Must-read for citizen journalists | 802 Online

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Must-read for citizen journalists

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 4:26 PM

Citizen media pioneer Dan Gillmor just published a lengthy letter to the online community he's cultivated at Bayosphere, his citizen media outfit. It addresses why his much-hyped site is essentially a flop:

Although citizen media, broadly defined, was taking the world by storm,the experiment with Bayosphere didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.Many fewer citizens participated, they were less interested incollaborating with one another, and the response to our initiatives wasunderwhelming. I would do things differently if I was starting over.

Gillmor graciously offers a thoughtful list of lessons he learned. If you're a citizen media purveyor in Vermont, and there are a few of you out there, this list is a must-read.

Here are a couple of his insights:

Limiting participation is not necessarily a bad idea. By asking for avalid e-mail address simply in order to post comments, you reduce thepool of commenters considerably, but you increase the quality of thepostings. And by asking for real names and contact information, as wedid with the citizen journalists, you reduce the pool by several ordersof magnitude. Again, however, there appears to be a correlation betweenwillingness to stand behind one's own words and the overall quality ofwhat's said.

And my favorite:

Tools matter, but they're no substitute for community building.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in 802 Online

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation