Readers may recall a blog post I wrote last December called On sailing ships and dodos. The post was about traditional media moguls trying to keep control of media publishing and content. In the new distributed world of publishing and content generation, this traditional strategy of publisher control is breaking down.
Indeed, traditional media will face even greater competition as the media tsunami hits in 2010, according to media commentator Tom Foremski in this recent online article. Foremski is a former Financial Times journalist who started a news blogging service in 2004, called Silicon Valley Watcher.
Foremski writes that “the many different forms of media will continue to flourish and splinter and to compete with each other in 2010, only at a far greater scale. This is all made possible because of the availability of very powerful and inexpensive self-publishing tools and services”. These new self-publishing tools includes blogs, Twitter, podcasting, Facebook, etc. Whilst many of these tools for self-publishing have been around for a few years now, they are becoming easier to use, with improved functionality and integration.
Not only will all this self-publishing have an impact on tradtional media empires, but it will also impact on advertising and public relations. Dilution of advertising and public relations messages within the media space will become a real problem as more self-publishing and user-generated content competes for eyeballs.
In my opinion, media and PR will need to be far more focused and targeted, using the right communication tool and content, to reach the right audience. A one-size fits all publishing model won’t work. Moreover, companies will need to better understand all the different types of media, communication tools and channels, to work out how best to integrate their media campaigns, and support (rather than compete) the different types of media channels.
In other words, a more networked publishing model needs to develop to take advantage of different forms of media publishing and content generation. And more attention needs to be given to the re-creation of content in different forms in order to tailor information and content in ways more useful and specific to individual consumers. The web 2.0 “mashup” approach is something to consider by making a range of information available to be reconfigured in different ways.
The times are a changing. Organisations, especially media companies, better get used to the idea.