Re-imagining News & Community in the Pacific Northwest

Haggett Hall, University of Washington, Seattle

January 7-10, 2010

Staying connected after the conference

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Conference multimedia

Participant blogs

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About the News and Information Commons

Program

3:30pm Registration

4:00 – 6:00pm Visit the Commons

Northwest media providers share their work through informal table displays and conversations. (See list below)

For information on hosting a booth, contact us at jtm@journalismthatmatters.org.

5:15 – 6:15pm Circulating dinner

Buffet style, with plenty of opportunity for networking. Knives optional — eat with one hand, hold your plate in the other, and keep circulating — or settle at one of the tables.

6:30 – 7:30pm Three perspectives on How can the people and the press help each other?

7:30 – 9:30pm World Café conversation: How can the public and the press help each other?

We’ll cross-pollinate ideas among our diverse participants to build on the opening comments.

Outcome: Orientation to the northwest media landscape. Preliminary insights into journalism’s role in civic engagement. The result: A foundation for richer conversations between journalists and the public.


Hosting a Table at the Commons:

  1. Asian American Journalists Association – Seattle Chapter
  2. The B-Town Blog
  3. Common Language Project
  4. Department of Communications, University of Washington
  5. Cascadia Times
  6. CFRO-Vancouver Coop Radio
  7. Countywide Community Forums
  8. InOtherNews.us
  9. Instivate
  10. Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy
  11. KBCS
  12. KUOW Public Insight Network
  13. Local Health Guide
  14. Master of Communication in Digital Media, University of Washington
  15. Media Island International
  16. News21
  17. Northwest Association for Biomedical Research
  18. National Association of Hispanic Journalists
  19. Natural Oregon
  20. Northwest Science Writers Association
  21. Pedro de Valdivia – artist
  22. Peninsula College, Journalism
  23. Public Affairs Media Group
  24. The Public Sphere Project
  25. Reclaim the Media
  26. The Salish Sea Network
  27. Seattle Association of Black Journalists
  28. Seattle City Club
  29. Seattle Times
  30. Sightline
  31. Sustainable Seattle
  32. The Tyee
  33. Washington Coalition for Open Government
  34. Washington Journalism Education Association
  35. Washington News Council
  36. Washington Policy Center
  37. West Seattle Blog
  38. Xconomy
  39. YES! Magazine

Interested in hosting a table?  Please contact us at jtm@journalismthatmatters.org.


For more information about the commons, read on!

How are the sources of news and information vital to our civic life transforming?

We are inviting Northwest news and information providers to highlight what they’re doing that is changing the nature of our news and information environment.

The Commons will display the web of our media ecology with an eye to what’s on the edge, showcasing what different providers are contributing to the changing media landscape.

Each exhibitor has a table open for two hours from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Thursday, January 7th to show whatever they are doing and excited about.

If you wish to participate as an exibitor:

1.     Register at least one member of your organization for the entire event – Jan. 7-10.  Program details

2.     Create your own exhibit.  We will supply the basics: outlets, tables, chairs.

3.     Invite others to come and join us – for the Commons day or the entire event

Come connect with others who are finding and developing new information sources, economic solutions and accountability models that work to create a revitalized  Journalism That Matters.

We hope you’ll accept our invitation, and we look forward to hearing from you.

For more information, contact jtm@journalismthatmatters.org.

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JTMPNW as seen through Graphic Recording

Day 1 – Thursday, January 7 — Understanding the Context

Day 2 – Friday, January 8 — Possibilities Day: Explore/design ideas/projects

Day 3 – Saturday, January 9 — Design-Build Day: What’s your next step?

Day 4 – Sunday, January 10 — Bringing it on home

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Kathy Gill and Brian Glanz

Submitted by kegill on Thu, 01/07/2010 – 10:42am

Session Reporter: Kathy & Brian

Conversationalist 1: Kathy Gill

Conversationalist 2: Brian Glanz

Brian and Kathy did an email exchange. 🙂

1. Tell me about your work and how it led to saying “yes” to this confab…

Kathy: I’ve been involved in the ‘future of news’ conversations in the PNW for the past year. I am interested in this event because of its potential to expand the discussion beyond the usual suspects. I am also interested in observing people who are attending their first ‘unconference’ — I’m interested in the dynamics of spontaneous organization.

