Why Media is Alive and Well
It started with the news that the venerable enterprise IT publishing shop Ziff-Davis Enterprise is being acquired by QuinStreet and reportedly letting go 80% of the staff. It's sad news for many of our contacts at outlets like eWEEK, Baseline, CIO Insight and Channel Insider.
Yet two other bits of news contrasted that and tells me that media is alive and well.
Yesterday, GigaOm announced it is acquiring the assets of ContentNext Media from Guardian News & Media Limited. This brings several online properties, most notably paidContent, into the GigaOm fold.
Om Malik explains why his growing media company made the move in an insightful blog post.
In addition, Pew Research Center released results of a new survey of 1,500 Americans about the media they are turning to for election information. Cable news led the pack with one-third of respondents relying on the old standby.
For all the predicitions that this would be the year social media would dominate -- after its high-profile role in the 2008 presidential and 2010 mid-term elections -- not even 10 percent use it for election news (3 percent for Twitter, 6 percent for Facebook).
Reality Check for Social Media?
We've said on this blog many times that the reports of journalistic media's death are exaggerated. We see many great editors and reporters move on to the great companies that are driving media forward, like David Strom at Read/Write Web and Barb Darrow at GigaOm.
Media is not dying. It continues to evolve. To really understand how, check out this excerpt of Om Malik's post on yesterday's acquisition.
I have always believed that we’ve got to stop thinking of media as what it was and focus on more of what it could be. In the world of plenty, the only currency is attention and attention is what defines “media.” Zynga is fighting Hollywood for attention (and winning). Instagram is taking moments away from other media. They have attention. There are old companies that are dying and new ones that are being invented.
I love the "attention is what defines media" part. That's the key, and dictates how we must approach communications in this era -- by developing content that is going to get attention.
Doing so involves an approach that's always been important -- connecting what a company does with the issues and bigger stories of the day that have people's attention, and supplying the proof points that make it real. But it also requires looking at new vehicles like Instagram or infographics to visualize a story and take advantage of what has attention.
So while hearing and reading about how Facebook as a $100B company will challenge media, or how Pinterest or Path are taking attention away, it's also good to see how journalistic media is keeping up a good fight.
How do you see it?