Henry Blodget and Kamelia Angelova wrote an inspiring piece in Business Insider about the "incredible shrinking New York Times."
They inspired me to try to connect the dots for the Times management, once again. There is a solution to the puzzle, but it requires some radical redirection of attention.
Tumblr is hiring reporters to cover itself.
Rex Hammock, my very good friend, says it's not new, but it is new. It's not just an company covering its users, it's a blogging community covering itself.
Back in the old days of blogging we called this "watching them watch us watch them watch us watch them watch us etc."
Reddit is doing a great interview of a NYT reporter who wrote a book about the Obama Administration. Brian Stelter, a reporter for the Times says it's the best interview of her he's seen. (She's done a lot of interviews lately.)
Facebook will soon go public with so much cash being generated, and the Times could have been Facebook. But they keep missing that the economics of news is rapidly changing. They erected a Maginot Line to try once more to insist that there has been no change. But it's just keeping them from growing.
The function of a newsroom in the future is to coordinate the voices of the world to produce a coherent news product. That job will be done in very much the model that Tumblr is doing it. You could have started with a blogging community or you could have started with a news organization, but they're both heading to the same place.
The Times of course has the best newsroom. So why don't they evolve a blogging platform like Tumblr's? They should have. I've been begging them to do it since the mid-90s. There's still time to gather some of the leftover energy in the web, and to be prepared to catch some of the deserters when Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter et al stumble at growing into the space formerly occupied exclusively by the Times, Wash Post, etc.