Frank Leslie's citizen journalism

At the National Press Club in Washington there's a framed copy of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper covering the Dred Scott case in the middle of the 19th Century.

Right at the top of Column 1 are these words:

"We shall be happy to receive personal narratives, including adventures and incidents, for every person who pleases to correspond with our paper.

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The passions of Houston

Was it just my imagination, or did I see a round of "they just don't get it" hooting aimed at the Houston Chronicle when Dwight Silverman asked members of the public to become Chronicle "passion" bloggers?

Well, Jeff Jarvis points out that they're up and running now, and the topics are an interesting collection: Cooking. Motherhood. Scrapbooking. Pets. Guns, poker, cars and tech toys.

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The year of the great unification

This is the year of the great reunification. Throughout the newspaper industry, the Internet and print people are being bound together into one organization. It is dangerous, but I'm pushing hard for it.

It's dangerous because we could lose any ability to innovate, especially in the area of content. Clayton Christensen has documented how successful organizations fail because they kill innovation. It's not that people are bad or stupid -- the organizations strangle on their own history of success.

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How do you control this mob? (Or do you try?)

Marketwatch's Bambi Francisco asks for advice on managing interaction toward a positive end:

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Craigslist and Wal-Mart

Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guardian questions Craig Newmark's community-building schtick and says:

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'Your Words' at Bakersfield

The Bakersfield Californian is working reader contributions into both online and print products through a feature it calls Your Words, and kpaul has an interview with Ray Hacke of the Californian about how that process works. They're avoiding the term "citizen journalist" and preferring "contributing writer."

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Stockholm in April, Moscow in June

I'm a sucker for international travel, so I've signed on to speak at the Citygate Forum in Stockholm at the end of April, and at the World Editors Forum in Moscow in June. In both cases I'll be talking about the new, participatory, Web-powered participatory community interaction thing ... and avoiding the baggage-laden "citizen journalism." And I won't mention "witness contributors."

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