Tuesday, May 18, 2010

lean back and consider

John Battelle hits the nail on the head when he says news coverage in the tech industry is an "endless cycle of post and spin" when what is really needed is "leaning back and considering".

News coverage - and I am broadening the scope from just the tech industry to all news - can be split into two: (1) Facts, and (2) Opinion & Analysis.

Facts need to be comprehensive, correct, terse, and instantaneous. And not repeated.

Opinion and analysis add value by providing insight not immediately obvious at the fact. Balanced arguments and structured thought take some time to produce and consumers are willing to wait for this.

I think news coverage will increasingly polarize into these two kinds.

140 characters are enough to bring you facts, and consumers don't mind these facts being pushed to you constantly, throughout the day. When it comes to detailed analysis, consumers are going to be more selective, and open to engaging more closely through comments and "likes" and "shares". Also, the former is more of a commodity, while the latter is where experts and niches can be found.

And this last point is most important - especially for marketing and monetizing strategies of news organizations, small and large. There definitely are opportunities.

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