Best of 2010: Lauren Kirchner

Kirchner picks her top stories from 2010

This Headline May Be A Work of Art The New Museum’s exhibition “The Last Newspaper” featured collage, sculpture, and installations all made out of—or conceptually “about”—newspapers. I went, I saw, I took pictures.

What it’s Like to Be The Wall Street Journal’s Friend This was another field trip I took, trying out Foursquare for the first time. At the time, there was a lot of hype about news organizations teaming up with services like Foursquare and Gowalla to deliver location-based content. This particular app didn’t really deliver yet, but it sparked some ideas about what the Journal and other papers could do to benefit from this new technology.

Local Ad Networks Bring Home the Bacon Community news sites and local blogs are a wonderful resource, but they are generally difficult to monetize. Two groups of sites, in Richmond, Va., and Sacramento, Ca., though, have decided to pool their resources to form local ad networks. It’s a lot better than ugly old Google Ad Sense, and it seems to be working.

Number Cruncher My review of Jane Smiley’s biography of John Atanasoff, a (mostly) forgotten pioneer in the long and collaborative development of the first computer. The book was far more controversial than I initially realized, and the comments section took on a life of its own. Jane Smiley weighed in, as did several relatives of one of the inventors portrayed in the book to offer their versions of the story. Towards the end of the thread, John Gustafson, computer scientist and director of research at Intel, was answering readers’ questions about how computers work.

Tweeting a Wildfire In September, a fast-moving wildfire broke out just outside Boulder, Co. When the traditional sources of news weren’t moving fast enough, many locals turned to Twitter for their updates. But reporters and editors in the newsrooms said afterward that they wouldn’t have done anything differently. Even after the fire died down, the debate continued in Boulder about the role of social media in the newsroom—and the changing role of the traditional press—during an emergency.

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner Tags: ,