A lesson re-learned

26 Apr

I last taught my media entrepreneurship class at American University two years ago. That group’s ideas were, in a word, transitional. Many revolved around how they could take familiar media ideas and adapt them to a digital age: let’s capture listings for my traditional newspaper in a different way. Let’s build a tool to allow [...]

YouTube and the coming beatdown of TV ad revenues

8 Nov

YouTube is becoming one of those “gradually, then all at once” phenomena – like the rise of always-on high-speed internet a decade ago, or the gradual-then-sudden collapse of newspaper ad revenues from ’05-’08. When a colleague and I first negotiated a YouTube syndication/revenue share agreement back in 2007, most of the media world treated YouTube [...]

Required reading: The birth of Red Eye

4 Nov

From the inestimable Owen Youngman, the sort who always says his mood has never been better in spite of whatever crisis is breaking. Here he outlines the birth of Red Eye, the youth-focused commuter paper of The Chicago Tribune, and a classic example of disruptive and lean product innovation at work.

The great job you might not think of

29 Oct

Two must-read blog posts from erstwhile colleagues prodded me into finishing this entry, which I started far too long ago. It’s for all those friends of mine – unemployed, underemployed, or just feeling dead-ended in their traditional newsroom gig. There’s a  type of job out there you might be good at. It has a title [...]

Qwiki: Web video, fast, different – and free

20 Jul

I love tools that allow writers and producers to create digital-native content in a hurry. One of my new favorites is Qwiki – a video-generating platform that gets several things right: * It recognizes that digital devices are non-linear, and benefit greatly from annotation. * Unlike, say, Final Cut Pro, it is stupid easy to [...]

Video from PowerPoint … and other interesting tools

29 Jun

I’ve been having interesting conversations with a number of folks lately around a basic premise: Webinars suck. They seem a useful way to disseminate information to a large audience at once. But the format isn’t terribly engaging – and as a friend always reminds people, on the Internet, porn your email is just one click [...]

About the Great CMS Quest (and that AdWeek piece)

10 Aug

An article on AdWeek has gotten more than a little attention this week. It talks about Content Management Systems – the big hunks o’ technology that drive websites and print publications – and how most of them, well, stink. It’s prompted some hilarious email threads, and more than a few bad memories, among some of [...]

You got laid off – now what?

2 Jun

I can tell there was another round of layoffs at one of my old newsrooms: I’ve had a flurry of LinkedIn invites from former colleagues. There’s been the usual grumbling about the heartless bastards at corporate, at how these cuts will only further diminish our Noble Religious Calling, etc. – but the reality is these [...]

When entrepreneurial journalism is neither entrepreneurial nor journalism

13 Apr

I’ve often commented that the future of news will be distributed among smaller, nimbler and collaborative organizations. And when anyone can publish, the point of  “sustainability” – the amount of cash each needs to keep going – will vary wildly. My former colleague Buddy Nevins today writes about the perfect illustration – an independent blogger [...]

What 18 students taught us

8 Mar

My friend and former colleague Bill Day and I just finished a great six-week course in entrepreneurial journalism for 18 graduate students in American University’s Interactive Journalism master’s program. We set out to be intentionally provocative, because Bill and I have seen too many great ideas for projects and products turn into smoldering wreckage because [...]

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