Brian: JIMMY STEWART IMPRESSION: This isn’t fair at all, I’ve got to follow @kegill and all I’ll have to say is “I agree.”

I have haunted the No News is Bad News and similar events for a while now, myself and I do agree, new input will be welcome. I also lead a small organization looking to contribute technology to our “news ecology” particularly in social networking and citizen journalism. You can see what we’re bringing to JTM at http://opensciencefederation.com/ We’ve put together a special version just to give it a go, here.

2. It’s clear the relationship between journalists and the public is changing…

Kathy: Here’s a tweet I sent today:

Crowdsourcing media reports on Xmas Bomber “intelligence failure” – TPM http://bit.ly/5ZLW5h via @DanGillmor
TalkingPointsMemo has a track record of reaching out to its community for help — and the community responds because there is a relationship. Monica Guzman and Linda Thomas are examples of local journalists who also connect with the community with Twitter. So is Tracy Record.

The journalist-as-aloof-and-above-the-crowd-professional model is broken. Not a bad thing, IMO.

Brian: As a career software and web site guy, I’ve been mildly entertained by journalists begging bloggers for tips, after years of we all know what. I would call that a positive difference in a story that matters.

I also ghost write and edit for a few local, first amateur and now professional food bloggers. The discomfort with which the old fashioned publishing and food writing crowd has had to embrace and keep pace with food bloggers has been similarly entertaining.

3. What is essential to the relationship between journalism and the public for getting information and opinion for good civic choices? …

Kathy: TRUST and conversation = engagement/involvement
That’s the opposite of today’s detached, non-civicly-involved citizen

Brian: I will go with openness. Open can mean transparency, that the public wants in government and in corporations so journalism can peer in, that the public also wants in corporate journalism so we can peer in. Open can mean access, so we can interact with journalists and contribute to journalism.

It’s at least as essential that the American public come to terms with how important journalism is and that we take greater responsibility for it. If journalism were willing to give up fortune and glory, America might be willing to fund our own BBC/CBC/… In the interest of time I will stop this answer while still on the first part of the first question, “What is essential to the relationship…”

4. Without being humble, what do you value most about yourself? What do you see yourself bringing to this confab?

Kathy: I bring a passion for ‘news’ and an understanding of the systemic changes we are living through. (I argue that the changes are not sudden or new – they are a logical evolution of those that began with the advent of the telegraph.) I’m a good writer – synthesizer.

Brian: I know a lot about what is possible technologically, and big J Journalism and a lot of mainstream media are still technologically undergunned.

I hit CNN.com recently and was overwhelmed by how much their latest redesign looks like a WordPress based web site I finished in December, for release by a client of mine early this year. There are more than 200 million sites using WordPress, and my version is a one-man, 20-hour design and development job; CNN should be doing better. Risks include that the public will take professional journalists even less seriously as they ape our blogs.

I noticed MSNBC picked up breakingnews.com and I appreciate the buzz around “the real-time web,” but one way in which the pros must improve is by doing what most amateurs cannot — investigative, serious and slow news and gorgeous, top shelf content. Breaking news isn’t going anywhere of course, they call it “news” not “olds,” but I don’t think I’m alone in wanting less shouting, fewer errors, less parroting of sources and more reporting. Google who brought us the most real-time bit yet, Wave have also brought us Living Stories. Slow is not necessarily low tech, or old fashioned in a bad way.

Telling more poignant, fuller stories, hosting longer term conversations, and the big J back in journalism — as a consumer, I want the pros to stop aping amateurs, I want them to be pros. I hope JTM plugs me in or points me where I can help.

5. The year is 2015 and the Pacific Northwest has a vibrant media landscape…

Kathy: Our media landscape in 2015 will hopefully be a rich mix of hyperlocal websites that are thriving (ie, making money), more traditional news sources and emerging alternative journalism models. I don’t think there will be three thriving local TV stations; the Seattle Times will not be publishing a printed newspaper daily (once or twice a week, probably).

We need ubiquitous and free or really-cheap wifi and wider adoption of handheld devices (smartphones, PDAs, tablets) plus literacy efforts. I worry about the digital divide in all its forms. The conference could help launch awareness of the infrastructure needed to support connectedness.

A major goal of the event has to be awareness-raising of the complex system in which journalism and democracy co-exist.

