The State of Online Journalism presentation

Tonight I attended The State of Online Journalism event hosted by the Online News Association and held at CNET headquarters. I recorded each presentation and took a few pictures. The audience was a mixed crowd of technical knowledge. Jeff Veen made a comment about DRM and a few audience members were not sure what that term meant. I uploaded my pictures of the speakers to Flickr. The first presenter was Jeff Veen of Adaptive Path. Jeff talked about weblogs and personal publishing as a distributed and real-time news source. He used an example of his personal investigation into the source of some smoke over downtown San Francisco that was not covered by traditional media outlets. He used good examples of companies still around today (radio, travel agents) that had to adapt to the way technology changed their business. I recorded Jeff’s speech (23:35, MP3). Next Mary Hodder of Technorati talked about how bloggers affect journalism. Jackson West of talked about collaborative journalism on his site and the process involved with getting SFist started. Jackson referred to blogging as seventy-five percent white males, because those are the people who can afford computers, know how to read, and who can spend some time writing. Definitely not politically correct and he did not provide any data to back up his claim. I recorded Mary’s speech (10:32, MP3). The last session covered the role and impact of news aggregators. Jeff Pelline, editor of, mentioned that is currently working on restructuring its story pages because they are the first point of entry for so many visits due to linking and RSS feeds. has incorporated what it calls “swarming features” influenced by Slashdot. Bill Gannon, editorial director of Yahoo! News, mentioned that the birth of Yahoo! News was when Jerry Garcia died (August 9, 1995) and they felt a need to feature such news prominently on Yahoo’s home page and provide a way for visitors to learn more. Bill embraces Yahoo’s pop culture news status and dismisses Google News as a direct competitor. Scott Rosenberg of Salon thinks the terms “aggregator” and “RSS” are terms of confusion and the industry is in need of new ways of referring to this technology. He thinks aggregation is at the same point now as the Web was in 1994. Tim Olsen, director of KQED Interactive, mentioned some of the ways his organization works with local businesses to produce content in ways that are mutually beneficial. I recorded the entire panel session complete with questions and answers (39:25, MP3).