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2004 Conference Participants' Blog
Most recent entry: November 22, 2004 04:17 PM

Help keep the dialogue going!

Conference attendees, please post your thoughts on interesting ideas you've heard or discussions you've had at the conference; reactions to comments others have made at the conference or on this blog; or any other ideas or opinions related to the subjects discussed at the conference.

If you have your own blog, feel free to double-post your comments here as well and include a link to your blog.


Jonathan Dube, Conference Chair

Conference follow-up report on OJR

Bruce Koon, Knight Ridder Digital

Robert Niles' follow-up conference report can be found on Online Journalism Review

November 22, 2004 04:17 PM (Permalink)

A few suggestions for next year's conference

Eddie Medina

Two suggestions for next year:

- Create an award category for Sports. As one of the top reasons why anybody visits the Web, Sports deserves its own category at the ONA. And with people like Neal Scarbrough from ESPN.com attending as a panelist, it seems only right that Sports received its due recognition.

- Move the workshops into the general format of the conference. More than a few people expressed their disappointment to have missed the multimedia workshop (which took place the day before the conference started). Why not create a few smaller workshops (perhaps themed according to the major topics of the conference) and ask for ONA members to volunteer some time and expertise to run them. Certainly multimedia is big, but blogging was a hot topic at this year's event too. I think most people learn best by doing, and with that might even aid the panel discussions.

November 19, 2004 01:53 PM (Permalink)

Exit polls, bloggers, news media

Barbara Iverson, Columbia College Chicago

Following up on a thread that was woven into the ONA sessions and panels, USA Today's Mark Memmott writes about the impact of bloggers on exit polling for future elections.

The goal is to avoid a repeat of what happened this Election Day, when leaked information from exit polls was posted by Internet commentators known as bloggers about 1 p.m. ET. That was minutes after the data had been given to the five television networks that, along with the Associated Press, formed a consortium to pay for exit polls and count votes during major elections.

November 18, 2004 08:00 AM (Permalink)

Blogosphere is the only real Independent Media

Nico Haupt, GlobalFreePress

Ironically the biggest issue, which turned traditional discussion boards into news portals and blogs, came from the Sep11th attack, an event itself, which is critiicized as a historical fraud, by many bloggers and netizens, who turned themselves into the 9/11 Truth Movement.

If political and investigative bloggers, either right- or leftwing leaning, would appreciate the content of evidence on that matter, the online independent media would even become more poweful and a new economical phenomena.

CNN, FOX and MSNBC are already dead.

Last week, Tom Curley, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press, finally spoke out:

"...The Internet will change the way news is provided to the world by giving consumers the power to demand and receive any sports score, analysis or breaking story instantly, the head of the world's largest news organization said.

Newspapers, TV broadcasts and even fancy Web pages will have less meaning as people use Web-surfing programs and recording devices to pick and choose items from various providers, dictating exactly what news they want, when they want it and on which electronic devices they want to receive it, said..."

If more people would work on a revised version of the Sep11th attack and their disturbing fascist outcome, the next wave of political blogs would turn into a dynamic dream fiest.

Traditional Journalists already sold out for corruption and military. Online bloggers are able to reflect most if this hipocrisy.

Conventional media has to rethink. Their bias is outdated, ONESPEAK will not happen

Nico Haupt aka ewing2001


November 16, 2004 09:16 AM (Permalink)

media is transfering with web


web is transfering by develpment of the new web techs, this definitely fit the needs of the current society, which is that so many people so busy, and need a suitable way to get informed..RSS sort of stuff is so far the best to do so.

I've got my blog site, pls come and give me your idea: http://carlma.99blog.com

sorry that some of the article may be in another language, then ..can you use online translation tools to read it?:) (this might be another question about how to read new on internet for people in different countries..who's gonna do the translation? espcailly some international news!!)

November 15, 2004 11:35 PM (Permalink)

Blogging for business

Monte Enbysk

Another great conference!

Dave Winer, Mickey Kaus, or anyone else who cares to answer: How can my quasi-journalistic, largely commercial site benefit from having bloggers' posts on it? See http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/default.mspx. My boss would like to know. I am still trying to articulate my belief that blogging can work on non-news sites too.

