After an insanely full day, we were more than happy yesterday that the alarm didn’t go off when it was supposed to. Honestly, we were glad it didn’t go off at all. It gave us a chance to recharge in the morning and get some extra, much needed sleep. We finally willed ourselves out of the hotel room and into the rain in time to hit up the 2 pm session. It saw us in the Spotify CEO’s keynote address, which was really cool.

After that for me, it was How to Save Journalism. Citizen journalism is apparently the new hotness. Getting people on the street to share what they’re already doing via blogs and such instead of paying a journalist a salary to write cover stories. The idea of having a model in the US like the UK has with the publicly funded BBC went over with mixed reviews. Let’s face it, everyone wants news and no one wants to pay for it, especially through a pay wall on the newspaper’s website.

The IDEA of payment isn’t the question. I think people are coming around to the idea that the news isn’t free, but the METHOD of payment is what publications are still trying to figure out. There was also great talk about long form news being treated as more of a public service, funded by philanthropists, instead of a conglomerate.

The idea that being small a big asset, and that big papers are trying to find out how to create smaller models was mirrored in the second session I attended, Web-First Publishing: How Alt Weeklies Can Survive. They also spoke about the blending of job duties in today’s environment. Citizens are becoming the journalists, the journalists are becoming the editors, and editors are becoming the web developers. I guess it’s a good thing I can do some basic HTML and CSS.

This was the end of the interactive conference, and if there were three things I would say were impressed on me in every panel I attended, it is this:

  • You have to find a way to involve your community (whether it’s your readers or an actual physical community) in the development of your work. The idea of creating something, pushing it out, and then hoping someone picks it up is over.
  • Technology may be getting bigger, but the models are getting smaller. No one wants to read a 500-word cover story, escpecially on an iPhone.
  • Keep working, and don’t give up. Whether it’s getting that novel published, developing that complex application, and finding that perfect job, keep at it, and your persistence will pay off. But you’ve gotta do the work.

I am coming away from the interactive with lots of great ideas for the future, so stay tuned to be part of it! Music fest starts today.