Ed Driscoll

Sound Advice

Glenn Reynolds links to this piece by self-described postmodernist new media consultant Terry Heaton and quotes this passage:

[Demographer Hazel Reinhardt] pulls no punches in describing her “Perfect Storm.”

What does the future hold? Change. The status quo can’t be the way forward, for the coming together of profound demographic and technological changes will restructure the media, and we are at the beginning of it. This will be geometrically larger than the advent of television in 1950.

The extent to which the public – in the form of citizens media – can undercut the revenue bases of professional journalism will determine how well institutional media will withstand the onslaught. Since media revenue is audience-driven, however, this is one institution that’s headed for the tar pits, because – at core – the advertising industry doesn’t really care about things like tradition and history. Where that wealth gets redistributed in the economy is anybody’s guess, and that’s why the entry of Venture Capitalists into the citizens media game is so significant.

Near the end of his article, Heaton writes:

As Ms. Reinhardt noted, no one can really stop the perfect storm. That’s why it’s important for mid-career journalists to get their hands dirty in using the technology of the personal media revolution instead of thinking about how and where to learn about it. Become a “doer” of the word instead of a “hearer” only. Learning is always accelerated by experience, so those who feel their careers slipping away need to get involved. Start a blog. Build a Web page. Pick up a camera. Play a video game. Get close to young people who are comfortable using technology, and ask questions. Read a book, or better yet, go online and look around for tutorials. They’re everywhere. Most of all, don’t let fear get in the way. It’s only technology. DO something!

I concur; here’s some background reading to help kick things off:

  • The New, New Journalism“: From the late, lamented SpinTech Website, my February 2002 look at Weblogs immediately after 9/11.
  • The Year Of Blogging Dangerously“, the top ten moments in the Blogosphere in 2004.
  • My interview with Hugh Hewitt on his early 2005 book, “Blog”, and his take on Weblogs.
  • My discussion of Chris Anderson of Wired magazine’s concept of “The Long Tail of the Internet“, and how its impacting culture in general. The role of Weblogs are included. (This is a great piece, if I do say so myself…)
  • That should get you started!