It would be a crime to keep Spot.Us limited to the Bay Area and Los Angeles. It would turn us into a non-profit news organization when, as
I’ve said many times, we are a platform. A platform for freelancers to
pitch the world (editors and the public) in one fell swoop. Non-profit
news organizations can use this platform to fundraise, local papers and
bloggers can use this to expand their freelance budget, and through
Spot.Us the community can have a say in what news gets covered. So it’s
time to start opening up the platform. We may be coming to a region
near you, so join
our newsletter or suggest a city on our home
This is the first phase in a larger expansion. We are already talking
with folks in other cities where we hope to expand. Perhaps some of
these local Spot.Us networks won’t pan out. Hopefully they will. This
depends entirely upon the public. We need your help to spread the word
and to get folks involved. It’s a chance for the public in Seattle to
take ownership of the media.
This is an experiment for the larger journalism community to take
control of. This belongs to everyone.
My first response is: why not?
Aside from being the next major city on the West Coast, Seattle is a
hub of hyper-local media experiments and projects. If my hunch is
correct these local media projects need as many revenue sources,
platforms and tools as possible. There are a ton of organizations and
sites we hope to partner with like Investigate
West, West Seattle Blog, Seattle Post Globe, Capital Hill Blog, Next Door Media, Seattle PI, CrossCut, Wallywood — and that’s literally
off the top of my head.
About six weeks ago I was having a meeting with Spot.Us media advisor Jeremy Toeman, one of my oldest “Internet friends,” who gave me a polite kick in the butt as only an
e-friend can. “You aren’t learning fast enough,” he said.
He was right. Something was holding me back and he aptly pointed it
out. I was starting to talk with news organizations in various parts of
the country about expanding Spot.Us in partnership. I still want to,
but I can’t wait for that to manifest. Especially not when it really
only takes a few clicks for us to create a new Spot.Us network.
And besides: The mission of Spot.Us as a no-nprofit is not to partner
with newspapers. Those are welcome events, like today’s article in the
SF Bay Guardian funded in part by Spot.Us, but it is not our driving
Creating a new network without a strong partnership does feel
vulnerable — but that is what is needed in this phase of Spot.Us’
growth. And more networks will come. We are looking at Austin and