On Reboot5 and Newspapers

Reboot5: This is going to be complicated, but let’s just dive in. Chronologically, at first:

May 2001: Danish internet/innovation conference Reboot4 focuses on weblogs. Right there and then, not a lot of people in Copenhagen have heard of the phenomenon before. Journalists slash the Reboot event saying it has become too defensive and that it lacks visionary qualities. Speakers include Evan Williams, Dave Winer, Justin Hall, et al.

Fast forward one year: June 4, 2002. Now, weblogs are all the rage. Even the New York Times has embraced the phenomenon. However, Danish journalists (for the daily newspapers, at least) don’t show up. Their editors stubbornly refusing to admit they (and the newspaper business) didn’t have a clue last year, they demonstrate that they don’t now, either. The exception is Politiken. For more on that topic, please read on.

So, journalists’ criticism notwithstanding, we realize this year’s Reboot event has actually changed. The audience is reduced to approximately 500 compared to last year’s 1300 and there is a whole new spirit to it all, mainly because of the brand new approach to throwing a party. This is Open Space, a multidirectional, demanding and rewarding way of meeting new people and sharing ideas. It has its flaws, but that just adds to the fun. And Cory Doctorow’s talk was just excellent.

We’re still in June. They were wrong, you know. Look at the differences in the coverage of this year’s Reboot event. There’s Politiken’s coverage and then there’s Guan’s and Cory’s (the latter which features the entire Howard Rheingold keynote made top ten at the Daypop top 40 if you’re still in doubt. Politiken’s story didn’t make it anywhere). More to the point, one suspects the only reason Politiken sends a journalist is that the Politiken crew behind the newspaper’s legendary “Computer” section (now closed) receives the jury’s Special Prize. But really, these are just allegations. At least Politiken makes it to Reboot5.

Now let’s look forward. Whether the Open Space idea will ever make it big is an open question. So is the existence of a Reboot event next year, but that’s just because of money issues, I guess. As always. But how many weblogs will we have next year? Could Dave Winer win this long bet in Denmark as well? Will people ever be micro-paying for newspaper articles or anything else that comes from Politiken, Berlingske or Jyllands-Posten? Somebody ought to think about that.

Possible topic for Reboot6: Save The Newspapers From Themselves. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.

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