GeekWire shows successful media entrepreneurship

18 Feb

John Cook & his co-workers at GeekWire are well-rounded entrepreneurs, showing us a great example of a startup that has a monetization model, as well as journalistic ethical standards. They are role models for all of us because they have proven that good writing and business skills, networking and a niche focus are vital to a successful startup.

GeekWire shows how niches can build community, and the content that follows can be treated like community journalism. This type of work is shared through internet posts, discussion boards and an interconnected sphere of readers engaged with this information, with a continual discussion around story topics and what is emerging. Community journalism is spread through outreach, which can be done with events, sharing in the correct social community or emailing others stories.

The fact that 40 percent of GeekWire’s revenue comes from their private events says a lot about the role of community events in niche journalism and internet news sites today. The company has built a competitive community around its content that wants to not only come hear speakers, but meet other readers and subscribers in an environment that lets them feel exclusive. The network John Cook built up from his reputation contributes to the publication like no other, since he can bring in credible speakers from Expedia and other popular sites. His lessons are inter-related with many speakers at Mizzou, who recommend learning the resources of large companies before innovating too soon into your own.

Overall, John and Taylor’s stories of what they get to cover, how they enterprise ideas and how their events are run provide inspiration for startups everywhere and show how good journalism can be produced in the local and sub-national tech sphere.

-Katie Artemas

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