A while ago, I listened to Roger McNamee who said that Forbes Magazine would be a model for business journalism in the digital age. Well, after that I didn’t hear much more … until today. Today I see that Mathew Ingram at Giga offers analysis of why Forbes is doing so well. So why?
- Opening up as much as possible (expanding the number of persons who give content to the platform)
- Getting content creators to connect with content users (making tools for this to occur more regularly and meaningfully)
I like these ideas because they are logical applications of a new sort of relationship between content creators and content users. The relationship is changing because (1) the interaction occurs faster. In the old days, a content creator could take advantage of relatively slow interchanges. The pace is picking up which means writing to encourage interchange is becoming more valuable. Content is more like conversation than it used to be, and (2) the interaction is more personal. In the old days, one could write from the omniscient narrator point of view. These days, that works less. Content users want to understand the context of information as much as the substance of the message. Footnotes and references are replaced by links. And links are being aggregated so that one can trace sources and next ideas faster.
In sum, we are moving away from something I would call “zombie text”. Just stuff that sits there pretending to be a conversation but really just blah blah blah. We are moving towards “catterwauling text”. This is text that competes for your attention. This move implies a new writing standards — can you write in a way that encourages interaction? Can you write in a way that builds context? Good questions, I think.
Here is an example of this new style - from Mashable, writing about the new social networking strategy of the LA Kings, a professional hockey team in the NHL.