// what do you think?


Excuse me, News Industry. Why did you matter? I forgot.

Printing press from 1811, photographed in Muni...
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I want you to think back over the last decade. First mainstream media had to take part of their sites online to keep up with these crazy portal pages. Then Google came along and scattered their content to the wind. Bringing them more online readers than they knew how to monitize. That’s because they couldn’t figure out how to sell banner ads and most refused to open their sites for free.

Now think back 5 years ago. Most newspapers have torn down their walls. Google’s “stealing” their content (while sending them hundreds of thousands of visitors.  And they still haven’t figure out how to monitize all that content. But guess who did? Those crazy, angry geeks siting around in their underwear typing HTML into their Web logs. Those geeks were no threat to the journalism industry, even if they were making a few dollars on AdSense (stupid Google).

Fast forward to the start of 2009. The media has now added commenting, sharing widgets and write Digg bait articles. Yet the media industry still can’t monitize that stupid Web traffic and blogs are raising venture capital while newspapers are closing their doors.

Well the newspapers will show them. Tired of playing the bloggers game, they’re taking their content and going home. Rupert is trying to lead a Quixotian quest to rebuild those walls they tore down several years ago.

What do the bloggers do? Up until now they’ve always stayed one step ahead of the traditional media. Not much. They still offer megabytes of great content each day for free. Oh yea and they’re also:


And, uh, wait, I’m forgetting something. Someone is doing something else….

Oh, yeah. Making freaking sweet looking computers! CrunchPad: The Launch Prototype (Screw Google and Garter, watch out Apple.)

But hey media, news guys, good luck putting up those walls. Why did we want to see what’s on the other side again? I forgot why you mattered.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://muchosalsa.com/blog David

    We aren't on opposite sides of the fence here..I also believe in the digital revolution, the power of the blog, etc. I fundamentally disagree with the assertion that what is happening on the more traditional side doesn't matter or isn't relevant.

    ” Why did we want to see what’s on the other side again? I forgot why you mattered.”

    The majority of news is still reported and discovered by the “mainstream”, I just don't think its in the space you are following. Point me to a single blogger who breaks news like ESPN does. Help me find one tweet that delivers news on human rights like this New Yorker article does; http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/0…

    The fact that these organizations are working well digitally does not remove them from the “media, news guys”. Media and news guys are relevant and they absolutely do matter. Are certain parties in that group taking the wrong approach? Absolutely as well. Does that make the whole group irrelevant? No.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    I love that I can always count on you to keep me in check. It was getting kind of quiet in here :)

    The “what's on the other side” comment is in regard to those who may try and close off their walls. I think that Rupert is leading the media down a self destructive path that only a very few sites will survive, like Murdoch's own WSJ (I count the New Yorker in that crowd too). And what's worse is I think he knows that.

    I get your point, but are you really telling me that bloggers don't break news? Because they've been doing it for as long as there have been blogs. In fact the rise of blogging was directly fueled by the fact that bloggers consistently scooped the media or the media flat out wouldn't cover certain stories because of the fear of retribution from advertisers.

    You want examples? Drudge and Huffington Post. And just because they've gained mainstream acceptance doesn't remove them from the blogger crowd.

    My main point is that if the bulk of main stream media takes their content and puts it behind a wall you will see a rise in blogger/citizen journalism that will eclipse anything that's happened up until now.

  • http://muchosalsa.com/blog David

    I agree that putting content behind an impermeable wall is the wrong answer. I'm not saying that bloggers don't break news, but that the majority of news is still broken and reported by the mainstream. Even when the first news flash comes from a tweet (plane crash, building on fire, Ichiro got a hit,) the reporting and the investigation is still done by the mainstream.

    As far as Huff and Drudge…Way overhyped. Take a look at the lead story right now on Huff. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/05/obama-…

    What is it? Embedded video from CNN & MSNBC and a link to an AP story. That is 90% of the content on Huff.

    Drudge? Yes an occasional breaking news item but more often than not it is what is today. Links to the Gainesville Sun, to the WSJ, to the Washington Post.

    Well there be a lot of newspapers and magazines that go under? You bet and I have no problem with that really. Those that can adapt and find business models to reward journalism will survive. Huff and Drudge better hope that is the case.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    David we need to do this more often. It is rare that I find someone
    that I agree with so much on and enjoy as much as I do, debating over
    so little.

    I think you and I agree on everything but one small point. The degree
    of relevance traditional media still has. To be clear, I don't think
    you and I differ on how important journalism is, just how much of that
    is left in today's media corporations.

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