Wednesday, March 30, 2011...11:22 am

Why there will no longer be a professional career in the media

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Quote of the day, from Wired’s profile of Demand Media:

“You can take something that is thought of as a creative process and turn it into a manufacturing process.”

Byron Reese, chief innovation officer, Demand Media

The scariest thing is that the Wired article is already two years old…


  • That article is possibly the most depressing thing I’ve ever read. Largely because DM’s algorithm-driven model clearly IS successful. You can’t argue with the numbers: “Once it was automated, every algorithm-generated piece of content produced 4.9 times the revenue of the human-created ideas.”
    But most depressing of all is that the sheer success of that model encourages more and more of it – to the detriment of end users and, arguably, humanity as a whole.
    Anyone who has ever done a ‘how to’ search on Google (DM’s meat and drink content) knows how much time you waste reading (and watching) trite, misleading, endlessly re-copied, incomprehensible or actually dead wrong answers. Most provided by DM and its competitors, of course.
    Every click on every one of these earns DM its dimes. But is the end user really getting what (s)he wanted? Absolutely not. Mostly (s)he’s getting shit. Demand is indeed being honoured… but need is not being fulfilled.
    Instead, the web groans under the creaking weight of this ever-increasing shit uploaded to meet an ever-increasing need for information from people frustrated by the failure of previous searches to satisfy their needs.
    Welcome to the information age.

  • Maybe journalism (magazine journalism at any rate) should focus on meeting those needs – as opposed to producing what journalists think is “important” – is there an opportunity here, as well as a threat?

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