The Online News Association annual conference provided several options for participants: learn techniques, think about direction, find colleagues in the same boat, among them.
Here are 10 of the more obvious takeaways:
1. The semantic Web is where everyone has to focus. An audible groan came from the crowd when a speaker asked if a questioner had heard of Web 2.0. Nope, now we're into getting news to find people.
2. Of 100 users online, one will create, 10 will interact, 89 will just view.
3. Access is more important than quality.
4. Rather than start with the Web, start with the story and figure out which medium would best tell it.
5. Bloggers like Robert Scoble commit themselves, and if you're going to blog for anything more than a sideline distraction, you've got to live the life and use all of the tools and be open.
6. Amateurs provide the stub, professionals the polish. Still, an inordinate number of traditional editors are highly skeptical of the value of crowd-powered or citizen news.
7. Profit is the p-word, and treated somewhat like an expletive. Some of the finest examples of innovation took place in organizations shielded from market pressures (BBC, NPR, Las Vegas Sun, NowPublic) or large places still able to invest in new media without imminent return. In most places, it's a muddle without a business plan.
8. Video and video search offer large growth potential. Still, small spenders might be where big dollars are.
9. Newspapers are ahead of television in using online tools.
10. Don't permit sites to be driven by design. Make them driven by a single purpose: Audiences simply want help getting things done.