A café-shaped conversation

Photo credit: WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong (CreativeCommons license)

A great conversation has been going on at my previous post, with participants including:

  • A musician/entrepreneur who runs a hyperlocal social network in Fort Dodge, Iowa
  • A mountaineer/futurist who speaks and consults globally on new media matters
  • A newspaper editor in Waco, Texas
  • The president and publisher of “the most widely-read magazine in America” (a 32-million circulation newspaper supplement), based in New York City
  • The CEO of a Alabama newspaper holding company operating in 150 communities
  • An arts reporter/blogger in East Bay, California
  • A New York print evangelist/entrepreneur/educator
  • A Rhode Island consultant specializing in brands, organizational communications and enterprise technology design
  • Plus, yours truly, tucked away in snowy Vermont, and some of his fellow Nieman bloggers located at Harvard and Johns Hopkins

It was as if we all bumped into each other at a sidewalk café and started knocking around the problems of printed newspapers and journalism on the internet. It took a somewhat provocative post on my part to kick off the discussion, but then, that’s what we do every day in newspaper editorials and in our letters columns to get some buzz going. We got past any animosity, pulled our tables and chairs closer together, and while in the end we “agreed to disagree,” we ascended to some deep thinking about the nature of media and the utility of social networking to news enterprises. Given some of the players involved, it’s even possible that some of the ideas thrown out could have some actual effects in the marketplace.

Only of few of us have ever previously met in person or by phone or email, but there were were, having what Chris Brogan, writing about social media, has called a café-shaped conversation

Read the rest of this post at my blogging home base, the Nieman Journalism Lab.