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Just spent a mind-blowing weekend in Philadelphia with an amazing and high-energy group of journos at @TempleUniv. There's so much love going on in this group and the community forming around it. Here's what was going through my mind on my flight back to SFO 👇🧵
@TempleUniv About 150 people from around the world got together at #SRCCONPRODUCT, a participatory and collaborative conference to talk about product thinking in journalism, the first of its kind. 👉🏼
@TempleUniv Attendance could have been twice as big, since organizers had to decline applications due to space restrictions. Contrast that with #ONA two years ago, when the product track struggled to gather 20 people. It makes me think how the space is changing at neck-breaking speeds.
@TempleUniv By the way, shout out to folks at @mujschool, @srccon, @NewsCatalyst and @newmarkjschool for the amount of love and care they put into organizing this @SRCCON. It's insane. They strike the perfect balance between high-density content in an experience that is light and fluid.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool Expect conferences like this popping up elsewhere. The Latin Americans already set up a group during the conference and are planning their own gathering. If you want to organize something similar in your region reach out, we want to help make this as global as possible.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool It was a breath of fresh air to see a conference dedicated to create a psychological safe space for journalists to talk about #product. What is the user need journalism is trying to solve? If it does sound basic, it's because it is, right? About time we got back to the basics.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool Those who have been trying to answer that existential question inside of newsrooms but felt isolated just found each other #SRCCONPRODUCT! It felt like what happened to the data journalism community many years ago.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool These are folks who usually started as "the social media" lone wolf or ended up in product god knows how, and a number of years later they're now pulling levers with the business, tech and editorial teams.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool There were discussions around how to make product less of a service desk, and more of a function that has a seat on the table. These are the people who will help you with questions like: "what is the problem we're trying to solve?"
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool Simple questions like that one could save a world of pain before your newsroom spends thousands of dollars in what is seemingly a cool idea, but didn't go through a rigorous cycle of empathizing, ideation and testing/prototyping.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool There were also great discussions about prioritization: what is the process we use to prioritize things? Does it make sense? How do we say yes to projects? How do we say no? Is it consistent? Can we measure it? What's the cadence of our performance review?
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool Us journalists have been historically bad at embracing failure and sharing what didn't work. We see a lot of success cases, but we turn a blind eye to failure. Someone said that their way to make innovation happen in newsrooms is to just call it an "experiment". +1 to that!
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool We were also joined by 25 journalists from small, local newsrooms around the world. They are part of the first cohort of students of a training pilot developed by @NewsCatalyst, @newmarkjschool and the @GoogleNewsInit 👉🏼…
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool @GoogleNewsInit They will go through an intensive 8-week training to better understand their journey to become better product thinkers / managers in their newsrooms. Ideally, they will help their newsrooms become smarter and make better informed decisions on their path to sustainability.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool @GoogleNewsInit Big shout out to @ihearttheroad, @pilhofer, @louiegilot, @MrVincentRyan who designed a hybrid experience that is task oriented and has a real shot at bringing material change to local newsrooms. REALLY excited to think of ways to make this happen in more locations globally.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool @GoogleNewsInit @ihearttheroad @pilhofer @louiegilot @MrVincentRyan From agile methodologies, to what should be taught in J schools, to what we should learn from successful product strategies around the world, up until the very distant realm of systemic modeling, one thing was very clear:
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool @GoogleNewsInit @ihearttheroad @pilhofer @louiegilot @MrVincentRyan There's a growing movement in the news industry that's interested in building a kind of journalism that is less about gut feeling and ego and more about collaboration, cross-functionality and optimized to solve user needs and community problems. And that is GREAT.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool @GoogleNewsInit @ihearttheroad @pilhofer @louiegilot @MrVincentRyan And by the way: Brazil showed up big time. There were 10 of us in Philadelphia. We are facing the same challenges and we heard from other journalists that this is happening everywhere.
@TempleUniv @mujschool @SRCCON @NewsCatalyst @newmarkjschool @GoogleNewsInit @ihearttheroad @pilhofer @louiegilot @MrVincentRyan @Burgos @NataliaMazotte @Rosental @marcoswv I'm psyched to see this community evolving and can't wait to meet you out there! Wanna know more? Join the product thinkers mailing list (it's a two step thing, make sure you click through the end!)…
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