Why am I starting a blog? Well ……
Over the past 20+ years I’ve worked in eight different industries and watched several companies struggle through change. I was with AT&T right after it divested the baby bells. I was with Prodigy (anyone remember that?) when it was trying to create a commercially viable mechanism for delivering a consumer oriented online news and shopping experience (before AOL even existed). Then, about 6 years ago, I landed in a medical publishing company.
If there has ever been an industry smack in the middle of radical change (change over which they have little or no control) – it’s publishing. If you’re in the information business the world is a scary place right now.
Or is it? Is it scary or is it exciting? I suppose that depends on your perspective. To me – there isn’t a more exciting industry on the face of the earth (OK – I’m a strategy geek – I admit it!).
If you’re tightly connected to the way things have been done for decades (or as is the case in many print publishers – centuries) it’s hard to come to terms with how the world of information creation and distribution is being continually turned on its head by technologies that empower the consumer.
Companies have sprung up that don’t have your heritage and commitment to quality and they’re providing consumers with content. Private individuals are providing consumers with content! You worry that the content isn’t good enough (especially in the medical information or legal arenas) – but the consumers are voting for that content with their attention (and sometimes even their dollars).
There’s something that isn’t quite right here. Who are you? What business are you in? What are your assets? How can you provide them to the consumer in a way that allows you to stay in business? Are you obsolete? What can you do?
You can close your eyes and hope it all goes away or you can figure out how to participate – and maintain a thriving business. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I’d like to find out what others think, what they’re doing, and how it’s working for them.
I believe in collaboration.
I believe that when we work together we increase the opportunities for everyone.
OK – so maybe I’m an idealist. I can live with that.
The reality is that people need information. They need sources they can trust, and they need to interact with information in a way that answers their questions when they arise. Quality is no longer in the eyes of the editor or the information provider – it’s in the eyes of the consumer. How do you take control? There’s the rub – you can’t! That’s what changed. You’re no longer in charge, but you can participate.
If you want to make it – you’re going to have to adapt.