“… How can we create something that has a market? If [news people] asked that question instead, they would restructure their activity. Because there are things similar to news that have generated huge wealth. Not hidden, in plain sight.
The first usurpage was of course Craigslist. It wasn’t so obvious then that this was the natural domain of the press, because Craigslist made a small fraction of the money the news industry used to make from classifieds. It looked like CL was just undermining the press, not competing with it. But Groupon — this is the fastest-growing company of all time. The founder says what they do is find ways for people to get out and enjoy their city. And they make a boatload of money doing it.
Here’s one way of looking at what both Groupon and local news organizations do — they put smart hard-working people into the field to keep tabs on what people in the community are doing. Some of what they are doing is robbing and killing each other — that’s what news is interested in. Another part of what they’re doing is buying from and selling to each other. Groupon is making huge bucks on that.
It seems there’s still time for a philosophy change in the news business. Become more focused on the commerce of your communities, and the opportunities to make money will become more apparent. Seems like common sense to me.“
— Dave Winer is a visiting scholar in journalism at NYU, and half the team behind the Rebooting the News podcast. The New York Times called him “The Protoblogger.” PC World called him “the father of modern-day content distribution.” And he was named one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web by BusinessWeek.
Seems like common sense to us, too.
What about you, John?
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