Gillmor: Experiment more!
Dan Gillmor has put together a ten point report of the state of citizen media today.
While both a general audience and traditional media now pays attention to citizen media, there have been backlashes and we are still struggling with the business models and trust issues, Gillmor writes. Many start-ups have failed, yet there are a few examples of successful sites. Gillmor mentions Scoop and NowPublic as good examples. And he’s optimistic about the future of journalism, encouraging people to experiment more.
not only don’t you need permission, but you don’t need much money, either
In finding new ways for citizen media to develop, Gillmor has a philosophy. This is his advice:
* Openness: Use open technologies, and be open with others about what you are doing. Now, a truly spectacular idea may be such a hot business project that one should work in stealth mode, but most ideas will find more traction with the help of others who care about what you’re doing.
* Use tools that already exist: Reinventing wheels is rarely a productive use of time in the cheap-experiments arena. Chances are that many if not all of the tools you need are already available.
* Collaboration: Work with anyone and everyone.
* Take risks: This is by far the most important. Silicon Valley, where I’ve lived for more than a decade, has taught me a crucial truth, that a culture of risk-taking is a precondition for wider success. The low cost of trying, and correspondingly low cost of failure, is removing virtually all reasons for not taking chances.
The last point is about trust, and is well worth reading in its entirety.