LONCs -- local online news community entrepreneurs, move closer to formal collaboration after Chicago confab

Operators of the national's local online news communities (LONCs), gathered in Chicago Sept. 23-24 for a day and a half of informal discussions, are moving toward increasing collaboration to help with advertising, training and audience building.  "Block by Block: The Community News Summit," was organized by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, with other collaborators.

The key need identified by the 70 or more entrepreneurs -- some "for profit" and some "non-profit" in organization -- was a way to bring in more revenues, whether by advertising, donations, sponsorships, subscriptions, staging events or other innovations.  Also on the table: The need for some kind of ongoing connection -- whether a formal organization or just collaboration resources.

All four of the research presentations from the conference are now available online courtesy of the Chicago Community Trust. Here are a set of other links for additional information: 

  • There's a Block by Block blog. And you can read Lauren Kirchner's wrapup on the event from the Columbia Journalism Review.
  • The RJI wiki includes running summaries of the Thursday and Friday gatherings. Start with the tag cloud and follow the top-of-page links elsewhere. In addition, RJI fellow Michele McLellan surveyed 66 LONCs pre-vent to understand the complexion of the emerging field. You can also see who attended.
  • Nieman Labs picks up the plan for an Online News Association "meet up." 
  • Background from the co-sponsoring Chicago Community Media Workshop on Thursday's pre-event which painted a rich portrait of the "media ecosystem" in the nation's second-largest city through four research reports.
  • Oakland Local Editor Susan Mernit's bullet-point summary of recommended next steps including setting up a listserv for exchange of ideas.
  • The ongoing Twitter chatter about Block by Block using the hash tag #bxb2010 or #bxb2010next (these will go stale in a few days, probably).
  • A Vermont online journalist finds she is not alone after attending Block by Block.
  • Other links from Charlottesville.