Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jeff Jarvis: The Great Restructuring

It's a sobering glimpse of reality and what may be in our future, but it's also a compelling new post on Jeff Jarvis' Buzz Machine.

As the author of "What Would Google Do?" points out:
I try to argue in my book that what we’re living through is instead a great restructuring of the economy and society, starting with a fundamental change in our relationships - how we are linked and intertwined and how we act, nothing less than that. ... Yes, entire swaths and even sectors of the economy will disappear or will change so much they might as well disappear.
Jarvis isn't very optimistic about industries that once produced what seemed like limitless quantities of cars, newspapers, advertising, business travel...

Some pretty bleak stuff. But that doesn't mean Jarvis isn't optimistic about the future. He sees big-time opportunities for entrepreneurs, new services and education. I've got his book on my list of things to do over spring break.

Along the same line, check out Eric Ulken's column: "Newspapers' Supply-and-demand Problem (Why You Should Quit Doing What Everyone Else Is)" on the Knight Digital Media Center.

(Note: YouTube video is Jarvis speaking at a conference earlier this year.)


1 comment:

Kent said...

Great stuff. I watched the video and read the Erik Ulken article, which had this :

Well, no more. You want comprehensive? Go to the BBC.

If newspaper bosses are serious about preserving the kind of journalism that makes newspapers great, here is what they must do right away:

Stop wasting time on stuff other people are already doing. This means focus obsessively on local or topical content. The era of the newspaper as bundler of many varieties of content is over. If you cover a community, do nothing that doesn't relate to that community. If you cover a topic, do nothing that doesn't relate to that topic.
Stop syndicating valuable content to other websites. Let them link to you. (And for goodness' sake, link out. Do it for the karmic rightness of it all, or do it because it adds significant value to your own content. However you justify it, putting your stuff squarely into the clickstream is essential to staying relevant. You can't just be the endpoint.)
Scale back or cancel wire service agreements. They're not helping your online product and they might be stealing value from your own content. I have a lot of respect for The Associated Press and the work that all wire-service journalists do, but I just don't think the AP's ownership structure and funding model make sense anymore. (If Reuters can thrive as a standalone news organization, maybe AP can too. But newspapers can no longer afford to subsidize the creation of content that doesn't benefit them directly.)

I couldn't agree more. I started using BBC as my main news source about a year ago. Astounding amount of content! As for duplicating, do a search on any current news story and the amount of copying is astounding. I love the idea of content specialists.