Law 1 – In the Age Darwinian Content, We’re Becoming Our Own and Each Other’s Editors
The old gatekeepers are disappearing. We’ve become our own and one another’s editors.
Jan 9, 2012
Today, in 2012, those questions are more pressing in our age of news deluge. We’re confronted at every turn, at every finger gesture, with more to read or view or listen to. It’s not just the web: It’s also the smartphone and especially the tablet, birthing new aggregator products — Google Currents and Yahoo Livestand have joined Flipboard, Pulse, Zite, and AOL Editions — every month. Compare for a moment the “top stories” you get on each side-by-side, and you’ll be amazed. How did they get there? Why are they so different?
Was it some checkbox I checked (or didn’t?!) at sign-in? Using Facebook to sign in seemed so easy, but how is that affecting what I get? Are all those Twitterees I followed determining my story selection? (Or maybe that’s why I’m getting so many Chinese and German stories?) Did I tell the Times to give the sports section such low priority? The questions are endless, a ball of twine we’ve spun in declaring some preferences in our profiles over the years, wound ever wider by the intended or (or un-) social curation of Facebook and Twitter, and multiplied by the unseen but all-knowing algorithms that think they know what we really want to read, more than we do. (What if they are right? Hold that thought.)Read More »
Dec 19, 2011
Today’s news that the Times Company is finally selling its New York Times Regional Newspaper Group holdings of 14 newspapers absolutely fits with the last week’s news of CEO Janet Robinson’s abrupt departure. Expect the new CEO, most likely from the outside to be focused on three A’s: audience, advertising and analytics. Arrange those three in a virtuous circle, and you have an efficient spinning of the new digital economy. That’s clearly what Time Inc has in mind as it hired Laura Lang from the ad world. The new CEO must also drive a faster kind of decision-making at the Times Company,Read More »
Aug 5, 2011
What Editor’s Picks is a response to is an intriguing question. Yes, Google still is the huge driver of traffic to news sites, much as they differentiate the value of its many fly-by referrals from the relative few that make a meaningful revenue difference, sending, it says, more than a billion referrals to news publishers worldwide each month. Yet, its behemoth standing is being challenged on multiple fronts. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are newly proving the power of social news links. Further, in Steve Jobs’ mythical world, which is fast becoming, our own reality, search is so yesterday, replaced by a single-purpose (Apple-enabled), high-branded apps. With apps, search necessity is diminished, and we’ve already tiptoed into that world.Read More »
Jul 19, 2011
Algorithms will help us master this social whirl, recreating communities and circles of readers, in part inspired by the integration of game dynamics into news sites that we already see developing. What now seems like social guesswork is becoming science, and it will drive the news business in distinctly new and better-informed directions.Read More »
Apr 14, 2011
Treat News ADD: In a world of plenty, really infinities of news, opinion and information, it’s not how much content you can push to the market, it’s how much reader attention you can earn and depend on. In describing Domino, Godin says, “The only asset we care about is attention.” You’ve got to ask, he says, “What are you doing with the attention you have.” That’s a highly relevant question. In print, news publishers used to engage lots of reader attention, gaining four hours or more per month of attention (reading time) of 40%-plus of the households in their markets. Online, most news sites have gotten 10-15 minutes per month of reader engagement, reader attention. The tablet, and e-readers, offer new opportunities in treating this attention deficit disorder, with the early signs showing more attention spent. Innovative approaches to publishing — what you offer, how you offer, how you package, how you engage readers — can be the best medicine. “It’s a huge opportunity for journalists. They can be the concierge of attention,” he says, as editors pointing to best, most useful content, their own or others.Read More »