Greetings from St. Louis
As if postings hadn't been sporadic enough lately, I'm in St. Louis this week for my older son's wedding. So if you don't see anything for a few days, assume I'm passed out under the arch ...
When I return and classes start -- and I get back into what passes for a regular schedule -- I'm going to start postings on the J-Lab funded Hartsville citizen journalism project.
I and the Hartsville Messenger are behind on getting this up, but now have a Sept. 20 target. I'm going to try to lay it all out there for you, warts and all, and hope you'll give feedback.
At the end, we hope to have a guide that other small publishers can use -- from the pitfalls to the successes, from how to select the software to how to recruit and retain participants. In some respects, a lot of what we'll be trying has been tried in some vein somewhere else (but if you think of any great ideas, let me know; we hardly have a monopoly on wisdom here, and I'm willing to ask the paper to try some new things). The point here isn't really to reinvent the wheel but to see if it can move from early adopter to more mainstream at community papers that, theoretically, already should be more in touch with their communities.
I'll start next week by posting the work outline that goes through all the nitty-gritty, including dozens of features to choose from, a pro-and-con about the name (Hartsville Today vs. OurHartsville or some other), concerns about getting the minority community deeply involved before launch so that it is not perceived as merely another voice for the majority power structure, etc.
Till then, cheers.