I’m waiting for my stomach to settle before going for a late night jog at the hotel gym, so I am listing down some things that sometimes cross my mind at this age before my bad memory wipes them out:
From Guy Kawasaki’s blog. Some of the words are a bit small and hard to read, but because it is a vector image, you can zoom in (Try CTRL + on a PC, and Command + on a Mac) to read the text. I was so excited by this image I bought the book “Enchantment” immediately on Amazon as a Kindle ebook. After 2 hours, I am already halfway through it and feeling uber inspired.
I found out about this cool online tool yesterday – Singapore GE2011 Tracker – which allows anyone to study and dissect online conversations about the General Elections on a day-to-day basis.
I was not surprised to read this story online today (note, I read this excerpt online):
MONACO (Reuters) – Sales of newspaper apps for devices like the Apple iPad are cannibalizing sales of physical newspapers, James Murdoch, head of News Corp’s operations in Europe and Asia, said on Friday.
News Corp in June closed its free Times of London website. The Times, the Sunday Times and Britain’s best-selling Sunday tabloid the News of the World — also owned by News Corp — are now available online only to paying subscribers. News Corp’s British newspaper arm News International said this month the titles had lost up to 90 percent of their online readership and now had 105,000 paying customers, including those who had bought the iPad and Amazon Kindle apps.
The exercise is being closely watched by the newspaper industry, which has lost readers and advertising revenues to free alternative news sources online and is seeking new business models for the digital age.
Here’s what I’ve observed when I was working in the local newspaper industry.
- Editors/journalists are not businessmen.
- Ad sales people are not journalists.
- Corporate development people are not media-savvy.
- And many of them have their own conflicting ideas of how to be successful online, based on how success was defined in the past
With the mix of the above types of people, it’s not surprising that in the entire Southeast-Asian region, there’s not one newspaper or traditional media outlet that has successfully created an online business model that can comfortably replace its current operations. It’s rare to have the right mix of people who can bring the business forward into the digital space.
(At the same time, you’ll have a few media professors here and there who keep writing theses on what old media should do to become new media, but they were probably never very good journos or business-minded people themselves. Still, they get quoted aplenty by old media to reaffirm the latter’s beliefs and status quo.)
I write this blog entry not because I know the solution (gosh, if I did, I’d quit my job right now). FYI, I’m no longer focused on journalism and PR, and have moved to a more business-oriented job role, but I’m still a media junkie and I know newspapers are the gold standard in journalistic standards that the online world desperately needs.
I want better content online and I want better access to it. And here’s why I think the newspapers and other print media are not getting it right.
I’ve been quietly observing the whole blogging scene for the past few years. First as part of the old media (or mainstream media, whatever you may call it), and now as a PR guy on the other side of the fence. And through it all, as a “blogger” myself with my own website and constant flow of entries outside of my official comms work.
From all my observations, I’ve realized that a lot of people have no idea that blogging is just another form of communication. When you say “I’m a blogger”, it often implies that suddenly, your smallest online opinion has some sort of intrinsic value to the world. That anything you put on your blog is worth reading, worth linking to, and hopefully, worth some revenue as well.
I was amused when bloggers suddenly saw themselves as “the new media”, as if they knew the workings of the old media and knew how to improve on it. The funniest was when the old media started to buy that story themselves!
Can it be? Does it mean when everyone’s opinion is now in the public sphere, that it qualifies them to become the messenger to the masses?
But many bloggers (not all, lest you get offended, dear reader) fail to understand that – to reuse a common mass comms cliche – the medium is not the message. More precisely, what’s your message and how you intend to deliver it is more important than anything else.