Trawling Through Dross
Paul Hayes, Managing Director of Times Publications, really knows how to win friends and influence the blogosphere.
"Some blogs are conversations among people you'd frankly prefer not to meet, others are cries for help and their writers are clearly in need of therapy," quotes the PressGazette. Others are just people expressing themselves, which is an entirely honourable pursuit, but would you like to meet this geek on a dark night?"
Bloggers consume more news than those who don't. In essence, Hayes is insulting his own readers and audience. Very smart. McCauley is right, when your audience is your enemy, the game is already over.
Hayes continues, "As information overload really kicks in, the consumer will want to go straight to the brand that they trust. So with all due respect to the hundreds of thousands of information sources out there, you can't beat a big brand name to re-assure you that what you're reading is high-quality content worth spending time with, and frankly, true. People don't have time to trawl through dross."
When it comes to news (and other information gathering online), I don't think people "go striaght to the brand" as Hayes suggests. Increasingly, I think people go straight to the story. Search, RSS, smart aggregation and yes, blogs, make the discovery process much more efficient.
What makes news from The Times any more valueable than The New York Times, Wash Post, or a trusted blog? These days, not much. On the internet, content is a conversation, and if Hayes and other old-school media types want their brands to survive in the digital era, they had better learn fast, adjust, and stop insulting their readers along the way.
Aren't visits to The Times homepage followed by browsing for interesting/relevant content as close to "trawling through dross" as it gets? Jarvis sums it up well, "And some big media will disappear noticed but frankly unmissed as well. Especially the snotty ones."
Virtual Economics, The audience as enemy
BuzzMachine, Exception makes rule
Technorati Tags: blogs, media, newspapers, dinosaurs
Tuesday, May 30, 2006