Conference news
Posted: October 18, 2007 04:26 PM
The Future: Adapt What You Have

Journalists need to look outside their profession for tools that can be used in the industry, a group of publishing experts said today.

“We need to adapt,” says Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia, and moderator of a panel Thursday on the future of publishing. “As much as we hear about open source coding, and multimedia stories, the best thing to do is to adapt with what we already have.”

“One way to do this is by looking for inspiration outside of the industry,” says Webb, who called her panelists the brightest minds in media right now.

Three panelists discussed the future of media with different products and views.

Brian Gruber
CEO and President of FORA.tv

Gruber has brought his cable television experience to the Web as CEO and president of FORA.tv.

Fora is the plural form of forum, he says, and that is exactly what FORA.tv does. FORA.tv takes videos of public forums around the world and makes them available to a wider audience.

“The great storytellers of our age in business, politics, generally do not have a public forum,” says Gruber.

FORA.tv aggregates this content and makes it available on the Internet. Gruber says his company puts it all in one place in an organized format so it can be searched, analyzed, and utilized.

Some programs are even transcribed, so a user can search for text and find audio. For example, if a user wants to find all the times the word “spore” was said in a forum, there is a simple search field to do it.

The early business model for FORA.tv is based on sponsorship. Gruber says that FORA.tv is about to announce many additional new content partners.

Erik Schwartz
CEO of Foneshow

Schwartz is the CEO of Foneshow, a mobile media audio publishing platform. Schwartz says he thinks that mobile media is where it’s all going.

Mobile is now where the Internet was in 1995, says Schwartz. Unlike the Web, the mobile space is not as open in terms of a communication platform. Yet.

From Schwartz’s standpoint, the future of publishing is all about narrowcasting, which is the dissemination of information to a narrow audience. Despite the influx of podcasts, iPods are only a one-way medium. Cell phones have an edge over this – they are two-way communication devices, Schwartz says.

Foneshow allows users to send audio files to their cell phones. In Schwartz’s demonstration, he shows how information can be received over the phone in audio form.

Schwartz is excited about the metrics of his product, because one can measure how many listeners tune in per every minute of a show. He says this is exciting because you can see how well you are engaging with your audience. Politicians are interested in his product for the same reason, he says.


Hiram Enriquez
Programming Director of Yahoo! Hispanic Americas

Enriquez takes a different approach in talking about the future of publishing. He sees media in three groups: traditional and professional journalists, people who take part in user-generated content (UGC); and a new group, where journalists work with nonprofessionals in “areas of engagement.”

He gave an example. When the Peru earthquake happened last August, Web sites drew together UGC, professional content and social networking. He says the middle area, the engagement area, is where the future of publishing lies.


Webb asked the panelists if newspapers and radio should abandon all hope.

Schwartz says that radio is not going to go away, that it really serves as a companion to listeners, while his product was more to send and receive information.

-Lianna Shen



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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 CBSNews.com) 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 CBC.ca 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Awards banquet


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