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Keeping the Conversation Going

Convenors: Susan Gleason & John Hamer & Charles Hamilton

Opening thoughts from the co-convenors:

Susan Gleason, Media & Outreach Manager at YES! Magazine; co-founder, Reclaim the Media (Seattle): Our regional position poses its own challenges — as a more remote and rural region, the Pacific NW is far from the major media and media-funding centers. Interested in how our working together, being aware of each other’s projects and goals, collaborating as appropriate, can strengthen each of our efforts, and raise our voice/visibility overall as a region of media & civic engagement innovation. The face-to-face connections we’ve had at JTMPNW are so valuable, and important to continue, but the virtual convening spaces are important as well, particularly with the geographical challenges — keeping in touch with colleagues in British Columbia, Alaska, Oregon, east of the Cascades, etc.

John Hamer, Director of Washington News Council (Seattle): The Washington News Council is an existing entity — 501c3, with board of directors, staff, and office space. Open to reimagining what purpose the News Council serves — perhaps it’s this function, holding the ongoing “collaboratory” of JTMPNW networking, connections, conversations, and collaborations. To start, I’m offering the Wash News Council office, conveniently above the Pyramid Ale House at 1201 1st Ave S, as a Seattle convening space for the next JTMPNW meeting, and ongoing on a quarterly basis if there’s interest. I’ll convene, and provide refreshments.

Charles Hamilton, CHCS Internet Development (Seattle): I’m interested in the online tools for continuing the conversation. Interested in knowing which tools people are already using and are most inclined to use; but also open to exploring new/other tools that are available to use, or which could be made uniquely for our purposes.

As we went around the circle, people identified their interest in having the ongoing JTMPNW conversation. Many identified the social-connecting tools they’re most comfortable using; others began offering commitments to action/next-steps:

Pamela Kilborn-Miller, social media team lead, Connecting for Change, Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education (Seattle & Vancouver, BC) — through work with UN Conferences and Dalai Lama Center has tools and experience for creating collaborations at local and global levels. It’s essential to determine the goals/purpose of the group before choosing the right tools.

Andrew Hart, student, University of Washington Department of Communication (Seattle) – uses Twitter most of the social networking tools

Michael Bradbury, CEO, REALscience (Seattle) — Open Science Foundation, created an online lab / group blog, the JTM Experiment. Link http://opensciencefoundation.org/jtm

Anne Stadler (Lake Forest Park, WA) — expert at Open Space technology, on which this conference is based, and deep experience with keeping collaborations alive. Has worked in the past with enormously robust collaboration models for bringing forth practical results. Offers to help. Very interested in online collaborative opportunity. Thinks Facebook and LinkedIn are incredibly arid, insufficient to the task. We can invent better tools for collaboration.

Mike Fancher, Seattle Times (ret.) & RJI Fellow 2009 (Seattle) — interested in seeing that the whole be greater than the sum of the parts. Votes for in-person component, not too frequent, perhaps quarterly.

Sabrina Roach, Development & Outreach Director, KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio (Bellevue/Seattle)

Amy Rainey, student, University of Washington, Master of Communication in Digital Media (Seattle) — supports in-person mixers. Seattle, maybe Portland and Vancouver could host. LinkedIn is useful to create a professional group, search for skills. Uses LinkedIn forums and groups functions.

Aaron Hartwell (Seattle) — in developing collaboration model, think of small d democracy.

Kim Lowe, senior producer, MSN Local, Microsoft Corp. (Redmond) — producer with MSNBC.com Noticed a website for matching people who have a garden space with people who want space to garden. Need website to connect people who have skills to offer consulting, tutorials, specialized skills and knowledge-sharing.

Bart Preecs, founder, Media Policy Network (Seattle): LinkedIn has a lot of the tools. Consider Facebook.

Cameron Hall, sustainability activist, owner-architect, STAVE Studio, (Seattle) — I’m a node to other communities. Should we expand this conversation to those who aren’t here?

Leif Utne, VP, community development, Zanby (Bainbridge Island) — I’m a board member of a MN-based NPO called “The Uptake” that live-streamed the Al Franken recount debates. Zanby is another platform we might consider, designed for online collaboration, similar to Google Groups and LinkedIn. You can create groups and subgroups, and cluster groups into group families.

Madeline Ostrander, Senior Editor at YES! Magazine (Seattle) — Listservs, simple solution, but they also work.

Enrique Cerna, executive director of production, KCTS 9 Public TV (Seattle) — Interested to see what happens and participate.

Thomas Bangasser, trustee, Vashon College (Vashon Island, WA) — interested in democracy. I hear the technology part, but what’s missing? The journalists are the weavers. What’s missing are the librarians, who tell us where we’ve been. They are the most honest brokers of information. They make us more efficient. (They were invited.)

