We've already announced the first two Sources Go Direct panelsts, Nick Denton and Fred Wilson.
Nick is our contrarian -- I'm expecting him to say that while distribution is now electronic, news flows much as it did when distribution was on paper. Or something like that. ">
Nick is also a focal point for a wide-ranging and often emotional debate about how sources are used to get information that companies are reluctant to share. Many of us, myself included, have a strong interest in knowing about Apple's products in development, as much as Apple has an interest in controlling how much we know and when we know it. I think it's good that people like Nick are trying to get the information we want, when we want it. I can empathize with Apple's perspective, having spent many years as a commercial software developer. But I've often been frustrated at how much the tech press seems to serve the interests of industry at the expense of users. It's good, imho, that Nick is pushing the envelope here, and helping strike a different, healthier balance. I expect some of the people in the room to disagree, respectfully of course.
Fred was the first VC to use the web in a personal way to create new relationships with entrepreneurs and other investors, to learn about new tools, and to share what he has learned. All this has allowed him to do venture capital in completely new ways.
Rachel Sterne, CEO of "citizen journalism" site GroundReport provides a platform for 5000 independent writers and editors who contribute their work to produce something analogous to a newspaper as Wikipedia relates to a pre-Internet encyclopedia.
In the early days of news on the web, Salon boasted that they were sending a reporter to Yugoslavia, a sign of their maturing to become a more substantial news organization. I was skeptical, thinking that we, the world wide web, were already there. Our network wasn't that well organized in 1999, but thanks to the work of Rachel and others, we are there today, and the dream of 1999 is being realized in 2010. Scott Rosenberg, one of the founders of Salon has already registered for the event. It'll be interesting to hear his perspective. Jay Rosen, who Rachel says has inspired her work at GroundReport will be there too, of course. ">
As mainstream journalism pulls back, as international bureaus close around the world, it seems Rachel and Co may be building the distribution system that gets us the news we need.
So we have three very different perspectives on our panel on Wednesday, but in no way do they cover the entire spectrum. That's why our session will add some of the elements of a BloggerCon-style unconference. We will have a "monitor" with a wireless mike available to help you add your point of view to the discussion (which will also be webcast, the backchannel will be on IRC and Twitter). You can ask questions, but you can also simply comment. We don't draw a very bold line between the stage and the room, we understand that there will be 125 incredibly smart, experienced and knowledgeable people in the room, and we want to tap into as much of that as we possibly can.
The session will last one hour and fifteen minutes. After that we will switch format to an "open newsroom," an idea I've wanted to try for quite some time. Bring your laptop, netbook or iPad, we'll provide wifi and refreshments. The discussion will continue and we can all write our blog posts and do it in any collaborative fashion that makes sense to you. If it goes as I think it will, the newsroom will be every bit as valuble as the panel discussion. It's an experiment, so it'll be new, that's for sure. ">
We've set up a website with links to all the resources for the event at go.hypercamp.org.
Tickets are free at Eventbrite and we'll webcast via Ustream.