You may have heard of the term crowdsourcing before.  If you haven’t, to me, the basic definition is using a large group of people to work on something.  The Gannett newspaper in Ft. Myers, Florida, had one of the best examples of this when it used the large retiree community to investigate the high cost of water/sewer hookups (read this Wired article for more.)

Hundreds of TV stations and newspapers are asking their customers to help them cover news stories every day, including my station, WZZM 13.  Most are asking people to cover breaking news with their cell phone still/video cameras.

That’s not necessarily new.  What is new is the number of TV stations recruiting college students, arming them with cameras and asking them to shoot their communities.  It’s happening in NYCABC News is also doing on college campuses across the country.

Will this sort of  ‘college crowdsourcing’ replace professional journalists?  Personally, I don’t think so.  But there are several jentrepreneurial lessons I have learned:

  1. No bad ideas out there.  It’s only bad if you have no ideas.
  2. Stop looking at innovation as a way ‘they’ want to get rid of ‘you.’ We have to reinvent this business.
  3. If you have an idea, make sure you tell someone in a position to try it.

What do you think?