Brian: Thinking five years ahead makes me want to look five years back. Scott McNealy was informing us that The Participation Age had dawned, and I was into Tablet PCs. I suppose some of what we’re trying hard to realize now will still just be blooming five years on. It might take that long before we’re actually doing “the real-time web” the way it’s being talked about now, for example.

Will greater immediacy of communication and transparency in our lives lead to greater honesty or more complicated deception? I guess more the former, some of both.

Because so much of journalism is a business, the profit motive will lead to attempted reinforcement of the deteriorating distinction between journalists and the public. A flat media world does not a good media business make. Resource battles over press passes and access in all limited forms will be fought with as much money as angst. As we all know more about the details of our politicians’ daily lives for example, we will question more how they spend them.

Navigating the next five years requires exactly what we’re doing, intentional and productive engagement. With the right work leading up to it, maybe in five years, half of a commercial, local, video news program is comprised of “viewer” contributions. Every once in a while we see a viewer-contributed photo on the TV news; expect that to be every day, and more of the news, in five years. Real and candid, a little corny and definitely entertaining, maybe we’ll call it “reality news.” New technology like high quality mobile video, faster networks, and wireless power could break it open. The key is for media professionals to not only be reacting to a threatening technological upswell, but to be clued in early and invested so we all gain from the possibilities.

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Jody Brannon and Kathy Gill

Submitted by kegill on Wed, 01/06/2010 – 11:29pm

Session Reporter: Jody With An Assist From Kathy

Conversationalist 1: Jody Brannon

Conversationalist 2: Kathy Gill

See an image of Jody and Kathy (Neither could get the insert feature to work – no “upload” option on the “ad image” popup)

Kathy is invited because she teaches in the UW Digital Media Master’s program (MCDM) as well as undergrad digital journalism. Jody is a Seattle native who is also on the ONA board, chairs the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations, is on the UW MCDM advisory board and works with some of the top young journalists through the Initiative for the Future of Journalism Education.

We both attend a lot of conferences and are often frustrated by no real strong takeaways or action plans. But we also recognize that a conference can be a success because new people join the conversation, understanding more fully the critical era we’re in. However, if more people understand the need and importance of ubiquitous (free or very cheap) wifi, for example, that alone will make the conference a success.

Kathy is glad to see the list of attendees includes non-traditional (not ‘news’) people and welcomes the chance to hear their impressions on the role of news in their live. She enters 2010 feeling a bit pessimistic, fearing a painful period where the bottom may fall out of covering important areas of news. She sees glimmers of an return to the days like those of Upton Sinclair, where true investigative work is done by a single person. “And that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” she says.

Kathy is intrigued by the idea of documenting the decline in investigative journalism over the course of our lifetimes — and believes it would be a downward trend that started far earlier than the advent of the Internet. “It’s been a gradual, insidious decline over decades.”

Both Kathy and Jody are both concerned that at a systemic level, the public — our culture — doesn’t value or understand the importance of civic engagement. Says Jody: “I fear people won’t know what they’ve had until it’s gone. And then it’ll be too late. How do we spark people to participate in civic or digital literacy?”

Kathy laments a mainstream media that is fixated on competition and opposition. Jody thinks that factors into pack journalism, saying too many flush decades of media companies failing to check their egos at the door has led to pained pocketbooks. She’d like the conference to explore ways hyperlocal sites, powered by citizen journalists, can provide better blanket coverage — kind of historical coverage — and perhaps devise guidelines that help people know when a story is beginning to mushroom, leading for the need for multiple voices or team approaches to bolster the discourse, on the one hand, and the depth of coverage on the other.

The underlying question: “How do we empower people while helping them to understand their very important responsibility to contribute to public knowledge?” And in doing that, how do we advocate for balance … or should we?

In five years, Kathy thinks its reasonable to think that hyperlocal websites around the region will be thriving (ie, providing a living), possibly strengthened by some kind of collaborative ad system. She doesn’t think Seattle will still have four local commercial TV stations and thinks the Times will not be producing a print newspaper very day (maybe twice a week). And she hopes that by 2015 Google will not have taken over the world. She’d like to see more efforts like theCommon Language Project and ProPublica and forms of longer storytelling continue to evolve. And she doesn’t think an iTunes model for magazines will sustain the current industry structure, though she does hope wifi will be ubiquitous and free. However, beyond access, digital literacy is key. “Having a tool isnt’ enough,” she says, adding that she thinks this transition period will last a generation, maybe taking another 20 years before everyone has the tools and knows how to use them. She reluctantly thinks society needs to accept the uncomfortable idea of leaving people underinformed during this growth period.

