Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category
Snowfall is the shiznit. In my business, I’m fascinated by it and everybody is talking about it. Let me tell you what they’re saying. I don’t claim to have every inside scoop, but here’s what I’ve learned so far. (If you haven’t seen it, go look here: http://bit.ly/nyt-snowfall. Preferably on a desktop or tablet.)
Background: I’ve been building web sites for a long time and the promise has always been fantastic, integrated multi-media storytelling. Even before web sites, people were trying to do integrated media storytelling with CD-ROMs. But, it’s always been klunky and…just not right.
People have been getting better and better at it, and the general consensus is that Snowfall is the first example of getting it right. Snowfall illustrates that the technology (i.e. HTML5) has finally reached the point where the promise can be realized.
Kara Swisher is a technology reporter for AllThingsD.com, a technology “paper” associated with the Wall Street Journal. I do not know Kara, I have never met her, and I only read her column when a link is forwarded to me.
However, today one of her articles was forwarded to me, and while reading it I stumbled across this link:
This is totally off-topic from what I normally write about, but a quick mini-post on what I’m thinking about this…
I’m at UGCX listening to a panel on the demise of the news industry. The basic narrative, here and elsewhere, is that the web—through sites like eBay and Craigslist—killed the business model that supported news for a century. In other words, the profits from classified ads paid for, or subsidized, the news gathering and distribution.
If that is true, then why does it have to change? The companies performing certain roles have changed, but why does the overall economics of the situation need to change?
In my view, Cheezburger and news journalism are both in the media business. Although news journalism is arguably more important to society than LOLcats (arguably!), the business models are basically the same: we acquire content (either through licensing or by hiring people to create it), and then monetize that content, typically through advertising and subscriptions.
Compared to traditional humor and entertainment media companies, by relying on user-generated content to harness the wit and intelligence of our community, Cheezburger has found a way to acquire content at a lower cost. This is a significant competitive advantage for us. At the same time, thanks to the power of crowd-sourcing, the content is higher in quality and more relevant than what we could create on our own.
Recently, I wrote two guest blog posts for Journalism 2.0, Mark Briggs’ project that explores the future of news journalism.
In the first, The Catch with User-Generated Content, I discuss the pitfall that many web sites make when they foray into UGC:
But there’s a catch: the important lesson from Cheezburger’s success with user-generated content is that while content costs less, it is not free. That is, even though we do not pay our users for the content they contribute, there is still a cost associated with acquiring and managing that content. Why? Because only a fraction of the content submitted to us is of high enough quality to be used.