[seedig] FW: And now something different

Olga Kyryliuk olga_kyryliuk at ukr.net
Thu Jul 4 21:56:54 CEST 2019

Dear Dusan and Dusan :) 

Thank you for all the suggestions and comments. We as the editorial team are extremely interested in making our work even more efficient and the SEEsummary even more useful for the community. We are already looking into all suggestions, and there are certainly things we can enhance even without spending huge amounts of money. We just need a bit of time to discuss this internally, as mostly we are not professional journalists. But we remain open for any ideas and especially help.

Hopefully, with all the feedback from the community, we will find a cost-efficient way of making our current work more visible. We indeed spend lots of energy on monthly basis, and that would be great, if the product of our work could reach broader audience.

Member of SEEDIG Editorial Team

4 июля 2019, 21:31:18, от "Dušan Stojičević" < dusan at dukes.in.rs >:

Dear all,

DISCLAIMER> If I respond, it will never end, but it means that discussion is going on J. So, looking at this like a discussion, let us broke down this into pieces>

1.      And what is the difference between “some professional news portals” and “similar international projects in the private sector”? Those for private firms are not done professionally or they are not about the news? See, if you think about “private/industrial news” projects – they are very expensive. And typically – we call that PR, not news. And texts are written in PR agencies. And those agencies are expensive. More expensive than journalists. So, it would be nice to know what real projects are similar to this one, as we have only few really, but really similar – like this one, https://dig.watch/updates. And they are not even close to that figure that you mentioned. BTW – “up to several hundred thousands euros a year for the whole region” is also 2 EUR and 20 EUR. So it covers all prices, right? Why not “up to couple of billions” then? ;)

2.      The basic question here is – why you (exe com) didn’t do it? What stopped you? Why should someone like me, always opening “important issue and proposed part of the solution”, why it’s not done according to the strategy, so I can relax? There is more important questions than this, which are waiting for answer – hint “legal entity”. And where is that Strategic plan? Can we see that final version? Asking for a friend, he is hooked to send each month “one important issue”, and I want to stop him losing time… ;)

Dusan, we are both grey haired, and we remember communist time. There was an old saying – just cover your desk with papers, and everyone will think that you are working hard. That’s how I see strategy (papers) and not dealing with important issues during past year. I agree that we disagree, and I see that this is healthy – we need to talk, but not only you and me – I want to hear from others, what they think, especially from editorial team. Otherwise – our dialogue will turns out to be a Wimbledon tennis match between two Dušans, and … you know, Serbs are good in tennis these days. ;)



From: seedig [mailto:seedig-bounces at lists.rnids.rs] On Behalf Of Dušan Caf via seedig
Sent: 4. јул 2019. 19:41
To: seedig at lists.rnids.rs
Subject: Re: [seedig] And now something different

Dear Dušan,

Your inputs are appreciated as they are based on experience, complement SEEDIG plans and may inspire the team.

It is also important that we share different views and experiences and respectfully accept the differences. Therefore, I won't comment on your remarks based on misunderstanding, just two things:

1) The estimates are based on experience from similar international projects in the private sector. The figures are »up to« and from »actual projects«, not just from »some professional news portals«. »Up to« as it all depends on the level and quality of service provided.

2) A web based portal of the SEE Summary was already foreseen in the SEEDIG Strategic Plan 2018–2020. The Plan envisaged two main objectives to strengthen the operation of the SEEsummary, ie (i) to continue and evolve the SEEsummary and (ii) to bring more sustainability to the SEEsummary — with several activities proposed. As a matter of fact, a voluntary approach was taken by the Executive Committee in 2018.

Kind regards,

On 4 Jul 2019, at 15:37, Dušan Stojičević <dusan at dukes.in.rs> wrote:

Dear Dušan,

Thank you for the feedback. However, I must say that I tend to mostly disagree with you, especially on your overblown estimation. 

Firstly, I acknowledge that you think that you don't have resources and this exceeds capacity of SEEDIG. The main reason is that you are not in it, and you surely have no clear picture how it is done. That would also explain huge estimation, which I assume is borrowed from similar news professional portals. And I do understand you, but - let me try to explain it to you in your manner:

