08 May 2008
I’m done giving my keynote at (g)local 2.0 in Skopje, Macedonia. I’ll upload my notes later but you can find my slides on flickr already. Paul Bradshaw also contributed to the early morning session via seesmic video from the UK – check it out, he makes some good points about creating a distributed web presence by turning processes into content.
Niels Hendriks from Limburg University is giving a presentation about HasseltLokaal, a local citizen journalism project in Linburg, a small city in a largely agricultural area of Belgium. Concentra, the newspaper partner for the project, has always had a focus on region communities – in 1955, Frans Theelen said it should not be a newspaper title, but a programe for the people of the province – eg. community journalism.
The project gets 2200 visits a day, have 30 voluneers and 30 organisations who publish around 7 pieces of content per day. Their policy has been to publish everything, afterall it’s tagline was "news for, by and about the people". For contributors it usually starts slowly, publishing text or photos about an event they’d seen. They held workshops to try to help people create more creative content.
One of the problems they had was with contributors wanting contributor cards but then, when given them, abusing those cards by, for example, having a meal then showing the card for a free dessert prior to writing their review.
The project was initiated by the Research and Development department – the IT people at the newspaper group. The journalists didn’t respond well, with some feeling their professional status was being threatened, and the project’s leaders couldn’t find a viable business model. Moderation was costly, funding ran out. Experiments with advertising to keep the project going put them in conflict with the marketing department. BUT, the project did help increase the paper’s willingness to accept articles and photos from readers. So some conclusions:
* each individual needs some identification with the brand ( "let them be proud" )
* find correct balance between empowering and empowering citizen journalists
* not every individual has enough self confidence to contribute
* find room for experimentation within traditional media organisations
I’ve created an aggregation to help track the conference backchannel.
The source is here (and you can subscribe via RSS). If you’re not used to pipes, make sure you click on the list tab to see all the content it pulls up – http://pipes.yahoo.com/cybersoc/glocal20