Bayosphere, we hardly knew ye

Summary:Dan Gillmor has shuttered his citizen journalism startup, Bayosphere. It will be missed, but it also taught some valuable lessons, too.

Dan Gillmor, one of the leading lights of the blogosphere and a pioneer in citizen journalism, has closed down his startup company, Bayosphere. He writes a thoughtful letter to readers and supporters, which is well worth a read.

For what it's worth, I think Dan does a great service with this posting, because it's painfully honest. Starting a company is hard, startingThe mistake was to take the Silicon Valley path, because geek investors still think writing is easy. a profitable media company out of the chute is almost impossible, unless there's nudity involved.

He is right that his main mistake was to take the Silicon Valley path, because the technology and consultatively oriented investment approach isn't as patient, mainly because geeks think that writing isn't hard. After all, there's no design and development phase when a company has an excuse for making no money. You just write and, supposedly, as with a new gadget, revenue flows.

The problem is that the citizen journalism process hasn't found the interface to making money, though it certainly will someday. What Dan learned and writes about in his farewell posting is helping get us there. I can't wait to see what he does next at the Center for Citizen Media. In the meantime, learn from Dan.

Topics: Hardware


Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran journalist, media executive and entrepreneur. He was editor of the ground-breaking Digital Media newsletter in the 1990s and a frequent contributor to ZDNet over the years. He led development of the first Web audio/video news network at ON24, sat on the board of Electric Classifieds Inc. and, and wor... Full Bio

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