Just recently I have been been bombarded again with articles written by so called professionals (and believe me, there are some really big names between them) that mention how traditional media is going down the drain… there is no future anymore for it.
I am always very disappointed about the shortsightedness of these authors on the subject. It is not that the world of traditional media is going down the drain, it is just moving to it’s next fase. Just like when people mentioned radio would be down the drain when television came by, and more recently, how television would go down the drain because of the internet.
The only difference is that the way of broadcasting media is getting more platforms to do so, and they all will find their natural place. Radio is still around. Sure, with less listeners per station, simply because there are now a gazillion more stations. And true, a lot of listeners will have replaced it with another form of media broadcasting.
But television? Are we talking about media for television? Moving images? I actually think that Internet created more space for broadcasting here.
Print? Do you mean articles being written? I haven’t seen as much written content as I do right now. Sure, the writers are different, because the way of publication is changing. But there is not a lack of written content.
Video and TV seems to have an additional millions of producers with the coming of things like YouTube, portable camera’s etc.
But wait a minute…
Yes, I understand that what I am describing here is a whole new breed of content production and media development that we maybe not waiting for. YouTube contains mostly forgettable or completely irrelevant material. All the bloggers – including myself – who find themselves so important in creating content that we like to confuse ourselves with real content writers and journalists.
But to those people, who see this as a problem – also myself included – I do have to say to just hang on. Also the development and innovation of media and publication is a constant evaluation to the requests and needs of the masses. At the end of the ’90s, before the internet bubble burst, we saw the whole thing also happening in the web development area. Everyone was suddenly a web designer or a web developer. You remember those days, don’t you? That was back in the day that you were hired if you even just mentioned you could do web development, because everyone wanted one. And then, hardly being in the new millennium, it all evaporated. Nobody put money so recklessly into people who could not prove that they could do the job. Sure, millions lost their jobs… but the market for web media production became more healthy. Normal pay, no ridiculous salaries anymore, and people who knew what working was.
It cannot take extremely long before social media systems like YouTube, InstaGram, Flickr will also start to rationalize. Even in 2009 YouTube was estimated to fork over $450 million just to keep things running, and that was 3 years ago.
At one moment, every commercial company is hitting the moment to see where it can spend its money more wisely, or use its resources wisely. Even with increasing available storage spaces, such data storage simply is useless. It is useless information. You actually see already that YouTube is more and more used for video outsourcing by commercial companies, overshadowing the millions of social video updates. This means that at one moment, there might be a huge profitable turnover for sites like these, if they know how to not scare away clients once they will charge money for storage.
The moment that will happen, natural filtering will start. As soon as things cost money, things will become less polluted.
At one moment it will also happen for publication, and I think personally that moment is coming soon. Although I know many journalists are threatened in their job, the world cannot work without experienced, trained and professional writers. Maybe they will still be employed by publishers, maybe that whole content creation vertical will change. But we cannot rely on content solely provided by bloggers who write for a passion, not with the educational and professional background in doing so.
And then, the different types of media itself? That also will become more healthy. It would not hurt us at all if we use less paper – and have magazines publish their content more and more in digital media. Magazines that I like to read, but not really have an emotional tie to, I love to read on my iPad, but some, I just need in my hands, on the couch, nice and comfortable. Just like reading a book. I have my research and reference books on my iPad, always with me, but my novels, nothing beats the feeling of a book in the hand – at least, to me.
Paper will not be gone out of our lives, just, the usage will be more and more practical. Which it should, it would be more environmental friendly too.
But just like radio is not gone, paper will not be gone either. It just will migrate to a steady, reliable amount of publication, which might simply not be as huge as it was before.
And the same way, we will talk in 10 years about tablets, because we have the next best thing. Sure, everything will be shaken up while the media market and publication markets will figure itself out, but it will happen, and then everyone just goes on with their lives as if nothing every happened that was different.
Maybe… JUST MAYBE… it would then finally by time for that over-due promise of a paperless office.