In my early-ish days at AOL, several quixotic (stock fevered) journalists came-a-knockin’, looking for entre to the new gravy train that was riding through the unpredictable world of the Internet — and doing so with the relative security of a sweet revenue stream from an old business model.
As an exec on the editorial side at the time I was one of several privy to the resumes and inquiries from impressive, schooled-and-skilled journos who were looking for a way into the lush riches behind the walled garden (trust me – wasn’t always so lush).
Trouble is, many of these newspaper / magazine / broadcast journalists did not realise several things quickly evident upon entering the garden: 1) the sorts of support staff or copy editors, etc. they were accustomed to, did not exist 2) AOL members expected content ABG (Always Being Generated) – now – moment-to-moment – live, not on a 24-hour news cycle and 3) the best content was not theirs, but what members created in response to little more than their headlines and first ‘graphs.
So it’s interesting, if not a bit comical in a way, that the pendulum has swung again – hard – back toward curated and original content (from trained journalists) with the purchase of the Huffington Post.
Now we have an Aol that’s making bold moves toward
a) finding new and recurring eyeballs
b) gaining street credibility
c) owning the new model of curated and distributed content
d) mastering seo by re-rewriting the rules of, well writing and
e) achieving a glowing halo by demonstrating an effort to “save journalism”
Whew – lots of work ahead. Godspeed new journalism. Godspeed.
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