Long, interesting post from Jay Small on innovation. He gives a good outline about how to set up an innovation process, but while building fully-formed products is an important aspect of innovation, there are also lots of small things newspapers can do to be disruptive in their markets. Not everything is a project. Further, there isn’t a single newspaper.com that has done all it can to be the best it can be. There are many, many good ones, but none is yet hitting all its marks. Look around at the best practices — video, blogging, databases, calendars, sharing, participation, etc. — and figure out how you can make your site better and more relevant to your local audience.
Innovation is important, but don’t become so obsessed with innovation that you forget the fundamentals.Â And if you can’t get the funding to innovate the way you dream about, think about what you can do, and do it. There are a lot of smart people in our industry coming up with good ideas.Â Find out what’s working and what you can copy. It’s often easier to get a publisher to buy into a project that is a proven success. Maybe your contribution, your innovation, will be to make a good idea better.