date with NABJ news and connect to other attendees!

Facebook Page – Look out for the day’s best picture as well as photo albums from each day’s events.

Facebook Group – The Facebook group continues to be a place for community around the 2012 NABJ conference. We encourage you to continue to post announcements, photos and questions on the group during the conference.


Create a Storify from Your Panel!

Storify is one of the best ways to create stories and archive social media content from your panels. We’re really pushing for NABJ conference panelists and members to create a storify for EVERY PANEL. Please tag ALL of your stories with #NABJ12. We’re aiming to create at least 30 storify stories from the convention. Afterwards we’ll compile this media into a Storination.

New Social Media Site – Instagram!

NABJ has a new social media account on Instagram – NABJofficial. Please follow us and look out for the best pictures from this week’s convention.

Check in on Foursquare

Follow NABJ and check into the 2012 NABJ Convention and Career Fair. If the check in doesn’t immediately pop up then do a search. Please also add photos to your check in.


Do you plan on blogging the NABJ Conference? Don’t forget to tweet us the link so we can tweet it or facebook it!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, multimedia journalist

NABJ and ONA Show The Love To New Orleans Journalists

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

As we prepare to attend the  National Association of Black Journalists‘ (NABJ) 37th Annual Convention & Career Fair, we arrive with heavy hearts.

In an ironic twist, it will be a week to the day that Advance Publications, parent of the iconic Times-Picayune newspaper, announced that 84 of its 173 people in the newsroom were losing their jobs, effective Sept. 30.  On the same day in Alabama, three major daily newspapers laid off approximately 400 employees, many of them in the newsrooms at The Birmingham News, the Press-Register in Mobile and The Huntsville Times.

Among those losing their jobs were Birmingham chapter founding member Eddie Lard — the newspaper’s lone African-American editorial voice — along with former chapter president Sherrel Stewart and current officer Roy Williams.

NABJ this year partnered with the Online News Association to bring their popular ONA Camp to New Orleans.  ONA Camp brings one day of world-class digital journalism training to those trying to beef up their skills.  Courses available include Mobile Newsgathering, (Mostly) Free Tools and Google Fusion 101.

In light of what has happened in Alabama and Louisiana, we are opening up registration in ONA Camp to anyone affected by the layoffs. So whether you are an NABJ member or not, you can pay $10 and attend this great training.  Click HERE to register.  We hope many of you will take advantage of this offer, and look forward to seeing you!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Innovation, multimedia journalist, Technology

Going To New Orleans For #NABJ12? Check Out The Black History Mobile App

An iconic New Orleans balcony. Photo courtesy of Katjusa Cisar via Flickr.

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Back in November 2010, NABJ member and digital journalism pioneer Retha Hill won a $12,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs program.  Hill, director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, used her grant to create the Mobile Black History Project app. You can see her presentation of the app here.

The app offers an augmented reality view of prominent black history sites in 12 cities, including New Orleans, where NABJ will hold its annual convention next week.  “When NABJers are out and about in New Orleans, they can look through the lens of their smartphone and find out about all kinds of interesting African-American history,” said Hill.  “They can discover, for example, the home of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, the founder of the first black daily newspaper in the U.S., or the Cheval House, which was once home to the free person of color who invented a way of refining sugar.”

To access the app, download the Layar browser (available for iOS and Android devices) then search for “black history.” After your mobile’s GPS determines your location, the app can direct you to nearby points of interest, providing historic images, video and other information.  Below is a YouTube video demonstrating how the video works.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Social Media

10 iPhone Apps To Enhance Your NABJ 2012 Convention Experience

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Regular readers know that I am a HUGE fan of my iPhone as a great tool to do my job as a journalist. But some of the same tools I love to do my work will also help make next week’s National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair a better experience. So below, in no particular order, are 10 apps to make your convention experience even better.

  1. The Weather Channel: I love this app for giving me detailed hourly, daily, 36-hour and weekly forecasts in any city.
  2. Hoot Suite: with this free Twitter app, not only can I keep track of my six Twitter accounts, I can also create columns to follow the #NABJ12 and #NABJ hashtags, along with key people like @NABJprez2011. I also like the Hashtag app to follow particular tags in one place.
  3. Dragon Diction: this handy app allows me to post directly to my Facebook or Twitter accounts just by speaking. And because so much is going on, I can also use it to send myself reminders and updates.
  4. AroundMe: this free app is an invaluable resource when you’re in a new city. It offers information on local conveniences including banks/ATMs, bars, hospitals, restaurants and supermarkets.
  5. Concur: If you’re going on your company’s dime and it uses Concur, this app is golden. It allows you to keep track of expenses on the run. And after the convention, there’s no huge pile of receipts to track. Nice! If you don’t use Concur, click here for other suggestions.
  6. Urbanspoon: New Orleans is a great city for food. Use this free app to find restaurants in the city, complete with menus, comments, directions and contact information. It also breaks down restaurants by cuisine and price.For my sushi lovers, I’m a big fan of iSushi.
  7. Ustream: this app allows me to shoot live video from my iPhone. I can also upload the video to my YouTube channel.
  8. Audioboo: I used this tool in Philly last year to do quick, 5-minute audio interviews.
  9. CamCard ($6.99): every year I collect a huge stack of business cards and only input a fraction of them on Microsoft Outlook. I hate paying for apps, but this one was worth the money. I can take a picture of a card and the information is automatically updated in my NABJ contacts group. Plus it’s environmentally friendly. ABMW President Troy Johnson also told me about CardFlick, a free app that allows you to share business card information.
  10. Taxi Magic: you need a cab, but you don’t want to hunt for phone numbers. Use this free online booking service to get a cab where you want, when you want.

So, what did I miss? What apps would you suggest for NABJ?

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

Storified!! #NABJ12PREP Chat Part II – Ask ANY Question

By Benét J. Wilson, NABJ Program Chair, NABJ DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

We did it again, thanks to popular demand.  This time, we let YOU ask the questions about the upcoming NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair, and we had a great group of folks generous enough to give you the answers.  Click here for a Storify of the Twitter Chat.  And BIG ups to DJTF Secretary Kiratiana Freelon for producing this second chat!!

See you in New Orleans!!