I'm delighted to join the "faculty" of Beyond the Printed Word as a keynote speaker in Ireland. But the topic of crafting win-win partnerships with Web 2.0 companies is a bit daunting and I'm going to need your help to do it properly.
Many of you have heard from me for years, and in some ways it feels a bit like I'm saying the same thing I was in 1998, but more people in the audience are nodding their heads rather than nodding off. What's new with me is I've had a bit of time to put my money where my mouth is, having joined GateHouse Media a year ago in October as Internet Strategy & Business Development Director. GateHouse, for those of you who don't know, owns 470 newspapers, most of them smaller community newspapers in second tier markets, where we feel there's tremendous upside online. In the last year, we've embarked on a mission to get Web sites in all of those communities, and crafted a common content management system with Zope Corp. to do it. (Classifieds are key, of course.) We've recently relaunched WickedLocal.com with new user generated content and turned the "home" search page for 100 newspapers including five dailies into a blog. If you have time, take a look at this honeycomb of sites and have some questions ready.
You may also want to check out a new report from Northwestern Medill's Management Center program called: Running While the Earth Shakes; Creating an Innovation Straetgy to Win in the Digital Age. Many of the folks quoted are those who've been generous with me with their expertise and opinions in the past, and the title analogy is certainly apt enough for my current experience.
But finally, what would really help the most would be if you wouldn't mind visiting my blog, Newsmaven.com, and commenting -- at length if you like -- on what you'd really like to learn or discuss in Dublin. What would make your experience at Beyond a truly transforming, worthwhile event? At the end of the day, it's really all about using OUR community experience to transform that of our readers, isn't it? Feel free to post here as well, and include examples where you feel you've been able to craft true, win-win partnerships with Web 2.0 companies. What made them successful? What did you build with them? (Share some urls for your Beyond colleagues.) How is your company successfully becoming a Web 2.o company?
If you're shy, just drop me an email with the word Beyond in the subject line. I'm firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'm delighted to finally be one of you.