Tagged: 'Associated Press'

Crowdsourcing, business models, and CM Life redesign

The best links of the past two weeks (yes, I missed last week) that you probably should read over the weekend (via the CoPress Publish2 Newsgroup which you can join and contribute to if you’d like):

  • Needed: Real-Time Auction System for Citizen Media – An idea for a better way of compensating the “citizen journalists” who do on-the-spot reporting when an event happens. Sounds like a good business idea to me.
  • For those following the Associated Press DRM conversation, there are two important articles which pretty well sum the entire thing up: “AP Launches Open Source Ascribenation Project,” by Doc Searls, and “Microformats, hNews, the AP and the Animals,” by Steve Yelvington. DRM aside, it will be really sweet if the hNews format is codified into something that’s adopted. There’s a lot of semantic data produced by newspapers that’s lost to the machines, and the markup for hNews is relatively simple to incorporate into your website if you can modify the template (open source for the win, by the way).
  • Brian Manzullo of Central Michigan Life has started redesigning their website in preparation for an August 20 launch (disclosure: we’re giving a bit of help). It’s worth paying attention, however, because I think he’s going to learn a number of sharable lessons along the way. Check out discussions in the forum about navigational menus and revamping CM Life’s website logo.
  • What an AP alternative could look like – A source of material for people to mix, match, and create news packages. An iStockPhoto for news content. This could be useful on the collegiate level as well.
  • If you aren’t subscribed already, Rebooting the News is a highly recommended listen. In the most recent podcast, Jay Rosen and Dave Winer cover personalized suggested user lists for Twitter and the expand upon the idea of a virtual assignment desk. If we can meet our delivery timeline (knock on wood), I’m optimistic that the Edit Flow Project will provide a solid foundation for crowdsourcing story assignments.

On the wiki, we now have a really decent editorial strategy thanks to Megan Taylor. We’ll be building our content there over the next month as well as (hopefully) skinning the wiki in alignment with our website relaunch. The goal for the wiki is to have the community take ownership over editorial quality; we’re looking for page editors for each of the topic tubs. If you think you might fit the bill, let us know!

We Clicked On: Google and Their Troubled Relationship with Newspapers

The big news this week was Google’s Eric Schmidt and his speech to the NAA, where he told newspaper executives a rather radical (to them, at least) business model includes “not pissing off the readers.” Of course, the speech was not well received by many new media leaders who wanted Schmidt to take a more of a stance on the AP and newspaper’s reluctance to accept new media.

Around the Network

Discussion in the forum was pretty good this week, with Joey soliciting questions for its FAQ page.

Some interesting questions that are likely to make the list:

  • Will you have control of my site’s design or do I get admin access to the back end?
  • How long will the transition take from College Publisher to WordPress?
  • Is CoPress building a content management system (CMS)?
  • How is CoPress different than a CMS, and why is this necessary?
  • How did CoPress get started?

Also on the forum, Greg asked what schools are using for e-mail newsletter and alerts. It seems, at least, from responses in the forum that Feedburner is still a common option.

Mo Jangda said, “From a content delivery standpoint, we haven’t really used subscription or newsletter services. I’ve always relied on the idea that FeedBurner has got us covered since it has email email subscription built-in — though I imagine we’d be better served actually publicizing that by having a subscription box in the sidebar of our home page.”

Lauren Rabiano asked a question that addresses a common problem in newspapers everywhere, “How do you deal with people who think backwards (espeically when they’re the people who control your money)? You can’t just ignore them or hope that they’ll “get it” sometime soon. How can you show them and change their minds? And can you do it alone?

Read more →