If you want to know what it’s like pitching a new media project, just go to the experts:
This South Park clip, a classic in its own right, is a favorite around the MIT Center for Future Civic Media because every single new media project — ours and those from our Knight News Challenge colleagues — inevitably hits a wall at “Phase 2.”
For South Park’s Underpants Gnomes, “Phase 1: Collect underpants” is like every great idea we’ve all had: It doesn’t quite make sense to everyone else yet, but we know it’s gold. We also know it totally will lead to reinventing the news industry for the better. It will use technology in a new way, it will draw upon existing competencies in communities, and it will be financially sustainable. Totally. It therefore leads to “Phase 3: Profit.”
But the sound of crickets at Phase 2 is the challenge. You have that revolutionary idea, but how can you be sure you’re meeting an information need of a particular community before you spend your time and money?