Monthly archive

May 2005 - page 2

Craigsnews?

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At the Citizens’ Media Summit, I distinctly heard Craig Newmark say that he wasn’t sure what, if anything, Craigslist would do related to adding news to his sites. Others heard roughly the same:

Craig Newmark mentioned that he, and possibly craigslist at some point,
is interested in observing the citizens media space and possibly
getting involved, but it was too early to say exactly what form such an
effort would take.

But as we walked out, one of my cohorts said, "Did you hear that? Craig just announced that he’s getting into news."

That wasn’t what I heard, but this MIT Technology Review article makes me wonder.

There's a blogger born every minute

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I got a strange email from Carl Bialik (the WSJ "Numbers Guy" and now their free-content editor) this week:

…I’d heard that Pegasus has an estimate for the total number of blogs. Can you send me the estimate and any supporting material, and can we set up an interview? My deadline is end of day Wednesday…

I was baffled that I could have been pegged (pun intended) as a source on that, but being a publicity whore, I dutifully started researching to come up with an answer.

Of course, it was a futile exercise in vanity on my part, as Carl was actually looking for another mythological being.

However, it wasn’t a bad time to pay attention to the number: this was the week that Technorati’s blog count tipped 10 million.

Perhaps the fellow who tipped it was Andrew Haeg, who started his promising new blog, Distributed Intelligence, after attending last weekend’s Citizens Media Summit. Aside from putting me in way over my head in the company of his "people to watch," he’s looking into "the forces and events that are transforming media into something more open, transparent, democratic, diverse and just plain ol’ interesting."

Unfortunately, I don’t think that Technorati has as good a count on those jumping of the blogging train. As Andrew jumped on, Frank Catalano jumped off, leaving some good lessons of blogging, three of which particularly resonated:

  • Blogs are not a new
    medium.
    New
    mechanism
    is a better phrase. The medium is the Internet (or, more
    specifically, the Web page). The mechanism is blog authoring tools. Very
    useful, very cool, and very ubiquitous (unless your service’s server goes
    down). But blogs are not the new papyrus. They’re a new way of inscribing the
    same digital papyrus.
       
  • Blogs are not
    "citizen journalism."
    Blogs
    enable citizen
    journalism. A blog is like a piece of paper. What you put on it — from journalism to
    conversation
    — is your choice. See the above re: "performance
    art."
     
  • Blogs are rapidly becoming MSM. There. I’ve
    said it. Those blogs whose creators have audiences larger than newsletters,
    specialty magazines and even small-market radio and TV stations are no longer
    underdog players. They are mainstream
    media outlets
    , in a medium — the Web — which itself has become mainstream.

Which reminds me, for newcomers to our site, repeat after me: Pegasus News is not a blogging business, although it may utilize blogs as one of many tools. And this blog is not our actual product.

Wedia-ish developments

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Keep Reading

Citizens media summit recap(s)

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The advantage of being too busy yesterday to recap the Citizens Media Summit is that others have already done the heavy lifting, so all I have to do is link.

Dan Gillmor actually understates how cold it was outside at the Presidio, at least for those of us too foolish to pack a jacket.

Fabrice Florin of Newstrust took notes.

So did Gary Lerhaupt.

My takeaway was that there are still few takeways. This newfangled wedia thingamajiggy is still so new that there’s no clear models yet. There are, however, lots of people looking for them.

Another high point for me was finally meeting luminaries like Robin "Googlezon" Sloan and Alan "Newsosaur" Mutter.

Photo below is from the Friday night shindig — rear-view of me talking to Mark Potts and Susan DeFife of Backfence.

Help wanted:Web guru with business sense

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Our original title for this was “CTO,” but it’s
more/different than that. We’re not necessarily looking for a “code junkie.”
We’re not building, so much as weaving existing pieces. 

You should know enough about building user interfaces and
data driven systems that you know how to talk to three different tech vendors
and get them working in concert. 

When you hear “It can’t be done,” you know that the
translation could be:

  • It’s not cheap
  • It can be done, but not by me.
  • It can’t be done status quo, but if that other guy would make one minor shift, we can get there.
  • That part of the project isn’t interesting to me.

