It’s easy to forget but back in 2008 a lot of people were declaring that the media as we know it was dead - or dying. In fact, one enterprising Twitter user, Paul Armstrong, set up a special account (@themediaisdying) to chronicle the press’ alleged death spiral. Today it has nearly 25,000 followers.
Yet, a funny thing happened on the way to the funeral. The media, faced with the threat of extinction, used sheer will and innovation to turn things around. Today the fourth estate is arguably stronger than ever. This even as the global economy sputters.
Consider TV. The networks have all aggressively deployed an armada of “second screen” experiences for tablets and smart phones. These apps, which curate Twitter and Facebook streams in a single place, are encouraging live tune in by essentially creating a social show around the show.
They’re not alone. Stalwart newspapers like The Guardian and The Washington Post have created immersive news experiences inside Facebook. They’re even syndicating full text stories inside the social juggernaut.
The bet as paid off. In just two months since these social news platforms were unveiled The Guardian said it saw site traffic increase by more than a million page views a month. The Post, not to be outdone, has seen a sharp uptick in news readers under 35. And Yahoo is expanding their Facebook integration to many more properties.
Finally, blog-based upstarts like the Huffington Post, Politico and Engadget, all of which pioneered the use of short-form, rapid fire posts, are now expanding into long form content. This includes ebooks and tablet magazines.
There are countless other examples. The media is back in a big way. And this is having a significant impact on how businesses synchronize and prioritize where, when and how they tell their stories. This process, to borrow a term from Hollywood, is often called "transmedia storytelling."
Curious about the media’s reincarnation, in 2011 I set out on a journey to learn more. I visited media executives and reporters, technology vendors and social networks - all in a quest to identify some common best practices. Five new "rules" emerged.
In this scrapbook I share what I learned.