1. How many detailed project plans did you have in exe com to discuss? I believe that in volunteering space like seedig - the answer is 0 :)
2. SEEDIG has the annual budget (for everything) around 30 to 40 thousands of EUR (some of the reports are missing, so I am doing average estimation on what I have in past meetings) - and how much of that is spent in production of monthly summaries? Tickets for attending SEEDIG meetings?
3. As person from private sector - there are two ways: either develop that project or shut it down. To shut it down - easy, it doesn't bring the money, and benefit is under question considering energy and number of people involved. Or develop the project - invest some money and reshape it in a way to bring back the money.
4. Capacity and resources are on you to provide if you run the project - that's why you are members of exe com. Target audience and rest of the questions describe that you don't agree with this project from the beginning. So, read the point 3 carefully. Even with example of portal on the third level domain name, you said it all - you explained how much you understand the issue. :)

I apologize if I was hard on you, and we don't have to agree. No need to reply and again, thanks for a feedback. I didn't give solution - I gave idea how the project can be reshaped, which you can use, even build a project plan if you want, or forget it. I hope that there will be a good discussion among members because - this project can't just continue like this. It's time to really discuss it and solve it.


čet, 4. jul 2019. 09:28 Dušan Caf via seedig <seedig at lists.rnids.rs> je napisao/la:
Hi Dušan,

Delivering »high quality« monthly summaries is an ambitious plan that (currently) exceeds SEEDIG's capacities and resources. Despite huge efforts of the editorial team the task comes with challenges. They could be addressed, as you suggested, by focusing on a portal instead of delivering monthly issues that require extra resources for editing and designing and put extra stress on the team with tight deadlines. However, this is only part of the problem. 

The challenges are broader. Such activities, only more detailed, are worth up to several hundred thousands euros a year for the whole region. Where are the limits for the team and who is the target audience or rather who are the customers of SEEsummary? Who is willing to pay for the service? Can we get enough customers to cover the costs of providing the service and remunerate the team? What is the value-added and what alternatives available?

For the service to be relevant, one has to deal at least with the following challenges: 
— Capturing news across the region
— Assuring news quality
— News aggregation (and perhaps analysis)
— Providing (customised) reports
— Promotion (and later on marketing)

The portal (e.g. summary.seedig.net) could be the first step. However, the team would need a thorough and open discussion on other challenges as well. 

You opened an important issue and proposed part of the solution. The Executive Committee has already discussed the issue and would (need to) discuss it again, along with a detailed project plan for delivering SEEsummary.

Kind regards,

On 30 Jun 2019, at 18:44, Dušan Stojičević <dusan at dukes.in.rs> wrote:

Dear all,

DISCLAIMER> I apologize In advance, I believe that email meets Sorina’s standards, regarding the number of chars. 

You all know what is SEEsummary, right? Well, it’s defined something like this – a monthly report on IT developments in SEE region.
In reality, this is news aggregation from IT and IGF in the region. And can it be somehow improved or maybe, earn some money? I believe it can, and for a long time I was suggesting this>
1.      Imagine a web site SEESUM.net. Classic news aggregation web site, and a lot of links.
2.      Instead of filling with content already rich web site SEEDIG.NET, this can be separate dedicated site just for this project.
3.      The website will have same human structure (editorial like now), no need for further engagement of new people.
4.      Google Ads, banners and other ads can bring some money to this project. With good SEO and good design, it can become a IT news website – we surely have some reports from the field written by our people.
5.      Of course, FB, TW and rest should be opened for SEESUM (whoever wants to step up with better name for the project – be my guests), and maintained, to share the news.
6.      There is a lot of energy spent so far, but we didn’t make for few years any major breakthrough with this because it’s not visible (or obvious) on seedig website that we have this website. If you want to tell me – “but there is a menu, and there are links here and there” – don’t – it’s not visible. 
7.      To build an audience, besides writing, there should be energy in promoting SEESUM on places like IGF, SEEDIG and all other events, online and ofline. 
8.      We would erase deadlines, and this would not be MONTHLY, but real time news from the region regarding IT development. (with few days delays in publishing the news).
9.      On this websites, SEEDIG can publish results from surveys like any news and it will be reaching more people.
10.   For SEEDIG meeting, we can publish hard copy of annual brochure on development in SEE. If you like the feel of paper so much…

Anyhow, we have here a lot of journalists, who can say their opinion on this idea. I have outlined this idea from my role of a “linkman” – almost regularly sending links on news and occasionally writing some texts. I believe that there is a lot of details which needs to be solved along the way, but – crucial parts are in this 10 points. 
And, if the project starts to earn money, it can be a good platform for further development of this news website and SEEDIG itself.
Also, behind this project, right now, there is a hidden accomplishment which I value the most – young generations, by volunteering, can have unique school on journalism. 
Who knows, Pulitzer is next? ;)

Ex Editor-in-chief 
p.s. “And now something different” – quote from Monty Python.  

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