How to know the future in our fields? We can’t, but we can guess with a lot of insight. One way to scan the horizon is to read the better blogs. Here are some nice links to follow as you consider the direction of the mass media in the years to come. While you’re at it, bloggers, think about whether you ought to maintain a blog as deep as some of these you’ll be reading.
The blog ADWEEK30 offers a link to a report from Forrester Research, a media-research company, suggesting that TV networks will shift their content to on-demand formats over the next decade. This will allow users (or audience members) to serve their own needs advertisers to better target their audiences. The report calls this Personal TV, a parallel to a personal computer or personal phone?
This switch implies huge consequences. Can you name some?
This clever blog, PR-Squared, from the owner of Shift Communications, offers some thoughts about how public relations people need to embrace social media forms. Including blogs. Just how true does owner Todd Defren suppose this to be? Well, here’s a quick burst of this thinking: This future is coming and will crush PR agencies unprepared to meet the advancing wave of change.
Don’t mean to scare you, but look what the largest newspaper chain did today? Read it here in Gannett Journal, an independent blog, that offers news about layoffs at Gannett newspapers across the country. This is just more evidence that traditional media are forced to change as digital forms undermine the old way of making profits. Newspapers can’t sell enough ads anymore because of competition from online forms such as Craigslist.com. Do you know it?
The former Washington, D.C., bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers wonders if the longtime bosses of newsrooms are the right people today to lead in the needed transformations. David Westphal, writing for the Knight Digital Media Center, offers this thought:
. . . the pace of digital change likely will accelerate, with editors under pressure to completely reimagine how people receive (and contribute to) news and information. Having managed their newsrooms through repeated rounds of downsizing, will veteran editors be the best people to lead their newsrooms to the Promised Land? Or will young journalists with no investment in the past (for good and ill) be better choices? There isn’t a right and wrong answer. But these are questions we’re going to hear about more and more.
Realize what he’s saying here? The suggestion is that a new generation of digitally savvy young people may be the ones to lead the charge. Would that be, um, you?
You can read Westphal’s entire piece here on OJR, which stands for the Online Journalism Review.
A panel session at Harvard Business School provided some grist for understanding what comes next. One panelist suggested that the real commodity that we all need most is information. Another said the long-term answer is simplicity in use of technology. Hmmm. Gotta like that.
Yahoo’s Sue Decker offered this:
Increasingly, companies will find ways to leverage whatever social networks you’re in, find ways to service those in ways easy for you to access, and try to go for more simplicity. Simplicity is the single thing people really want. It’s going to get faster in terms of technology. There’s going to be more opportunities and interconnections.
How does local-link journalism fit into the future? Here is an argument in the publish2 blog that says news organizations should maximize their reporting by rounding up the comments from various bloggers. Even offers an example.
OK, that’s enough for now. Keep thinking now. If these notes offer any advice, it’s that the cleverest and most fluid thinkers will win. Your thoughts? Punch the comments button and add them here.