Dan Gillmor, citizen journalist

Dan Gillmor, citizen journalist: San Jose Mercury News technology reporter Dan Gillmor has announced that he’ll be leaving the paper next month, “to work on a citizen-journalism project.”


I hope to pull together something useful that helps enable — and demonstrates — the emerging grassroots journalism that I wrote about in my recent book. Something powerful is happening, it’s in the early stages and I have a chance to help figure this out.

I’m not ready to discuss the specifics yet, mainly because I have many more ideas than I could possibly try to put into practice at this point — and we’re early in the process of working out the venture’s actual form.

Keep in mind that this project is now in what’s known as the seed-funding stage. It’s not an operating entity yet, though I expect it will be. But we’re some time away from that, with many issues to resolve in the meantime.

A friend who knew about this ahead of time asked the question I’m sure some others will ask: “Are you nuts?” I hope not. Of course, I am leaving one of the best gigs in journalism. The Merc has been incredibly good to me. There are so many talented and good-hearted folks here.

I hate the idea of leaving. But I’d hate not trying this even more.

All I have to say is, “Are you nuts?” No, not really. All I have to say is, you da’ man.

(via: The Media Drop)

G-Content? Or, G-commerce?

G-content? Or, G-commerce? According to Internetnews.com’s Susan Kuchinskas, a patent application by Google may indicate its plans for opening “new revenue streams to publishers of print, CD and DVD media, while broadening its own revenue base.” The article implies the patent points to something akin to Amazon’s search inside the book that will index magazines and other potential pay-per-view publishing partners. Is this intent telegraphed by the recent launch of scholar.google.com search that indexes academic and professional jouranls? I’m not so sure. I think it may be more about driving e-commerce transactions (G-commerce?) than pay-per-view content peddling.

First, here’s a quote:

U.S. Patent Application No. 20040122811, filed by Google co-founder Larry Page, has a deceptively simple name: “Method for searching media.” But the application illuminates possible plans by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search leader to enable search of printed material, offer pay-per-view documents, scanned documents with clickable ads and even the ability for print publishers to swap out ads in digital copies of their printed pages. There are two key elements of the patent: a method for executing a permission protocol so that the publisher could authorize Google to display more text from the relevant publication; and storing scanned versions of printed documents along with data sets representing the ads that went with them.

Kuchinskas appears to draw a lot of implications from this patent application. To me (granted, patent law and search technology are not my strong suits), it sounds more like the underlying approach to the perpetually beta Google Catalogs, first blogged here exactly two years ago, than any grand scheme to conquer the universe. I haven’t heard much of Google Catalogs in the past two years, but it appears the catalogs are still being updated. Could this be more about forging google-powered e-commerce relationships with direct marketers than about getting more into bed with publishers? Could this be more about the holy grail of mediating e-commerce transactions than about advertising and pay-per-view? If Froogle and Google Catalogs become the front end of online shopping, then, well, I think there’s a fairly decent business model there.


Sizzle: A vaporzine with attitude, Sole Magazine, has issued a press release announcing a January launch.


This new style of magazine puts a sexy twist on the urban woman’s lifestyle and focuses on entertaining while informing. The fresh faces and images have already created some sparks around the eagerly awaiting nation. SOLE introduces some up-and-coming professionals to the national media spotlight for the first time. With blazing photographs and stories, SOLE shows how real urban women do their thing.