The editorial programming scored high with attendees of both conferences, but the advertising and design streams were rated uneven at best. And while Craig Newmark was a particular favorite among the speakers at AAN West, attendees gave higher marks overall to AAN East. Still, the overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that both of this year's regional conferences were a success.
In his prepared remarks at AAN West, the founder of Craigslist said his network of Web sites, which he described as a "public trust," are about "people giving each other a break and just addressing basic everyday needs." Newmark also discussed his inchoate "citizen journalism" venture, which would employ collaborative-filtering technology to identify "the most trustworthy versions of big stories." He thinks the venture will probably drive traffic to alt-weekly Web sites. The question-and-answer session that followed was quite lively, and included an accusation of empire-building as well as a comparison between Newmark and the pilot of a B-52 bomber. Both the speech and the Q&A are available in Quicktime video or an audio-only MP3 through AAN's members-only Resource Library. A transcript of the speech is also available.
San Francisco was invaded by 261 enthusiastic newspaper professionals last weekend when the AAN West conference hit town. The highly-anticipated Saturday keynote speech by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, passed without physical skirmish, despite a lively question-and-answer session. Many of the seminars were equally lively, and the parties -- well, you had to be there.
Newmark, founder of free online classified site craigslist.org, will share his thoughts on the topic of journalism. He will also leave plenty of time for questions from the audience. Newmark will address conference attendees during the traditional AAN West lunch, which will be held this year on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies today announced the speakers and events for our two staff training conferences, AAN West and AAN East. Registration materials are being mailed to member papers; they should arrive shortly after Thanksgiving, in plenty of time for the early registration deadlines. Check the conference Web sites often for updates.