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May 11 2011

13:16

12 great tips for digital media startups (from Startup 2011)

Silicon Alley Insider’s Startup 2011 conference this week covered cover all the hot topics in entrepreneurship, from pivots to bubble talk, and left a pretty positive vibe about the New York startup community, capped by NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne telling Silicon Valley to “Bring it on!”

Here are 12 of the best tips and takeaways for VCs and entrepeneurs from the conference…

  1. “Execution matters more than the idea” – Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson
  2. “And a great team is required for execution” – Venrock’s David Pakman
  3. Startups should stay lean until their user base isn’t lean, Fred Wilson said. No need to raise more capital. As proof, he reminded folks that, “Gowalla raised $8 million and it didn’t do shit for them. They still got their ass kicked” by Foursquare, which only raised $1 million in its first round.”
  4. “Most companies don’t get murdered, they commit suicide.” – Esther Dyson, meaning that they die when they cease to innovate
  5. “Talent attracts capital, not the other way around,” NYC Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, who also added that NYC has plenty of capital already
  6. Venture capital is a service business: VC’s should treat entrepreneurs as their clients. – Fred Wilson
  7. “Do what you love” – sentiments echoed by both BetaWorks CEO John Borthwick and MeetUp co-founder Scott Heiferman
  8. “Find out who your users are and religiously passionately follow your users,” Borthwick says. One thing we do wrong, he says, is try to figure out a business model first before we figure out what our users want. To be truly successful, follow your users.
  9. Focus on your product, what you can control and how to “delight your customers.” - serial entrepeneur Gina Bianchini
  10. When you don’t have a business model, be open with your staff. – Mike Lazerow, Buddy Media CEO, discussing pre-pivot startups.
  11. For smart digital media marketing, read ”PyroMarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life” – Betsy Morgan, President, TheBlaze.com
  12. Just do it. Scott Heiferman joked that if he was starting today he wouldn’t get anything done, because they are so many distractions. “You could spend all day sitting in stupid conferences like this,” he joked, urging folks to stop going to conference and go out and just build something.

What other tips do you have for startups? Post in the comments below.


May 05 2011

08:18

Social Innovation Camp 2011 in Sarajevo

Social Innovation Camp brings together ideas, people, and digital tools to build web-based solutions to social problems — from hacking together software to working out how you'd sustain an idea — all in just 48 hours.

Do you have an idea you want to work on? Or maybe a particular technical solution that could be used for good? Social Innovation Camp Internews in Sarajevo is looking for inspiring ideas and committed people. The call for submissions will be closed Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

This year’s event will be held in Sarejevo on July 9-10, 2011 and organized by Internews and Transitions (TOL). The focus of Social Innovation Camp Internews is to jumpstart a “digital activist” movement across Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, and Central Asia that uses information and communication technologies for positive social change.

Anyone from across the world — including people who work for NGOs or the media; who are public employees, web developers, business or marketing types who are enthusiastic about a social cause — is invited to attend the event as experts, volunteers, and developers. Travel grants are available for the priority countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

To apply for participation fill out this form.

Read more about the Social Innovation Camp Internews in Sarajevo: http://www.sicamp-internews.org

April 17 2011

16:19

Goodbye Anaheim 2011…

I’m back in my digs after a two day hiatus to the southlands. Getting a bit old and creaky for this semi-annual run, but the few hours of dancing around in front of an audience and seeing students play with toys was worth it.

What made it different this year? Well, when I’ve gone to conferences and workshops, I’ve always loved to get my grubbies on gear. Listening is all very well and good and educational, but I’m a hands-on type of person. So this year I took a bunch of new and old equipment so the workshop participants could do the same.

“Establishing a Broadcasting Program” had a mini-studio setup, with my (older) Sima video switcher, two cameras, and monitor. Nothing fancy, but enough so that folks could see how a very basic two-camera setup works. We even did a trial talk-through of a show (Camera one on two-shot, camera two one-shot of anchor two, take camera one, switch to camera two…camera one QUICK! get in on one-shot of anchor one, take camera one…). Also went over EVERYTHING I could think of that you might need for a basic broadcasting program and what each piece of gear does. Hung onto the mike topic a mite long…but pushing for good audio is important.

