communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


Why print should/will be niche...but also decent digital content

There is this huge debate about the death of print and how the reasons are a combo of financial crisis and Internet, which is faster and cheaper and more accessible to everyone and more eco-friendly. Most of these arguments are true: newspapers are dying because there is a financial crisis and reading news is not a commodity, it's a luxury. Plus most newspapers are crap anyway, so in a time of crisis you refuse to buy crap luxury (please note that in times of affluence you will spend a bucketload of money on expensive shit, and by shit I mean actual bad products not "stuff"). In addition to this Internet is cheaper, meaning free and more readily accessible now that a lot of people are connecting. Of course there is the eco-crap, where print destroys the rain forest and therefore Internet is better because it only eats up electricity :D.

What we fail to realize is that there is a glitch in human nature which newspapers have not caught on, or are ignoring because it does not say flattering things about who we are as beings. And this may be their salvation or final blow.

First, let us agree that if newspapers are shit so is most of the stuff you read on the Internet. Frankly, I find no qualitative incentive to search info online, other than it's faster and more. But these have nothing to do with quality of content.
And now the knock-out realization: people enjoy reading shit. Most people, when given the choice will go for crap content, easily palatable and requiring next to no involvement other than monkey laugh. Think about it: what is the number one viral this month? - probably a cute kitty falling out of bed or some baby gurgling. Which newspapers are doing the best: tabloids. We do not search for quality content. Online or offline.
And this is where things get interesting: there is only a handful of people interested in decent content. They are the only ones willing to pay for what they get, good content. They are the ones who will continue to buy newspapers IF newspapers provide EXCEPTIONAL content [which cannot be found online]. I don't think the print edition of The Economist will die. Nor should the NYT. I think that print tabloids will eventually die, not because they are shit but because they are less shit than what can be found online and they cost money.
So, truth of the matter is print needs to buck up and get exceptional if it plans to survive. But it will NEVER preserve the volume it had 2 years ago. And yet, print should not worry. Exceptional content online will also be niche. So there's a sort of divine retribution in that :D

[specific to Romania, Cotidianul - one of the, say, progressive quality dailies succumbed for two simple reasons: it invested like it was going to be mass when it should have stayed niche and also, by the final months, it had gotten so downright bad and self sufficient that no one bother to buy anymore. Meanwhile, The Economist and Forbes are not doing so bad here :D]

Thanks here for this wonderful image


Daniel ION said...

"Everybody" likes crap content, at least once in a while.
While quality content in order to stand by that name, must be focused and deep.
How money people are interested in a solid macro-economic analysis right now?

Kitties have a huge audience, "everybody" likes them.

crap content lovers = 3% quality sport + 4% business news +

quality is more dispersed. For every cancan you'll have 15 online niche sources.
It's just that for many niches there is not a critical mass yet here in RO.

my 2 eurocents :)

Bogdana Butnar said...

Fully agree especially with "for many niches there is not a critical mass yet here in RO." just worried we may never get to critical mass since at some point everyone says "heck, I gotta eat, right?"