Blog on, folks! Thanks for a fun time in Hollywood.

November 15, 2004 11:07 PM (Permalink)

Real time blogging

Barb Iverson

I experimented with blogging during several events. As I have found previously, it is not that easy to do. You try writing and posting and end up feeling like you weren't at the actual event.

There was no one blogging with me from outside or inside the room and that might have made for some interesting commentary.

Like a bunch of 3 year olds, there were folks who were engaging in "serial blogging" throughout the room. Maybe next year we can do more of a community realtime blog.

Of course the work suffers from no editing, too, but just in case someone wants to see how the "Uber Panel" played to one in the audience, here's a link to my blog: current buzz and look for the November 13th entries. Because I go way back with computers and Internet, you will notice that the entries are published in several chunks to make sure if something crashed, I wouldn't lose all.

November 15, 2004 02:46 PM (Permalink)

Some thoughts about the "masters" challenge

Steve Yelvington

I posted some thoughts about the Masters of the Web Universe challenge on my weblog:


Headline: Beware of editing a product for yourself

November 15, 2004 12:48 PM (Permalink)

Blogs & Rumors

Jeanne Leblanc

I've returned all the way to the East Coast, and one thing I heard is still gnawing at me.

I heard Mickey Kaus of Slate defend the posting of rumors in blogs. If I got it right, his rationale was that bringing these rumors into the light allows them to examined and evaluated so that they can be quickly dismissed or, if true, acted upon.

But how can anyone take credit for both spreading a rumor and debunking it? How is that responsible, reasonable or ethical? I'm not saying that bloggers should operate by journalistic standards. But there must be some basic standard of truth and decency that applies to all of us. Right? I hope?

November 15, 2004 07:21 AM (Permalink)

journalism.nyu.edu/ pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/

Jay Rosen

Some moments from the I, Robot panel, in which I participated:

Bill Gannon, Editorial director and managing editor, Yahoo! News explained that Yahoo News, an aggregator, relies on "human editors" (journalists) and thus their judgment, which he said distinguished it from Google News. Nathan Stoll, Google News product manager, agreed. He said that Google News--the idea for which came from a computer scientist--was a selection system based on an algorithm. It's automated, unlike most other news sites, or blogs for that matter. (Here's another site, neither Google nor Yahoo, that was originated by a person, but operates on an algorithm.)

I said that human editors are good to have, a smart algorithm is also good, but what will ultimately spell the difference in quality is the strength of the relationship or two-way connection between the filterers (editors) and the users for whom the filtering (editing) is done. The stronger that two-way connection is between editors and users, the better the filter will be in filtering in and out-- for those users.

This is a challenge to people in mainstream newsrooms, because they are not used to associating content quality with quality of connection. On the other hand, I didn't get the sense that Yahoo or Google were there yet, either. Bloggers, I said, were showing the value of being interconnected.

"The news, as 'lecture,' is giving way to the news as a 'conversation,'" said Tom Curley in his opening address. "An active two-way connection to the audience has always been the secret to success in our business, whether you're talking about inspiring a letter to the editor or selling classifieds and cars."

That an "active two-way connection" with the public is essential to successful journalism has indeed been a big secret in the news industry; and Curley was being clever in his phrasing because he knows most journalists do not see it that way. For two-way journalism is hardly the norm in American newsrooms.

from How Do You Blog Ideas into Events? PressThink Tries to Find Out

November 14, 2004 07:48 AM (Permalink)

Staci Kramer on blogger event

Bruce Koon, Knight Ridder Digital

More on bloggers and journalism from the Online Journalism Review.


November 14, 2004 04:57 AM (Permalink)

Steve Yelvington

Bruce Koon, Knight Ridder Digital

Steve has been blogging the convention. Good reading, as usual.


November 14, 2004 04:47 AM (Permalink)

Disconnect between morning and afternoon

Donica Mensing, University of Nevada, Reno

I was struck by the parallel universes of the Saturday morning Masters of the Web Universe contest and the afternoon super panel. The morning teams conceptualized products for young people as if they consisted solely of a target market that obsesses on beer, sex, music, film, and theatre. This afternoon we heard about a universe of young people who were engaged, participatory, and fired up about events of public and social significance.