The workshop that really got going was “Painting with Light.” Took the attendees from using natural light to reflectors to a one-light setup with umbrella and on to three-point lighting. Kinda hard in a room where I had no control over the ambient lighting AND had to demo using an LCD projector (washing out the image a bit with the lights). But when the workshop was over the KIDS came up front and stayed for half an hour to play with lights and the effects of moving lights up/down/around. Backlighting was their favorite from what I could see. Oh…that and down-under-up-in-your-face Halloween lighting. Played with silhouettes and back-lighting.

They left happy and I was left exhausted. But happy too. Thanks all for dropping by and hoped you took something away with you.

COUPLE OF CLOSING NOTES.
1. Yes the camera (HMC150) was in manual mode. I told ya I don’t like auto mode, so the zoom was NOT in servo.
2. Yes the lights ARE hot. Use the C-47 aka clothespin.
3. What I use works for me…what I brought is what works for me. What you need may be something totally different…which means research (and yes, I’d be glad to show you how I research for gear).
4. Safety first and safety always. The lights are hot. Folks are gonna trip over cables and can get hurt. And please please be very very careful about posting student images online without all of the necessary paperwork. I may moan and groan about how restrictive administrators/districts are about allowing easy access for posting videos online…but I do NOT want to be the one responsible for any repercussions resulting from thoughtlessly putting a student in harm’s way.
5. About that printout of the Powerpoint I handed out? Teachers – the basic lessons are in the “Lessons” category on this blog if you are interested. Try looking at earlier postings, say from spring of 2007 on.


March 10 2011

15:38

Attend Penguin Day DC for Open Source Learning on March 20

Just after the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington another great event for all of the nonprofits and social justice activistsis is coming up on March the 20th. Penguin Day is designed to let nonprofits and social justice activists learn about free and open source software that can support their work and potentially save them money, including tools for web publishing, fundraising, blogging, and campaigning. Some sessions are already planned, but the organizers strongly encourage participants to request a session topic. Penguin Day DC 2011 is organized by Aspiration, PICnet, NOSI and CiviCRM.

February 15 2011

11:08

news:rewired – what would you like to see?

We’re starting to put our heads together again here at Journalism.co.uk to plan the next news:rewired event, which will offer practical advice from experts in journalism and digital publishing.

We’re eager to open up the planning process this time around and hear from the people that attend our events. What would you like to see covered at our next conference? In what format?

Feel free to contribute ideas on themes, sessions, or workshops, or areas of the industry you like to discuss, or on particular tools and techniques you’d like to see covered.

You can leave your thoughts in the comments box below, or tweet us: @newsrewired using the hashtag #newsrw.

Image of the news:rewired crowd courtesy of Thoroughly Good on Flickr.

January 19 2011

13:59

Camps: Setting the stage for 2011

Earlier this week, we shared some of the lessons we learned from running the 2010 Camps Pilot. Not only did we learn a lot, we also got pretty darn excited for all that this network of changemakers can do! I’m writing today to share some of our ideas with you, ask for your feedback, and hear what you think about Camps 2011.

Cultivating the bottom-up

Communities have been solving their own problems for millenia. The networked nature of the web provides us with ways to harness new resources towards local issues, and our web-based platform provides us with a relatively easy way to surface and curate project success stories to our global audience. Together, harnessing human capital on the web, coupled with a networked approach to cultivating and supporting action networks offline creates an environment where there are entry-points for actors at both the local and global level. Funders, technology companies and volunteers are able to plug-in wherever most appropriate, based on their own capacities, interests and aspirations.

The Camps program is designed to provide both a space for people to share and learn, but also to develop new solutions. At the organizational level, we see our role as the ‘context providers’ -- whereby, we create a framework for community organizing while providing some of the tools, resources and support in order to increase the likelihood of success of all participants. By design, we recognize that the energy, ideas and innovations come not from us, but from the bottom-up, and it’s the activities happening at the local level that can change the world. As regional events play out, our job is to curate the stories that emerge from the network, and to work with our partners to harness resources where there is need.

More breadth and depth

The 2010 Pilot saw events in 6 cities, in 4 countries (with over 500 engaged participants). We think the resources and lessons can scale further and have set new goals for 2011. Specifically, we’re aiming to mobilize at least 1000 people this year at regional events in as many as 10 countries around the globe.

