Fools for Rules

April 7, 2008

étudiants en journalismeImage from Wikipedia

It’s hard to follow the rules if you never read the rules. That’s what’s happening over at Consumerist.com with their 26 year old Editor who never worked a day in journalism prior to his current gig. Read all about it over here at the Newspaper Death Watch.

This is the kind of mentality we’re shooting for here at Wedia Up. Letting Media Outsiders (such as my humble self) take some stabs at the big problemo in conjunction with Media Insiders. Having not read the Rules of Journalism, I’m gonna take out my little paring knife and make a stab. Apologies if I hit an artery.

Step 1: Give people what they want to see/read/hear right now and let them interact.

Step 2: Something something something, so you can make money.

And now for the breakdown:

  1. “Give”: Make the presentation of content like a little personal gift. If at all possible, make it free. Hopefully people will ask for another gift later.
  2. “People”:  Please don’t write off a certain demographic of people as “non-consumers”. To steal from my good friend on the Nickel, “All consumers are created with equal information needs.” Just because I want more info about my friends and less about a house fire doesn’t mean I’m a non-consumer.
  3. “Want”: Let people self-identify, explore, show preferences, and be geographically diverse. Pretty soon, wants will become fairly obvious. A lot of people don’t know what they want until they see it. Don’t assume that everyone wants fact-checked, edited, impersonal, objective content all the time. There’s a bunch of relevant info that people want that will never win a LoMediaCo a Pulitzer.
  4. “See/Read/Hear”: Content should know no distribution borders.
  5. “Right Now”: Give as much content as you can whenever it is available. Link to all related articles, a deep archive, and outside sources so I can drink until I’m not thirsty. If everything is online, it doesn’t eat-up space on a 22-minute broadcast or the front-page of a daily newspaper.
  6. “Interact”: Let people mash-up the content, share it, comment on it, and start a conversation. Allow them to say when it’s bad and when it’s good.
  7. “Something Something Something”: I don’t think anyone knows exactly how to make consistent money in a Wedia setting. This is gonna take some massive innovation. It’s very possible that the current LoMediaCo business model will not function in a Wedia environment. Through collaboration, small tests, frequent stabs, and a tolerance for risk, I bet someone figures it out.

What percentage of this sounds familiar? If it’s over 90%, I’ll try harder next time.

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