Another view of the future

Steve Outing posts an insightful look into the future of news that contains this gem from his interview with Robin Sloan, manager of new media strategy for Al Gore’s Current TV.

“I think ‘news’ just becomes a less distinct category. You don’t sit down with a newspaper, or even a news website, or even a super wireless e-paper device, for 10 minutes in the morning to very formally ‘get your news.’ Rather, you get all sorts of news and information — from the personal to the professional to the political — throughout the day, in little bits and bursts, via many different media. With any luck, in 5-10 years the word ‘news’ will be sort of confusing: Don’t you just mean ‘life’?”

Yes! Very astute, Mr. Sloan. … Because within 5-10 years we’ll all pretty much be carrying around with us the means to receive important and personally relevant news at any time and in any place — I’m thinking of how the cell phone will evolve to become your information lifeline — or otherwise be sitting in front of some connected screen, so the devoted “watch/read the news” experience goes away. It (news and information that’s relevant to me) is just always there.

Sloan elaborates: “A key point is that news will continue to be delivered on many media — websites, blogs, TV, phones, pamphlet-y things, those little java jackets they have at coffee shops, whatever. It’s not about everything going digital and never seeing a molecule of real matter again. But it IS about the death of the monolithic news experience.”

Nobody really knows where all of this is heading, but I always tell clients to follow the young people. Media habits are set by age 25, and that crowd is completely different than the one we now serve.

Go read Steve’s article. You’ll be glad you did.

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