GetLocalNews Responds…

Usual disclaimer of Greensboro101 Board, opinion is own, yadda yadda…
Here is the point made clearly about citizen journalism by TDavid of MakesYouGoHmm:

The original press release style comment response isI think Dan Gillmor, who left a great writing gig, to evangelize Citizen Journalism, didn’t truly evaluate your program and instead was drinking the kool-aid over the concept of citizen journalism which is so not about the money.

Here is the key. The concept is not about money. It is about the people behind the words, just as journalism started. This being said, I can also say that it doesn’t mean that there is not money to be made. While it isn’t all black and white, there would have to be agreement within the community that it is more white than black.
You can read the comments from GLN on LUX here, on ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm here, or if you choose to read comments upon Dan Gillmor’s blog here. They are all a canned press release response since all three are the same.


Edgar Canon, of GetLocalNews.com responds:

You said you think we “have a shot,” so we figure you saw some things you liked. We’re not sure what those were because your critique focused on the problems — we know we’re not perfect — and ignored what we think are the more significant positives:

Call me a cynic.

Our system can syndicate content to any or all of our 50,000-plus local and topical sites, so it creates a new kind of content distribution system completely unlike blogs. We don’t see ourselves competing with blogs.

New kind of content distribution? As far as I know, Dave Winer authored RSS, which is undoubtedly the distribution method. Correct me if this is wrong. Also, having 50,000 domain names doesn’t make 50,000 local sites. I browsed through the “sample” sites before and they all held the same articles.

Design: We agree with your basic point, that the design needs a lot of work. In fact, that’s our primary focus right now. We hope to unveil a redesign soon. It was curious though that you’d say it was difficult to find the articles, as they fill the center column. In any case, design needs work; point well taken; we’re on it.

Great. Hope to see something better. I recommend learning layout from print.

And remember we aggregate all the page views generated from all of an author’s content posted at any time anywhere in our network, so the citizen journalist is building a portfolio of work that generates income as long as anyone reads it. Does this system benefit regular authors more than the one-shot contributors? Yes, but we don’t think that’s a bad thing, as it’s good for us and good for our authors and readers.

Like mentioned by TDavid, your hopes are gathered in the fact that those that drive readership on their own, join your advertising network. While perhaps this may be the case, those will still be the key people pushing the pageviews and clicks on ads, while others fall by the wayside. Chances are, those are the same people that would not need a network to drive their readership (such as Instapundit or DailyKOS).

You say, “it is obvious that their goals are not for citizen journalists, but for advertisers.” This comment shows a lack of background about our track record. In many instances, we have put a premium on news content and reader-generated interactivity at the expense of advertising.

Nice try. Having the ability to have a forum does not create citizen journalism. Our local newspaper, the News and Record, has had this conversation before. The beauty of them is that they have been having an on-going dialogue with the local bloggers is that they listen and implement what the citizens need to contribute and communicate. Likewise, Greensboro101 also has a track record listening to their readers and implementing immediately. So if you want to drag out your track record, then tell me that you are listening to your readers for the drive for features. If you do listen to readers for feature requests, then I would be seriously surprised that no one has pointed out the layout issue yet. BeneciaNews has been around since at least 2002.
Last, a petty critique of the canned response on Dan Gillmor’s. While it was in the comment section, the name is LUX.ET.UMBRA, not Lex.et.Umbra. It means “light and shadow” in Latin. Lex means “law” if I’m not mistaken.
Reason for citizen journalism is to write for the joy of writing. To critique to opinionate, to give perspective. This is the whole reason I do not have ads, or will I ever have them on my blog.
Like I said before, everyone has room for change. Show me that you’re doing it for the people and citizen journalism and I’ll update the review and ask repentance from the blogger gods for me being a doubter. Until then, call it like it is. GLN is a advertising network, NOT citizen journalism.

  • One of my favorite TV shows is LEX.ET.ORDINO.

  • One of my favorite TV shows is LEX.ET.ORDINO.