It's not just another edition or another channel, please

Kevin Anderson hits the nail squarely:

"Blogging isn't a publishing strategy; it is a community strategy. ... But I see the same mistake being replicated with blogging. Newspaper publishers and broadcasters often fall into the trap of trying to understand new media behaviour through old media paradigms. Podcasting becomes another distribution channel, and blogging becomes another publishing platform. Adding comments to the bottom of stories or columns is a step, but it's missing the point."

The Web is not just another edition.

About a decade ago I came up with this simple prescription, four key targets for any media site:

  • Timely. This is not just about being first with the news. It's about having what I want, when I want it. It's about being in tune with my time. Dayparting, which was misunderstood by every newspaper site that tried it, is a tool for addressing this point.
  • Useful. This is about taking real, concrete action in the real world. Help me. Give me search engines and databases and answer machines that are quick and easy. Improve my life.
  • Interactive. This is about people, interacting with one another, not just "feedback" and certainly not about blinky flashy junk. Human beings are tribal by nature. We want connections. Today we call this Social Networking. But it's not new and it's not tech.
  • Entertaining. I want to enjoy the experience. I want voice, attitude, humor. I do not want to be "entertained" by having to shoot down your popup ads with ctrl-W.

Back in the last century when I was at the staff would chant along: Timely. Useful. Interactive. Entertaining. I nagged and I nagged about it. What are you telling your folks?