Sander Limonard, Sanne Huveneers

Citizen Media

Coming of Age?

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Citizen Media - user generated content services that intend to produce public value – are on the rise. However, business models have not matured yet. In this session we identify viable business models for Citizen Media services by organizing a confrontation between experts, ‘social entrepreneurs’ and the audience.


Part 1: Citizen Media: coming of age?
Overview of Citizen media platforms, business models and critical choices in setting up such platforms

- "Business models for Citizen Media: a European benchmark" - Sander Limonard (TNO)
- "Lessons Learned in setting up the regional video portal" - Edgar Franzmann (

Part 2:
Several ‘social entrepreneurs’ present their initiatives and share their considerations in setting up a business model. Common denominator is that most of these services are building a solid user base, but are still struggling in creating viable business models. Preliminary speakers (not complete yet):

- Nederland P: the most public video platform of the Netherlands (Gijs van den Heuvel, NCRV)
- Mimoa: online collaborative architecture guide (Naomi Schiphorst and Mieke Vullings, founders).
- Engerwirtzdorf, community TV initiative set up by Telekom Austria (Marc Miletich, Sonovista)

Target audience
The session targets business, governments, (regional) broadcasters, cultural institutes, researchers and other organizations that plan to integrate citizen media or user generated content in their activities.

Background Information

‘Social entrepreneurs’ are stuck in a dilemma: adopt the web 2.0 strategy of creating a large user base, with micro-ads, affiliate marketing and premium services as the main revenue models, or explore alternative business models not merely based on b2b sales and advertising, including public-private partnerships. Especially platforms that cater to a niche audience or a local community face these questions, as they are wary of too much commercial influence or aim for public goals that are out of scope for potential business partners. Questions to be answered:

• To what extent are lessons learned from existing commercial user generated content services useful for Citizen Media services?
• What are alternative business models?
• What are alternative business models partly based on public funding? (non-profit organizations, public sponsorship, public private consortia)

Related activities:
Citizen Media website
TNO website
Digitale Pioniers Academy

This session is organized by TNO Information and Communication Technology and powered by the Citizen Media project. For more information please contact Sanne Huveneers.