March 14, 2009

The future of News is here. Has an office.

by tolles at 12:00 PM

After I moderated my panel of user generated content yesterday, I popped into the talk Steven Berlin Johnson gave on the Ecosystem of News , then was nearly bluedgeoned on twitter by the number of people urging the internet to read Clay Shirky's take on the subject, to the point where the first thing Jeff Jarvis said to me after "hello" was "have you read Clay Shirky's piece?" when I ran into him at SXSW.

And, to top it all off, Rich Skrenta (co-founder of Topix, amongst other things) put out possibly the best analogy ever on the newspaper business and its relationship to the net with his post "The news medium has a message: 'Goodbye' ".


While seeing all of this, all on the same day might make you think that there's some sort of new insight emerging here. However, if you look closely at Steven's points -- he references the William Gibson quote in his talk "the future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed -- technology and political news have already gone thorugh much of this shift, and the news in those areas is actually much richer and fuller than it was back in the days of paper.

Also, Rich's post is pretty much a summary of the pitch we made to the newspaper comapnies that invested in us.

So, there's nothing new here, really, accept the fact that the journalists and pundits are finally conceding the truth of what's going to happen:

The business model for the American newspaper daily is gone, and is never, ever, coming back..

So can we now please stop trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again?

It's going to be ok.

Steven demonstrates that, for tech reporting, the future is already here -- and Rich has been to its office. (And, coincidentally, both of those guys put their money where their mouth is, having founded companies based on that future with and Topix)

March 10, 2009

Topix at SXSW: Come say hi!

by tolles at 5:34 PM

See me speak at SXSW 2009 (

I am going to be moderating a panel at SXSW Interactive this year, User Generated Content: State of the Union - thanks to the invitation of Dean McCall, the founder of IdeaGin, and it would be great to see anyone interested in what has been going on in the various spaces where social software has taken off.

Wouild be happy to talk to folks before or afterwards...

We'll be taking a look at successes, business models and what's going on in this space with a couple of folks

User Generated Content: State of the Union

Room C
Friday, March 13th
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

It's been a few years since YouTube and Flickr have dropped on the scene. Now almost everyone you know is creating content and posting it online. With the idea of User Generated Content now proven and the infrastructure in place where are we today? The same old questions keep popping up. "Where do you make money?" "How do you stand out?" and "Where do you find the time?" The panel will take a look at these questions and others as we explore the ever changing landscape of User Generated Content. This panel is sponsored by

Moderator: Chris Tolles CEO, Topix

Dean Mccall Founder, IdeaGin

Stephen Newman Chief Exec Officer, Mouth Watering Media

Todd Morrey Mosso: The Rackspace Cloud

Wes Wilson Pres, IncSpring

Chris Tolles CEO Topix