Jody hates the idea of leaving people underinformed but doesn’t know how to deal with the issue of forcing them to consume or care. In the next five years, the key will be assembling all this hyperlocal journalism and making it easier for people to care about staying savvy. She doesn’t think people will visit web sites that cover neighborhood, district, city, county, state, region, national and international news — each level being important in understanding how the world works. Streamlining the volume of news is as important as directing people to the most important news they need to know outside their sphere. Of course, aggregated content puts pressure on business models, Kathy points out.

Part of Jody’s main concern is information overload and never having time to consume news — and sometimes not being able to spend as much time producing polished content. Which is the case in this post.

Both Kathy and Jody are looking forward to the weekend’s discussions and interactions 🙂

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Trevor Griffey and Rosalinda Mendoza

Session Reporter: Trevor Griffey

Conversationalist 1: Rosalinda Mendoza

Conversationalist 2: Trevor Griffey

1. What meaning did you take from the conversation?

Non-profit issue organizations and non-profit news agencies need to collaborate in the revitalization of the news industry. Their interests converge in that the collapse of the journalism industry has made it difficult for non-profits to get their issues covered adequately (or even at all), while those seeking to create non-profit news sources need financial and organizational resources that non-profits have much greater ease developing. The challenge remains to create a working model for collaboration that retains editorial independence from funders.

2. Share a standout story or quote for each of you.

Rosalinda creates and oversees local councils that bring often antagonistic groups (farmers and farmworkers, politicians and low-income migrants) together to produce safe housing for migrant farmworkers. The collaborations are pretty remarkable.

3. What surprised, challenged, inspired, and/or delighted you about the conversation?

Finding common cause between the communications challenges of non-profits and the business challenges of the journalism industry.

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Jacob Caggiano & Karen Weill

Submitted by thirdeYe on Tue, 01/05/2010 – 9:27pm

Session Reporter: Jacob

Conversationalist 1: Jacob

Conversationalist 2: Karen

The conversation between us immediately came to a bubble after I reminded her of where we had first met.

Roughly six years ago during the 2004 presidential election, I came to see Karen and her husband Larry talk about the action they witnessed on the streets of New York City during the RNC protests. As professional “legal witnesses” it was their job to accurately observe and be willing to testify about any unconstitutional conduct exhibited against the people by state authority figures.

During the time I attended college in Bellingham, I frequently encountered Karen and Larry in their bright green “legal witness” shirts at political events around town.

After catching up a bit, we discussed our motivations for attending the conference. I, being a young professional in between jobs, talked about my ambitions to latch on to the exciting convergence of news and civic engagement. My goals for the conference are to meet as many people as possible and gain better insight of the emerging news ecology, with the ultimate goal of finding a way to be directly involved in it’s formation.

Karen, having been around the block for bit longer, also seeks to meet some of the very talented people attending, and hopes to use her life experience and expertise in law to help the movement along. I mentioned some of the work being done by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, particularly the Citizen Media Law Project, which appears to be at the forefront of defining and shaping the new legal environment around participatory media and journalism.

We had to cut the conversation short of it’s potential, but plan on picking up where we left off in Seattle.

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Chris Thomas & Amy Clark

Submitted by amyclark on Tue, 01/05/2010 – 2:34pm

Session Reporter: Chris Thomas

Conversationalist 1: Amy Clark

Conversationalist 2: Chris Thomas

Amy and I are already acquainted but hadn’t spoken in a while, so it was great to catch up! First, I think we were surprised to note that both of us feel somewhat isolated in our jobs – hers in a nonprofit organization (Washington Low Income Housing Alliance); mine as a radio news producer (Public News Service). We both are hoping for a sense of community and a healthy dose of “greater purpose” in attending the (un)conference. I think it’s cool that Amy is taking the time to learn more about how the news biz works. She sees this get-together as “part of a larger movement,” and wants to know more about what it takes “to make important stories appear.”

