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Not much has been written about the wrenching change going on in my brand, Business Week, as it shifts from delivery of information and analysis on paper to online. It just closed it’s Asian and European paper editions and will launch online sites and channels for Asia and Europe. I was just moving through Niti Bhan’s great blog to see her comments on design in India when I came across her insights into the Business Week move.
Niti is right on in her analysis. Here is some of it. “BusinessWeek’s decision to drop their European and Asian print editions while newsworthy, is not surprising, imho, since they’ve demonstrated over the course of this year their responsiveness to the changes taking place in global media and technology. One could, not quite tongue in cheek, say that they are leading the mainstream media giants in innovation, nimbleness and redesign of business strategy.”
Here’s more. “As Chris Anderson’s statistics demonstrate, the reading public or the “info gatherers” turn to the web first as their primary source for news and information. This is not news, and many others, far better than I have articulated these shifts.
What is interesting however is BW’s response. Perhaps the first leading publication to embrace the changes and incorporate them into their corporate strategy for the future, BW demonstrates their willingness to implement what they preach to their readers. Note the phrases I’ve italicized from their press release,
“meet business and customer needs”,
“strengthen their franchise for future growth”,
“resposition it’s approach to global markets”
A user centric response to corporate strategy within the context of the growing importance of the blogosphere, citizen journalism, global interconnectedness and immediacy of information? I would certainly have to say so. As corporations spread their influence across the various regions of the world, it actually makes far more sense for BW to have ONE print edition, a global one, that serves all markets, and in doing that, underscores the “flat world” theory of business. This move supports what they’ve been seeing all along, that business isn’t seperated into “Europe”, “Asia” and “N.America” anymore, and that little butterfly flapping it’s wing over Taiwan could have a very relevant impact on the air currents over the Caribbean - to mangle a favorite metaphor.
Add to that their initiatives in the blogosphere over the course of this year, and compare their approach to the recent furor by Forbes regarding “attack of the giant bloggers”. I’d lay my bet on BusinessWeek as a pioneer for exploring and developing new business models amongst the denizens of traditional media who wish to grow and evolve, like any other business, in the face of increased competition and changing paradigms.”
Thank you Niti. You got it. I’ve been living through some very painful moments in the past few days and it has been hard to find clarity. Niti did that for me.
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