The end may be nigh but you don’t have to keep telling me…

Chris Brogan is an online social media star who has given me much to think about over the past 18 months or so that I’ve followed him on Twitter, and subscribed to his blog.
If you don’t, I recommend it – it’s here. And his latest post is so good I couldn’t resist sharing a few (there are many more on this blog) of the points here:

* Stories are points in time, but won’t end at publication. (Edits, updates, extensions are next.)

* Curators and editors rule, and creators aren’t necessarily on staff.

* Media cannot stick to one form. Text, photos, video, music, audio, animation, etc are a flow.

* Everything must have collaborative opportunities. If I write about a restaurant, you should have wikified access to add to the article directly.

* Advertising cannot be the primary method of revenue.

Good isn’t it? Makes me think and – more importantly- fires me up to want to achieve things. Which is why his blog remains in my feed reader at a time when I’m having something of a cull.
I was reviewing it recently when I realised that every third feed was talking, in varying tones ranging from glee to sad resignation about the death of the newspaper industry. And it also dawned on me that I could join in on the chorus of what was being written because I’d read it elsewhere, several times before.

Well you know what? I’m over it. In fact, I have a new rule: If you want to hand-wring about the state of the news industry on my time, you also need to have some interesting ideas about the future.
Because if you don’t – if you want to blog, tweet or podcast away about doomy, gloomy End of Days-type scenarios, then frankly I’m not interested any more. You see, you’re not giving me anything new to think about – you’re retreading old ground and you’re boring me.

So I’ve had a clear out of my feeds, ditching some long-followed blogs that I noticed were repeating the same tired old messages six different ways. I’m very interested in what people have to say about the future of news – whether they think the newspaper industry has a future or not – but I’m just not engaged by people wanting to drone on about, for example, the Journalists bad, Bloggers good debate.

Now, the paywall/subscription/free issue, now, I am interested in, and I change my mind about where I stand with almost every post I read. I’m also enjoying opions on the wary circling of the BBC and the major media companies, and UGC is another area I find exciting – there are so many talented people out there and we should be partnering up with them and attempting to share information and knowledge, not ignoring them.

Too often, I suspect eyes roll in newsrooms when a tweet is cited as a potential news source. As Chris Brogan says in his post “Collaboration rules. Why should I pick the next cover? Why should my picture of the car crash be the best?”

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About Alison Gow

I'm a journalist, particularly interested in story-telling, networks and digital innovation.
This entry was posted in collaboration, future of newspapers. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The end may be nigh but you don’t have to keep telling me…

  1. I agree with you, but let’s be fair – for decades journalists have done the exact same thing – reporting on a negative slant/criticsm and not offered forward a solution. PJ O’Rourke always said that the reporter/commentor was not there to come up with solutions but just to show the problem in the first place.

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  2. Alison Gow says:

    It’s true – we’ve all filtered the message to suit our paper’s slant at times, and forgotten the purpose is to convey information, rather than opinion. (It’s not often, for example, that I enjoy the specatacle of journalists interviewing journalists.)
    But moving more towards gathering data and presenting it in ways that users can form their own opinions, through collaboration – such as wikis or maps – is a great way to remove ourselves from the story. I like your O’Rourke quote – think I will be borrowing it some time 🙂

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