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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurialism’

Internet Week New York Headliners Announced

internetweekFair enough — all of our minds are still on SXSW. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mark your calendars for Internet Week, taking over New York City from May 19-25th. Organizers announced the first headlining speakers Wednesday and Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti, Netflix’s Neil Hunt, and Omar Epps are on the bill.

This year, there will be over 250 events — ranging from the Webby Awards to workshops on Google Analytics — throughout the city. If you want to cover it, you can sign up for press credentials here. If you aren’t technically press, you can get early bird VIP passes here starting at $325. Just don’t tell the guys in accounting.

Have you gone to Internet Week in the past? Would your far-away newsroom foot the bill for a spring retreat in the Big Apple? Tell us in the comments or @10,000Words.

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Haters Will Hate: Why Shouldn’t Ezra Klein Start His Own Media Company?

ezraklein1If I were friends with Ezra Klein, I would tell him to keep his chin up this week. As you might have read, he’s leaving the Post and Wonkblog, effective immediately, to start his own media venture, after the Post decided they wouldn’t be interested in investing a reported $10 million and hiring three dozen people to help him do it.

The general consensus is that Klein is going to need more luck than funding to make this work.


It’s not going to be easy — as many have pointed out — relying on advertising and his brand won’t be enough. John McDermott over at Digiday points out that Re/Code’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg need to charge thousands of dollars for conference tickets to make it work, Grantland has ESPN’s big name to draw national brands, Glenn Greenwald has a billionaire backer and Andrew Sullivan is, well, Andrew Sullivan. Read more

$20K grants available for female-driven digital journalism start-ups

Journalist? Check.

Female? Check.

Great new idea for using digital media to deliver journalism? If you can check yes here too, this opportunity is for you.

The International Women’s Media Foundation is offering its second round of three $20,000 grants in its Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital News Frontier program. The first awards, meant to encourage females to expand their role in the digital news media landscape by becoming entrepreneurs, were made in 2011. It’s only open to U.S.-based women journalists (full-time, part-time or freelance).

In addition to funding to get the ideas off the ground, the organization will offer coaching and mentoring from leading digital news media experts to help their start-ups succeed.

The deadline to apply is March 2, and the group will notify winners in April. That gives you just shy of a month to pull the perfect pitch together. This could be your chance to turn your “if only” idea into a “finally” finished product. Stuck for ideas? Check out what the 2011 winners worked on:

  • Jeanne, a site that aims to bring a clearer picture of the cloudy world of healthcare pricing to the masses in a consumer friendly format. More background.
  • Maria BalinskaLatitude News explores how Americans are connected to international events and helps them understand how the U.S. itself fits into the global news picture. More background.
  • Lissa Harris and Julia ReischelNewsShed is a spin-off of the founders’ Watershed, which delivers original reporting to the rural Catskills “news desert.” The NewsShed twist is that it launches only-only and self-sustaining news sites in some of these under-covered and under-served communities. More background.

Inspired yet? Read the FAQ and find the application on the IWMF website.

How To Start Your Own Local News Site: Tips From a Berkeleyside Co-Founder

The prospect of starting your own news site is more viable an option than ever in the current media climate. Traditional news organizations are plunging left and right, the tools for publishing are free and easy, and communities are finding a new desire to access and share information. In Berkeley, California, the circumstances were similar in 2009, which led a group of journalists to fill the need by starting their own dedicated site, Berkeleyside.

I recently did an email interview with Tracey Taylor (@tktaylor), a co-founder of Berkeley’s news startup, Berkeleyside, to find out what it takes to start your own news organization.

