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Jeff Jarvis urges media entrepreneurs to "fail fast and often"

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World News Publishing Focus
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Jeff Jarvis urges media entrepreneurs to "fail fast and often"

Renowned media and technology strategist Jeff Jarvis delivered an insight-filled presentation at WAN-IFRA today. Asked what single piece of advice he would emphasize to media professionals in the region, he urged entrepreneurs to fail fast and often, as it is the only way to learn what's necessary for effective audience engagement. But that's only when asked to summarize his observations into a single message. Otherwise, there was a lot to digest from his presentation:

 
Amid the widespread discussion of training newspapers to become "digital-first" media entities, there are two broad ways to interpret that: 1. In economic tems, digital first means news organizations must be fully profitable digital platforms before print platforms cease to generate revenue. 2. In audience engagement terms, digital first means the user or consumer comes first. "What's died here with the rise of the internet is the mass media business model -- that we can have one product for everyone, all the same." Furthermore, media is not a factory in the business of making content, but rather is a service designed to serve the public. Making this user-first means the journalism community must know something about each individual in order to serve them individually.
 
Jarvis further categorized this approach through three principal themes:
 
1. New relationships: For the journalism community to better serve citizens, it must find new ways of understanding its audiences, and audiences must in turn be willing to share the necessary information for media enterprises to better serve them.
 
2. New forms: "This is not about taking content we always made and putting it into new packages." Rather, this is about recognizing that different contexts drive the content different audiences want to consume and when. An individual with an hour to kill will probably be looking for something different than an individual actively seeking out a particular piece of news.
 
3. New business models. The news business is still a very inefficient business and as such should start by addressing the cost side rather than the revenue side. The old model was based on the premise that "all readers see all ads so we charge all advertisers for access to all readers." This model no longer exists. What has become apparent now is that different audience members have different values and can access information in different ways. Media companies therefore have to figure out how to go to the audience with the content the audience wants rather than depend on the audience to come to them for uniform content.
 
Jarvis closed by observing that Latin America has the advantage of learning from the mistakes the US and Europe have made in negotiating issues such as privacy, advertising and audience engagement. "I believe the salvation of the news business is we get into the relationship business," he said. "Forget big data. Start with small data. Where do you live, what is your job, how old are your kids and how can we serve you better?"
 
Chronicle by Ulysses de la Torre

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At_DML14

Date

2015-10-23 22:05

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