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SXSWi 2009: The Ecosystem of News

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 6:09 am

SXSWi 2009: The Ecosystem of News by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Steve Johnson, outside.in

The news is called Old Growth Media. Based on The Invention of Air. Culture is an ecosystem.

I did something that I NEVER do, but I wrote a speech. I’ll probably post it on: steven berlin johnson.com

I used to go to the bookstore religiously during my college years. I was orbiting the bookstore looking for the latest issue of MacWorld. New issues arrived at the third week of every month. College Hill Bookstore got them first. This was obsessive behaviour.

We need to be reminded of what life was like before the web.

If you wanted to find out news about the Mac, you needed to get a MacWorld magazine. Even then, you were getting the news a month late.

In the early Nineties, MacWeek would upload its articles once a week on Compuserve.

1993, Wired Magazine launched.

Then the Web arrived and he was reading a site called Macintosh. There were tech critics on Salon. Even then, Apple announced their own website.

There is FAR more information available and the lag is only seconds. There is so much complexity that we are in an ecosystem.

In 1987, the Mac news ecosystem was a desert. Now, it’s a thriving rain forest.

We need to look at the future of NEWS itself.

Will the bloggers get out of their pajamas and go to Iraq?

Technology news on the web is the old growth forest of the web.

Most of what we care about in our lives is the long tail. We never expected the newspapers to cover a local deli closing. They can’t because of the economics of it. Blogs CAN.

We will go through the same revolution as the tech and politic bloggers do for local news.

The Old Growth Ecosystem: There is going to be MORE news not less. Do what you do best and link to the rest.

It is FAR more complicated to navigate this world. There is more noise now. Can we expect the general public to navigate this new ecosystem?

Maybe the newspapers will become the new aggregators of QUALITY news. Their online audiences have grown. They are MORE relevant now. Their motto should be “All the news that’s fit to link.”

DIY City: Public information apps and aggregation.

SXSWi 2009: The Ecosystem of News by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Slide of how the ecosystem of the news will look it in the future.

Will this new system be perfect? No. Will it introduce more noise? Probably, but it will be better on whole than the paradigm that we’ve depended on the last century.

The emerging ecosystem is already around us. Many of us are already living in the old growth forest. It’s up to us to remind them that.

There are different writing styles for the web versus the print. Will that mean the death of high brow writing? The culture isn’t getting shorter or longer, it’s both. This is an ECOSYSTEM! Both species work together. You will see a lot of short form writing, but there is also lots of room for longer form writing as well.

Look up The School of Everything.

There is a lot of growing pains to be making these changes, but there is a lot of promise in it as well.

The ad model will move from a centralized model to a more network.

There are people who think that filters will get so good that you’ll only see the news that you want and you’ll never see anything random anymore. What I see, I get from the web. For me, a good one is Boing Boing. Randomness is what the web has always been about. If you WANT to be surprised, then the web will be the best for you. It may be that the people don’t WANT to be surprised. Newspapers used to force people to be surprised. I think people DO want to be surprised.


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