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Monday, January 24, 2011

Where the Hell is the Publishing Industry?

News media publishing...Why are they still "pushing" things at us from old business models (lengthy diatribes with one or two nuggets hidden within and paywalls nonetheless!) instead of designing platforms that allow us to "pull" short, packed, relevant content that applies to our most fervent interests (also probably with paywalls...If only we could do something about those paywalls).

The only danger with chopped news pieces is the possibility of misinterpretation... The "rest of the story" or hidden "reason why" is sometimes missed. But, at least those in a hurry will get the headlines. The writing has to be superior.

Paul Armstrong, the creator of @themediaisdying, writing for paidcontent.org, has some interesting thoughts on this subject in the following referenced article. He champions brevity, but does so in a rather lengthy, rambling (but very interesting) article.

Sometimes, Paul, it takes wordiness to be concise! (Figure that one out)...

Anyway, I enjoyed Paul's sharp mind and views on this issue:

@Themediaisdying: The Brutal Truth From Two Years In The Twitterverse

The facts for the publishing industry are clear – the vast majority of media outlets are declining in one or more ways.

Two years ago, I registered @themediaisdying - a Twitter account through which I tweet links illustrating the industry’s challenges to nearly 25,000 followers. Now, as it enters its third year, some things clearly have changed - and others still desperately need to…

Running @themediaisdying network remains straightforward - evidence for its eponymous premise, tragically, pours in. Despite new technologies and bursts of advertising confidence, the velocity of publishing outlets going under, online-only or changing publishing schedules gives only temporary relief to those in an industry that is now, in my view, fundamentally doomed unless a mindset is changed.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

The brutal truth
“What is the brutal truth?” is a demi-mantra I have started applying to all my communications and strategies, when working with clients and thinking about big issues.

For example, when I sat down to write this, I mind-mapped the topics I could cover, left it for a day, went back and underlined the words ‘chore’ and ‘commitment’ with a battered Sharpie. Boom.

The brutal truth, rightly or wrongly is this: consuming news remains laborious and a significant time/space commitment, whatever your age or situation. Obvious? Perhaps. But then, why do outlets continue to bang away with long-form content that deploys minimal information-imparting mechanics? Is it all they know?

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