Which universe are we speaking to in our work?

November 13, 2004 07:12 PM (Permalink)

Why blogs work according to social networking theory

Ken Sands, spokesmanreview.com

Alan Nelson of Command-post.org gave a great speech to the APME a couple of weeks ago. He talked about the Law of the Flow, the Law of the Fast, Law of the Few, and the Law of the Many. It's fascinating reading. Here's one quote: There’s a very important lesson here: bloggers should not be underestimated. They are not just average people … they are people who, long before blogs came along … had the ability to surface information and present it to others in a persuasive and compelling way. They are opinion leaders, and weblogs have only served to exponentially increase their reach and their power." I encourage you to read the full text, and the comments attached at the end.

November 13, 2004 06:23 PM (Permalink)

Super panel discussion on impact of the Internet on elections

Suzanne Levinson

Great discussion, very thought-provoking.

One topic I feel compelled to follow up on: Wonkette and some of the panelists aren't worried about disinformation because they believe people are smart and can differentiate the truth from rumors (though Jehmu Greene did admit young people probably tended to believe what they read on websites or blogs that supported their own views.)

Then why did so many people believe weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq? That Osama was linked to Iraq? That there has been voter fraud? That the media -- to this day -- are covering up the truth about that bulge? That young voters didn't turn out?

It's not only young voters who are not skeptical enough to sort it out. Plenty of older visitors take as gospel what is emailed to them, what they read on the Internet, what they hear on TV or radio talk shows. Especially when these "facts" support their own views.

I think bloggers and message boards and whatnot are a positive, revolutionary phenomenon.

But somehow people need to learn to stop believing everything they hear -- or only what they want to hear.

And maybe ONA can help. Because in the end, no one is going to believe anything.

November 13, 2004 06:15 PM (Permalink)

political super panel

joe russin los angeles times

It was telling that apparently there was not one Republican or Bush voter on the panel and possibly in the room. One would think the whole blog phenomenon was a left leaning one, and that the only problem with coverage was it failed to be left leaning enough.

If this panel is held two to four years from now there is a good chance that the subject will be, "How did the Right Wing get control of the Internet and what can be done about it?"

November 13, 2004 05:51 PM (Permalink)

Student Participation

Doug Feaver, ONA president

As I said at the annual ONA meeting this morning, the idea of broader student participation and how best to make it happen is certainly something the ONA board will want to consider.

November 13, 2004 11:50 AM (Permalink)

From a student's view...

Cara McCoy, Katie Schmitt; Ohio U. students

As members of both the target market of the Web masters of the universe project, and also members of ONA, allow us to offer some perspective on how to engage young people. First of all, adding a (fellow) student to the panel was an excellent idea. Perhaps ONA as an organization should have more of a student voice? Would anyone be interested in working to start student chapters of ONA? We have an existing student organization at Ohio University, and would be more than happy to work with other schools to perhaps form ON(S)A.

We would also like to thank everyone for being so supportive and offering such good advice to all student attendees.

Email us at ojss@ohio.edu.

November 13, 2004 10:57 AM (Permalink)

Friday night pool side reception

Bruce Koon, Knight Ridder Digital

Thanks to CNN.com and its senior vice president adn executive producer, Mitch Gelman, for hosting the terrific reception Friday night.

November 13, 2004 07:53 AM (Permalink)

The legal panel

Bruce Koon

A terrific reference book on online legal issues is "Law of the Web: A Field Guide to Internet Publishing," by Jonathan D. Hart, who moderated the breakout panel Friday morning, "Fear Factor: Lawyers tell news sites what to worry about."

Jon has been very generous with not only with his legal wisdom, but at the last two ONA conferences has gotten his publisher (Bradford Publishing Co.) to donate some copies that were made available free to the audience.

I wanted to thank him for that and the other panelists who had great information.

November 12, 2004 04:41 PM (Permalink)

Live Discussions

Ju-Don Marshall Roberts, washingtonpost.com

I mentioned this in my panel discussion, but I'll repeat it here for those who are considering pursuing live moderated discussions on their Web sites. In a behind-the-scenes discussion about how our Live Onlines work, a reader wrote:

"During the past two years, when the spin and vitriol have worked overtime to make a joke of the truth, these discussions have often been a refuge of rational exchange and just enough of a peek behind the curtain (the media curtain as well as the political curtain) to confirm or challenge my sense of what was really going on."

