SXSW – Successfull journalism startups – Global Lessons

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    The official hashtag will be #SXsubmojour If anyone does a Storify of the tweets -> I will buy you a pint! Thanks.
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  5. Pekka Pekkala starting with a story, when he stayed in L.A., saw a police helicopter flying above him. Next morning, he couldnt find any news about it. Found out about local news properties: The eastsiders, … 
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    Pekkala says in Echo Park neighborhood in LA he couldn’t find news about it even after big police helicopter raid. #sxsubmojour
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    A police helicopter hovers close to your home at night. Where to look for info on what’s happening? @pekkapekkala #sxsubmojour #sxswi
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    Eastsider LA is a successful small blog covering Echo Park, run by a former professional journalist. #sxsubmojour
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    He noticed LA Times was picking up stories from the microblogs. #sxsubmojour
  10. LA Times was picking up news from local blogs. Some people doing it are professionnals, are very passionate. But nearly all of them didnt make any money… 

    Find financially sustainable journalism startups around the world, create a database at 
    So far, 39 out of 63 submojour cases ready. 
    Top 8 findings:
    1- this is not a new thing (in Us, japan, Germany and Finland, most were 6 years old) —;; arstechnica;gigazine;…)
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    Findings: They are not new startups. Average age: 6 or more years. #sxswi #sxsubmojour
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    IN US, Japan, Germany and Finland sustainable micro-journalism sites have been underway for an avg of six years. Some for 13. #sxsubmojour
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    Where is the « not a startup anymore » line? RT @digitalamysw: Findings: They are not new startups. Average age: 6?. #sxswi #sxsubmojour
  14. 2-Advertising Rules: 75% said banner advertising makes more than 75% of their profit
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    Most common biz model for micro news sites is still advertising. Nothing new here. #sxsubmojour
  16. See also West Seattle blog, selling weekly/monthly ads not related to CPM/CTR. Biggest blogs mentioned are using ad networks (arstechnica,…). There is money to be made in consulting too. But if you do too much consulting, you kind of stop doing what earned you expertise. Then merchendising, events, syndication. All these are revenue streams. 
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    Selling merch, will that work? Survey says no. Shirts etc are great for promotion, but not as a revenue stream. #sxsubmojour
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    Really disappointed to know that micro-sites are funded by ads and freelance consulting. I’m already doing this. 😦 #sxsubmojour
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    Folks who run micro-sites also rely on consulting to fund business. Says the journalism skills make a more valuable consultant. #sxsubmojour
  20. 3-Be frugal — learn basic tech skills, turn digital pennies into newsroom dollars. Compared to big newsCo, where 30% of revenue goes into newsroom, local news startups can bring as much as 90% of revenue into newsroom. 
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    Being frugal is key at start: minimal staff, minimal expenses – wordpress as the dominant publishing platform. #sxsubmojour #sxswi
  22. 4-Be entrepreneurial — nobody else will do this for you; think about money from day one not « year three it will magically appear ». (Video: David Boraks, 
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    Pekkala says be entrepreneurial. Think about money from day one, not that in year three it will just appear. #sxsubmojour
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    Growing a business when you’re a journalist at heart is hard. Very hard. @pekkapekkala #sxsubmojour #sxswi
  25. 5- People don’t pay for content — but they’re happy to support a cause. 
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    Another finding from @pekkapekkala’s study: People don’t pay for content but they will support a cause. #sxswi #sxsubmojour
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    Observation five from Pekkala: People don’t pay for content but they are willing to support a cause. #sxsubmojour
  28. 6- Find your niche — it might be based on geagraphy, taste, interest or point of view 
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    FInd your niche: geo, taste, interest or point of view. Not the same stuff others do. (We call this the echo chamber, right? )#sxsubmojour
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    Find your niche. You can’t compete by being 32 seconds faster. Typing fast is not journalism. -@pekkapekkala #sxsubmojour #sxswi
  31. 7- Pay your contributors — free citizens journalism is the exception, not the norm. Better stuff, by professionals. 
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    Pay your contributors. Only one out of ten freelance contributors to micro-news site will stay more than two months. #sxsubmojour
  33. 8- It’s about community — it’s not about you, but the community.
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    Micronews sites about community, says Pekkala. #sxsubmojour
  35. Bonus – The future . Strange things has happened. Last stop for « The local ». Part of The NYT, The Local was stopped and directed its readers towards baristanet.

  36. Publishing Revolution
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    There will be a new ecosystem of news sites, driven by passion, enabled by technology. Publishing revolution awaits! #sxsubmojour #sxswi
  39. Q&A sessions

    No mention about e-books, there is some potential in there. What do you think about it? 
    Yeah, there is potential. Jeff Jarvis for instance has had great success too. 
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    Audience member says she’s a blogger w/ microsite and her ebook seems to be providing revenue for her = just out but promising. #sxsubmojour
  41. Searching the world, did you find any network of community blog/site that had success?

    Not really. Unfortunately…
  42. What about emerging markets? What’s your sense outside of europe/USA ?

    I can’t really comment, because we don’t really have connection in those emerging countries.
  43. Most of those blogs make money because they sell ads at rate high above the normal market value (CPM,CTR…) What will happen when those advertisers wake up?

    Yes, that might happen, of course, but we are talking about small communities, it’s more a question of feeling, that the blog is part of the community, you’d like to support it. 
  44. Question about why local blogs are more written than videoblogs for instance.

    Yeah, that’s right. Not sure why, but that’s the way it is now.

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