Saturday, November 07, 2009

Twin Cities Media Alliance Fall Forum

Title: Networking And The New Media Landscape: Reporting News, Building Community, Making Money
Sponsor: Twin Cities Media Alliance/ Twin Cities Daily Planet
Attendance: about 85--from across the political/ideological landscape
Twitter tag: #TCMA09

Keynote: The Twin Cities Media Ecosystem by Matt Thompson of Knight Foundation:

Three stages of media in the Twin Cities:
  • The Niche Media phase--lots of publications--from an early 20th century publication on grain milling that had correspondents in London and New York to a lot of papers written in the languages of the many new immigrants.
  • The Mass Media--the multiple daily newspapers that were in the Twin Cities merge into just two--one on the East side (St. Paul) and one on the West side (Minneapolis). National news is concentrated in a few "voices" (e.g. Walter Cronkite)
  • The Networked Media--Cross feeds--new curators--individuals select the sources we believe and share them, information is connected to other informations, sources connect to each other, news aggregation sites connect to each other, We have to talk about
Local media has to stop talking about the information we provide and start talking about the value we provide (this was really brought home to be during a site visit to TCMA by a local foundation last week).

First Panel (Reporting the News) Take Away:
Everyone is getting into news aggregation--from hyper local neighborhood sites to Minnesota Public Radio and WCCO TV (Local CBS). TC Daily Planet, while it was an early aggregator of community news (both ethnic and geographic communities), will be competing with more aggregators in the near future.

Keynote 2: Bruce Schneier, "Blogging, New Media and the Generation Gap"

Five key works for new media
  • Be Interesting--every page, every sentence, every article
  • Be Entertaining--it is no accident that many young people get their news from John Stewart. Rush Limbaugh knows he is an entertaining.
  • Be Engaging--(I would say "Be Community") people want to talk to each other. Communities can be geographical, topical. Community can be more important than news
  • Be available--there has to be an easy way to get to older content.
  • Be agile--you don't know what the new device or new platform will be tomorrow or next week. You don't know how new generations will use the Internet How the young will use the Internet will not just be different, it will be incomprehensible.
Bruce recommends checking out book "Free" by Kris (Sp???) Anderson (I wonder if I can literally check it out since this is happening in a library.)

In response to a question: "Net Neutrality can not fail. If it fails legally, there will be enough work arounds that it will eventually succeed. It is an important fight. It if fails, we will see a major set-back with a bunch of old media companies using the law to hand on to an old model. People fighting it will have a lot of technical tools--they just won't have the law on their side."

Second Panel (Building Community) Take Aways:
  • Building community is a lot of work (hey, it was actually acknowledged!)
  • While a couple years ago, no one site will be the "one site" for any specific community.
Third Panel (the hardest to get speakers to fill) "Making Money" Take Aways
  • is a for profit news site. (at least they hope to be profitable). No banner ads--rely on sponsored content. My question--Isn't sponsored content just another way to say "long form ad"
  • L3C funding model for funding=Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation. Primary aim is to further a social purpose. They are designed to attract capital to benefit the community. Good source for information--Americans for Community Development.
  • From the Uptake: "If anyone tells you they have funding and business models for media figured out--don't believe them."

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