Among the Audience

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by: Gary Hayes

A fabulous upsum range of articles from the Economist on our beloved media industry (mostly in the user, participatory domain) and the evolution, revolution and chaos it is going through. “Among the Audience” – Get it here.

This survey will examine the main kinds of new media and their likely long-term effects both on media companies and on society at large. In so doing, it will be careful to heed a warning from Harvard’s Mr Weinberger: "The mainstream media are in a good position to get things wrong." The observer, after all, is part of the observation.

Here is a selection of clips that give a flavour of the series of articles…(note many individual articles are paid for premium, but there are at least some free MP3 inteviews with folk like Chris Anderson and other article writers):

The Web era is quickly becoming all about its participants. “This has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based on aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions,” Kluth wries. “In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny. Instead of a few large capital-rich media giants competing with one another for these audiences, it will be small firms and individuals competing or, more often, collaborating. Some will be making money from the content they create; others will not and will not mind, because they have other motives. ‘People creating stuff to build their own reputations’ are at one end of this spectrum, says Philip Evans at Boston Consulting Group, and one-man superbrands such as Steven Spielberg at the other.” This is a fascinating (to some industrialists, no doubt disturbing) and altogether worthwhile summary of a hugely important trend.

“If an editor vets, softens or otherwise messes about with the writing, Mr Winer would argue, it is no longer a blog.” (ed: whoops guilty

As for synchronous communication, why adults would send e-mails back and forth instead of "IM-ing" is beyond them.

Only 1% of blogs are in German, according to Technorati, compared with 41% in Japanese, 28% in English and 14% in Chinese.

Journalism won’t be a sermon any more, it will be a conversation.

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