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New Business Models for News

Thursday, October 23, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named tramp.jpgThere's a "summit" in NYC for new business models for news today. Permalink to this paragraph

Through the miracle of the Internet, I can participate too! Permalink to this paragraph

Here's what I think... Permalink to this paragraph

Where ever you see a barrier that says that only a professional can do this job, don't just get rid of the rule, proactively break it. Make the pros compete on the same playing field as the amateurs. The time is running short to do this, soon the professional news organizations won't have anything of value to the amateurs nor will there be many pros left to compete. Permalink to this paragraph

Here are some examples.  Permalink to this paragraph

1. Get amateur bloggers through the hurdles necessary to cover political events. Give them credentials that the campaigns recognize. Help amateurs get on the press lists of of the campaigns. (My experience in the 2008 election -- McCain and Obama ignored all requests, Clinton hit me up for money.)  Permalink to this paragraph

2. Put an amateur on your op-ed page along with the pros. A regular columnist, not a guest column, so they can build up some sway, and learn how it works.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. Take news reports from amateurs and run them through the same editorial process. Then you will have amateurs participating in the editorial process. Permalink to this paragraph

4. Open your newsroom! After all your layoffs, you've got plenty of space. Have a budget of 20 local bloggers who have press room passes. This means of course that you have to get to know some of the local bloggers. Permalink to this paragraph

Each of these steps will create context for interaction, places where assumptions are challenged, where the arguments can happen, so people on both sides can find out what comes next. The whole discussion, as clearly shown by the participant list (they call them attendees, that's another mistake) for the NY conference, has been between people on one side. No wonder they're not figuring it out! ;->  Permalink to this paragraph

Now, I'm afraid this advice would have worked a lot better ten years ago, but believe me, I was pushing for the barriers to come down ten years ago too. Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, hope y'all have a great conference.  Permalink to this paragraph

PS: There's live videoPermalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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