Danish Newspapers Succeeding in Radical Change

Posted: October 12th, 2006 under journalism.
Tags: , , , ,

When you see Doc Searls gush something like this:

Last night Jon Lund told me about something that blew my mind. Newspapers are a Happening Thing here in Denmark. There are very creative "wars" going on between rival papers. Read Danish media revolution: New high-quality print and web-media to give news away this autumn. Some amazing stuff. All the players are being aggressive and creative and involving  readers, the Web and cell phones.

…it’ll make you click through.  This is what you find:Centrummorgensmall_1

this is by far the most wholeheartedly and  aggressive online-move by Nordjyske ever. Nordjyske hopes that pendlers will read Centrum Morgen in the bus or train going to work, vote by sms while on the run,contribute with their own views on the hot issues on the web when they’re at their office – and then, in the afternoon when they get home, read a brand new evening newspaper, all complete with news updates – including their own stories, results from sms-voting etc.

Like so many other forward-thinking media companies these days, they are realizing that the big-ass content containers are not going to survive the coming 6th Extinction … they’re preparing for this by creating all manner of small, specialized niche-y content platforms, so that their audience doesn’t have to search for the content — the content searches THEM out…

This is the same thing that’s being done over in Bakotopia and elsewhere…
While many people are going to be baking their noodles of the whole
"Whither the Web and Newspapers" thing, the future is being invented
out of the limelight, in places like this.

It is very very smart of them to study not only what does the audience want, but when it would be possible for you to deliver it to them.  As the story says, the mornings are pretty much crammed – and there are many many players all fighting over that space anyway.  So go to where things are a little looser, and give the people the chioce to graze on over to your corner of the pasture.

I hope that these media companies are more forward-thinking and patient than most of their U.S.-based brethren … this is going to be a long-term … well, not experiment, really, but evolution.  The products we develop and use to deliver "content" as well as (most importantly) involve the audience are not going to be stable, predictable and pigeon-holeable, the way that newspaper are, and have been for pretty much the last 200 years.  Once again, this can either be really really scary (and the newspapers here are still pretty much in the "denial" stage) or you can look at this as an opportunity to better serve your customers and perform your core functions.  The niche products for the phones should be tailored to do what a person reading news or interacting on a phone would want an need – that is, short little bits, a little funny stuff here and there and the opportunity to take pix with your cell cam and upload them if you run across something particularly beautiful, ugly or newsworthy …

The future is starting to look more and more like the one that was envisioned by K.W. Jeter about 15 years ago.  Well, without the giant chicken brothels, that is…

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