There’s some debate whether a keynote speech by Reuters CEO Tom Glocer to the Online Publishers Association this week represents the future of media.
Jeff Jarvis live-blogged the event and gave it the title Reuters gets it. He wrote, in part:
“If the user wants to be both author and editor, and technology is increasingly enabling this, what will be the role of the media company…?” He has three answers: Media companies will be a “seeder of clouds.” Nice analogy. I call it a magnet and would recommend that to him for he says that just creating content is not enough; they must attract the people. The second role is to be a “provider of tools… We need to produce open standards and interoperability to allow” disparate people to create content of disparate types. “Let’s not make the same mistakes newspapers did with the protectionist online strategies that characterized Internet 1.” By that he means not recreating the old content in the new medium. The third role, he says, is that media companies will be “filter and editor.” He says that “the good stuff will rise to the top” online.
Jarvis approves. Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 does not.
Here’s what I think of this — Tom Glocer has fooled [Web] 2.0 advocates like Jeff Jarvis into thinking he’s drunk the Koolaid, but the truth is, he hasn’t. This is Media 1.1 at best, and it still represents a formlua for perpetuating the entrenchment of Old Media at the center…
With that (contrarian) context, here’s why Tom Glocer is not really a revolutionary:
1. Media companies already seed the clouds — they create content that gets passed along by bloggers AND Old Media companies (and aggregators like memetrackers)
2. Media companies don’t need to provide the tools — thanks to the blogging software innovation, independent content creators already have the tools. Some Old Media companies, like The Houston Chronicle, are providing the tools for bloggers WITHIN their existing publishing infrastructure. And why would any bloggers go this route? Because Old Media companies still have the AUDIENCE.
3. Media companies are ALREADY filters and editors. So are bloggers. But this is still editing and filtering 1.0
So Tom Glocer hasn’t laid out a vision of a Media 2.0 — or a real media revolution. He’s laid out a DESCRIPTION of Media 1.1 as it ALREADY exists.
I’m still undecided but leaning toward Karp’s views on this. Either way, it’s an interesting debate and both posts are well worth reading.