News, Optimism, and Content Marketing
February 26, 2014
I read “How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations.” Public relations may need to do some PR and damage control. The allegedly accurate information provided one more factoid to support our contention that locating and verifying “news” is a tough job.
I will be addressing some of the methods a researcher can use to unwrap the ballistic padding that online services use to keep some information away from the grubby fingers of researchers. Consumers who gobble pay-top-play content are what most online services want. And, if you had not noticed, putting video content front and center is the new trend for those who are looking for facts, data, and high-value analyses.
As Kim Kardashian allegedly said, “I’m an entrepreneur. Ambitious is my middle name.”
The blog post “The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place” was more interesting to me. The write up presses some familiar controls on the baloney making machine; for example:
- Consolidation is much better than individual services. I wonder if “consolidation” is a euphemism for monopoly, a concept with which some executives are more familiar. An older-school thinker used the word “convergence” but that buzzword makes an appearance in the source article.
- The time horizon is not three years (a long time in today’s uncertain world). The time horizon is 20 years in the future. I wonder how far in the future Viktor Yanukovych’s chief of staff planned yesterday. I think the plans are on hold for a while.
- The old way of news was monopolistic. The new way is to generate money from many streams; for example, advertising (good), Bitcoin (possibly problematic), and slicing and dicing (a possible copyright quagmire).
- The beacons range from Buzzfeed (listicles) to SearchEngineLand (the logic straining search engine optimization service described as “a place for all the search news, all the time.”)
The opportunity, if I follow the argument, is to tackle the job of creating a monumental Twitter Stream all in one place” with vision, scrappiness, experimentation, adaptability, focus, deferred gratification, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
I appreciate the elegant quote from Tommy Lasorda about how difficult creating a news-oriented “monumental Twitter stream” will be. My hunch is that a fusion of PR methods, content marketing, and “bits are bits” thinking will triumph.
Some publishers have been trying to figure out how to make money from news on the Internet for a while. Google seems to have fallen into a rut with its Google News service. The Yahoo news service delivers two day old information consistently.
Based on our research, getting access to information and verifying that information is harder today than at any other time in our online research experience. In our intelligence and police oriented webinars and seminars, we find that attendees express frustration and concern that finding basic information is increasingly difficult.
Will a monumental Twitter stream resolve these problems? Unlikely.
Stephen E Arnold, February 26, 2014