As Founder of Mist | the Content Cloud, I welcome any opportunity to remind journalists, academics and media peeps that event though our industry is in turmoil, we have the duty and the ability to push forward. The only tool we have to do that is innovation.
This is why I was thrilled when the good folks at Florida International University invited me to speak at a panel entitled: The Digital Divide and the News, Case studies, the power of content and continuous innovation. The idea was to share experiences on “how legacy media and entirely digital media are targeting a slippery audience.”
Here is a recap of the main points of my intervention:
- Inventions in platforms and delivery systems during the last decade (think Netflix) have been plenty and not so far apart in time as they were in the past (See Meeker’s 2016 Internet Report). What do they tend to have in common? They seem to center around giving users control over content: how and when it is consumed and what is that is relevant.
- This has led to what I call the Personal Media Age: individuals control their media diet as nodes in vast interconnected networks where they relate to established media organizations in the same way they connect to each other.
- We are altering traditional mechanisms and business models. Legacy (traditional) media do not deliver the same audience results, and that trend is even reaching digital outlets that operate under traditional models. In sum, advertisers are paying more for less.
- Whereas the digital divide, always along the scarcity lines, was previously focused on access, now the commodity is attention.
- It is imperative that we understand two key factors: the ubiquity of User data and the tyranny of the algorithm. They impact everything from content discovery to ad placements (newsfeeds, programmatic advertising)
- There are ways to overcome those challenges, chiefly money and content relevance
- Content is still the key because topics of conversation are needed for brands, people, organizations, interested in taking part of The Conversation, not just advertising or PR content merchandising of a product, service or idea
- We are committed to our project at Mist to disrupting traditional content distribution models, making content available where it is needed.
About the Symposium: Each year, FIU’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and School of Communication + Journalism partner to provide a forum for journalists, scholars, and policy-makers to discuss the social, economic and political issues facing the hemisphere. These conversations represent informed, interdisciplinary efforts toward enhancing and deepening news coverage, policy decision-making, and the general public’s understanding of the region.