Watching A Newspaper Go From A Print Mindset To A Digital Mindset
from the cool-to-watch-in-action dept
The initial results were pretty impressive, and all put together very quickly.
But Paton seems to already be pushing the bar further. Picking up on Google's "20% time" concept, Paton is setting up something he calls "idealab", where any Journal Register employee (full- or part-time) can apply to be one of 15 members of this "lab," where they'll be given 10 hours a week, as well as some modern tech tools, and then told to "experiment with these tools and report back on how we can change our business for the better." Even more interesting, as the Nieman Lab report above notes, Paton asked people to apply via comments on his blog. You could also apply by email, but many did apply on the blog, and there are lots of interesting ideas.
The program is interesting, though, I'm not sure the initial setup goes far enough. Initially, it's giving each participant an iPhone, an iPad and a netbook as "the tools" to experiment with. I wonder if the company might find more interesting (and useful) results if it didn't even set those particular parameters (or set a budget). While I can definitely understand the value of experimenting with the currently hot and popular technologies out there, I also wonder if something more interesting might come from even greater freedom. Perhaps that's the next step.
Either way, these sorts of ideas and models are certainly among what we'll be exploring at the Techdirt Saves* Journalism event, so if you haven't yet, you should sign up for here: