ONA parachute training in Birmingham

My friends at the Online News Association put together a terrific program at the University of Alabama-Birmingham for entrepreneurial journalists and others interested in starting news and information sites. (Thanks to the Gannett Foundation for the necessary financial support.) 

I spoke a bit about emerging business models to support these kinds of sites (and – plug warning – the work of my partners at GrowthSpur).

You should search on Twitter for the #ONAUAB hash for some of the fascinating discussions that grew out of the sessions. Less fascinating, perhaps, was my presentation – but for those who asked for it, it’s here.

(Why, yes – I used Prezi. My friend Tim Windsor snarks that Prezi screams 2009 the same way a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer screams 1983. But, hey, I liked a-ha.)

Also: Here’s Robert Hernandez‘s excellent presentation on how journalists can use social media tools (both to build audience, and to be better reporters).

And @DannySanchez’s informative riff on free tools doesn’t have a perfect online analog – but he writes about nearly all of those tools (and even more) on his blog, Journalistopia.com.


#1 Kurt Greenbaum on 06.05.10 at 3:40 pm

Hey, I liked a-ha, too. OK, mostly just that video. And I like prezi, too. Nice presentation. I’m sure I’d have benefitted more from your narration, however.

#2 Tim Windsor on 06.06.10 at 12:52 pm

Not that there’s anything wrong with 2009!

BTW, the ultimate viewing experience of the aha video is here:


#3 Tim Windsor on 06.06.10 at 3:31 pm

Finally watched it (couldn’t see it on iPad — Flash! That’s what’s so 2009!)

Good stuff, though, like Kurt above, I wanted to hear the running commentary. Did the conference get videoed?

#4 tgd on 06.08.10 at 9:04 am

Sadly, the conference was not videoed, IIRC. (The ONA folks did a fabulous job, by the by, on a shoestring. Renew your memberships, folks – ONA is the best org out there right now, followed closely by KDMC.)

My narration? Mostly rants and arm-waving, of course.

What was interesting to me was the level of interest in Groupon-like functionality (readily available through a ton of white-label providers). While no single element is “the” future of local advertising, it’s becoming clear to me that group deals, mediated and curated by a trusted partner, will be an important component.

Traditional organizations: Ignore this at your own peril. (And, really, haven’t you had enough peril over the last dozen years?)

Leave a Comment