Skip to content

Observations from ONA

October 29, 2010

Twitter was buzzing all day with comments, live tweets and links from the ONA10 conference. Here are some observations from “the conference where journalism doesn’t know it’s supposed to be dead,” ONA executive director Jane McDonnell put it.

Key quotes

“If you run a website that doesn’t have something terrible on it, you’re doing something wrong. You’re not trying hard enough. You have to fail.” Erik Wemple of

“Is Patch evil?” @webjournalist asks Tim Armstrong of AOL “the question that’s on everyone’s mind.”  Armstrong replied that Patch fills a need for local communities and consumers. Jennings Moss of Portfolio has more detail.

“It’s not for us to decide how audiences will consume news,” Vivian Schiller, head of NPR, said during the same lunch keynote conversation. NPR just has to make sure that once audiences decide how they want to consume news “we’re there and provide NPR-quality content.”

Patch brought an actual patch of grass to its booth. Dessert was delicious.

“The future of news is hyper-personal, social, interactive news loop.” Anna Robertson, social media strategist at Yahoo. Robertson was speaking during the “social media storytelling,” one of my favorite sessions so far.

In addition to Robertson, Mathilde Piard talked about creating a shared content management system for the broadcast, radio and newspaper outlets of media group CMGdigital. The new system, she said, allows journalists to push out content across all platforms simultaneously. “User experience and ‘packaging’ is of course different,” she later added via Twitter.

Hearing from the Wall Street Journal’s Zach Seward was great, too, from the Benton Curve on journalistic interestingness to the importance of engaging in a conversation with your Twitter followers.

I only caught the tail end of “Coders are from Mars, designers are from Venus,” but I’ll definitely watch the video stream later. I thought this sessions was going to be super-geeky, but it offered a lot of interesting thoughts.

Speaking a shared language helps designers and coders - learn what terms make the other cringe, said Evans and Wright.

Tyson Evans and David Wright shared great practical advice – I definitely learned something. One of their tips for developing new formats was to begin by tackling “bite-size” projects without strict deadlines. The lessons for collaboration and communication between coders, designers and journalists will be valuable for the next large-scale breaking news project.

After this interesting first day, I look forward to tomorrow. If you can’t be there in person, Greg Linch and team are livestreaming the sessions here.


From → Media

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: