Unbacked: to the future

I’ve done quite a few bits now on Contributoria (an experimental sort-of-crowd-funded journalism experiment from The Guardian). It’s an interesting place, a pretty eclectic collection of writing that people are getting paid for. The deal is if you get enough people to back you with the fake money of Contributoria points in month 1 then you get commissioned and if you turn in your article by the end of month 2 it gets published on the first day of month 3 — and then GMG send you a cheque that’s linked to the number of points people gave you.

After a run of hits I failed to make my target for January for an article I pitched about the futurology of Back to the Future: Part II. In a way it might be a good thing. I hadn’t anticipated quite how many other people would roll out articles about this. I mean, there are a lot of articles about the technology of BTTF’s 2015 kicking around. The only shame is most of them are pretty crap and, because Contributoria goes out first thing on the first of the month, I’d have been first. So how would mine have been different? Well I’m pretty lucky to work in a building full of clever people who know stuff about things and I was going to interview them to find out how close we are, really, to hover boards, flying cars, and, er, fax machines. So far all I’ve seen is shitty listicles. Talking of which, this month I’m working on a shitty listicle for a Contributoria piece. That’s where the money is folks.

Oh, journalism.

By Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonhickman Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: http://interactivecultures.org