Monday, June 9, 2008

6/4 Opening: Matt Thompson on Citizen Journalism

Speaker: Matt Thomspon, deputy Web editor, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Topic: Citizen Journalism

  • The strength of a citizen journalism site is not its features. Add all the multimedia whizbangery you want, but the real driver of an active, vibrant online community is deeply invested individuals.
  • Communities coalesce around individuals.
  • Citizen journalism usually takes place in a geographical context, but you can find some overlap with how dispersed online communities evolve and function.
  • In journalism, perhaps the citizen/professional distinction is less useful than the individual/institutional distinction.
  • "How do we motivate consumers?" may be the wrong question. If Margaret is right about our desire to create, and if Matt is right about the importance of deeply invested individuals, then it may be just as important for those of us who would start an online community to ask, "How do we motivate creators?"

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