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Don't blame publishers. Blame newsrooms. When you can't even get reporters to read and respond to comments on their own stories, how do you expect newsrooms to embrace social media? I've been advocating building community around news for a decade. I was just pissing in the wind. Newsroom people listened politely and then went right back to their "we report-you read" mindset. The mindshift that needs to take place won't happen in today's newsrooms. It will only happen in start up orgs that are built from the ground up as hubs of community conversation. In my experience, btw, publishers and executives (especially the bigger their area of responsibility) are acutely aware and clued into the kind of strategic changes that need to take place. They get blocked and frustrated by newsroom staffs.
Most newspaper companies have spent much of the past two years chasing away the smart online people as fast as they can. Former printies coming to believe they no longer need online experts around.
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2010 on Visionaries in Action at Recovering Journalist
Online advertising can be quite effective. The problem is most, really, all, newspaper sites do it all wrong. And if you're measuring "click-through rate" you're paying attention to the wrong metric. And the only way to understand what is really working for advertisers, as you suggest, is to get out and talk with advertisers.
There's a contradiction here, because if it's lasting value, it belongs in a history book, not a news page; ephemeral is the very definition of news. And one of the over riding lessons of the digital age is that the ephemeral is of far more value to the audience than the lasting. And the nature of ephemeral value is only accelerating. We've gone from the blog world where a good post might have a day or two to be discovered before vanishing into digital oblivion to the Twitter/Facebook status world where a great, witty insight can be lost to the cosmos in nanoseconds if not immediately and repeatedly responded to and retweeted. And it such a world, the ability to cleverly match consumer and company through some form of advertising becomes an ever more valuable skill. Dan, you dismiss the importance of advertising as a mechanism to pay for news with far too cavalier wave of the hand. The needs of marketers to reach consumers, the needs of consumers to find out about products, is not going to change; rather, the modes and understandings of how its done will constantly evolve. And to do it well might even become an increasingly value able service for the media companies that figure it out.
"But only a few will ever employ as many people as my neighborhood bar ..." That's what they told James Gordon Bennett and Horace Greeley. I mean, really, how the fuck do you know? It's just one bold, unsupportable assertion. It really doesn't mean anything than your opinion. "Entrepreneurs start businesses to sell them. Small-business people, like my mother and step-father, start businesses to run them." Utter, complete bull crap. Entrepreneurs also start businesses to run them.
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2009 on The future is nearer than you think at Xark!
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Dec 9, 2009