Having struggled though all the bad news about Greece, the Euro, the economy was great to get to ‘You Don;t have to be well-heeled’ on Page 9 of the business section of today’s Sunday Times. Great report from Sandra O’Connell. If you are a young entrepreneur then Ireland is a great place.
Tara Haughton was an early starter at 15 – but why not? Seems to me that the web waits for no one – but the corollary is anyone can start any time. Have a look at the Rosso Solini Shop on line.
The interview with John Egan of Archipelago is great – with references to Sandbox and http://www.power-of-youth.org/. The whole idea of ‘Archie Talks’ is great. I think a lot of this points to the gaps that are there because of our traditional, slow to change, educational systems. But rather than complain, these initiatives get entrepreneurs and smart people talking and working together. The World is Flat and these people know it.
In today’s Sunday Times another excellent article from Terry Prone – entitled: It’s in the media’s interest to support a probe into privacy. In the middle of the piece Terry Prone makes the following comment:
‘It must be said, however, that the openness of journalists to examine all sides of possible legislation is currently complicated by their promiscuous fascination with internet-based offerings. Few of them concentrate on the dangers that online content pose to individual journalists and to the profession as a whole. I can think of no other well-paid profession whose members compete against each other for free. You don’t get orthopaedic surgeons doing knee replacements in their leisure time without charge. Yet you get journalists writing blogs for nothing, their urge for self-expression obscuring the fact that they are undermining their own employers. After all, why should readers buy newspapers when they can get the same writers on the net for free?
Journalists who pride themselves on their maverick stance are nonetheless joining the electronic herd, submitting to the peer pressure which holds that you must have, for example, a Facebook site. ‘
I have commented in the past on the challenges facing the newspaper industry. Journalists are not the only ones ‘joining the electronic herd’. An obvious example is the number of IT consultants blogging and providing thier expertise for free – in competition with themselves or their employers.
There is another element to this – some feeling (amongst those blogging) of belonging to a larger, collaborative environment – with an exchange of ideas and a sharing of knowledge. The question as to whether this will lead to useful work, revenue, jobs is largely unanswered.
‘Peer pressure which holds that you must have, for example, a Facebook site’ – yes I think there is some definite pressure around facebook. One reason for this is the existence of 150m+ accounts (how many of these are active?). But for many facebook is a useful tool, rather than something they are pressurised to use.
Terry Prone and many of the other journalists writing for the Sunday Times are the reason there is a future for this industry. But the business model my be changing. The news is available online almost immediately (e.g. twitter). But the assessment, the interpretation, the commentary – this is where quality journalism is required and has a strong future – with the right business model.
Over the last few weeks I have restricted myself to reading the news online (as against print copy). On a Sunday I typically scan the following online: Sunday Independent, Sunday Times (Ireland edition), Sunday Tribune and Sunday Business Post (not available until later). Many attractions include: free, no pile of paper to get rid of, easy to index anything of interest (using www.faviki.com), easy to search for what’s of interest. So what are the disadvantages? – reading on my computer screen is a strain, reading at a laptop in the lounge area seems less sociable that actually flicking through newspapers where you can handon the paper to someone else in the room. There is also a perception (for others and for myself) that because I work in the information systems sector when I am using a computer (even to read the news) I am working.
To some extent reading the news online faciliates greater social newtorking (tagging, indexing, etc) but impacts negatively on the immediate social network – the people with whom you live.