Managing messy media
The challenge for online publishers now is growing their online presence - major media companies like News are executing this through acquisition. Acquisitions can be messy as different cultures clash and the technological infrastructures get more complex with the addition of new properties.
According to Kevin Kelly - "The Web continues to evolve from a world ruled by mass media and mass audiences to one ruled by messy media and messy participation."
Simon Waldman, Director of Digital Publishing for Guardian Newspapers agrees with Kevin that media continues to get more messy. But he says, "If you own a mess, at least you can tidy it up later. But if you never own it…you're just a spectator."
For media companies trying to tidy up that mess, technology will be the key. Publishers, for instance, will have to invest in systems that can bridge their print and online properties in a single infrastructure. The cost savings and efficiencies gained will be critical especially when they are still going head to head with free online advertisers like Craigslist.org. But more important will be the publisher's ability to leverage existing relationships with advertisers and provide them a healthy balance of print and online presence. The transistion is key and it must be smooth and offer advertisers more control or else publishers risk losing them forever.