Monday, September 25, 2006

A Little Micro Genius

Steve Rubel said it best in his post today on Newspapers and Web 2.0:

Blogging has been wonderful for newspapers. It unshackles reporters from just delivering facts. They can now show who they are as people through the expression of opinions. However, blogging is the first in a series of dominoes that have to fall for the newspaper to thrive in a world where the reader rules - and tells everyone so.

For newspapers to survive, they need to turn themselves into an online and offline platform for local readers. I don't mean a platform for contributing to the reporting process. They're doing that already (and nicely). What I am saying is that local newspapers need to use their brands and their big web sites to help local readers profit emotionally and monetarily by: selling goods peer-to-peer, expressing themselves, developing new kinds of technologies, connecting through online and offline local social networking and more. Think Google or Yahoo, not USA Today.

In short, they need to become destinations where almost all value is created by the "readers," not by the publisher or journalists. This means tearing pages right out of the Wikipedia/Second Life playbook. In both of these communities, the greatest value is created by the crowd, not the online destination itself. The community is merely the operating system that enables value creation. Newspapers need to do the same - both online and off.


, , , , ,