I think these sentiments explain why we take our live discussions so seriously and why we are producing more than 60 hours of discussion programming a week. To read the full transcript of that discussion, visit


To learn more about Live Onlines, go to

November 12, 2004 04:04 PM (Permalink)

3 new books

stephen quinn, ball state university

At the risk of self promotion, three new books on convergence will be published from March next year (2005).
1. Convergent Journalism (New York: Peter Lang) discusses the why and how of convergence. It looks at what drives convergence.
2. Conversations on Convergence (New York: Peter Lang) is a collection of primary documents about convergence and consists of Q&A with about 20 key players.
3. The Convergent Journalism Handbook (Boston: Focal Press) is a hands-on guide to doing convergence.

November 12, 2004 03:15 PM (Permalink)

Extreme Makeover

Jonathan McCarthy, Newsday.com

Visit http://www.newsday.com/ona for the presentations from today's Extreme Makeover panel.

November 12, 2004 03:11 PM (Permalink)

For a chuckle II

Jonathan McCarthy, Newsday.com

As part of the Extreme Makeover panel, Kevin Riley of the DaytonDailyNews.com shared this reader's reaction to their site's redesign:

“Merging activedayton ane your shitty excuse for a newspaper's website is stupid and outageious. I dont knwo who you claim wanted the merge but it was certainly no one I know. Why do you idiots at dayton daily news have to f--- up EVERYTHING you get your gruppy hands on?”

He went on to show how the used research to make some decisons for their new site. See his presentation here.

November 12, 2004 03:10 PM (Permalink)

For a chuckle

Michele Jones, TBO.com

In the "Survivor" session, Bob McCartney of WashingtonPost.com referred to the fact that many in our audiences go to our sites from work, when they should be working. He said, "Our entire industry is devoted to malingering."

Anyone else have any good quote-outs?

November 12, 2004 01:56 PM (Permalink)

ONA Receives 10 Fellowships

Jon Evans - PR Newswire

The Media Center at API announcement was sent this morning on PR Newswire. I don't have a printer in the exhibit area, but feel free to stop by our booth and read it on our computer monitor.

Cheers, Jon

November 12, 2004 11:00 AM (Permalink)


stephen quinn, ball state university

Here's a key point from the New Media Dons session this morning: Convergence gives the academy a chance to lead industry, rather than the (traditional) other way around.

November 12, 2004 10:57 AM (Permalink)

Tom Curley's challenge

Steve Yelvington

Tom Curley's challenge to online journalists to be activists in their own companies is a great one ... I am wondering how online journalists feel about their own positioning within their organization, whether they have the ear of senior management, whether they feel up to the challenge.

November 12, 2004 10:38 AM (Permalink)

Things to Do Round Here.

Travis Smith, Hop Studios

Until recent, I lived in L.A. for about 14 years, and since L.A. is so big and full of activities, I thought I'd offer a few filtered thoughts about fun things to do in the immediate area.

Farmer's Market
On Sunday morning, walk over to a Farmer's market at Ivar & Selma Avenue. It starts at 8 a.m. and offers all sorts of good food and wacked out oddness that is Hollywood. I like the roast corn. (Don't get this confused with the permanent Farmer's Market and shopping mall about three miles from here.)

Map to market

Sing for your Supper
A little-known fact even to natives is that Mel's Diner, the 50s-style cafe just south of this hotel on Highland, in addition to being a somewhat famous historic kinda place, has karaoke at night. And, this being Hollywood, many of the singers DO NOT STINK. In fact, I think I saw Cyndi Lauper singing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun here. So consider this a great tip (either to seek out or to avoid)

Karaoke testimonial

Hollywood Bowling
Lucky Strikes is so close to the hotel that I'm embarrassed to have to point it out to you, Mr. or Mrs. Budding Lebowski. Open 11am-2am, about $6 per person per game.

