Thursday, June 14, 2007

Looking the same is not the same as being the same

A little off topic for this blog (but certainly related to what we do) is a post on John Duncan's The Inksniffer – "Why newspapers should get out of the internet business before it kills us all". We're linking it here because his reasoning raises some interesting points that are worth considering for those of us who are tired of hearing newspapers are dead and the internet is the future.

The internet is great. The access it has given consumers like me and you to news and information is great. But becoming commercially successful at distributing information on the internet requires us to completely change who we are and what we do, to compete with completely different people.

Who succeeds there? Individuals with a million ideas who execute them quickly and effectively. And some huge global companies with vast resources who snap them up. People who think outside of geographies and inside communities of interest. People who can apply the language of computers to solving real-world information needs. People who want to do something for themselves or others just for the hell of it and don't carry huge costs. People who experiment and fail all the time and just keep on going. People who can gather other people's work and spread it around in a useful way without making much money off it. People who are happy to put something out there and see it used in a completely different way to what they intended. Does that sound like any newspaper company you know. Me neither.
(end of post)

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