Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lessons from the mass media wars

There are those in print media - newspapers/mags etc - who cling to the idea that they can 'do a cinema'.

When TV arrived as the latest mass media many predicted the demise of cinema.

They didn't count on its:

  • Ability to adapt with experience-enhancing technology (colour, stereo, Dolby, 3d etc) 
  • The power of that experience being shared.
If I was in a media company right now I'd be looking at how what cinema did could translate to shore up my properties. To start with. (image courtesy rivalee)

And then there's the elements that kept radio in the game when first cinema and then radio rocked up:
  • Convenience
  • Portability
  • Currency.
Print shares convenience and portability - but scores zip for currency against anything post radio. It's ability to enhance shared experience ain't the greatest, either (though this can be enhanced through events and digital communities, of course)..

Media properties need to adapt. And the obsession with print has to be questioned long and hard.

Those cinematic and radio survivors of the mass media wars give a guide.

Cinema uses technology to enhance shared experiences, radio is convenient, portable and current.

Combine all these and you have a proposition to take you into the age of the eighth mass media - us.
From (We are the eighth mass media)
I don't just mean that we create the content in a UGC vs Professional Content Creators kind of way. I mean WE are the distribution, the content, the 'user journey', how messages are transmitted... WE are the medium and the media carried within it.

We are the connections. We are also how the connections are made.

In the age of the eighth mass media, organisations must understand that serving multiple and ever increasing numbers of niches is the route to sustainable scale.

Those who wish to remain part of our lives must provide value to the adhoc self-forming communities of purpose our digital selves can't help but participate in.

We have already adapted. We are creating a new landscape. Are you fit for it? Are you prepared to become so? I wonder how this 'Twitter: The newspaper of tomorrow? matches up.
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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?