In Chapter 8, Briggs discusses this idea that nearly all information we are exposed to can be a bit overwhelming, due to the fact that there is so much of it. Briggs tells us that there are two challenges we face when dealing with this information or data, they are personal and professional.
That both theses perspectives can help and hurt us in our day to day lives. That in our personal life we are constantly managing our email inboxes or deleting our spam folder, while in our professional life we make lemons out of lemonade with the new technology that has come to help us and these are searchable databases. That this technology can help us to not only be more productive journalists, but also better ones overall because we have access to so much more information.
The chapter also really focuses on the idea of organization in our digital lives. That in order to be productive journalists, we really need the tools that are offered to digitalize our journalism and this in turn will digitalize our life.
Briggs goes on to tell us the importance of organizing our email, as if I haven’t heard that one before. My email is probably messier than my closet, but I know where everything is. So that’s all that matters, right?
He goes into interesting detail about data driven journalism. An example of the data driven journalism he is talking about is information that new organizations have access to but don’t exactly have the time to publish it, so they have a database do it for them. The database puts up the latest and greatest statics and newly published information instantly, so the public has complete access to it. Examples of things that could be on these databases would be public employee salaries, test scores, restaurant and movie listings, new businesses and top employers.
After I read this chapter I had never thought all that much about data from these databases effects our lives. But, when I stopped to think about it I was surprised to realize that it kind of helps us to make decisions on everything.
For example, if I want to quit my job and go find another one, I am going to use data and website statics to choose which company that I want to work for. I am going to look through statics on how many employees are happy or how long they have worked for that particular company.
If I am on first date and the guy forgets to make reservations at the restaurant, which trust me all the real losers do. Then I look on Yelp for another restaurant that is available, hoping that my date is going to at least have the decency to pay for the meal, since he couldn’t make the reservation.
All of these decisions even though are very small and somewhat insignificant involve data and databases. That my choices I make I look to these very databases for the answers that I find most compelling and that makes the most sense.