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Making a Business of Citizen Media

Good news: We’re about to launch a first in a series of postings about citizen media as a business. Specifically, we’ll be exploring possible business models for citizen journalism and the processes surrounding the creation of a website.

The principal researcher and writer for this project is Ryan McGrady, a new media graduate student at Emerson College where he is studying knowledge, identity, and ideas in the information age. (See more about Ryan here.)

These postings will become elements of a comprehensive on-line guide. Needless to say, it’s an ambitious project.

Because of that, we’ll post these pieces with the initial understanding that they are works in progress—beta versions—of what will continue to evolve and improve. We hope you’ll join in a conversation about these topics, and help us make the guide better.

Which means we’d love to hear from all of you who read, write, publish, analyze, discuss, create, record, or otherwise produce or consume media. Your feedback, additions, corrections, and questions are welcome as invaluable perspectives on these broad, evolving areas. If you want to join in, please post a comment or send us a note via email or this form.

(Note: This project evolved from a collaboration with the Citizen Media Law Project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, a project funded via the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge. Also supporting this work is a grant from the McClatchy Co.)

19 Comments on “Making a Business of Citizen Media”

  1. #1 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: An Outline
    on Sep 24th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    [...] « Making a Business of Citizen Media [...]

  2. #2 Terry Heaton
    on Sep 25th, 2007 at 5:30 am

    Love this, Dan. Is there a line between professional and amateur in citizen media, and does becoming a business move a “citizen” from one to the other? Will history judge this time as the creation of new media companies (is it already)? All heady stuff, methinks.

  3. #3 Notes from a Teacher: Mark on Media » Tuesday squibs
    on Sep 25th, 2007 at 10:04 am

    [...] Making a Business of Citizen Media. Dan Gillmor has launched a series of posts examining the potential for turning citizen media into a money-making business. Will be worth following closely. [...]

  4. #4 Seth Finkelstein
    on Sep 26th, 2007 at 7:51 am

    “Which means we’d love to hear from all of you who read, write, publish, analyze, discuss, create, record, or otherwise produce or consume media.”

    Cheerleaders or Z-listers?

    Non-rhetorical question: Is this meant to be a survey or a marketing brochure? That is, if something has an estimated 1 in 1000 chance of working, is it going to say “This has been tried, and works 1 in a thousand times”, or “One possible method is …”? (note that’s a true statement – it’s possible).

    The main business of “citizen media” seems to be making a few “local content harvesters” rich by the unpaid or poorly paid freelancing of everyone else.

  5. #5 JohnN
    on Sep 26th, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Well, this has been done with Newsvine and NowPublic and ScribbleSheet.

    However, individuals going out there and earing for themselves just sounds like freelancing.

  6. #6 Martin Hirst
    on Sep 26th, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Dan, I’d like to be involved in this project from across the wide Pacific.
    I am head of journalism at AUT University in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
    We are currently working on a new convergent curriculum here and would love to participate in research that covers off online and citizen media.
    It’s obviously a big issue for the news media and for journalism scholars and educators.
    What will our curriculum look like in 5-1o years?
    Should we be running short courses to ‘train’ citizen journalists?
    I’d love to stay in touch.

  7. #7 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Overview
    on Oct 1st, 2007 at 4:51 am

    [...] is the second in a series of postings about citizen media business issues. See the introduction [...]

  8. #8 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Affiliate Programs
    on Oct 1st, 2007 at 4:55 am

    [...] is the third in a series of postings about citizen media business issues. See the introduction [...]

  9. #9 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Memberships and Subscriptions
    on Oct 20th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    [...] is the fourth 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 [...]

  10. #10 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Blogs for Branding, Promotion and Support
    on Oct 28th, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    [...] is the fifth 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 [...]

  11. #11 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Merchandise
    on Nov 13th, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    [...] is the sixth 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 [...]

  12. #12 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Donations
    on Nov 22nd, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    [...] is the seventh 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 [...]

  13. #13 Build the Echo » Blog Archive » links for 2007-11-26
    on Nov 26th, 2007 at 9:25 am

    [...] Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Making a Business of Citizen Media (tags: buildtheecho business_models citizen_journalism) [...]

  14. #14 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Ad Space
    on Jan 10th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    [...] is the eighth 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 [...]

  15. #15 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Review and Comparison
    on Feb 25th, 2008 at 11:45 am

    [...] is the ninth 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 [...]

  16. #16 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Finding a Web Host
    on Jun 25th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    [...] is the thirteenth 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 [...]

  17. #17 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Registering a Domain Name
    on Jun 25th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    [...] is the twelfth 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 [...]

  18. #18 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues - Getting Your Voice Out
    on Jun 25th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    [...] is the eleventh 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 [...]

  19. #19 Center for Citizen Media: Blog » Blog Archive » Citizen Media Business Issues: Nonprofits and Tax Issues
    on Jun 25th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    [...] is the tenth 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 [...]