Peter Shankman believes in helping reporters. Help a Reporter is a site that connects journalists with the sources they require. The site has already 12,000 members and is growing. [hat tip Karen Swim]
To see how it works I signed up for Conversation Agent and for my day work - there is opportunity for journalists to tap me as a resource on marketing communications (including social media tools), customer dialogue and brand management as well as technology infrastructure and services (my current industry).
Reporters can use a different form to submit their inquiries.
That was the incentive I needed to sign up - these days I unsubscribe at an alarming rate. Could it be because trade publications think it is alright to subscribe you to all of their newsletters and share your email address?
This tool has tremendous potential for establishing relationships with reporters. I do not know what Shankman's plans are for potential expansion into a more useful platform for matchmaking. Here are some suggestions for future releases (no pun intended):
- 1.2 version: include a description of topics you can cover in the form and preferred coordinates
- 1.5 version: include topics that people in your trusted network can cover with direct (permission) or indirect (introductions) coordinates
- 2.0 version: how about asking individuals for permission to show your profile to reporters that cover certain beats? Members can upload photographs, include RSS feeds for reporters to use with attribution - and vice versa. This is accomplished with tags.
- 2.1 version: creating a community that can help better understand and define what the real and perceived news needs are for reporters and readers. What would that look like? Members and reporters could collaborate on news.
- 2.5 version: social tags allow members to discover content and networks that form around topics. Members and reporters can also assign tags to topics. This is the reality check and rating system that will form the basis for the next implementation.
- 3.0 version: search is semantic, that will allow a grown network to deal with data, end selling with pitches in favor of conversation, give us opt in email and I am now curious about Firefox 3.0 and microformats. I wrote some of these things up as a sort of wish list. Feel free to add your thoughts. To me this is the place where the community, the collective grows the site in a new direction.
New media is about linking - the connections. We discussed the future of we media. Does it look anything like this? What are your thoughts?