You can check out the previous post in this series which included highlights of what we learned in the 2010 Pilot. What’s important to note here? We learned a lot, and will be bringing those lessons with us as we co-develop the Camps program this year with participating organizers. We’re committed to bolstering more resources towards the effort with our technology partners and sponsors, while addressing some of the barriers to collaboration we identified last year (including translation issues). As usual, we’ll be addressing these issues with the organizers, partners and participants, but if you have ideas or other examples we can learn from, please drop us a line any time!

From Local To Global: Surfacing Local Success Stories via NetSquared Challenges

Part of the NetSquared platform for the last 5 years has been the open innovation “Challenges” that open up a call for ideas to the world of innovators working at the intersection of technology and social change. Projects like Ushahidi, See-Click-Fix, and Frontline SMS: Medic received some of their initial funding through participation in the NetSquared Challenges and we are excited about the idea of combining the Challenge process with Camps taking place in local communities around the world.

Here’s the idea in a nutshell: Each Camp could administer a local NetSquared Challenge to surface great ideas for new tools, mashups, or strategies that local organizations are developing to extend the reach and impact of their work.

We are hopeful that by surfacing innovative Projects, mobilizing participation at the local and global level, and providing various entry-points for local participation, we can best leverage our position as a global social enterprise to harness resources on behalf of these projects. We’re excited about the potential of a community-driven approach, as it provides the communities we serve with the means to design social-benefit projects that address contextually appropriate solutions, while leveraging the knowledge, passion and interests of NetSquared’s mission-driven global network.

We are looking for your feedback to help shape the Camps 2011 plan! If you have thoughts on including Challenges or anything else, just leave a comment to let us know!

September 06 2010

20:18

One Week To Net2 Camp In Chicago!

Net2 Camps Logo

The NetSquared Camp in Chicago, IL, USA is this Sunday! This event is aimed at nonprofit professionals and volunteers who are interested in learning more about web technology, and at technology professionals who are interested in sharing their skills with nonprofit organizations. Tickets are still available but space is limited, so register today! And, whether you can make it to the event or not, we hope you'll participate virtually to share all your great insights around the globe.

read more

August 24 2010

15:10

Cardiff University journalism school to hold alumni conference

Cardiff University’s Centre for Journalism is celebrating its 40th anniversary in October with a conference for its alumni focused on ‘Tomorrow’s Journalists’.

Speakers will include alumni who have gone on to become key figures in journalism, including Ben Brown from BBC News and Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News, who will chair sessions at the conference. More recent graduates including Hattie Brett from Grazia, Sally Rourke from ITV and Hannah Waldram from the Guardian, will also speak on the day.

The conference will be followed by a gala dinner.Similar Posts:



August 17 2010

14:53

Help Define the Future of Crowdsourcing at CrowdConf2010

Are you using or interested in using crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, or distributed work to drive success for your organization or project? The upcoming CrowdConf2010 is a promising event bringing together researchers, technologists, outsourcing experts, legal scholars, and artists to discuss the rapid growth in Crowdsourcing and the future of the evolving tactic. The event will include a series of peer-reviewed presentation tracks, posters, technology demonstrations as well as keynote addresses from leaders in crowdsourcing.

Submit your expertise

The conference organizers are currently accepting papers, demos, and posters on all crowdsourcing-related topics. Submit your paper, demo, or poster for consideration before the submission deadline of September 1. 

read more

August 16 2010

08:39

Journalism Association of Community Colleges Conference

Journalism students from Valley College attended the Journalism Association of Community Colleges conference at California State University, Fullerton, on Friday and Saturday.

Gaylord Hall is home to OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. It encompasses the majors of journalism, broadcasting and electronic media, advertising, professional writing and public relations, and is one of the fastest- growing colleges at the University of Oklahoma. www.ou.edu

August 06 2010

16:00

One Week To Net2 Camp In Vancouver, BC!

Net2 Camps Logo

The NetSquared Camp in Vancouver, British Columbia is just over a week away! The free tickets are now sold out, but if you're willing to volunteer or donate, you can still register to attend! Whether you can make it to the event or not, we hope you'll participate virtually to share all your great insights around the globe.

read more

June 25 2010

18:21

FNCM conference plenary videos now available

Please to enjoy the visual fruits of last week's Future of News and Civic Media conference plenaries. Below--available for viewing, downloading, and reusing--are the three plenary videos...