Review of bowling alley

The OTHER Bowl
You should also be aware that if someone says "Hollywood Bowl" to you in L.A., they're probably NOT talking about Lucky Strike, rather, they mean the large performance arena located up the street in the opposite direction. It's about 10 blocks, and though there are no performances right now (the last is in September, before it gets too cold), the attached museum is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Sorry, not Sundays.

I See Famous People
If you do nothing else while in town other than this wonderful conference, do at least take 15 minutes and visit the entrance of Grauman's Chinese Theater just around the corner. Literally: Go down to Hollywood and Highland, turn right, and follow the path of red marble stars. Outside the theater, underneath large clusters of tourists, you'll be able to see the permanent handprints of famous folk in cement. R2D2 and C3PO are probably the quirkiest set; I'll let you decide who the most famous prints are. The courtyard is also usually home to a number of costumed Hollywood oddities. You may see Batman, Elvis, a stormtrooper and/or Mr. T.

Complete list of prints

It's L.A., so if you'd also like to take in a movie, though, there's not much playing at Grauman's right now ("Seed of Chucky," anyone?). You'll have better luck if you head east down Hollywood to the Egyptian Theatre. Between now and Sunday, you can watch: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, TOM JONES, FOREVER HOLLYWOOD, BEN-HUR, GOLDFINGER, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, THE CRYING GAME, or THE COMPANY OF WOLVES

Detailed Schedule

Below the Highland mall -- way, way below -- is the Red Metro line to downtown. It takes about 20 minutes, you can buy a pass for $3 that's good all day, and you can't get confused because there is only one metro line between here and downtown. There, you can check out Olivera Street (an historical Mexican street market simulation with some authentic Mexican restaurants), MOCA (Contemporary Art) and The L.A. Times building -- from the outside.

Moca's current show is of ROBERT SMITHSON, who in 1970 created Spiral Jetty, a 1,500-foot rock coil dramatically situated in the Great Salt Lake.

Metro Red Line

List of 10 downtown museums

Very Local Bars
When you return from downtown, quench that thirst at Musso and Frank Grill (No 's, or they'll know you're not from around these parts). I've had the bartender refuse to mix me a drink that he thought wouldn't be a very good combination; his substitution was delicious. Walk through the restaurant to get to the bar -- or sit down for a fancy meal. Three martinis later, you'll be making a movie deal, guaranteed.

Local crime novelist describes M and F

Also, directly across the street from the hotel is the Power House, a dive bar whose regulars really love it, though the floor is a mite sticky. It's due to be taken over by the comic store beside it, so this might be your last chance ever to throw some darts, have a pint, start a fight and meet some real Hollywood folks.

Ten Best Bars in L.A.

Nice Drive
One more thought: If you have a rental car, take it for a spin along Mulholland Drive. Head North on Highland, and stick to your left. It becomes one lane, then comes to a light. Turn left, and immediately right. Don't cross the freeway, but stay on Mulholland and check out the amazing view of the Hollywood slopes. Drive along until you have the chance to come back to Hollywood, and you'll soon come to Sunset Blvd, and can head back to Highland.

Map of the drive

I hope this helps you make the most of any spare moments you might have.

November 12, 2004 03:24 AM (Permalink)

Online News Education

Jin Yang, University of Memphis

Online neews is developing fast at unexpected speed. The journalism program offered at most American universites and colleges have to adapt to the new development. How to educate journalists so that they are ready for the new environment is a challanging and demanding task. I would like to know what are the thoughts and opions of those who are in online journalist positions on how journalism program gets re-oriented to the new trend.

November 10, 2004 06:36 AM (Permalink)

Welcome to the ONA conference Participants' Blog

Jonathan Dube, MSNBC.com

Welcome to the 5th annual Online News Association Conference!

Since this is a gathering of online journalists, we want to make the conference as interactive as possible. So in addition to having discussions at the end of every panel, we're setting up this Participants' Blog. The idea is to help share the insights we have during the conference -- not just with a a few others, but with everyone.

We're inviting attendees to type up a few thoughts sparked by the panels or by those interesting hallway debates during the breaks.

I hope this blog helps create a dialogue about the future of online journalism.

-- Jonathan Dube
Conference Chair

November 9, 2004 09:24 PM (Permalink)

Posting to the participants' blog is now disabled. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
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