Terry Heaton has been laying down some serious thoughts on the future of television as unbundled bits of media, and his model scales to newspapers easily enough.
One of the features of the “pull” technology deployed in everything being called Web 2.0 is the natural-but-new condition of the separation of program and schedule.
We think of this as time-shifting when we talk about TIVO or podcasts of mass media product (think ABC/Apple), but when it comes to shattering our newspapers into individual stories, we’re really shifting time, space and structure.
I think it’s that structure shift most people have the hardest time wrapping their brains around. RSS cuts up the brand, the continuity, and the layout of the page (or the prime-time network TV schedule).
There are no more lead-ins, there are no more “Stay Tuned for scenes for the next X-Files” notices when the credits roll. The context of information is now created by the user.
Tagging and aggregation let the consumer of information reshape the media landscape — editors can no longer depend on leading the reader to the next story — the reader has already chosen the next story by subscribing to an area of interest rather than a particular source.
Then again, I’m still subscribed to different methods of information organization. I categorize my feeds into channels and usually read the newest posts from one channel at a time – Media, Technology, VoIP, J-School – it’s an imperfect taxonomy, but it allows me to focus my attention on one area of research at a time.
So we create our own channels, our own networks, our own newspapers, our own conglomerates. Information is no longer bound to the page or the airwaves.
[tags]television, newspapers, web 2.0, rss[/tags]