Silicon Valley Diary – Part 2

Hey everyone it’s Thea here again. Did you know the name Silicon Valley was first used exactly forty years ago by Don C Hoefler** who was writing a series of articles Silicon Valley USA? Rather surprisingly I didn’t until I heard it at the recent, rather inspirational Innovation Journalism (InJo) conference at Stanford.

Here in “the Valley”, like anywhere really, people love to talk about what excites them – music, movies, television shows and especially technology. So I thought I’d pass on to you what’s excited me this past week – just on the off-chance you’ve not heard about them already. (You may have heard of some of these already, but hopefully one or two will be new to you too!)

This one gets mentioned because of an enjoyable panel talk by the main man Steve Grove at CitizenTube – which is YouTube’s News and Politics channel. “How many of you knew we had a news and politics channel?” he asked and few of us raised our hands.

The idea is that citizens of the world are becoming the news curators by being in the right place at the right time (depending on how you look at it) with their camera phones or video recorders. Incidentally, this was a common theme at the Stanford InJo conference, as on a later talk from CNN’s Marisa Gallagher explained their use of iReporters on Open Story.

None of this is dissimilar to what Sky News and the BBC are doing – what’s interesting to me is the trend of this “citizen journalism”.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is a website and has a variety of apps for different platforms. It was recommended to me by a fellow music-loving friend Teri. (NOTE: Teri has around 150 apps on her iPhone and sees more concerts than anyone I’ve ever met, so she was the perfect person to recommend this app to me.)

As we sat outside a little coffee shop in downtown Campbell, I download TuneIn radio onto my iPad and, just for kicks, loaded up BBC Radio Scotland’s Morning Briefing with my NSDesign colleague Colin Kelly and we sat and, well, tuned in.

A rather surreal moment that.

Once Magazine

Now this one is a little different, as it’s not yet launched, but am excited to check it out once it goes live. From the website of the young SF-based firm, Once Magazine is a simple concept based around how great photographs look on the iPad. Not only that, it’s apparently a “viable publishing platform in the digital age calls for a new business model”. While it’s subscription based, they’ll be sharing revenue with the photographers. That’s only part of their business model. So Once is one to watch, I think, especially if you’re keen on “long-form narrative photography”. (Don’t you just love all these new buzz terms for everything?)

Awedeitorium – Aural Happiness

At Stanford, after an interesting panel I got chatting to one the panelists @ Justin Ferrel from the Washington Post’s Director of Digital when the gentleman to my right chimed in about an app he loves called Aweditorium. This little app is engaging for music lovers.

FlipBoard - a personalised social media magazine app FlipBoard

This particular app is getting more raves than anything I’ve heard in ages! As it was released last summer, you may have heard of of this personalised social magazine already, but it was “news” to me. It’s perfect for all you social media lovers who like reading newspapers and magazines. A truly visual app, it looks amazing on the iPad.

Well that’s just a few of what caught my ear and eye this past week.

Next time, on my Silicon Valley Diary Part 3 – I’ll fill you in on a fun, recent trip to Google’s HQ for a “free lunch” with a friend.


** The term Silicon Valley is credited to Ralph Vaerst a Central California entrepreneur, but was first used by his friend, a journalist, Don C Hoefler in his column for Electronic News.

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