One, Dominic D. Giongson, is a reporter who has worked extensively in Asia. The other, Teru Kuwayama, is a globe-trotting photojournalist who has also, along the way, created the Facebook-enabled portal Basetrack to help stationed U.S. Marines and their families stay in touch.
The pair went to high school together in New York and have kept in touch. Recently, last November, they found themselves back together once again at Facebook headquarters in New York, to discuss among other things Kuwayama’s experiences as a senior TED fellow. The very talented Kuwayama was also recently hired as a photography liaison for Facebook/Instagram. From Giongson’s Q&A article in the Jakarta Globe:
“With Basetrack it was in a way like operating a newspaper for a small town. It had an audience, a core audience or a community of a few thousand people.”
“But actually, I think to all of us, it was really interesting, and I think that it felt like [it was] the most meaningful practice of journalism that we had ever done because you could actually see every day a response.”
“When we went online literally, our windows would just light up with people coming in and also asking questions, you know, ‘Have you seen my son?’”
“People were sending us boxes of cookies from southern Afghanistan. You know, none of us had ever had that kind of connection with an audience before.”
Another measure of Kuwayama’s innovative ways is that the position he occupies with Facebook did not exist until about a month before he was hired to fill it. Much more fascinating info about Giongson’s pal can be found in the Globe article.[Image courtesy: about.me/terukuwayama]