Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Online journalism pioneer Don Fitzpatrick dies

Some bad news today for anyone who appreciates online communities and user-generated content.
Don Fitzpatrick, the television headhunter who became a pioneer in citizen journalism and Web-based communities, has died at the age of 56.

Don started his career helping people such as Meredith Vieira, Leeza Gibbons and John Tesh find jobs in television.
But it's the work he did online that was most revolutionary.
In 1983, he launched ShopTalk, one of the first newsletters to be distributed by email (he used a database system called "the Source.") Years later he started TVSpy Watercooler, an online community in which users could post comments about the television industry.

Don sold TVSpy to the Vault in 2001, and both that community and the ShopTalk brand live on. Click here to visit TVSpy. Read Don's obituary and the tribute from some of the people he worked with. And if you like, take a look at the discussion boards and post a comment...remembering that it was Don and a handful of other pioneers who made that simple act of communicating with an online audience possible.

tags: , , , , , conversational media,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. Don was a member of my extended family, and tomorrow morning, I will be attending his memorial service. His death is very devastating, but it is comforting to know that he touched so many people's lives. Thank you.


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