Dan Gillmor leaves the Merc to start a new venture

I’m neck deep simultaneously packing boxes for my move this weekend and cranking on a consulting gig (hence the slow posting), but need to take a quick break to acknowledge an interesting development (and a good man)… and of course speculate like crazy!

Michael Bazeley and Matt Marshall over at SiliconBeat.com are reporting that esteemed journalist Dan Gillmor is leaving the San Jose Mercury News after receiving seed funding to start a new “grass-roots journalism venture”.

Wow! This is a significant loss for the Merc from an audience perspective (Dan’s blog draws a huge audience, and rightly so)… but more importantly from a ‘forward looking’ perspective; as Matt and Michael point out, “[Dan] was a great inspiration for us. He was a trendsetter, starting one of the first blogs from within a major news organization, and winning awards for his class.”

Potentially though, it’s a huge gain for all of us; Dan is likely to be involved in something interesting… something that we all might turn to as a new source of credible news and information. I wonder if it has anything to do with “stealth” projects Back Fence or Pegasus News? Or, perhaps, Yet Another Hyper Local News (YAHLN?!) offering??

I also wonder what the good folks at Topix.net think about all of this new found “validation” in and around their space…

Can’t wait to learn more!

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