Sarajane Siegfriedt, community activist (Seattle) — combined journalism and MBA and non-profit background, committed to watching government, making sure we have in-depth beat coverage.

Bill Richards, free-lance writer (Indianola, WA) — Interested in how you use electronic tools, including collaborative efforts like this, and where a group like this takes you in terms of how to tell stories better. (Bill is the primary author of the report on the Spokesman Review’s coverage of its own owners over 10 years of a controversial development issue.)

Dale Steinke, interactive news and operations manager, KING 5 TV, also hyperlocal blog Phinneywood (Seattle) — Wants to see where we have opportunities to nail the ongoing organizing down — can we agree here on which tools to use? Yes to face-to-face.

Sally James, owner, James Writing (Seattle) — regional journalist about medicine and science

Brief open discussion:

Mike: we can find a purpose, say what’s missing, find someone(s) to fill that gap. It make take a series of meetings to find that.

Anne: It’s really dangerous to put the tools first. Have profiles, exchange tools, expand membership (Linked-In has 53 million members). But what is the idea, the criteria for the tools?

Unless we decide that we’re going to have a convening circle that helps to emerge this, and a purpose, it won’t happen. It’s incredibly important. We can add members to the convening group. We need more diversity. What will you take responsibility for?

We went around the circle again to identify a purpose(s) for ongoing JTMPNW connecting and collaboration. Participants identified key interests and what they themselves were willing to commit to doing.

  • Susan Gleason — Further networking, collaboration; willing to help convene face-to-face gatherings in Seattle
  • Charlie Hamilton — Identifying technologies for virtual connecting; F2F poses transportation challenges for some
  • Andrew Hart — Willing to serve as intermediary being traditional media and new emerging tech
  • Michael Brady — Willing to work on business model
  • Mike Fancher — Interested in more and better journalism; willing to find the money
  • Anne Stadler — Interested in exploring collaboration online a/w/a F2F over time 
  * Sabrina Roach — Willing to help with F2F convening
  • Amy Rainey — Willing to help with tech tools
  • Kim Lowe — Willing to convene Eastside meeting 
  • Bart Preecs — Interested in pursuing media policy questions
  • Cameron Hall — Interested in networking and inquiry, going deeper; willing to help with F2F convening
  • Leif Utne — Willing to help with tech tools
  • Enrique Cerna — Interested in ongoing particiption
  • Sharon T — Interested in conversations around sustainable media
  • Thomas Bangasser — Helping develop a model of content for democracy; not just what we want, but what we need to read
  • Sarajane Siegfriedt — Commiting to work on the business model
  • Bill Richards — Interested in working on the business model 
  • John Hamer — Willing to provide a venue and refreshments;  plus reaching out to other groups for idealogical diversity
  • Dale Steinke — Interested in face-to-face meetings and business model


We took a quick straw poll of the online tools people in the group use. Total in group who participated in poll = 23:

  • Email—23
  • GoogleGroups, YahooGroups, or other listservs—23
  • JTMPNW conference site—23
  • Facebook—23
  • LinkedIn—22
  • Twitter—16
  • Skype—16
  • GoToMeeting or Webex or other online meeting software—15
  • Ning—13

Anne: Need to have a better tool for collaboration than these (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), one that allows people to create from a place of creativity, rather than ego. Being able to connect laterally to people and topics of interest, cross-pollinate.

Charlie Hamilton: There are at least three tools that I’m aware of that could help:

  * OpenScienceFoundation.com  is a social network, group log using Wordpress platform
  * Newhive is in beta, not ready yet
  * Zanby.com lets you create groups similar to Google groups, but you can have multiple listservs within it for different subtopics and different delivery preferences for each (daily, weekly, all). Can use tagging to surface text and photos. Leif Utne has the expertise.
  * Basecamp.com is a great tool for tracking a collaborative project as well.

Charlie asks, what can we do today so that we are connected before we leave here? We can use this for deciding what the long-term technologies will be. Answer: LinkedIn Group.

Sarajane: We will need to be able to look at shared docs, including Excel, in a shared space such as Google Docs. Charlie says [1] can do this.


LinkedIn Group for carrying the JTMPNW conversation forward: Charlie Hamilton will set up. LinkedIn Groups allow for unlimited subgroups. Enough solid functionality to help us continue as a networking & collaborative community until another/better platform is chosen.

Seattle Face-to-Face convening on quarterly basis: John Hamer to organize and host, with refreshments, at his Washington News Council office, just above the Pyramid Ale House at 1201 1st Ave S. Susan Gleason, Sabrina Roach, and Cameron Hall agreed to help with this convening.

Eastide Face-to-Face convening: Kim Lowry offered to organize.

Tech Tools Sub-Group: agreed to keep exploring the tech tools to support ongoing collaborative work.

Biz Model Sub-Group: agreed to keep collaborative conversation going on biz models for the future of PNW journalism.