Sunday, May 18, 2014

The future of reading

The future of news is an important piece of the future of technology, so this leaked writeup from Nieman Labs on an innovation post-mortem from the New York Times caught my attention. Among the observations:

  • The homepage is irrelevant: only a third of readers ever visit it. But the concept of “top news stories” still drives too much of what the org does.
  • Technology, in the form of better structuring and mining of existing data or repurposing content in interactive ways, can drive engagement as much or more than great stories.
  • The newsroom (manufacturing) and marketing (sales) can no longer be separate. If anything, the future is making business/sales less and less of a standalone entity.

One thing I’ve always wondered is why people care so much about new content. Let’s face it: most of the best content was produced long, long ago. Much, perhaps most great content (e.g. recipes, travel, historical events) ages well and often I’d rather read a great past story than a mediocre one from today.

This whole article is worth reading.