Enough Tinkering: Let’s Launch

It’s no secret in Web or application development that you can always round the corners, shave something here and there, and generally just make things better. It’s part and parcel of the medium. But at some point in time you have to shake it off, put a best foot forward, take what you have and put it out there.

With a hat tip to the release early, release often crowd, we give you theFJP.org. Call it release candidate 0.1.

But, truthfully, we haven’t released early and often. We delayed and backtracked, plowed forward and reconsidered. If you know who we are — and I’m perpetually amazed that some know, even love, who we are — you might know us from our activity on Tumblr (global and Latin America), Twitter and, possibly, on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr and Storify too.

But in the background we’ve talked with smart and interesting people and as we emerge with this RC 0.1 we’ll continue to share those conversations.

Over the next few months we plan to feature hundreds of video interviews with people within the news and media industry who focus on business models, technology solutions and innovation, education, practice, and society, and hope these will provide a catalyst for discussion and debate around the topics we explore. One interesting addition to this is that soon we’ll let people download individual videos with the request that they mix and mash them into small narratives around a theme (eg, evolving newsrooms) and reupload them back to the community.

Equally important is that we think we have our finger on something, and we think that something is a something that will work. And by “work” I reference “sustainability” as the debate and conversation around media and journalism isn’t necessarily around opportunities of quality but sits squarely on the business models that sustain it. Journalism, and the tools and resources needed to create great journalism, has never been better. I say this as both a producer and consumer. I have access to more quality news sources than I’ve ever had and I can publish media of all types if, how and when I want. I can easily connect with others to inform my reporting or amplify the fact that the story is now public.

And so too can pretty much anyone else.

For example, a sports drink company just sent a man to the stratosphere, had him jump from a balloon, break the sound barrier during his fall and then stick a perfect landing somewhere in New Mexico. Nine million people watched this live on an 8-year-old company’s video platform.

It wasn’t journalism but is very relevant to the ecosystem journalism operates within.

As I said though, we’ve delayed and backtracked and slightly hesitated before putting this foot forward. And we did that because ideas of how to move forward shift and change. They’ll continue to shift and change but sometimes you need to take that first step.

With the launch of this site, we take that step and look forward to the upcoming year as we put in place some of the ideas we have for funding and creating great long(er) form journalism across the different platforms we now have at our fingertips.

We hope you participate in the ride.

Michael Cervieri

Michael Cervieri is the creator of the Future Journalism Project where he explores better ways to produce, consume and understand the news. He has taught Internet and Mobile communication technologies at both the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the university’s School of International and Public Affairs. (Twitter | Contact)