So I’m going to try to not get into the Old Media/New Media thing too much, but I was just reading a post by Kent Newsome over on his blog. In it, he talks about how some “old media” writers/journalists keep predicting the passing of blogging popularity, and how they believe interest in blogging is waning.
Now I understand that over the last several years the buzz about blogging has reached a fever pitch and has some media types running scared. That the trends in readership of information of many types is moving to new media outlets – namely blogs. Tie that in with Richard Edelman’s recent discussion about the Me2 Revolution, and you can see how traditional media types could be concerned that what they have to say is not being heard the way the would like it to be.
Like many industries in our modern age, digital publishing is facing the same comoditization and automation of their product that so many other industries have already experienced. What is hard to see for everyone who goes through this initial phase of change is that the end-product will be better for everyone involved. The writing of all participants will improve, the content of the writing will improve, the thinking behind what we all say will improve, the conversation will improve, etc…
Similarly, look at how the RIAA views digital music as a threat instead of a new distribution model that they could leverage to their benefit (give me $.10/track downloads and a premium “offline” CD-type product option). Or how the traditional telephony companies are running scared at how VoIP is rendering their decades-old voice lines obsolete (don’t worry about content, just sell me the cheapest, fastest internet pipe – do what you do best). What it simply means to these industires, and “old media” alike, is that they need to change. To think anew – come up with a new way to leverage the opportunity in front of them. Realize that the increased competition is worth their effort to change and improve what they currently offer.
Change is a scarry thing – especially when it has the potential to hit the bottom line, but it is also one of the most exciting events that can occur to any industry – how else can anyone improve & expand without going through some sort of change? And how many of us would like a static unchanging world anyway? Change, whether small or large is what keeps us all interested. What keeps us all coming back for more.