Had a great conversation tonight with David Cohn of the Spot.us project. he has just been funded by the Knight Foundation to run a community driven news site which allows people to suggest, pitch and fund articles of interset to people who use the community. This is a really compelling project and I encourage you to check it out and pass the word about it… it really does push the model in an interesting direction.
Media and responsibility – citizen journalism
One of the interesting ‘half-divisions’ that David draws in this discussion is the distinction between citizen journalism and participatory journalism. The former, highlighted by projects like ireporter and, well, blogs like this one (and others) are people who are not necessarily professional writers or reporters who are giving their ‘take’ on a given topic and have included an indeterminate amount of thought and research to the matter. The other, what David is proposing with spot.us, is about the same people care about an issue mobilizing people to pay someone else to do this work for them. Someone, ostensibly, who has more experience or time (or both) to devote to the subject… I think as I think this over there may be some interesting outputs to that particular thought.
One of the main themes that comes out of this discussion is the role of community leadership in guiding the way a community uses its time, its money and how they are going to move people to be responsible. It’s an interesting counterpoint to the comment in the last post from Stephen Downes about being ‘forced’ to be responsible. Forced no… but I think I see some cross over here with what Stephen and George Siemens have been talking about related to connectivism and teaching by example. I think it does behove those people who are particularly passionate about an issue to lead the way in those areas and for others to keep their ‘portfolio’ of contributions pretty organized to avoid the community participation overload that Nancy was referring to in the last discussion.