Citizen Journalism Toolkit Coming? Plus wi-fi tip

tn_toolkit.jpg What would such a toolkit contain?

My friend and occasional collaborator, Tim Bishop, spotted a reference to a forthcoming journalism toolkit that sounds, at least, like a project that he and I had proposed about a year ago in the first Knight 21st Century News Challenge. We didn’t get the grant, however, and left the idea undone.

So now I’m anxious and excited to see what comes out of this effort by the Tactical Technology Collective in the United Kingdom. The TTC appears to have an international focus and its current toolkits are for such things as “NGO in a box” to use the European term for what Americans call non-profits. The group describes several current and planned toolkits including one for citizen journalism that it offered for free, open source use.  

Tim passed on the link without comment but I’m willing to wager a month’s blog income that he grinned when he saw the British group’s terminology, “NGO-in-a-box.” We had called our unfunded and unfinished idea “Journalism in a Box” which we thought was awfully clever. So obviously these Brits must be both clever and better organized than were we.

I’ll try to get on TTC’s dissemination list and help spread the kit when it debuts. I’m anxious for whatever technical help it may provide and willing to use and, if possible, toss any improvements back into the “box” for others to use.

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My distant collaborator, Deep Cuz, who had been a traveling salesman until he moved back into over-the-counter sales, recently passed on this tip about how to use a site called to find wireless hotspots on the road:

“The best site I know of to do that is the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine (WiGLE). At that site, you can use a free, map-based search that lets you drill down into cities, sort of like GoogleMaps does. If you sign up for an account, you can use their more-powerful search engine. The search engine lets you specify an address near where you’re headed, a state, a ZIP code, latitude and longitude, and a variety of other information to help you find the type of hotspot you’re looking for. Head to WiGLE and check it out!”