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The secret to survival

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

…is that you’re not going to. You can only have a lot of kids and hope one of them is the right one.

That’s probably the best point I managed to make about the news business at Saturday’s Digital Journalism Portland conference. It was an honor to share a panel with Robert Wagner of Cascadia.fm and Barry Johnson of Oregon Arts Watch, talking about quitting our day jobs to have entrepreneurial babies.

The talking doesn’t really start until 1:00; my first bit is at 2:20, but if you’re watching you shouldn’t miss Barry and Rob, who are much more experienced in this stuff than I am, or moderator Melissa Chavez of to-be-launched Sexistential Magazine, who did a ton of advance work that clearly paid off.

The conference is a project of the great Abraham Hyatt, with video provided by the skills of Dr. Normal and Eitan Tsur.

OFNT: Coming to a town near you (assuming you’re in Oregon)

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

road trip by Nicholas_TOld Forest New Trees is hitting the road.

Starting this summer, I’ll be leading a series of talks for the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project, a kick-ass initiative that sparks interesting cultural conversations around the state. Here’s the elevator pitch:

Two years after Clay Shirky predicted that "every town in this country of 500,000 or less" was likely to "sink into casual, endemic, civic corruption" fostered by the death of local newspapers, what’s the score? The continuing collapse of the media sequoias has created openings into which small-scale innovators, from MyEugene to BikePortland, are sprouting. But tomorrow’s news outlets, whose audiences and incentives are dramatically different than yesterday’s, will put new pressures on local civic culture.


"Old forest, new trees: Oregon’s new economics of local information" will use a hands-on exercise to explore the forces behind the shift from mass to niche media; sketch case studies from innovators around Oregon and the country; and highlight a key social problem faced by the new news media – the deep and growing asymmetry of information between rich and poor.

TOTALLY FUN, amirite? All my presentations, research and appearance schedule will be posted here on the blog, so expect to start hearing more around midsummer.

(Road-trip photo by Nicholas_T.)