The chatter about BarCamp NewsInnovation is picking up and with it I get asked more and more the question of how I feel it can benefit the media industry.
There are ongoing meetings designed to help media companies become better at the new information ecosystem. People are talking about new business models. And CEOs are meeting every six months.
There was even a trade association meeting this past week that Jeff Jarvis writes about getting kicked out of.
As I harrumphed out, I said this is the problem with the industry: It is too closed, still. It is not hearing enough new voices and perspectives and ideas. . . Indeed, as budgets are cut back and trade association dues are lopped off, there’ll be a need for such ad hoc meetings – more need than ever.
The idea behind BarCamp NewsInnovation is to empower people (who Jarvis calls the outsiders) to act, find solutions to experiment with, take risks, fail fast and break down barriers.
What will it take for you to make a move on that idea you want to pursue? What tasks can you schedule yourself to complete to make that idea a reality?
For me it was a Friday evening conversation over Vietnamese. What will it take for you? We all have ideas and find cool links to share with our colleagues. But what do we do with them?
I know there are barriers and battles against inertia, as David Cohn puts it in replaying a conversation with Tristin Harris.
. . . news organizations get boggled down in bureaucracy and take anyone that tries to interface with them along for the ride. If that is our problem what does it take to break out of it? Ironically enough: I believe it is going to take brave individuals from WITHIN those institutions.
What I want to say to you now is this: You have the power to act. Be a voice for change, not only by the words you put in a blog but by the cool tool you build or the new revenue stream you create.
What these people need is to hear more new voices – newer than old me. What they really need to do is share their challenges and ideas openly and hear new perspectives and new answers from unexpected sources. (Jarvis)
One example of that happened recently with a major local weather event in Washington state. Four journalists from different media companies worked together to cover the heck out of it using some newer technology to provide the most relevant information to people as the story unfolded.
My hope is that more examples come out of BarCamp NewsInnovation. I feel these ad-hoc gatherings could be just the place for new ideas, perspectives and real action to occur.
The idea is to get energetic, tech-savvy, open-minded individuals who embrace the chaos in the media industry because the ability to do really cool things still exists. We also need find those people outside of our industry who love to consume news and information and are great thinkers and innovators.
So far there are two confirmed dates and locations: University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. on Saturday, Jan. 24 and Temple University in Philadelphia on April 25.
I’m confident that others will be held in Portland, Ore., Washington, D.C. I’m also very close to announcing the date and location for one in Chicago (most likely either Feb. 7 or Feb. 21.)
I have contacts for people who have interest in holding BarCamps in Atlanta, Miami and Boston and San Francisco. What about Denver?
Where else can we engage? Who has an idea that they want to task on, but may need a push to get going? Who wants to start working on a twitter and classified-type ad application?