Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Catching Up with Mark Briggs
Mark Briggs, co-founder and CEO of Serra Media stopped by my class yesterday and gave a number of interesting updates on what has been going on in his life since leaving his position of editor of interactive news for Tacoma News Tribune.
Serra Media continues to grow its customer base even in a down economy. They have not only added several newspapers who are running their "Newsgarden" solution, but have also expanded into crowdsourcing information for shopping deals.
Newsgarden is a social news mapping platform that helps newspapers build community and creates new markets online for them. Already in use by several Washington city papers as well as the Cedar Rapids Gazette, it is being trialed by many others with the potential for a significant increase anticipated.
And as is the case in entrepreneurship and launching a new company, an opportunity presented itself to leverage their platform for a distinctly different use. In a chance meeting with a columnist and blogger from the LA Times, Serra Media was able to create TownLuxe for the Bargain Babe LA site. Bargain Babe Media partnered with Serra Media in July to launch a destination for local bargain hunters to share deals and other shopping insights with local shoppers in the Los Angeles area. There are more locations on tap to launch the TownLuxe solution.
You may be familiar with Mark from his earlier work on both evangelizing the need for newspaper reporters to adopt more interactive and web based reporting tools. He began teaching some web basics, exploring and commenting on the use of blogs and social media tools such as Twitter as speaking on the topics. This led him to write the book and launch the blog Journalism 2.0 - How to Survive and Thrive.. The book has been a success and has been downloaded over 100,000 times in PDF format.
He has a new book out, which will be available for purchase in November of this year called Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing. This book is geared more as a teaching text and I wish him the same success as his first title.
Mark still lives in Tacoma and commented on Exit133 the other day that he wished there were more developer and entrepreneur meet ups here in the South Sound.
We will cover that topic in greater detail on November 20th as he has joined the panelists discussing "Entrepreneurship in the South Sound" at the SST Conference held in William Philip Hall on the UWT Campus. More on that panel at a later date.
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