June 4, 2003

NewsForge/Linux.com 'Roundtable' IRC meeting Thursday evening

- By Robin 'Roblimo' Miller -
This is part of a large-scale media credibility study sponsored by The Associated Press and The Ford Foundation. Newspapers and TV stations do their 'Roundtables' in person, but since our readership is spread out all over the world, we're doing ours via IRC. You must sign up in advance to get the channel information, since this is a serious discussion, not a casual chat.

Where is the dividing line between news and publicity?

This is our chosen initial topic, although we might veer off into others, depending on how we all feel at the time.

When and where

Thursday, June 5, 7 p.m. US Eastern daylight time, @ irc.oftc.net

(Find your local time equivalent here.)

How to register

It's going to be in a private, password-only channel.

Email me, robin@roblimo.com, with your real name and the IRC nickname you'll be using, country or state of residence, and occupation. If you want to add a little more information that's fine, but not needed. This information will not be shared with anyone else, not even my wife (unless she happens to be looking over my shoulder while I'm reading it). It's just so we can know a little bit about each other to make this feel a little more like F2F.

Use a subect line like "NewsForge IRC Discussion" so I'll know that you're not a PR person sending me a press release. :)

I'll email you back with the channel and password.

This is an experiment

We are one of the first 'online only' news outlet to participate in this study, and also the first tech-specific -- as opposed to mainstream (general audience) -- medium ever chosen. We are all going to learn, and we are going to share what we learn with other news editors, since I'm going to write a report about our session that will be published on the APME National Credibility Roundtables site.

Note the word "national" in there. If you live outside of the U.S. please don't let this stop you from participating. In fact, if we have a number of people join us from around the world, it will help other study participants realize that the World Wide Web is truly worldwide; that national boundaries mean little or nothing on the Internet; and that even 'local' news is seen by people all over the globe once it's posted to a Web site, even if that Web site is attached to a local newspaper or TV station.

I say again, this is an experiment. I have no idea how many of you will decide to join in this discussion or where you will be from. We'll just need to get together and see, won't we?

Should we hold regular, scheduled chats?

If this one runs smoothly, we'll probably do it again, perhaps monthly or even weekly, in effect forming an informal 'advisory board' that will help guide the future of NewsForge and Linux.com.

In any case, please join us for this first IRC experiment. If nothing else, it'll give us a chance to meet and learn a little more about each other, which is good in and of itself.

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