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Hypergene MediaBlog » Harvard/Nieman: Whose News? Day 2
All about Participatory Journalism - how audiences are changing the future of news and information.
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Harvard/Nieman: Whose News? Day 2

Day 2: Just noticed this AM Halley Suitt’s description about how the conference is being facilitated:

“If you are in the inner circle and want to speak, you flip over your name tag to say you’d like to talk. If you are in the outer circle, chances are, you can’t be seen (being blocked by the inner circle) and neither can your name tag be seen and you either have to jump in or not be heard.

“Despite all this, I find it psychologically fascinating, that the conversation is being controlled by an “editor.”

“By the editor picking people who can and who can not speak, they are killing the pace of the conversation to my mind, by letting one person raise an interesting point, telling them when to stop talking and then, instead of letting everyone in the room jump on the topic and let it grow, pick up speed, pick up data, get a theme and variation going, let the jazzy improvisation that naturally happens in a conversation (or on a blog) explode, in other words, they control the disparate voices.”

Jeff Jarvis also has some thoughts from Day 1. He captured many of the same points we did yesterday, except in a much more thorough and thoughtful way. Susan Mernit has some interesting ideas about how she would run a conference like this.

More to come on today’s session...
David Weinberger and Susan Mernit are doing some great live blogging of today’s session. Lot’s of discussion about trust.

Here’s a gallery of photos from today’s session.

Best quotes and ideas from day 2:

Merrill Brown bookDay started off watching an interview with conference participant Jay Rosen on The Daily Show. Hysterical sutff. This lead to a discussion about Jon Stewart’s popularity and how he’s a significant source of news among younger audiences.

Craig Newmark: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Passion and vitality are not mutually exclusive.”

Jan Schaffer: “Emotion is a motivator for our lives and we’ve managed to strip the emotion from our stories.”

Jeff Jarvis: “We simply need to be honest with the public that we are human.”

We were also treated to a sneak peek at the cover of a forthcoming report by Merrill Brown for the Carnegie Reporter, “Abandoning The News: Is this the most trusted anchor in America?” Picture shows Jon Stewart. Should be coming out soon.

Katherine von Jan, of Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve gave a nice slide show entitled, “The Culture is the Media”. She presented four emerging cultural trends that were relevant to the news business:

1. Rip + Stitch. The audience wants to control, remix and repurpose media into new, original forms. A blogger could be considered as part of this category. Other example include:

a) Holiday Blend: The mash up of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza
b) Recyclable Wearables: Common Threads repurposes original vintage kimonos and second hand denim
c) Chat n’ Roll: Conversations from the “Chat the Planet” show (which MTV helped kids produce) is now interspersed with mainstream music videos.

Where is this going in the future:
“Manufacturers use raw materials from consumers to create fashion, media and even home appliances.”

Ask yourself: What parts of your brand enable personal expression?

2. Creation Consultants. A new breed of personal gurus supports consumers in an increasingly chaotic and co-creative world.

Examples:
a) Establish reputation: Yellow Arrow turns “city” into a verb; and every citizen into a poet or reporter.
b) Pick my music: Katherine Keene (HungryPod) recommends and buys iTunes for customers.
c) Pick my movies: For a $200 yearly fee, Film Movement selects your monthly film suggestions.

Where is this going: Everyone will have their own publicist to advise them who to interact with, from personal netowrks to brands.

Ask yourself: How can you employ customization agents.
Can you serve niche markets with creation conusultants that co-brand?
Can you enable consumers to stumble upon your consultants?

3. Curation Nation: Networked peer groups are the ultimate authority.

Examples include:
a) Sharing Death: Japanese chat about their attempted suicide on online “Suicide Clubs”
b) Sharing Travel: OneWorldJourneys.com users share mini-documentaries about their world travels.
c) Sharing Info: StumbleUpon (Mozilla) suggests websites based on the collective taste.

Where is this going:
Consumers interact with robots representing trusted communitieis at the point of decision.

Ask Yourself: Who is spreading their own versions of your content and where?
Which influencers do you license to co-own your message.
How do you keep your brand true to itself when you don’t control it anymore?
How can your community of advocates be more accessible at the right place and time?

4. Shepherd Brands: The brands you trust and admire sell a consumer lifestyle based on a prescribe philosophy.

Examples:
a) Make me a Star: “MTV Cribs” bedding collection is available at JC Penny.
b) Get it Cheap and Easy: easyJet is using its low-cost philosophy to sell no frills movies, on easyCinema.com.
c) Worldly Conscience: Whole Foods sells Putumayo World Music.

Where is this going?
Lifestyle cartels shield consumers from undesirable marketing from aligned brands.

Ask yourself: How do your deliver an authentic lifestyle and keep consumer interest in mind?
What are the components of the lifestyle beyond your brand?
Who should you blacklist from joining your brand becuase they are not true to the philosophy and lifestyle?

Her summary slide asked: If the culture is the media, are you buying...?

Unfortunately, we don’t think Katherine’s presentation resonated enough with the crowd. However, there was some discussion about trust as a core component of any brand.

Halley: “If your brand is trust, and I believe it, I’ll buy anything you sell.”

Jay Rosen, quoting a British sociologist: “There are no masses. There’s only ways of seeing people as masses.”

Jay: “Consumer is a retrograde term. It doesn’t adequatley describe the way the world works.”

Karen Stephenson gave a engaging talk about trust. Here’s some gems:

“Trust is an entry point into a culture.”

“Information travels at the speed of light through trust. If there’s no trust, information can end up in a black hole.”

“When people trust each other, they share information.”

“Look at yourselves first. Do you trust each other. Then look at the audience.”

“The cost of building trust is time - a non-renewable resource.”
(p.s. Look for our interview with Karen at this confernce online soon.)

Craig Newmark was asked how he created such a trustworthy product: “It was built largely as a result of no knowing any better. Part of it is that we turn the tools over to the community. However, we forget that people *want* to trust each other, and generally get along just fine.”

Henry: “Journalists have separated themsleves from their community. If you’re autonomous from the community, you cannot have trust. We need to reinstitute face-to-face relationships with our community.”

Dale: “6% of new media are trusted brands.”

“There is a lack of trust within our own newsrooms” - not sure attribuution.

Rebecca: “When I was at CNN, I felt like I was doing journalism in spite of my booses.”

The rest of the day, we split up into 3 groups and discussed what we change with existing media products, or how we would create new ones. We’re not going to go too much into what came out of these. But it was interesting that all groups contained the same themes as keys to success in our industry:

1. Trust (internal among organization, external with public)
2. Transparency
3. Conversation (internal among organization, external with public)

These are foundations that must happen. What’s interesting about this list is that Trust is a natural byproduct of Transparency and Conversation.

On Saturday, we also added these ideas to the list for keys to success:

4. Glocalization
5. Collaboration with partners and audience
6. Partnership. in and outside of our industry
7. Change media’s organization structure (away from heirarchy)
8. Investment

As always, the questions remains: How do we get there?

After Friday’s session ended early, we had a great chance to sit down and do a long interview with Jay Rosen. We hope to have it up next week.

The Media Center will be posting an audio transcript of the discussions, as well as some interviews done outside the primary discussion. And a lot more of the content produced should be or will be on the morph blog soon. Meanwhile, they’ve posted on the morph blog some one-on-one interviews conducted during the conference in audio and video format.

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Posted on Mar 04, 2005 | 6:42 am EST

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