A few notable points from that exchange:

  • Berkeleyside was founded in October 2009 by Lance Knobel, Frances Dinkelspiel, and Tracey Taylor who all have backgrounds as editors and writers.
  • The site is run on WordPress
  • Their main revenue stream is advertising (and they’re starting to build membership revenue)
  • After 18 months of existence, the founders have only recently begun to pay themselves a “very modest monthly salary”
  • currently has 117,660 unique visitors monthly
  • The Berkeleyside iPhone app calls for user contributions by allowing community members to submit photos from the scene of news events
  • Three trips Taylor offers to others wanting to start a local news site: do it your way, keep it lean and be transparent

The following Q&A covers everything from inspiration for founding the site, to business challenges, to technical details, to tips for others wanting to start a news site. Read more

Applying multimedia skills to non-multimedia jobs

by Lauren M. Rabaino
Multimedia Across Industries by Lauren Rabaino
Even if you’re not a full-time journalist in the trenches, being able to use multimedia to tell a story is a vital and powerful skill. Those of us with backgrounds in journalism — even if our paths lead us into different fields down the line — have an advantage in our ability to use video, audio, slideshows, photos and words to do our jobs better.

I’ve highlighted a few jobs that I see as likely paths for journalists to take, and how multimedia skills can still be applied to them:


Selling the narrative of your company

With journalism startups popping up left and right, there’s a good chance that you, the Multimedia Reporter, will end up running or working at an entrepreneurial venture someday. From experience, I know that being able to a pitch a company is about being able to tell a narrative. As an entrepreneur, there are two types of narratives you have to sell:

To your customers

This is especially important with your first customers: You need to tell them who you are, why your product is worthy of their time, and how your product will change their lives. Sure, you could do straight-up bullet points, but the compelling story will come in the form of identifying your customers’ pain points, sympathizing with them, understanding them, then pointing them in the right direction in context of your product or service.

It’s a different type of storytelling than the traditional who, what, where, when, why — but it still requires the elements of a good story: a plot, a history, and the facts to back it all up (numbers and testimonials). If you can do it in form of a video or a colorful PDF with graphics and pie charts — even better!

To potential investors

This is where the true multimedia skills come into play. You may remember Mark’s recent post about creating engaging presentations– well, guess what? That’s a form of multimedia, too. And the more visually engaging your presentation is, combined with an epic narrative, the better off you will be in terms of a pitch (assuming you already have a stellar product). Even the best products can be destroyed with a terrible presentation. See Mark’s How to avoid creating a snooze-worthy PowerPoint presentation for great pointers.

One example of an awesome presentation is this one from Facebook:

Public relations/Marketing

To be a direct source of engaging content

This one is nothing new. Show up at any social media meetup in your city and bet your bottom dollar that the marketers there will already know that there’s value in using multimedia for promotions.

But if you’re a journalist with a background in storytelling, you can take it a step further than simply using Twitter and posting videos to your company’s YouTube page. People can tell cheap marketing from true storytelling.

It gets back to Dave Winer‘s Sources Go Direct theory: Sources (in this case, companies/marketers) can be providing their own user-generated content. If you know how to create your own high-quality coverage issues and events, you can put your company in the spotlight.

The best example (if you have better ones, throw them in the comments) is 37 Signals, the company that puts out products like Basecamp and Campfire. They went above and beyond simply marketing themselves by becoming producers of original content on their blog — and eventually published two books. They became creators of original content, which helped them be better at their jobs. From just the first book, 37signals made more than $1,000,000 directly, and an estimated $1,000,000+ indirectly.


Keep your students awake

There’s a good chance that you could end up in a classroom teaching journalism to other people — whether you someday become a high school newspaper advisor, a college professor, or a volunteer instructor at a local rec center.

If you can create engaging content for your classes — slideshows, videos — and know where to find engaging content to share with your students, you will be better at your job.

My favorite implementer of this philosophy is former high school math teacher, Dan Meyer, who is now currently studying at Stanford. Just watch this video from TEDxNYED and you’ll know why. Fast-forward to 7:45 of the video below to see how Dan rethinks the traditional structure of a textbook math question, then integrates photos, video and interaction to help his students both understand and retain the information he’s teaching:

These, of course, are just a few examples. If you have better ones, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.