If you don’t get unbundled media, you’re not selling attention*

Command-and-control, top-down, masthead mass media is dead.


It’s over, and the readers/users/viewers won.

And without getting all “Information wants to be free,” I’ll just say that if you don’t get what Howard** and Zac are talking about here, it’s time for you to start understanding it.

Take Howard’s advice, young journalists:

“Blogs should be a daily routine for every dedicated journalist. They should read every blog related to their beats. They should read blogs about their own interests and hobbies. They should read blogs about their profession. To get blogging is to get how things have changed.”

Read blogs. Read everything you can get your eyes on about what you’re passionate about, whether it’s your beat or not. Are you into a concept, a game, a book, a movie, a tv show, a political candidate, a business? Really get into it.

Stop reading all those press releases in your inbox and find a slate of blogs that tell you things you need to know, everyday, to know everything about that one thing you’re passionate about.

Take Zac’s words to heart, newspaper publishers:

“Brand isn’t a name anymore. Brand is interface. Flickr is a dumb name. So is Twitter. So is Google. But we’re not looking for a name. We’re looking for usefulness. We’re looking for content. We’re looking for what we want.”

We’re looking for what we want.

Exactly. We don’t care what the name at the top of the page says, we’re your neighbors, and we’re looking for information, or entertainment, or a diversion — this isn’t new. This is why readers pick up a newspaper, in any form.

*Huh? Selling attention? What was that supposed to mean?

**Full disclosure: Howard is my new boss.

2 thoughts on “If you don’t get unbundled media, you’re not selling attention*”

  1. Thanks for the link, Ryan.

    I don’t think this is a time in our business to think doom and gloom.

    This is a time of abundance of information. And want of information. Lots of want.

    Cutting editorial staffs and relying more and more on wire content is absurd to me, when we could (and should) be competing for attention at an ever greater pace.

    News organizations should be outputting more content, not less. We need to give up on the idea of general news and one-size-fits-all sites.

    But then again, I think it will take a lot of convincing to make publishers think of their Web sites as more than digital extensions of their print product, but as wholly new products and opportunity for serious bling.


  2. It surprises me that jschools aren’t doing more for their students when it comes to multimedia journalism. I attend classes at the University of South Florida, and I am currently in two classes where we have to produce web content. With around 30 students in both classes, most of the kids in them are afraid of the content they have to produce, whether it be for blogs or online articles. A guest speaker told my blog and column class to start uploading video last week, and the other students looked like he asked them to cut off their arms. I’m not sure the majority of students graduating in the next couple of years are going to be able to live up to the expectations that we live on the web and know all of its inner workings.


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