Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blog = Newsletter. One is published on the screen. The other is published in Print.

A "blog" can also be a wiki. Either is a great way to have a conversation with real people. If a blog is managed correctly, it is also a very inexpensive way to get into a conversation with powerful and sometimes quite intelligent people.

But, you can't make enough money from a blog.

So moderate the content. Get really smart and/or powerful people to take part. If you can't find that, then get politician wannabes that are running for office or politicians that want to stay in office, They get the free publicity and lower campaign expenses. Everyone gets a vigorous conversation public issues. The moderator keeps the silliness under control and keeps the focus on complexity instead of sound bites. And you get agates without having to pay the AP.

The newspaper/journalist value creation is the moderating. That's a hard job. It should be a well paying job because of the great content that should be generated. The best person to moderate is a beat reporter. The best place to learn about beat reporting starts from the links from Pat Thornton's blog, the Journalism Iconoclast.
The Journalism Iconoclast is a blog on new media journalism run by Patrick Thornton, a new media journalist and Web developer. Thornton runs the non-profit journalism project BeatBlogging.Org. He spends his days looking for and highlighting the most innovative beat reporters in the world.

If your job is to keep the whole thing afloat, sell Print ads. Everyone knows how to sell Print Ads. Package the print ads with ads on the blog/wiki. For those who like the web, they should buy the ads and get the print as a benefit. For those who like Print, the web ad is the benefit.

If anyone has the time to let me know what I'm missing, it would be greatly appreciated. I keep turning it over and over, and can't see why it wouldn't work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I wanted to call it "The End of the 'End of Print' "

In my column , just up at PBS/, I try to directly take on the blablabla about the End of Print. Given the blabla when this position is publicly asserted, it could get interesting.

The short story is the "End of Print" meme is very similar to the "Don't Trust Anyone over Thirty" meme that I was guilty of propagating back in the 60's. It's less about Print than it is about a new generation coming of age.

Whenever a new generation comes of age, all that went before is "dumb." "Everything will change." "Dinosaurs will be replaced with mammals." This generation will lead us all to the new Jerusalem. It's just a normal part of growing up. I did it in the sixties. The generation of the 1920's did it. The generation of the 1840's did it. And the founding generation in America in the 1770's did it.

Children and young adults, who think they are going to live forever, make the error of clarity in a world of complexity. Young adults, unlike children, also commit the sin of Pride. They are starting to feel their power and are eager to flex it and define the world. That's all to the very, very good.

But as they age, they will discover that what will be done, has been done and that there really is nothing new under the sun. There are only new tools to do the same things that humans have always done. They will also remember that media is not a zero sum game. The rule for media is the more, the more.

At it's base it's always a signal v noise problem. That's why the Tower of Babel story still resonates and blablabla is good, but if you want to manage the risks of the future, science is better.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The formula for educating the customer . . . and everyone else, including yourself

Data points + thinking points = growth of a better responsive mechanism for filtering out the signal from the blablabla.

The problem is that people think blablabla works. It doesn't. Usually it's just more noise.

So . . . keep getting data points and thinking points on their (your) radar. Then as you get closer to the deadline, you'll be able to more quickly separate the signals from the blablabla. Quickly separating signal from noise is what is meant by "smart." The thing that is cool about selling "smart" is that the marginal cost of production is pretty close to zero.

The remaining problems are
1. Create the understanding in the right customer's mind that you can be depended on to do "smart" in the future. Customer's only put a value the future.
2. Be ready to answer the call in real time. Customer real-time is now.
3. Stay on the radar of your customer. Since customers (and everyone else) will do the easiest thing to do, make the easiest thing to do to get a response from you.

1. Number 3 is the really important one. No one's really that much smarter than anyone else. It's all common sense anyways. But some people are a little less busy being busy.

2. Educating bottom of the pyramid high school kids works the same way.