August 27, 2004
PROMOTING MBAA MEMBERS
I have a few ideas on promoting members.
Post announcements on news items. Based on some recent events, this might include the release of Jason Clarke's book Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man, the publication of J.D. Lasica's article in Online Journalism Review, Don Luskin's upcoming appearance on The O'Reilly Factor,the launch of Brian Stelter's new TVNewser site, Cory Bergman blogging of the convention, Spinsanity's All The President's Spin appearing on The New York Times bestseller list (and Jason's book), etc.
Put out a press release presenting MBAA as a central resource for the media companies, journalists and others to communicate with media bloggers; promote the org. to the blogosphere and otherwise make members available for press interviews to discuss media blogging and blogger perspectives on the media and specific media-related new events.
Develop a process for adding new members with a goal of growing the group without diluting the value of MBAA membership and publicize the process to attract new members.
Make a request to Dave Winer that the MBAA be given a slot to run one of the panel discussionsa at BloggerCon (REQUEST MADE)
Opportunistically promote the MBAA and link the MBAA to blogging events and activities
Anyone care to take a crack at this?
NEW MEMBERSHIP POLICY
There is an unlimited demand for a free good (Econ. 101). There has to be some "cost" to seeking membership. That could be a "monetary" cost like an application fee or a "time" cost like putting potential members through some kinds of hurdles.
I think potential members should somehow be nominated, approved as candidates and put through a waiting period before they are approved (if they are approved at all). I think there should be some nominal monetary cost to be considered (like $10) just to screen out cranks. This fee would NOT be retroactive.
Any one else have other ideas?
To get us rolling, I modified the template in my MT site. It is lime green for a reason - to remind everyone this is temporary.
If you want to take a crack at a site design let me know. If you are not familiar with MT, I can try and help you with the MT tags.
Some of these logos are a little fuzzy...that is my fault because I am not taking the time to photoshop them all into the same size/format...I trust you can see enough to "vote."
Tom Biro of The Media Drop has graciously taken a crack at some logo designs...they are going to say ".org" not ".com" in the final version but you get the idea.
Jason Clarke of Moorelies.com offers up these logos...
Don Luskin of poorandstupid.com offers up this logo...
If you would like to submit some logos for consideration please let me know.
Media Bloggers Association of America
Media Bloggers Association
League of Extraordinary Media Bloggers
Welcome to the temporary home of the Media Bloggers Association of America. Everything about this site and organization is temporary at this point because it's shape and form has to be defined by its members. This is NOT a launch so please do not announce anything.
Ever since BloggerCon II in April, I have been thinking about ideas on how to initiate some type of project that could create some kind of identity for people like those at BCII who focused on the media in their blogs. I have since chatted up quite a few folks and done a good deal of reading of blogs - including YOUR blog (otherwise you would not be on the list to the right!). It became apparent that although few bloggers were interested in something substantial all that I contacted were willing to consider something.
As you all know, based on my e-mails, the idea of MBAA which came out of these discussions was to keep things very simple and light and not to make lots of demands on members. It was obvious in making the rounds that the MBAA could not ever be involved in anyway with what members/members blogs say or do. A pejorative but accurate way to put it is that the MBAA represents the lowest common denominator of what potential members said they could accept.
At its most basic level the MBAA is meant to promote members. Membership requirements are pretty simple:
1. Actively blogging on the news/political media
2. Displaying an approved hyperlink/MBAA logo on the member blog home page
3. Playing well with others
Some members have expressed interest to initiate projects that they feel would deliver benefits to members in some way. My response has been that I imagine the group will agree that as a member they can propose any idea - and so long as there is some kind of consensus and their project makes no demands on members they ought to be able to proceed. What "consensus" means is yet another question to be resolved by the members.
The initial phase on this initiative involved organizing a launch group of people/blogs that were clearly in the space. That has been completed. My intention was then to rely upon that launch group to suggest answers to the questions above - and whatever other questions to come up.
One of the big philosophical questions is "What is a media blogger?" I have asked Dave Winer to consider allowing the MBAA to begin now to discuss this question with an eye towards a disccussion/session at BloggerCon III on this topic. His reply was "what is a media blogger?" My reply was "exactly!" A definition is more than a philosophical exercise beacuse the MBAA is not meant to be a snooty club. We want to encourage bloggers to join and so need to come up with a consensus on a definition of a "media blogger" so that we can come up with a process for adding new members.
In the spirit of keeping things simple, here are some of the more basic issues to be decided...
1) Approve the name of the "Media Bloggers" organization
2) Approve a "mission statement" for "Media Bloggers"
3) Approve a "Media Bloggers" logo.
4) Approve a "Media Bloggers" template.
5) Approve a "new member" policy/process
6) Approve a public announcement about the "media bloggers."
7) Approve a formal approval process to replace the working group approach.
8) Approve a launch date
In the spirit of not placing demands on members time....
The way these pre-launch issues will be decided is by a small working group which I will coordinate. I will kick around these issues and others with those willing to participate and then post what results. I will then ask for "objections only". If there are objections we can open up the subject for debate so that everyone can have a say. When there are no objections that will become the policy. This working group will be replaced once a formal approval process is determined.
That's about it for now.
What I will do next is use the temporary site to post subjects for discussion and leave the comments open so that members can comment as they wish. Please note that during the pre-launch phase I am going to publish posts in ASCENDING ORDER (oldest at the top). I am not sure whether we will want to keep these posts/comments on line after launch but I will definitely switch the order over to DESCENDING ORDER (newest at the top) just prior to launch.