Tag Archives: Kyle Macrae

MediaShift: What’s the future of cit-j photo agencies?

As we’ve documented on Journalism.co.uk, the citizen journalism photo agency, Demotix can boast numerous high profile photo-sale successes during recent global news events. Its industry recognition has grown fast since launch in September 2008, as it forms various collaborations with strong media brands.

But what do the experiences of earlier cit-j photo agencies signify for the chances of Demotix’s future expansion and financial growth? That’s what MediaShift’s Mark Glaser asks in a lengthy blog post published yesterday. He looks to Scoopt, the agency that shut its doors in February this year.

Scoopt, co-founder, Kyle MacRae casts doubts on Demotix’s future: “I’d say their chances of acquiring significant volumes of content with commercial value – where value is largely driven by timeliness – are slim to zero,” MacRae tells Glaser in an email.

But Turi Munthe, Demotix CEO would argue that his model is very different from Scoopt’s.

Full post at this link…

JEEcamp: Kyle Macrae on Scoopt: We’re all entrepreneurs now

They don’t make ’em like Kyle Macrae, the founder of citizen journalism photography site Scoopt, any more – but maybe they should?

Speaking at Friday’s journalism and enterprise ‘unconference’, JEEcamp, Macrae posited that the only option for journalists at the moment is to be entreprenuerial.

Macrae sold Scoopt to Getty Images in March 2007, before the photography giant shuttered the site in February this year.

Macrae outlined some of the issues with the idea behind Scoopt:

  • every mainstream media organisation that bought into the idea of user-generated content e.g. send us your pictures of snow – took away from Scoopt’s business
  • Scoopt needed a default route to market for all valuable content e.g. a partnership with Flickr was discussed, where users posting potentially valuable images could click to sell
  • there isn’t an unlimited market for editorial photography
  • Scoopt wasn’t sticky enough – “People would register on site and then wait the rest of their lives for something to happen”

It was impossible to scale the business on a regional level

But, says, Macrae, selling the site was always his ‘exit strategy’ – something all entrepreneurs should have from the start and there were some very valuable nuggets of advice for budding independents in his presentation:

  • try to step outside of the journalism sector before starting a journalism business – you’ll spot more opportunities this way
  • similarly, get someone to sanity check your business – preferably someone outside the industry
  • pay less attention to what the ‘usual commentators’ are saying when considering if you’re idea is good
  • in an ideal world, you’d have the funding in place first, but start as you mean to go on – think about where the money is going to come from from the very beginnning

JEEcamp: Audio from the event

Journalism.co.uk attended the journalism and enterprise unconference, JEEcamp, last Friday.

Reports on the day will follow, including:

Kyle Macrae, founder of Scoopt, on why entrepreunership is the only option for journalists now

James Hatts from London-SE1.co.uk on community and hyperlocal news publishing

There’s already been some great videos, pictures and posts from the event – see Michael Haddon’s round-up, Martin Belam’s posts and John Welsh’s blog to name but a few – but some additional (rough) audio from Sue Greenwood’s presentation on self-publishing platform Sweeble and two panel discussions are below.

Sue Greenwood:
[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/sweeble.mp3]

Panel 1 featuring: (to come)

Journalism.co.uk’s own John Thompson (@johncthompson)

Jon Bounds, Birmingham: It’s Not Shit (@bounder)

[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/jeepanel.mp3]

Sue Heseltine from Birmingham City University

Chaired by Joanna Geary, web development journalist, business, Times Online (@timesjoanna)

Panel 2 featuring:

Dave Harte, economic development manager, Digital Birmingham

Jo Wadsworth, web editor, Brighton Argus (@jowadsworth)

Robin Hamman, Headshift (@cybersoc)

Andy Dickinson, journalism lecturer at UCLAN, (@digidickinson)

Robin Morley, assistant editor new media, BBC English Regions

[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/secondpanel.mp3]