Thomas Crampton

Social Media in China and across Asia

Reporting Dalian, Open Source-style

Aug 15, 2007


I will experiment with a new style of Open Source reporting while attending the World Economic Forum’s Dalian meeting in September. (China’s People’s Daily newspaper refers to the meeting as a “Summer Davos”.)

After more than a decade as a reporter for the International Herald Tribune/New York Times, I resigned last month to start a new career as an Asia-based entrepreneur.

My DNA, however, remains that of a reporter and I plan to report from the conference as intensely as I would for the newspaper.

This time, however, I will fully disclose my intended articles on this blog and post a video of every interview.

Some videos will be interviews of people with compelling ideas or stories whom I encounter at the conference and at the Young Global Leaders meeting beforehand, but I plan to concentrate on specific strands of reporting.

To make this process fully Open Source, I will also blog the progress of my reporting as well as solicit tips and ideas. Please leave comments and suggestions!

For these interested in journalism, this project will show how raw material turns into an article (and – no doubt – how a reporter’s perspective is changed by the very act of reporting).

Since I will follow my own agenda rather than the conference, this system varies slightly from the excellent posts on conference blogging by uber-bloggers Ethan Zuckerman and Bruno Giussani.

Here’s my current ideas for two themes (which may vary with reporting):

INTERNETS OF ASIA: Contrary to popular perception among many in technology, culture matters. Countries with similar high levels of technology – Sweden and South Korea, for example – can use that technology in radically different ways. This holds especially true in Asia, with numerous interesting variations: The text message obsession in the Philippines, the reluctance of Hong Kong residents to “show friends” to strangers – and even their friends – in social networking websites. Need many striking examples!

TECHNO CHINA: What are the biggest Internet trends in China and which ones could be exported from China?

A quick selection from the participant list (Further suggestions welcome):

Those watching the Internet and blogosphere:
Magid Abraham co-Founder and CEO of Comscore
Dave Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati
Kaiser Kuo of Ogilvy in China

Telecom experts:
Yoon Songyee Vice-President, SK Telecom, Republic of Korea
Tero Ojanpera Executive VP and Chief Technology Officer, Nokia, Finland

Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs
Ailin Anshe Graef Chair of Anshe Chung Studios, China
Tariq Krim CEO and Founder, Netvibes, France

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  • josep

    Great." Open source reporting". I think it's a fantastic concept, and will be a better concept meanwhile you will be working from China. I wish you all the best for this idea.

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