We both acknowledge the sometimes-uncomfortable blurring of lines between news and opinion, as well as between reporters and community/nonprofit groups that provide story ideas, and we feel there must be continued separation in order to maintain legitimacy. We also acknowledge that’s getting tougher to do.

Amy shared an interesting observation about the recent Seattle housing levy (local ballot issue). Her group had a blog response team monitoring online commentary…and chose specifically to ignore the Seattle Times online “Letter to the Editor” posts. She says the Times’ reader commentaries have “devolved” to the “lowest common denominator,” full of vitriol, racism and sexism. We discussed whether it’s intentional that the paper’s management has allowed this to happen in the interest of not censoring anyone. Amy also wonders to what extent blogs and rants – or even run-of-the-mill newspaper stories – are “closed loops” nowadays, read only by an audience predisposed to whatever views are already being espoused. “When a story comes out about what we’re doing, for instance,” she says, “We all send the link to our supporters, our mailing lists. But is anyone else reading it? Is that really meaningful ‘outreach’?” It’s a good point.

On the topic of how journalism helps communities, Amy notes that The Stranger’s political endorsements were more on-target (well, except that tub of Crisco in lieu of either candidate) than the Seattle Times’. “The Stranger is certainly not as legitimately unbiased,” she says, “but its staff understood the public better than the Times.”

We discussed where the lines are drawn for advocacy versus “straight reporting,” and both of us believe a sense of legitimacy is hard to come by in all types of news today because of our culture of cynicism. We’re blogging more…and talking less. Not sure that’s a good thing.

Both of us found that we’re skeptical about whether all the new technology is helpful, or just more clutter in our busy lives. Amy wants “proof that Twitter is worth my time.” I bristle at the thought of any technology that makes me peck out shorthand rather than writing…out…the…words.

In our short conversation, we even managed to peer far beyond our own community, at the journalists killed in other countries for printing and broadcasting news. Amy said we could be looking to emerging nations for inspiration and proof of the potential power we hold in our hands.

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Luke Timmerman and Amy Rainey

Submitted by amyrainey on Sat, 01/02/2010 – 7:50pmin

Session Reporter: Luke and Amy

Conversationalist 1:  Luke Timmerman

Conversationalist 2: Amy Rainey

What meaning did you take from the conversation?

Luke: There are young people who still believe solid journalism can be done in an online world, and they are eager and willing to learn new skills to make it happen. Amy is an example of someone who is classically trained in the fundamental reporting and writing standards of the craft, who happened to come of age in this era that has unleashed creative destruction on the journalism industry. This has forced her to be creative in her own right to find ways to continue doing her work. The fact that she is persisting, and getting an advanced degree in multimedia journalism at the UW, gives me confidence that she and others like her will be willing to carry on many of the best traditions of journalism as the new business and nonprofit funding models get sorted out in coming years.

Amy: Luke explained his background in journalism and how he came to be national biotechnology editor for Xconomy, a news site that covers innovation in business and technology. A former Seattle Times reporter, Luke is the perfect example of a passionate journalist carving out his niche – in his case, biotechnology – and applying his reporting skills to a modern digital news organization. He has a great deal of knowledge to share about creating your own business model, working as a “wired in” beat reporter and serving as an ambassador for your news organizations.

Share a standout quote:

Luke: Amy and I agreed that the journalists that thrive in the online world will have fundamental journalism skills of reporting, writing, editing, A/V, and social media tools like Twitter that enable readers to share their work. Journalists themselves bear the responsibility of carrying on ethical traditions, being transparent about what they do, and honest brokers in order to engage with readers and establish their credibility.

We agreed that we are looking forward to the conference because it is being set up to be constructive, not just a “pity party.”

Amy: We foresee a future in which a new generation of journalists will “emerge as trusted intermediaries of civic discourse.” We discussed the changing relationship between journalists and their audiences. At the Seattle Times, Luke rarely received e-mails or feedback from his readers. At Xconomy, he takes their comments and e-mails very seriously. “Now there’s much more of a conversation. Now I’m with them.”

What surprised, inspired or delighted you about the conversation?

Luke: I was impressed by Amy’s positive, can-do spirit (even though she was feeling a little under the weather when we met.) The job market has certainly been very tough since she graduated from the University of Missouri journalism school in December 2005, but she has consistently sought out ways to apply her journalistic training in new and more engaging ways. People like Amy, who are willing to update their skills to adapt to the new reality of how people want to consume information online, are the ones who will still have a chance to be professional journalists over the next 5, 10, or 20 years.

Amy: For a young journalist hoping to stay in journalism, Luke’s experience working for and helping build Xconomy is very inspiring. Seattle is also an inspiring place to be right now. As a newcomer, I’m continually impressed with the journalistic startups and experiments being conducted here, from West Seattle Blog to Xconomy. For example, Luke said that when he started Xconomy, his sources and other contacts were very curious and supportive. With its creative workforce and entrepreneurial spirit, “Seattle is a community that supports innovation and experimentation.” There’s no other place I’d rather be.

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Snowboarder and medical geek

Submitted by jamesian on Sat, 01/02/2010 – 1:18pm

Session Reporter: Sally James

Conversationalist 1:  Sally James

Conversationalist 2: Peter Andrew Hart

The snowboarder and the geek talked about VO2 and why at altitude some people can get by with less oxygen and others falter. They talked

about the 1986 Volvo station wagon and its cultural import in the Northwest. They agreed on this -they both like reading long-form

journalism, and they both like complicated ideas that frequently can’t be communicated on a cell phone.

Andrew: I think anything is possible. I’m tired of peope who jump to the conclusion (about death of traditional journalism) that the replacement is going to be all isolating… I don’t buy that. The structures and models are changing and will require innovation. ..But we are shifting the discussion to what is helping the audience react and engage with ideas in a more intimate way. There will be more doors to a 2-way conversation.

Sally: I want more places to sell stories about antigens on cancer cells. The public does not know it, but what is going

on in the laboratories of South Lake Union matters politically, culturally as well as scientifically.

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Kerry Coughlin and Pam Kilborn-Miller

Submitted by pamkm on Wed, 12/30/2009 – 7:58pm

Session Reporter: Kerry & Pam

Conversationalist 1: Kerry Coughlin

Conversationalist 2: Pam Kilborn-Miller

1. What meaning did you take from the conversation?

Kerry:  We all have a stake in robust and credible news and journalism regardless of our professions, perspectives or pursuits. News and information is essential to a free society and it’s critical that we convey that conviction to the next generation. How people get, use, and contribute to news is changing but the basic premise of its importance hasn’t altered. To have hope for the future we need to ensure availability of and access to accurate, vetted news and information. The rapid distribution and exchange of information in the world has created a situation of a dynamic, global living text book from which to learn and act. (see “Read more” below…)

Pam:  We also need to better understand the evolving impact of news (has the definition changed?), user-generated content, technology, 24×7 cable television, and community engagement on our ability to solve collective problems. As a citizenry, are we generally more accurately informed now than in the past, such as during the McCarthy era? Or, does the erosion of print media combined with the rise of Rush Limbaugh and others who profit from selling fear result in more public fury due to inaccurate information? Does this situation create more civic gridlock than in the past? If so, how can we effectively correct factual errors such as the idea that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9-11 which helped pave the way for the U.S. war in Iraq? On the other hand, the impact of social media and mobile phones on the protests in Iran is a thrilling new development in user-generated content and community engagement. What else is new and exciting that we can build on to accelerate positive change in ourselves and our world?

2. Share a standout story or quote for each of you.

Kerry:  From my conversation with partner, Pam: “We need to take advantage of those post-event, news or other points where people are ready for action. We need to provide platforms for people that allow them to collaborate to take action on a common vision. Ning is a good example of an online platform for communities that want to create personal profiles, share news, events, host forums, and combine resources to accomplish something specific.”

Pam:  Kerry said “How do we learn about things? We actually need people in the field investigating stuff (such as Bush’s military service) or the bloggers won’t have anything to talk about.”

3. What surprised, challenged, inspired, and/or delighted you about the conversation?

Kerry:  The amount of synergy we have in our thinking that we need to somehow better use technology to harness the power of people around the world.

Pam:  The event organizers are smart to introduce participants before the event. It was a pleasure to meet someone new from Seattle with a fascinating background, who shares common interests, and knows many of the same people that I do, yet our paths have never crossed until now. The result of a lively 90 minute brainstorm in a cafe with Kerry is that I’ll walk into the event having thought deeply about the issues and what I hope to get out of it. Plus, I’ll be very interested to hear Kerry’s thoughts on the event when it’s over.

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