Here is the latest in my ongoing essay series about reinventing local media:
News last week that Yahoo was shuttering GeoCities got a lot of people thinking about what’s happened with the Web’s “top performers” over the last ten years. GeoCities was a top ten performer in 1999. A surface view suggests that mainstream media companies are beginning to win, because these companies now occupy many of the Web’s “top 25” slots. Other evidence, including new data by Gordon Borrell (due out in the next few days), shows that traditional media companies are winning some of the battles in their competition with internet pureplay companies at the local level.
I look at all of this and concede that we’ve made big gains. I fear, however, that those gains are in the ad-supported content business, and I’m not sure that’s the real issue for traditional media companies. Hence, it may be a case of winning the battle but losing the war.