Us v Us

Amy Gahran and Steve Safran are headed for a group hug as they try to stop the us-v-them time wasting of too many conferences. I agree (and Jill Miller Zimon is right, I am tired of making the point). At the conference I’m holding at CUNY on Oct. 10, I plan to have a gong and the first attempt to attack MSM or blogs gets gonged off. This conference is about action, taking next steps, not about sniping, which is where too many conferences do turn. Wish us luck.

  • Jeff – I love it. Make that gong BIG, though – some folks out here in Ohio could stand to hear it.

    FYI – former PD Cincy reporter, Bill Sloat, posted this leak about a collaboration I’m working on with three other Ohio bloggers, after I was approached by Jean Dubail from the PD (he’s in charge of online content for the paper). We hope to have something surface for everyone to see sometime this fall, but we’re still in negotiations. Here’s the link to Bill’s post:

    Also – in October, I’m on the opening panel at the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics’ academic outreach workshop for the American Assn. of Political Consultants with Joe Hallett of the Columbus Dispatch and Bill Hershey of the Dayton Daily News.

    The title of our panel?

    News, Bloggers and New Media in 2008 Ohio

    NO “Bloggers v. Journalists” in sight. Here’s a link:

  • Don

    Speaking as a devout Borissist allow me to congratulate you on resurrecting Chuck Barris shtick. Your really ought to narrowcast it to your many fans and do it up right with three celebrity judges.

  • Rex

    Nah, the “us vs. them” that’s irritating at conferences has nothing to do with “msm vs. bloggers.” Rather, it’s the “pundits vs. the audience” that’s really most irritating right now. If I hear one more Calacanis vs. Denton vs. Jarvis vs. Arrington vs. Scoble argument, I’m reaching for the revolver.

  • A gong! I love it!

    There are tons of Tibetan tchotchke stores in Boulder, CO (where I live). I’m going to buy myself a little gong before I head off to my next slew of journalism conferences.

    First stop, the Society of Environmental Journalists conference at Stanford, Sept. 5-9. You can bet I’ll grab some video of my gong there!

    Thanks for the idea!

    – Amy Gahran

  • Amen.

    Can I be the “Unkown Comic.”

  • Fantastic. I’d just encourage you to pick up where you recommended at OPA by encouraging people to replace their “vs.” with a “with.” Every time they make a “vs.” statement and you hit the gong, they are required to make a “with” statement instead, as in “maybe our paper, with the local blogger community, could…”

  • Jeff,

    You mention this conference on October 10th as if all readers already know about it.

    Could you show a link?

    Here in the UK knowledge is limited



  • Aren’t conventional conferences sort of last century? For someone who is always promoting new ways of getting information out requiring a bunch of people to travel and then sit captive in a hall for an extended period of time seems contradictory.

    Why isn’t the conference taking place online, or at least at interconnected regional centers linked by interactive video?

    Perhaps you should ask the attendees for ideas on how to do something different for a future event.

  • Eric Gauvin

    Yippee! There are at least 8 people in the blogosphere who like the msm.

  • Eric Gauvin

    To Robert Feinman’s point, fiddling around with a gong at a conference does sound like a silly proposition when considering “us” is supposed to be coming up with brilliant ideas of how to harness the potential of the internet in revolutionizing journalism. Your conference sounds like it’s going to be a real mob scene.

  • I love the gong idea… I was thinking, though, the past few days about your blog entry(ies) about how everyone’s tired of the “us vs. them” conversations — and believe me, I’m getting tired of them, too.

    But, I’m wondering if it’s too early for us to really justify being tired of it. When we have professors (Skube) and others writing op-eds in large msm outlets about these things, then maybe we need to continue having the “us vs. them” conversation in addition to the “moving on” conversations just to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Consider the “us vs. them” thing a necessary evil.

    And if we do a good job making our point about how moving forward and collaborating are good things, and they still insist on their position, hit the gong!

    On a separate note, Robert, good idea about having a conference take place online somehow — especially for those of us who can’t make it to New York.

  • Eric Gauvin

    I think an “us vs. them” relationship is inherent in what I think you are advocating (replacing the network that CNN owns with the network no one owns).

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