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« Newspapers Aren't in Free Fall, But Readership is Dropping Fast | Main | Dave Winer: A Toast »

May 03, 2005


James Shaw

Dan, I'm disappointed. Why is this news? I've tried talking to you numerous times offlist, with no reply. And still you shun our existing network of 1600+ community web sites.

Perhaps you'll like our sites more when we add even more features like public blogs, comments, etc, etc over the summer (in beta now, privately).

Perhaps we need more members before we qualify? We only have 3,500 members of the public creating content at the moment.

Or perhaps it's just "cool launches" that count, not businesses that have been running for a few years. :-)

Dan Gillmor

James, didn't mean to slight your excellent work, and I've updated accordingly.

Robert Leonard


Dan's blog is not a place to promote, but a place to learn (IMHO). Readers here, and in other similar blogs tend to be purists, academics, visionaries and liberals with a conservative spin (I call them jounalists - pls no one take offense).

If you have a viable business model, the people to impress are the people you are trying to get to (readers), not your peers or competitors. If you have 3500 regular readers (people that read newspapers read them every day) and have turned those readers into grocery money, you are successful. You have turned a chunk of coal into a diamond.

Good Luck


Tom Findlay

Building online communities is problematic over here in Scotland. I'm a blogger in Edinburgh who keeps an eye on tartan e-democracy.

My post The Idiot's guide to citizen networking might interest your readers.

It's here:


Backfence looks great. I think a big part of this explosion of communication which is the Internet should be focused on the municipal or local level, as well as at the national and international level. I used to work for an organization that explored new dimensions in governance and international law, and part of their "platform" was the theory that more governance should be re-allocated from the national level back down to the municipal level. Now before I get too off-topic, I think what can contribute to this goal is to create the forum so that the democratic process at the municpal level can be more effective. And is only one tool in this process, included in that of course are blogs, and other similar sites like that noted by James Shaw.


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