Looking forward to this year’s Highway Africa conference. I’m going to enjoy debating with We the Media author and general online media guru Dan Gillmor on the topic: ‘Whose citizen journalism is it anyway?’ at the Digital Citizens Indaba. Personally, I still don’t think media get it. Look, they’re trying to be inclusive: First it was the letters pages, now it’s the comments blocks below articles… but could they do more to include the user? Should they do more? How could they do it while also ensuring quality and relevance? Going to be good.
On another level entirely, I’m starting to dislike the framing of these “citizen media” debates. There is a pointlessness to it all that I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on. Why is it that non-media web companies that play in the content game don’t really care about this as much as media. Bloggers just don’t care. Do media companies agonise over it because they are grappling with legacy content and business models? Hmmmm.
I’m also speaking on Digital Business models with Guy Berger, Arthur Goldstuck, Steve Lang and Nic Haralambous, where I’ll give 10 key attributes of a successful online media business. If you’re not in Grahamstown, there will be TV interviews on SABC shows called Interface and Point Blank. Catch us there too.
This trip is becoming a regular thing for me. I love returning to Rhodes University, the place that educated me and which hosts the conference in Grahamstown. I also have an ulterior motive for going down as it allows me to visit my neglected mother of the year, Janet Buckland, — who regularly complains I don’t call her enough. (Yes, I’m guilty and I have a present for you to make up for it.)