KNC12 MOBILE | MARK OF THE BEAST: Mobile data newsgame | Knight News Challenge 2012

I’ve updated and resubmitted my proposal from the Knight News Challenge Data round in the current mobile round of the Knight News Challenge.

MARK OF THE BEAST: Mobile data newsgame

1. What is your project? [1 sentence]
Mark of the Beast is a mobile newsgame that uses bar codes and RFID to teach data literacy skills to journalists and citizens.

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]
Mark of the Beast will use draw upon mobile phone features and sensor data, including geolocation, camera images, near-field communication, text, e-mail, and Web to engage users in a quantified-self type of game. They then manipulate that data as in-game tasks that also teach them data handling skills useful in journalism.

3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence]
Journalists and others who want to learn data literacy skills will use it, as well as people seeking a fun, rich gaming experience.

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project.
Journalists and the public will learn about Mark of the Beast through:
– established journalist networks, such as Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Online News Association, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Forum for African Investigative Reporters, WJChat , journalism schools and alumni associations;
– digital/social media such as Twitter, Facebook, serious games sites such as Gameful, professional trade sites like Gamasutra and the International Game Developers Association, consumer gaming news sites like IGN.com and Gamespot.com, game distribution channels like the Apple App store, Google Play, Valve’s Steam store, and so on.
– journalists, friends and peers who play the game.

5. What connections have you made, or will you make, with others [communities, organizations or networks] about your project? [2 sentences]
I am currently set to participate in Techraking with the Center for Investigative Reporting and IGN later in September, planning a newsgame hack day as an Innovate News event in association with the UXI design community, and potentially TIFFNet (Toronto International Film Festival’s year-round body), the International Game Developers Association, Interactive Ontario and Entertainment Software Association of Canada trade groups, and Toronto’s DigiFest festival [discussions in progress]. I also moderate a newsgaming forum on Gameful.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links]
I have already completed the first phase of consultations with domain experts and am working on designing the key interactions and behavior mechanisms that will form the basis of the game. The game is in the middle of the principal design stage.

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences]
Success would be first seeing people enjoying the game and learning from it, even if they don’t realize that’s what they are doing. Second, making a game that is compelling enough that it can include a sustainable business model in industry or consumer markets would be ideal.

8. What resources do you need to succeed? [1-2 sentences]
Mark of the Beast will need technical expertise in game design and programming, and physical/electronic mobile media. This game is an experimental prototype that we hope to build upon.

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team:
Saleem Khan: Project leader, journalist [editor and reporter, ex- CBC, Metro International, Toronto Star newspapers; chairman/director, Canadian Association of Journalists]; advisor, University of Toronto ThingTank Lab [Faculty of Information]; founder, invstg8.net.
Advisors:
B. Chmielewski, co-founder, Sweet Caesar; Android, iOS, BlackBerry developer for clients and projects such as U2, Toronto International Film Festival, IDEO, RIM.
K. Khan: User experience strategist and designer, OCAD University sLab advisor; leader of UXI, Canada’s largest UX professionals group
M. Saniga, CA: President and co-founder, near-realtime business intelligence/data insight generation software firm Quant Inc.; former finance director and manager at Cara, Dell.
K. Seto: Founder of Massive Damage game studio and Endloop Mobile. Built Please Stay Calm, a popular location based game.

Expected number of months to complete project: 12
Estimated Project Cost: $180,000 [Experienced mobile game coder, designer, hardware expert]
Name: Saleem Khan
Twitter: @saleemkhan
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]: invstg8.net / Technovica
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
How did you learn about the contest?
I follow the News Challenge and have submitted proposals for years.

KNC12 MOBILE | INVSTG8.NET: Microcollaboration for journalists | Knight News Challenge 2012

With invstg8.net’s mobile-first focus and the problems it would solve, I’ve resubmitted it in the Knight News Challenge 2012 Mobile round.

INVSTG8.NET | Microcollaboration for journalists

1. What is your project? [1 sentence]
Invstg8.net is a microcollaboration tool that helps journalists anywhere overcome information barriers.

