Imagining news media organizations of the future

Time for some short-takes, thoughtful ideas from across the blogosphere:

Media companies of the future: Chris Brogan, a new media marketing consultant, came up with his idea of what the next media company would look like, starting from scratch. I like his ideas, especially:

  • Everything is modular and linkable. Everything is fluid. Meaning, if I want the publication to be a business periodical, then I don’t want to have to read a piece about sports. (Similar to my hyperinterest idea.)
  • Curators and editors rule, and creators aren’t necessarily on staff.
  • Paper isn’t dead: it’s on demand.
  • Collaboration rules. Why should I pick the next cover? Why should my picture of the car crash be the best?

Be sure to read his whole list as well as Globe and Mail communities editor Mathew Ingram’s take on Brogan’s ideas. (And kudos to Ingram for tipping me off to Brogan’s lsit.)

How to save newspapers: MediaShift Executive Editor Mark Glaser offers 10 steps to saving newspapers on the Knight Foundation-funded blog. It’s a list worth reading. His best points, in my opinion:

  • Create a bottom-up organization where innovation is encouraged and rewarded at the edges. Use good ideas from anyone.
  • Replace circulation, printing, print production staff with tech, SEO, community managers.
  • Find out what the community wants in real face-to-face meetings, not focus groups. Then do what they want.
  • Produce mapping and database projects. Employ or train hacker-journalists

Social media rules: More on the continuing saga of news organizations coming up with rules that suck all the social out of social media. (If you’re late to this topic, get up to speed on The New York Times’ and The Wall Street Journal’s ill-advised social media policies.) The latest culprit is Bloomberg News’ policy, which forbids staffers from communicating on social media about any topic covered by Bloomberg News, according to Gawker. Patrick Thornton at Beat Blogging offers some commentary and links to a better approach for journalists using social media.

Social media is just conversation: Social media won’t save journalism; it’s just a tool to help journalists connect with readers. But it’s also not such a mystery. It’s really just a virtual version of what normal human beings have been doing for centuries — talking to each other, getting to know one another, sharing ideas.  Dave Fleet, a marketing, communications professional, explains this well in his post, “There’s Nothing Magical About Social Media Principles.” He’s not writing for journalists, but I think his message has much for journalists who are over-thinking social media, fearing it or seeing it as complicated or cumbersome. His best takeaways: target your audience, tailor your approach and remember, you rise and fall on relationships.


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