Conference news
Posted: October 17, 2007 07:34 PM
Early Birds Flock to Knight Panel

Gary Kebbel, of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, opens the Knight Innovation Seminar. (Photo by Aaron Roberts) Slideshow

After a morning filled with training sessions, the annual Online News Association conference kicked off Wednesday afternoon with the 25 winners of the 2006 Knight News Innovation Challenge presenting his or her projects to a packed conference room.

Technically, it was a pre-conference gathering, but clearly the conference has begun.

“In essence we want the projects to give back and keep living,” said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation’s journalism program officer and News Challenge coordinator. He introduced the winners at the panel.

One of the winners, Chris O’Brien, is creating the “Ideal Newsroom” at Duke University. He said the challenge is “not just a digital media project, but something with a geographic attachment that has an affect on people.”

Steve Yelvington of Morris Digital Works has benefited from “Related Items”, a Drupal-based “idea blog” created by Ben Melancon.

Yelvington explains the community as being similar to mynytimes or igoogle. A user is able to pick which Drupal features they will benefit from and then they can add to the community by commenting, adding tips, etc.

“That’s the way a really good open source community really works,” says Yelvington. “You have people who are collaborating and bringing ideas.”

Kebbel says he hopes the Knight Foundation can continue to fund projects and idea blogs. He expects to add another $5 million to the already $12 million program.

- Jen Monroe


Here's an open letter letter of sorts to Gary Kebbel.

It elaborates on a comment I made from the floor, several follow up questions, comments from panelists, and much of the buzz from the post-session chatter.

Please, oh please, -- from the bottom of my heart and the depth of my soul --


I can't believe I find myself on this side of this issue, since much of my career has been
spent preaching the virtues of open source. And, yes, I understand that you have a proprietary code /VC track for some of your projects.

But why the sharp distinction? Why not a few exceptions that would allow applications such as flash on the open source track?

Consider some analogies:

1) When I lived in New York City, I used to chuckle at radio announcements to the effect that "alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect, with limited exceptions. Check the signs in your neighborhood" . But it made sense.

2) Some people keep kosher. Except when n they eat out.

3) Some people are vegetarians. Except when they visit their families for Thanksgiving.

4) Some people always vote for a particuluar
political party. Except when they don't.

So why not a "flexitarian" approach, within the general open source track? Flash is free to the end user and costs the developer only a few hundred dollars. Prohibiting its use out of ideological zeal is not the wisest approach.
Why spend precious time and money replicating something that already exists?

You might tweak the rules to permit flash and one or two other commonly used proprietary applications -- while still remaining true to your vision and principles.

Please reconsider.

-Daniel Freedman
DFR Associates

October 17, 2007 10:45 PM by Daniel Freedman (Permalink)

We will definitely look at our religious issues again. We love religion. But, athiests are more fun.

October 18, 2007 08:26 AM by Gary Kebbel (Permalink)

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Back to 2007 conference page

8th Annual Conference and Awards Banquet, Oct. 17-19, Sheraton Centre, Toronto

Questions about membership, registration or sponsorship opportunities? E-mail Executive Director Lori Schwab.

Questions about conference lineup or volunteering? E-mail Conference Chair Ju-Don Roberts.

Oct. 19, 2007 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Breakfast Discussion Groups (Sponsored by AFP) 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: The Cutting Edge of Online Data 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Finding Your Voice Online 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Business Workshop: Leading the 21st Century Newsroom 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: General Session: Membership Meeting 10:45 a.m. - Education Members Meeting, Expanding ONA's educational offerings, Dominion Ballroom 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m: Keynote: Michael Oreskes, International Herald Tribune 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Lunch on Your Own (Box lunch sponosred by 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: Broadcaster Strategies for the Web 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Integrating Multimedia in Storytelling 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Business Workshop: Legal Panel 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: Revamping Your Curriculum for Online Journalism 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Integrating User-Generated Content 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Business Workshop: Advertising 2.0 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Coffee Break (Sponsored by Pluck) 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Journalism Next: Impact of Aggregators, Blogging and Social Networking on the Industry 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Reception sponsored by 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Awards banquet

Register Now:
  • CitMedia Workshop
  • Conference Registration Is Closed
  • Flash Workshop Is Closed
  • Video Workshop Is Closed

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    OJA Finalists:
    The 2007 Online Journalism Award winners will be announced at the awards dinner on Oct. 19. See the list of this year's finalists.

    The 2007 Online News Association Conference is the premier conference for those who work in, or have an interest in, online media and news.

    The Online Journalism Awards have become the top awards in online journalism. Each year a distinguished panel of judges selects the very best work in nine different categories to be honored at the awards. The OJA Banquet is the event where the awards are presented, and the winners are honored for their efforts.