Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 New Media Women Entrepreneurs Summit

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We were delighted to see more than 80 women convene on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, at J-Lab's 2009 New Media Women Entrepreneurs Summit, funded by the McCormick Foundation, to exchange ideas, best practices and tips on creating successful community news sites. Thirteen of the past grant award winners had a chance to show off their sites, talk about challenges and opportunities, and field questions from the audience--journalists, creative writers, producers, media specialists and social media mavens. Topics covered included: Covering communities with startup hyperlocal sites, training citizen journalists, launching niche sites, building partnerships and sustaining operations.

A few highlights:

  • 5 Tips on Training Citizen Journalists from Twin Cities Daily Planet editor Mary Turck: 1) Start with the basics: 5 W's: who, what, where, when and why; 2) Show, not tell; 3) Understand the power of positive feedback; 4) Dole out rewards and swag (ideally with your logo) 5) Stay constantly connected with writers via e-mail.
  • Lisa Williams, keynote and NMWE of the year, talked about the importance of putting personality into your site. Williams, the founder of, gave some inspiring advice and talked about how she got her start. See her presentation here (really funny). William's advice to the crowd: "Don't do anything for free that you wouldn't do for free indefinitely." 
  • Courtney Lowery, editor at shared advice about what it takes to keep a non-profit news site running, and how passion and sweat equity helped her get where she is today.'s business model is unique in that it generates revenue conferences and offers CE credits to attendees, which really boosts attendance. 
  •  J-Lab announced the findings of its latest McCormick-funded research on New Entrepreneurs: New Perspectives on News. Read more about the new forms of journalism, characterized by a shift in objectivity and a drive for community conversation.
Thanks to all the savvy bloggers who have compiled live twitter feeds and summarized great tips and takeaways from the event . Here's what we've seen so far (and please let us know if you have more to add to the list): 

  • Knight Digital Media Center's Michelle McLellan's compendium of Good Ideas from the summit in her Leadership 3.0 blog. 
  • Greg Linch's live blog coverage.

Have a great new media business idea, or know somebody who does? We encourage you to apply or nominate somebody for the award. Read more about the initiative at The deadline is April 12, 2010.

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