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Prediction: What will replace Newspapers and Magazines?

December 22nd, 2009 · 6 Comments

BLUF(Bottom Line Up Front) My prediction for the future of journalism: Smart aggregators that will quickly learn about what kind of news articles you like and want will replace newspapers and magazines in the near future.  They will gather info from anyone who posts relevant information on the internet.  Everyone will be publishers, and intelligent software will be the editors.

Yesterday’s article on Publishers are Perishing set the stage for today’s look at what is going to replace it.  I promised to tell you what will replace publishing and here is my prediction:

Everyone will replace publishers, but the one thing that we will all use to replace a newspaper or magazine is an aggregator.  Something like AllTop which goes out and finds the best of the articles and brings them together for us.  In yesterday’s blog I mentioned that there’s so much content being created that some of it must be good, and a little bit of it will be great.  We need something to go out and find the good and great and bring it together for us to see when and where we want it. 

After all, that’s what newspapers and magazines did for us.  Their editors went out and found the best of the best and printed them for us each issue.  The editor of a local newspaper found the stories that would interest the local subscribers and included them.  Many stories that had little interest locally were not included.  So if no one in town was interested in the trucking industry, a story about that wouldn’t get printed.

What we will evolve to is a smart kind of Google Reader, that goes out and finds good stories that we want to read and brings them to us every day.  When we read a story it will remember that and give us others that are similar.  Yes there is some of that in today’s reader, but it doesn’t know how much time I’ve got or which stories should have priority above others.  And it recommends blogs (writers), rather than individual stories (on other blogs) to me.

One of the major issues is that it’s got to be automatic.  It must be able to learn from what I do.  And it must have an easy learning curve.  Today, I can use Yahoo Pipes, or AllTop, or iGoogle, or any number of other readers to make my own front page. But the learning curve on these is much too steep for all but the most dedicated.  And none of these can learn from which stories I read and go out and find more stories like that. Today they offer two capabilities, they go find more stories about that- but I usually don’t want to read more about that, I’ve already done that.  Or they find more stories by the same blogger, which aren’t necessarily what I want either.

The second aspect of this is who will create the content?  The answer there is simple, everyone.  There are two or three blogs about my home town in NJ.  There is at least one blog about almost any town, and usually two, representing the two opposing party views.  People will attend every town hall meeting and report about what happens.  The challenge is finding this information among the millions of things on the net today.  I need a tool that will do that.

Newspapers and magazines are for all practical purposes gone.  But investigative journalists, are not and never will be.  There will always be people willing to stand up to oppressors, and wrong doers and they will find a place to shout about the wrongs they do.  That place is the internet.  And it will be more powerful than ever before.

The challenge for the future is filtering.  Give me a tool that finds the things I think are important and brings me the best stories like that.  Learn as we go along what I like and find interesting, and what I must read about to keep abreast of things I need to know.  Then present me with that info in an easy to use manner and you’ve got the new newspaper/magazine for the future.  Mine will be different from yours, and that’s just what I want.

Give me 1 good reason why this won’t happen tomorrow?

Posted via email from ckieff’s posterous

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Tags: Facebook Friday · Reasons For Net Marketing · Truthful Tuesday · Twitter Thursday

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan Trenn // Dec 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Regarding quality – who decides the credentials from what can be classified as “quality”? Unamed editors at AllTop?

    Regarding payment – how can, say, local bloggers throughout the entire country, afford to essentially establish their own online local newpapers. Takes commitment, connections, and yes, at times, cash.

    Regarding professionalism – how can it be maintained if many of the soon to be participants turn out to be shrill activists?

    Just askin’.

  • 2 Ari Herzog // Dec 24, 2009 at 3:29 am

    It won’t happen tomorrow because the greatest generation is alive. Until today’s senior citizens move on to greener pastures, newspapers ain’t changing much.

  • 3 Twitted by marketgravity // Dec 26, 2009 at 4:33 am

    [...] This post was Twitted by marketgravity [...]

  • 4 Chris Kieff // Dec 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Jonathan,
    Regarding quality –According to the website, this is how they choose the blogs:

    Q. How do you decide which sites and blogs are in a topic?

    A. We use a patent-pending, semantic computational algorithm derived from the post-doctoral work of Guy at Stanford. Just kidding. We rely on several sources: results of Google searches, review of the sites’ and blogs’ content, researchers, and our “gut” plus the recommendations of the Twitter community, owners of the sites and blogs, and people who care enough to write to us. Let us declare something: The Twitter community has been the single biggest factor in the quality of Alltop. Without this group of mavens and connectors, Alltop would not be what it is today.

    Regarding payment –Check your local area, I’ll bet there are local blogs that are active and running without funds. They are driven by the passions and desire of the people there.

    Regarding professionalism – The cream will rise to the top. We as readers and Twitterers, influencers and recommenders will self correct those that are too far out on the fringe. The blogs that are realistic, accurate and well done will thrive while those that are too shrill will fail.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • 5 Chris Kieff // Dec 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Ari,
    If papers can’t pay the bills they will go away, regardless of the desire of some of the subscribers to keep them alive.
    Thanks,
    Chris

  • 6 uberVU - social comments // Dec 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ckieff: Prediction: What will replace newspapers and magazines? New Blog Post: http://bit.ly/5dX99I...

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