You know enough to convincingly call shenanigans on any of
the above. 

You understand that your job is to make sure that everything
works properly, and that every nickel you save along the way becomes our
marketing budget. You also understand that every day we’re not yet open for
business is a lost opportunity. 

You understand that technology is a key tool, but isn’t our
business.

You’ve read enough of this blog that you get what we’re trying to do and have
ideas that will improve our offering. 

The person who succeeds in this gig is extremely likely to
become a senior member of our management team.

For general info, see the main help wanted post. Please respond to resumes -at- pegasusnews -dot- com, with the position name as the subject line.

Help wanted

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Men20wantedWe’re at the point now where we need help to start pulling our product together. There will be a series of position-specific posts to follow, but I’m going to cover some of the "evergreen" items that apply to all the gigs in this post:

  • Unless labeled as "internship," all gigs are modestly paid, but strictly on a freelance contract basis. There is certainly the possibility that it will turn full-time at some point, but no guarantees.
       
  • Having your own equipment (i.e. computer, cell phone) is a plus. We do have office space.
     
  • This post will contain a full list of open positions.
     
  • You need to be located in the DFW area for almost all positions, although hours are extremely flexible.
     
  • If the rate of pay is in your first three questions about the gig, this is the wrong thing for you.
       
  • For all positions, respond to resumes -at- pegasusnews -dot- com, with the position name as the subject line.

Current positions:

Bay City rollin'

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SAN FRANCISCO — Made it to San Francisco in one piece, despite learning that buying a last-minute plane ticket on a newly-minted credit card is a great way to ensure that you’re subjected to a lengthy and thorough TSA search.

Last night’s festivities centered around a launch party for summit-organizer J.D. Lasica’s new book, Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation.

I met and had a great time chatting wedia with the Cali-centric crowd, that included folks whom I’ve come to know via trackbacks and emails over the past year: Tim Porter (and his wife, KT, another old-media refugee), Dan Gillmor, Mary Lou Fulton, Evelyn Rodriguez (!), Chris Nolan, Mark Potts, Craig Newmark — and I’m sure serveral others that I’m regrettably forgetting in my early morning haze. Also met Edgar Canon and Ari Soglin, finally putting faces to GetLocalNews; and Andrew Haeg of MPR, who, like me, flew in on a last-minute whim.

I’m looking forward to today’s "summit," although no one I talked to seems to be sure of the agenda. The themes that were already emerging for me last night were that everyone has a different business plan; no one is convinced theirs is "the" one (maybe even the contrary); and our plan is still considered "ambitious."

But does it have to be this way?

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Howard Stern via Jeff Jarvis: How advertising works.

Also a quandary: The less measurable it is, the more valuable it is.

Sounds like oldmediathink, but there is some truth to it. But tell that to all the print advertisers who’ve asked me (in my past life) for Google-esque ad rates.

I see a cycle. The aughties will be about precision. The teens will be about the unmeasurable.

Meeting of the minds

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I’m off to San Francisco for the weekend to catch the Citizens Media Summit. I’m really excited to get to meet some of the folks I’ve been corresponding with and trackbacking(?), lo these many months. We’ve gotten so into the nuts and bolts here that I’m sorely needing another shot of mind/concept expansion.

For those who haven’t seen an online travel site comparison in a long time, I’ve got to give a shout out to Expedia. Late yesterday, I got round trip nonstop airfare on American; two nights in a king bed at the Hotel Nikko; a Supershuttle into town; $20 off a dinner at the hotel; and a subscription to Men’s Journal for $570. (The MJ sub was free. No, nobody’s artificially propping up circ figures these days.)

I also tried Orbitz (my usual travel site), Sidestep and Priceline. Next cheapest deal was pushing $900, had a layover both ways, lodging at a far lesser hotel and no free magazine subscription.

Props also to the gullible smart folks at American Express Small Business for issuing us a credit card.

I’m hoping it’s a great weekend — especially since I got offered a totally free $5,000 junket (private jet, suite, the works) to Vega$ by some exceptionally kind and well-heeled friends not an hour after I booked the SF trip.

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