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#140Conf Road Trip Has New Team Member. Meet Mo Krochmal – @krochmal

Mo Krochmal, is about to become a member of the #140Conf Road Trip Crew, joining Jeff Pulver and me as we embark on our journey to meet, connect and engage with the #140Conf Community in the Midwest.  Mo is an accomplished journalist and Professor at Hofstra University.  Here’s his introductory post.  Welcome Mo.  We look forward to having you join us and bringing your gifts of story telling and knowledge of media to this wonderful adventure on which we are about to embark on.

Mocover

By Mo Krochmal

I traveled the country, well actually, both coasts and some in Chicago.

After the end of the dot-com era, I was without a job so I took a grand roadtrip with a friend and we followed a Civil War path through New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, some 5,000 miles for research that I’m still conducting. Then 9/11 came, and I found myself as a volunteer at Ground Zero, working for the Salvation Army, handing out sandwiches and water to the folks on the pile. I wrote about what I did and saw for UPI.

My next job took me, still on the web, to another corner of innovation, as I covered the emerging molecular biology tools market. I learned about genomics, proteomics and about sequencers and microarrays.
But, 9/11 had made me think about what I could do to give back to journalism and I figured that the best way to help was by teaching 30 to 50 fledgling journalists a semester and Hofstra University granted me the honor and the high privilege of joining the journalism faculty as the first digital media professor.

I started teaching Twitter as part of my class in March 2007 when Steve Rubel, who I had worked with at CMP, came to my class after SXSW and shared his knowledge and it was on. I delight in getting e-mails from former students that remark that I was certainly ahead of my time, and yes, I was. You would think that teaching today’s “digital natives” would be easy as they are so inculcated with technology. I am here to say, no, that’s not really how it is.

It took a lot of work on my syllabus and sales skills for students to understand that digital technology was changing journalism and the wave didn’t really break until 2009-2010, the just-past school year. I set the stage last summer with, yes, a road trip. I went back home to North Carolina and shared the entire way – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. You can read about what I learned at http://krochmal.posterous.com/analyzing-mobile-and-social-media-from-the-ro

Prior to that, however, Jeff Pulver came into my life and I am so grateful. I first met Jeff when I volunteered for the initial 140conf in New York. I was there at the theater at 6:30 that morning setting up and I worked the green room. I made friends at that conference that I still hold dear.

Then, the fall New York 140conf meetup came around and I asked if I could speak about teaching digital media and about the changes in journalism and I made more friends. Jeff asked me to speak at the most recent 140conf in New York and I was happy to say yes. But, this time, I did not want to be the sage on the stage for 10 minutes and I asked six students to join me to talk about their vision for the future of journalism. The students were so nervous and excited and they were wonderful. We celebrated at a nearby Japanese noodle place and talked and talked. Those students were the cream of the crop at Hofstra and they will make a difference in the field of journalism.  I just know it.

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