Greg Sterling is making his predictions for 2007, and a couple are worth highlighting.
User-generated content: The culture of user participation and content creation across the Internet puts a final stake in the heart of remaining doubt among pundits or brand advertisers regarding the permanence of this phenomenon.
Shouldn’t it already be apparent that UGC (or whatever you want to call it) isn’t a fad?
Online video keeps rolling: Video continues to gain momentum with consumer-users, often at the expense of TV but monetization seriously lags consumer adoption. And consumers resist online video ads.
My best response: Yes. And: How many video cameras has your newsroom budgeted for 2007?
More newspaper pain but somebody figures â€œitâ€? out: The print newspaper industry continues to feel the pain of flat-to-declining ad revenues, but online newspapers continue their gains. Newspapers abandon resistance to the mixing of editorial and user-generated content online. And this year somebody in newspapers cracks the code and creates a good user experience that can be emulated across the industry (to some degree). We may also see the emergence of a new, national newspaper ad network.
I’m not sure. First, I’m not sure a newspaper is going to figure it out in 2007, but more importantly, if a newspaper does figure it out in 2007, it probably won’t be apparent for two, three or more years. And any newspaper that does figure it out in 2007, given the history and culture of this industry, will be derided as not getting it by a lot of people in the industry — mainly because any newspaper that does get it figured out will be so radically different that it will offend the sensibilities of a lot of traditionalists.
Not to be an ass — given the axe falling in Philly (again) today — but with a few more rounds of buyouts/layoffs, there aren’t going to be very many traditionalists left. Those that are left will have hopefully gotten the message that something has to change or the last traditionalist out the door is going to have to turn the lights off. The more the industry “feels the pain” as Sterling puts it, the more people wake up from the idea that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a sign of being crazy.
Matt, what troubles me is all the traditionalists apparently working in online divisions. I didn’t realize how many there were until I start pushing my more-faster/more-frequent mantra (quick, lo-fi video, etc.). It meets a surprising amount of resistance from new media folk. And I’m worried that I’m not even being radical enough.