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Nick Denton thoughts: Upon reflection


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October 13, 2005

Nick Denton thoughts: Upon reflection

Stephen Baker

Kind of a paradox, come to think of it, that I have those quotes from Nick Denton about how big media can't respond to new media threats--and that I sit here at my big media desk and blog them.

So does the fact that we and so many others in the mainstream are now blogging and podcasting show that we're not so slow as he thinks? Maybe. His point is that even while they experiment, big news organizations cling to old business models. That's true. And any sensible business will keep doing what it does until it has a suitable replacement. How do we figure out what the replacement should be? We experiment. That's what we're doing here. Perhaps this will develop into a meaningful part of BW's business. I don't know. But I'm not picking up a lot of denial around here about the need to try new things, and to change. Change, it seems, is at the heart of the program.

Another reason for something less than despair. We're in the information business, and what we're going through is an information revolution. The business model may need tweaking, but the value of the content--especially news with analysis--should remain strong.

I just talked to my colleague, Peter Elstrom, about this. He pointed out that the new iPod video will carry ABC programming. ABC pays nothing and, though a partnership, it gets new distribution and revenue. New technology can enhance the value of media content.

03:05 PM

mainstream media

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Hi Steve-

Isn't the Oreo the best selling cookie in the US? how many others have had their day in the sun and are now off the market? and how many different ways does Nabisco today package Oreos?

My point is that it's not all about doing it a different way. It's about understanding what needs to be done, and getting it done. Packaging is just part of the bigger picture.

Pete Z.

Posted by: Peter Zievers at October 14, 2005 10:34 AM

Pete, I agree with you. Innovations in delivery and platform don't mean much if the product isn't good. The difference between Oreo and BW, though, is that eating, unlike information, hasn't gone digital.

Posted by: steve baker at October 14, 2005 12:50 PM


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