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Citizen Media Business Issues: An Outline

(This is the first in a series of postings about citizen media business issues. See the introduction here. All of these entries are considered to be in “beta” and will be revised and refined as they find a home on a more permanent area of the Center for Citizen Media web site.   To that end, your comments, additional examples, and criticisms are welcome and will be invaluable contributions to this process.)

Below is our working outline, with proposed sections and sub-sections that explain how we now see these topics fitting together.

In each case, we’ll provide a thorough description of the topic along with several examples (with links); pros and cons where relevant; ethical concerns; and some ideas about best practices.

Again, if something strikes you as missing from this outline—a topic or sub-topic that should be covered alongside what is listed—please let us know. You can post a comment or send us a note via email or this form.

I. Possible Business Models for Citizen Journalists

  • Overview
  • Business Models
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Memberships/Subscriptions
    • Blogs for Branding, Promotion, and Support
    • Merchandise
    • Donations
    • Ad Space
  • Review/Comparison
  • Nonprofits and Tax Issues

II. Creating a Website

  • Getting Your Voice Out
  • Registering a Domain Name
  • Finding a Web Host
  • Blog-Hosting Sites
  • Development
  • Web Statistics
  • Traffic Rankings, Search Engines, and Search Engine Optimization
  • Website Optimization

Our detailed postings will begin in several days. Again, we look forward to your suggestions via comments, email or this form.

(Ryan McGrady is a new media graduate student at Emerson College where he is studying knowledge, identity, and ideas in the information age.)

2 Comments on “Citizen Media Business Issues: An Outline”

  1. #1 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » On the Road
    on Sep 27th, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    […] somewhat limited during this period, but the site will be featuring Ryan McGrady’s continuing series on business issues in citizen […]

  2. #2 Brian McNeil
    on Sep 29th, 2007 at 1:56 am

    There are alternatives to blogs that your list omits. A Wiki, such as Wikinews, allows for a greater scope of collaboration than a blog.

    Over on Wikinews we’ve run into a thorny issue that I’d like to see discussed here. We have an accreditation process which allows us to issue press credentials to trusted members of the community. It is quietly ignored by the Wikimedia Foundation as it threatens their safe-haven status to approve it.

    As a consequence we’re looking at a new non-profit having to be set up to issue press passes, handle credential verification, send requests for access to events, and so on. A new non-profit, just for argument’s sake called the Citizen Journalists’ Network, does not have to be restricted to Wikinews contributors – and in order to thrive it likely should not be.

    Anyone who is interested should pop over to Wikinews, my user page is: leave a message on the collaboration page. Another contributor is drafting a proposal that may be submitted to the Knight Foundation for a grant to set up a non-profit. Input from the CDD would likely be highly valuable.