This is a story in little packets. I would have published it as a tweetstorm, if Twitter allowed greater-than-140 character ideas. As you can see some of the ideas here use more than the allotted 140.
NY Times layoffs vs Derek Jeter's startup. Interesting contrast of events, with lots of meaning in the contrast. Two lines on a graph crossing. Professional reporters going off the bottom of the graph, as new writers, the sources (in sports) come on.
News orgs like to say they don't tell our stories, but in fact they do.
The people want to tell their stories directly, without interpretation by reporters, who don't understand the language of the business or sport or technology they're reporting on. They sensationalize, for their own reasons, and thus distort. You don't have to be a sports superstar like Jeter to see this.
Writing on the Internet is being strangled by silos and all the weird formats for social networks. Twitter limits posts to 140. Facebook has no length limit, but also no linking or style, or titles for posts. A new one, Ello, comes along, it's a silo, and everyone is distracted by their message of no-ads.
Google Reader, whose effect is still felt, said all posts must have titles. Twitter, growing up at the same time, said posts must not have titles. Even without technical lock-in, these two platforms divided writing on the web into two completely disjoint silos.
We don't need to get rid of ads. What we need is just one copy of everything, in a canonical location, with any number of different styles of presentation, that can be routed anywhere. And we need great writers nurturing people who have stories to tell.
Know any great writers? The NYT employs some, they're about to let 100 of them go. If they would just restructure, and lighten up about who gets to write for the masthead, they would be busting out at the seams, and we would be on track for solving some of the problems that only great communication, expertise and intellect can solve. But for the limited imaginations of the custodians of these institutions, we'd be much further along. And the desire to control everything by the VCs and their employees.
Of all the things the NYT could do to matter in the new digital age, really the only thing I want is to have a chance to write under their byline. Today, there's no chance of it. They favor people unlike me, for some reason, but I feel my ideas are as good as or better than the ones they run, and repeat over and over. The fact that I can't get in means everything. I am a good writer, and my ideas are worth listening to. I'm confident in this.
The only way for news organizations to exist in the future is to embrace the new writers who do things other than write. We are on the same side. Yet they have tried to stay above it in some way. They can't stay above it. They have to find a way to maintain the quality of their masthead while expanding the base of people who write for it, by a few orders of magnitude.
The people who say it can't happen, who say "Forbes tried it" are losers. At some point you have to say "I heard you before, we tried it your way, and look what's happening." And if they still won't get out of the way, step around them.
Jeter has the right idea. The Times could have done this years ago, they should have, I've been urging them to do it, both privately and publicly. But sports is only one segment, and there should be lots of great places for sports people to tell their stories, with help from people who are experts in story-telling.
News is restructuring. If you insist on the same structure as in the past, you will be washed away.