Announcement of the 2010 Knight News Challenge winners


Available for download at MIT TechTV.



"Crowd Building" with Gabriella Coleman and Karim Lakhani


Available for download at MIT TechTV.


"Data into Action" with Nick Grossman, Ellen Miller, and Laurel Ruma


Available for download at MIT TechTV.


C4FCM demo videos will be available early next week.

June 17 2010

10:58

June 16 2010

15:29

Last change to register for NCTech4Good Conference June 25

We've got a great conference program. Can you join us?

read more

June 12 2010

01:03

Social Media and Corporates -- the#Promise Conference



A few days ago Vince Stehle from the Knight Foundation invited me to the Think Social's The #Promise conference in New York, and so i organized babysitting for my new son and came for the day. The conference was about how companies are using social media to advance their goals, and many people (mostly very attractive people, I would add too!) from NGOs, design firms, the corporate world and others turned out to hear the likes of Pepsi, Nokia, MTV, GE and others present their beautiful glossy social media campaigns. It felt like the "place to be" in New York yesterday.

For me, the highlight was MTV's A Thin Line campaign, which aims to reduce cyber harrassment amongst teenagers. This seemed a brilliant campaign because the issue is so totally unusual (at least to someone like me who has no teenage kids), which will certainly make it more fresh for the audience. They shared stats about the incredibly high correlation between cyberbullying and suicide, for instance, and about how often teenagers are forwarding naked pictures of their peers (very often.) MTV's online campaign had some very original pieces to it -- for instance, a digital, teen-made Bill of Rights where teens could work out together what their "community" considers acceptable and not. There is a portion of the site called ""over the line" ":http://www.athinline.org/overthelinewhere kids share stories of cyberharrassment and other kids vote on whether it is "over the line" or acceptable. One girl's story jumped out. She wrote on facebook about her father committing suicide, and kids from her school wrote comments on her fb page like, "if you were my daughter I'd kill myself too." How tragic, the moderator asked, was it that she had to even ask whether those comments were "over the line?" This is one of the most original online campaigns I've seen because it is not about people simply supporting an issue, but people collaborating to come up with an ethical framework in a new area of civic life -- the internet -- where such things don't exist. And that it's being done by teenagers is simply great. Well done MTV!

Moving on to other panels and speakers... I was glad that the conference addressed (at least in one of the panels) the issue of corporate whitewashing (the motivation for many companies in the world to do CSR initiatives) head on. The speaker Douglas Rushkoff presented his book Life, Inc. and made some great comments. He talked about how the core of a company's business should be doing good, so companies don't need to have separate social initiatives. it shouldn't be that a company makes things they are not proud of, and then does social investments to feel better about it. The business itself must be good for the planet.

One thing the companies all talked about a lot is transparency, and how in the internet age companies can't hide or lie or keep their employees quiet. I find it quite disingenuous when people say this, because the old rules do still apply and people will still get fired for speaking badly about their companies. The number of internet leaks or internet whistleblowers is tiny compared to the number of employees who are angry about something the public would find juicy. So I wonder how much the internet is really creating greater transparency about companies? If the live twitter feed running behind the speakers (with only positive comments for all the companies) is anything to go by, people are still concerned that they might actually have a real world reason to stay in their good books -- like a future job, for instance.

For a nonprofit media organization like this, a conference like this is both heartening and frustrating. It's heartening because one sees new ways of using online media, and new metrics of success, and so one get lots of new stories to add weight to one's own beliefs. And sometimes you see really usable ideas -- like Ed Norton (the actor's) new fundraising tool Crowdrise. But it's frustrating because a lot of it is still "old media" simply being pushed out via the internet -- really flashy funny video, written by comedians whose other jobs must be at ComedyCentral.) This is all extremely expensively produced, glossy, and beautiful. What I want to see are the successes of social media campaigns that cost next to nothing, and, ideally, could be replicated. Those are the kinds of things News Challenge winners can try to democratize.

June 11 2010

08:43

Media economist: Government ‘doesn’t understand economics’ over relaxing ownership rules

On Wednesday I spoke at the thoroughly enjoyable Journalism’s Next Top Model conference at Westminster University. Highlight of the day was keynote speaker Robert Picard, a media economist able to separate publishers’ sense of entitlement from the hard realities of economics and business (mis)management.