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]
Invstg8.net uses low-bandwidth communication technologies accessible with basic mobile phones — such as text and SMS messages, e-mail and a lean/mobile Web site — to enable journalists to connect and exchange peer-sourced information otherwise unavailable to them.
http://j.mp/skinetv [ Long link http://vimeo.com/27737276 ]

3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence]
Journalists in the economic North and South will use invstg8.net to dramatically accelerate reporting on stories that would take weeks, months or years to tell — or that wouldn’t be told at all — due to structural, practical, technological and financial barriers to crucial information.

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project.
Journalists will learn about invstg8.net through:
– established journalist networks, such as the Forum for African Investigative Reporters, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Online News Association, WJChat , journalism schools and alumni associations;
– digital/social media such as Twitter [@invstg8net], Facebook.com/invstg8net, Github.com/invstg8net invstg8.net, and so on.
– journalist peers who use the tool.

5. What connections have you made, or will you make, with others [communities, organizations or networks] about your project? [2 sentences]
I have been working with increasing effort to bring invstg8.net to fruition since I met an African journalist for whom it took months to get information that I could get in minutes.
In the past year alone, the invstg8.net mock-up video and pre-alpha proof-of-concept prototype have been well-received when demonstrated to journalists at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Kiev, Investigative Reporters and Editors in Toronto, the Forum for African Investigative Reporters, social change technologists at Random Hacks of Kindness; fellows, participants, judges and organizers of the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership / OpenNews in Berlin; news directors at national and international news organizations around the world, professors at universities across North America; and venture capitalists, individual journalists, technologists and social change advocates at every opportunity.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links]
We are at the debugging stage of a working proof-of-concept prototype, with existing code available on Github: http://j.mp/skinvstg8netgit [ Github.com/saleemkhan/invstg8net ]
The original mock-up video explaining the problem and how invstg8.net will work is here: http://j.mp/skinetv [ Long link http://vimeo.com/27737276 ]

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences]
The first dimension of success is putting a low-bandwidth, minimum viable product version of invstg8.net into journalists’ hands and seeing them reap the benefits of it, then building out a more robust, secured, richer suite of tools and API to maximize its sustainability and benefits.
The second part of success is seeing the changes brought about by the public-interest journalism that invstg8.net will enable.

8. What resources do you need to succeed? [1-2 sentences]
The critical resources invstg8.net needs to succeed are skilled, experienced mobile, Web and back-end software developers, and operating funds. In a competitive marketplace, a shortage of available, skilled developer talent willing to dedicate themselves to building a functioning version of invstg8.net pro bono has been the major obstacle to success.

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team:
Saleem Khan: Project leader, journalist [editor and reporter, ex- CBC, Metro International, Toronto Star newspapers; chairman/director, Canadian Association of Journalists]; advisor, University of Toronto ThingTank Lab [Faculty of Information]; program director, Innovate News.
Advisors
B. Chmielewski, co-founder, Sweet Caesar; Android, iOS, BlackBerry developer for clients and projects such as U2, Toronto International Film Festival, IDEO, RIM.

R. Cribb, Deputy Investigations Editor, Toronto Star; journalism instructor, Munk School of Global Affairs at University of Toronto and Ryerson University School of Journalism; Canadian Journalism Fellow; president, Canadian Journalists Education Foundation; director, Investigative Reporters and Editors.

K. Khan: User experience strategist and designer for Global 1000, telecom, consumer technology, finance, governments; OCAD University sLab advisor; leader of UXI, Canada’s largest UX professional group.

H. Leson: Director of community engagement, Ushahidi; open source community developer, library and information technician.

S. Reber, Senior Coordinating Editor, National and International multi-platform Investigations, Center for Investigative Reporting.

M. Saniga, CA: Co-founder, near-realtime business intelligence/data insight generation software firm Quant Inc.; former finance director and manager at Cara, Dell.

Expected number of months to complete project: 11
Estimated Project Cost: $396,000 [Senior, intermediate, and two junior developers; just-in-time assistance; project manager.]
Name: Saleem Khan
Twitter: @saleemkhan
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]: invstg8.net / Technovica
City: Toronto
Country: Canada
How did you learn about the contest?
I follow the News Challenge and have submitted proposals before.