And this is the time of year I wish I still lived in Austin…SXSW Interactive sounds great this year as I track friends who are there via Twitter (#sxsw).
Category Archives: local
The LATimes.com makes enough money to support the LA Times overall. This is great news!
Regardless of the caveats, it is great to see one of the old guard tweaking the business model to accommodate for the new ways.
Thanks to Mr. Jarvis (of course) and @themediaisdying for wonderful coverage of the media – the good and the bad – via Twitter.
With presidential election season comes the re-emergence of Tip O’Neill’s famous “All politics is local” quote as presumptive candidates galavant around the country searching for votes. It’s especially interesting in a flat world – “local” now applies to central Asia, the Middle East and at least a few hours of stop overs in various capitals of Europe. Think globally, act locally…
Got me thinking about how relevant that metaphor is for media. Get out of your marketer seat and get in your user of media seat (sit in both simultaneously if you can because I think Tip was when he said what he did about politics). I’m not talking about national vs. local in terms of buying media. I’m more interested in how it’s received.
I’m talking about local in terms of couches and dens and cars and shopping malls and strip malls and taxi cabs and sidewalks and phones/PDAs and mailboxes (physical and electronic) and laptops connected to free wifi in a Starbucks and earbuds plugged into digital music players (must stop now – hearing Von Trapp children singing Favorite Things).
The point is how something gets to someone is moot unless what’s being said and how it’s being said is relevant for the situation in which the person is in when receiving the something being said to them – and they can take action on it assuming they’re properly motivated.
Thank you for the resounding chorus of, “Well, duh!”, but now search your mind for examples of missed opportunity in terms of something being said in such a way that – as you sat on your couch or checked your iPhone/BlackBerry or walked down the street or through the mall – you scoffed at the irrelevance in what you just encountered. I’ll assume it won’t take you long to think of something that happened either just yesterday or perhaps even this morning.
Obviously, we can’t just toss aside the established deliniation between local and national media or the need to understand the dynamics of audience delivery to accumulated action. But in an increasingly digital world allowing for more and more sophistication in message delivery, looking at local in terms of message reception becomes necessary.
I was very encouraged to read this story about the editor in chief of the Tampa Tribune, Janet Coats, announcing to a full newsroom that she was about to embark on a brand new business model for the paper. “Hyper local” is the catch phrase. And the online sibling to the printed paper is no longer just along for the ride, but driving the new model. It’s a realization that in an age where news is EXTREMELY perishable, the best way to be timely is to not wait for things to roll off a press or for “film at 11”.
Most of all, in spite of the post just previous to this one, she says the reorg and accompanying layoffs aren’t about profit margin. It seems Janet and the powers that be at the Tampa Tribune are coming to realize, as has always been the case, there are few experts when it comes to local more local than those at the “newspaper” or whatever term will come along to displace that notion of a thing printed on paper that focused on stories relevant to the immediate area.
Also encouraging and hopefully a preview of things to come, the whole thing was broken by an intern at the paper on her blog. Perhaps the kids are alright and we’re not about to be overtaken by The Dumbest Generation…
As the NAA touts newspaper’s effectiveness at driving cross-media behavior, the LA Times announced 250 layoffs. The editor points out that though this cyberweb has allowed them to grow their audience, it’s that same thingy that has caused said layoffs.
Just a thought here – perhaps some of those 250 people would be happy to keep their jobs to figure out how to monetize this new-fangled Internet thingamajig where you claim your audience is now.
If you’re feeling like you’ve heard this story before, you have. You Minnesotans will recall CBS used similar logic when announcing they were letting 100 people go, including Paul Douglas at WCCO here in the Twin Cities and other big names at their owned and operated stations. Ironically, I seem to recall that Douglas made a large chunk of change selling weather technology to one of the GPS providers before losing his job. Apparently, he figured out how to make money in this brave, new, digital world. Oh, and he still has his weather column at the Mpls Star-Tribune…maybe he could string for the LA Times.