There’s a lot of discussion these days over the fate of editorial writers and photographers. Much of the buzz surrounds the fact that gobs of information already exist online – paid professionals must now compete with free, mass-produced content.
But follow me on this bit of crowd-sourced optimism, if you will.
Over at an online photo community hosted at Linked-In, Jim Pickerell, VP of Stock Connection, cross-references an article by Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson. Gerson’s article says:
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently observed, “I got a glimpse of the future last weekend with the Apple iPad. It is a wonderful thing. If you have less newspapers and more of these . . . it may well be the saving of the newspaper industry.” Why is that? Because, Murdoch argues, “Content is not just king, it is the emperor of all things electronic.” Platforms such as the iPad would be “an empty vessel” without the creators of content.
This is an encouraging bit of news (though maybe not for everyone).
Think back… Gutenberg’s press was hard on scribes, but it launched mass media. And yes, video killed the radio star, but Hollywood made out just fine. Today, many shooters are getting mired in technological tar pits and the pull of hi-tech is only getting stronger.
From this, we’re seeing two brand new species emerge: (1) the crowd, (2) the new media content provider. The first, has a day job and feeds on vainglory. Like plankton, they exist by their sheer number. The second group are content predators – top of the food chain. They exist on strategic story development and solid business practices. Take the analogy one step further and you might even say that predators should look to plankton blooms as a good source protein.
The message I’m drawing from all of this? Evolve or perish, it’s that simple.