Clay Shirky recently wrote a great article on Cato Unbound. What he describes in the news industry is a mirror of what has happened in music. However, my take is that the “established,” which has consolidated over the last 30 years and bloated upon itself, is now decentralizing again.
30 years ago there were thousands of newspapers, individually owned in each community, just like radio. The internet also gives us a glimpse of what people have done all along – word of mouth. No doubt the tools are great, but fundamental behavior has not changed. It has simply adapted to the new channel.
There is another interesting emergence. All businesses carry a certain amount of “overhead” that is not part of the profit center. Unfortunately, businesses now evaluate all activity only through the profit lens. I believe we are going to see a return to this and the “green” movement as one beginning of realization.
Interestingly, over the years artists, writers, journalists, musicians, etc. have acquiesced to the systems and allowed them to be co-opted, consolidated into larger corporations. These were run by management that believed the channel or the pipeline “was the thing” instead of the creative (content) that it delivered.
During this period they relied on a false sense of truth that anything they delivered would be consumed. They continued to cut and squeeze out the creators to increase profits creating slowly diminishing environment. The collapse we are experiencing is the bloated entities unable to maintain their girth and the rebellion of the masses to look elsewhere.
This article, Not an Upgrade – an Upheaval, is correct that “programming” is going to be the central element in the new media space, and that current institutions are failing to adapt to the models required to make or allow that to happen. Read more…
I’m a big believer that in this environment, there is no one way to get to market. Both online and traditional media work in unique ways. You need to find the right mix of both that will serve and reach your audience.
But right now, major media has a problem, and it isn’t necessarily the internet. Sure, the internet has changed how print media needs to do business. But much of the problem for major media is that they are fighting the need to realign their old model to fit the contemporary model.
They still don’t know how to capitalize or monetize the edge they have. A recent study done by Cornell researchers shows that there is indeed an edge for traditional news outlets. Fast Company’s Kit Eaton says “it’s a sign that the old guard should chill out about blogs and how they’re destroying the news world.”
Read more about Old Media Still Powerful: Blogs Follow News Outlets 2.5 Hours Later – Read more…