Journalism will survive, he said, because there will always be a demand for it. But most print publishers will die because over the past few decades they quite simply haven’t managed their accounts responsibly. While a typical business should have a debt-to-equity ratio of around 1:1, some publishers have racked up ratios ranging from 6:1 to 66:1.

“If you haven’t managed your balance sheet you get in trouble in a recession. Do I feel bad for them? No. They made stupid mistakes.”

One particular mistake highlighted by Picard was the switch in the 1990s from making acquisitions with stock to making acquisitions with debt.

“All the newspapers were making profits when they went bankrupt,” he pointed out. It was their handling of debt that killed them.

I asked Robert about the government’s plans to relax (and consider removing) local media ownership rules – and whether that would indeed create the environment for entrepreneurialism they want to encourage. His response was simple: “You don’t encourage competition by relaxing ownership rules.

“They don’t understand economics,” if they thought that would happen, he continued. “We need people to start more media organisations, not merge into fewer organisations.”

Picard seemed to feel that the Dutch government’s moves to provide funds to help news organisations restructure, or to re-skill journalists, were more intelligent responses.

May 31 2010

17:40

Getting excited about the NCTech4Good conference

The North Carolina statewide conference, a NetSquared Campfire, is coming together very well!

WHEN AND WHERE?
Friday, June 25, 2010 8 am - 5 pm
at The William and Ida Friday Center in Chapel Hill
Followed by a reception/networking opportunity from 5 pm to 7 pm
http://www.nctech4good.org

Conference registration is now open. Links:
Agenda: http://www.nctech4good.org/agenda
Speakers: http://www.nctech4good.org/speakers
Registration and sponsorship: http://www.nctech4good.org/register

April 30 2010

13:49

Camps Pilot notes from the Field: Week 1

Last week, Billy announced the launch of the NetSquared Camp pilot.  Local organizers are already off and running, gearing up for the local events taking place in Chicago, Douala, Portland, and Vancouver.  (Plus Campfire events in North Carolina and Paris!) Each week, I'll be reporting here on the blog - a public view of the field notes in a way.  This pilot is a chance for us to learn and experiment together as a community and we know that the more we can share, in real time, the more we can learn!  I hope you'll join me, share you

read more

April 21 2010

02:56

NetSquared Camp Comes to Portland, Oregon

I'm Donna Arriaga, and I'm excited to share that I'll be organizing a NetSquared Camp in Portland, Oregon.  

For the past two years, I've been actively involved in NetTuesday/501TechClub events in Portland. Beginning about a year and a half ago, I started co-organizing nptech events with two other fellow nptechies through PDXTech4Good.  Being a part of these community events has provided me with an amazing opportunity to meet, share ideas with, and learn from a diverse array of professionals.  

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April 16 2010

11:00

Date for the diary: JEEcamp 2010 on May 21

jeecamp

Given that Roy Greenslade has beaten me to blogging about my own event, I thought I’d better go ahead and blog about it here. I’m talking about JEEcamp of course – a conference-cum-unconference about journalism experimentation and enterprise. Put another way, if you read this blog, the sort of stuff I talk about.

It’s on May 21st at The Bond in Birmingham. Here’s what we’ve got:

  • Keynote from Simon Waldman, Author, Creative Disruption, and Digital Director, Guardian Media Group. (When I started blogging this was one guy I always read – and he’s still ahead of the game.)
  • Panel: What does the election result mean for publishers and startups? Confirmed so far: Tom Loosemore (ex-Ofcom, -BBC, now-Channel 4), Talk About Local’s Will Perrin and outgoing Creative Industries minister Sion Simon.
  • Please nominate who you would like as the fourth panellist.
  • Closing keynote: Stewart Kirkpatrick, founder of Scotland’s first online-only newspaper, Caledonian Mercury (@calmerc), which launched earlier this year.

More importantly, in between all of that are a whole bunch of fringe meetings, chats over coffee and group discussions. You decide what to talk about here. Because, really, that’s what we go to conferences for, isn’t it?

And in the spirit of the internet, there’s a low barrier to entry: tickets are only £30

For those who haven’t been before, there’s coverage of last year’s event here and here. For those who have, feel free to post a comment.

You really don’t need to use any more brainpower on this. Book a ticket by emailing Kelly.ONeil@BCU.ac.uk (invoices available!) and sign up on the Facebook page or wiki.

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