The basic idea of "individuated news" has been around for a while – readers define what interests them and then publications deliver the news based on relevancy through electronic mediums. Last week, the Washington Times and Media News Group began laying out plans on putting this into practice. It is a great idea that is worth keeping an eye on but there are some unaddressed issues.
In a not-so-surprisingly, glowing story in The Washington Times about the effort by The Washington Times and Media News Group, a representative from Media News said: "Once, the medium was the message. Now the message is the medium.
Content is driving this, and in a way, it’s a form of citizen
journalism. They’re close cousins. In this case, the news is citizen
selected, but not citizen produced." Read the full story here.
It is a good point. And this effort will be fascinating to watch.
A few hurdles :
Will readers pay for it? Will advertisers pay more for it? Can the industry come together fast enough to offer its content on a large scale before Google adapts its alerts to do precisely the same thing with content that they rip off already from publications’ free websites?
I think it is a great idea but these issues will ultimately decide its success or failure. I wish the Washington Times story had addressed them.