Introducing BarCamp – NewsInnovation

Posted on 04. Dec, 2008 by in Uncategorized

I am such a HUGE fan of bringing barcamps to journalism. I’ve talked about this with Chris Messina and I’ve even (unsuccessfully) tried to spur the movement for this myself. But now it may be time.

Jason Kristufek has proposed the following.

I agree with my friend Tom, my CEO Chuck Peters and all those IBM commercials: It is time to stop talking and do something. And I need to heed to that advice as much as anyone.

So here is one attempt at doing something. My last post floated the idea of getting smart, cool, tech-savvy media industry folks together in an environment that doesn’t acknowledge rules or boundaries to help solve problems and create best practices.

My idea is that these kinds of people, on the front lines, are better prepared to create real change in our industry than anyone else. We also have to combine those efforts with those ideals and innovators outsider our industry.

I received a tremendous amount of feedback from too many people to mention them all. But the idea that has resonated loudly is what I’ve been calling BarCamp NewsInnovation.

I, by no means, want to play dictator, but here is what seems like a decent three-prong approach, and I welcome your feedback either by commenting below or via email.

1. Hold regional NewsInnovation BarCamps in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Lake Tahoe, Portland, Ore., Denver and Atlanta by the end of January 2009.

Potential regional BarCamp leaders could be: Matt Neznanski, Portland; Jason Kristufek, Chicago; Will Atwood Mitchell, Washington, D.C.; Joe Boydston, Lake Tahoe; need a volunteer for Denver; and need a volunteer for Atlanta

2. Hold BarCamp NewsInnovation 2009 in New York City in April. Jeff Jarvis has offered to donate space at CUNY, and I am more then willing to take him up on it. This would be the big event where be bring ideas, solutions and best practices from the regional BarCamps in front of a larger group.

3. Capitalize on opportunities where a good number of us are already going to be to meet, talk, propose BOF sessions and just simply start conversations that can help lead to change.

For example, Peters will be at the Information Valet Project Dec. 3-5 in Columbia, Mo. Who is going to be there too and wants to chat? Who is willing to form BOF session where a problem can be looked at critically and a solution proposed?

Others have suggested meeting at Media Exchange (formerly known as Nexpo) March 9-11 in Las Vegas. Who is planning to attend?

Ok, so you might be saying to yourself that I have not really proposed anything new. That may be true. The power of this movement will not be in the organization of it, but rather the people who chooe to participate and the ideas, solutions and best practices that come out of it.

I am still a believer that CEOs have a roll to play in that change, something like a community liaison. But the most significant force for change is going to come from people on the front lines, like me, who are full of ideas but need more empowerment to unleash creativity, critical thinking and innovation without all the constraints placed on us.

Here is one thing that I will ask of CEOs, editors and all those media industry check writers: Help drop the barriers and allow the skilled, energized people do something. Don’t just be a community liaison outside your company, be one inside it as well

4 Responses to “Introducing BarCamp – NewsInnovation”

  1. Bas

    05. Dec, 2008

    And why not have a BarCamp somewhere in Europe as well? Plenty of innovation going on down here. Jeff Jarvis is in the UK regularly, so that could be an option. Otherwise go to Berlin, a nice and central place on the border of what used to be east and west.


  1. News Innovation BarCamp Washington DC - Free as in Pizza - December 24, 2008

    […] Similar events are happening in Chicago, Portland and other cities, leading up to a national meetup in Philadelphia on April 25th, 2009. For more information, have a look at the BarCamp announcement page on […]

  2. Gazette changes get lots of link love « Transforming the Gaz - March 18, 2009

    […] attention is in addition to deserved praise Jason Kristufek has received for his leadership of the BarCamp Innovation gatherings around the country and for the continued interest in the News Mixer project a Medill […]

  3. Link lovefest for Gazette transformation continues « Transforming the Gaz - March 26, 2009

    […] attention is in addition to deserved praise Jason Kristufek has received for his leadership of the BarCamp Innovation gatherings around the country and for the continued interest in the News Mixer project a Medill […]