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Just can’t get enough of newspapers

And, again, I return to the plight of newspapers. Death wheeze of newspapers explores the challenge newspapers face between being open (wanting Google to index their content so others can find it) and content control and ownership (not wanting others to take and use their content). I think one or the other view has to give. Openness and content control are two separate tightropes. Both can’t be walked at the same time.

Jeff Jarvis blames the failure of the newspaper industry on…the newspaper industry:”You blew it. You’ve had 20 years since the start of the web, 15 years since the creation of the commercial browser and craigslist, a decade since the birth of blogs and Google to understand the changes in the media economy and the new behaviors of the next generation”.

I’m intrigued by the inability of large organizations and industries to respond to changes and shift focus even when they have a decade (or more) of warning. GM comes to mind. As do newspapers. And the music industry. Why can’t an industry change when it’s in trouble? Why try and impose your will/model on others, rather than tuning into what your audience wants and then responding appropriately?

3 Comments

  1. Bruce Lewin wrote:

    >Why can’t an industry change when it’s in trouble?

    I think they get addicted to the old, but previously successful economic values…

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Ken Allan wrote:

    Kia ora George!

    What impresses me about Jeff Jarvis is not his opinion. It’s the growing number of comments on the post of his that you cited – 117 the last time I looked! Erick Schonfeld ‘s is equally as impressive.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink
  3. Jon K. wrote:

    Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline talks a lot about how large organizations are paralyzed by change. He specifically talks about how GM and American car manufacturers didn’t consider Japanese car makers a threat until they had close to 20% of the market, and by then they were too slow to react to the threat. We can see they still haven’t adjusted accordingly.

    I don’t think that Jarvis is right in saying that media has had 15 years to adapt, really the only threat has been in the last 5-7 years. Still, that’s a long time to adapt, or consider a different model.

    I have to think that part of the problem comes down to a sense of ownership (I own this music, information, news…) and ego.

    Monday, April 13, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink