Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An updated definition of media brands

Drawing a few threads together I'm proposing an updated definition of what a media brand is - and offering a suggestion about what a media brand should do:

  • A media brand is a platform for a community with shared interests.
  • Focused on the interests of this community, we should aggregate content and offer services.
  • Services are best delivered at the point they are needed – and that is always, always mobile!
Note the reference to the 'aggregation' of content, rather than the 'creation of'. I'm not suggesting media companies should not bother with the creation of content. I am suggesting it's no longer our primary function.

Our legacy of content creation can get in the way of putting the community first. We can't resist the urge to broadcast - to select what the audience is offered and spin it to our tastes.

This often reveals itself in the way we display content. Media brands put the content they create first, tip their hats at some user-generated content (always given second billing) and actively prevent the sharing of other sources of content the community might actually prefer.

A blank sheet of paper approach would open our eyes to simple facts such as:
  • The best content for the community is welcome - be it our own, rival media brand owners', or user generated content.
  • The community should judge what content gets highest prominence - and which gets booted into touch.
  • Groups should be allowed to form which set their own parameters for what equals interesting and 'good'.
This requires some bravery on the part of the media brand owner. It means that only if our own content is good enough/a good enough fit with the community will it score the highest ratings and get top billing.

What lessons are there in this that you aren't prepared to learn?



The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?