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The whole reason I started blogging was to “conversate” about the web, media and how they were (and many time were not) coming together. The company I work for (Gazette Communication) has been in the “oh crap, people are not reading newspapers like they used to – what do we do now” boat with a lot of other old media companies for a while, realizing the world is changing and it is time to change or be trampled by new media outlets.
I was so glad, and nervous, to hear of the bold moves we have made over the last week or so. (The process has been going on for over a year – so I was very glad to see the outward push.) The Gazette has made the decision that it is time to change – or, hopefully, transform. A part of this transformation is explained in our editor’s (Steve Buttry) post from Saturday:
The changes we are making are no surprise: Chuck Peters, our CEO, began discussing them with the staff about two years ago, long before I showed up last June. He began blogging last April about the need to change.
For all of those 126 years, our success has been tied to a packaged product, a newspaper. Even though our customers like that packaged product and many even love it, they aren’t buying it because of the package but because of the content: stories, photographs, columns, graphics, editorials, obituaries, calendars, box scores, lists of information, advertisements.
We’re moving to a way which will allow the content to be much more portable than is has ever been before – and that is hard. Hard because not only have we personally been doing this for 126 years, but there are not a lot of road maps on making it work. So we’re traveling in uncharted territory.
And even though all eyes are on the news room – you can rest assured this message is clear throughout the entire organization. My job is in technical services, in web development. So although we’re no where near the front line, you can bet our service is something which will be so important and we want to be the best we can be too.
Read more about how and what technical services is thinking here at Mike Coleman’s (my boss):
As we continue as a company to close in on target models for information content gathering and packaged product delivery, one thing is very clear. We still have some distance to cover before a clear path is laid for gathering or packaging content.
This is the first of many very scary, but positives, moves into the direction of content creation for a new media world. I applaud the Gazette for being aggressive in a time where the easy road leads directly into passive town, but the dirt road leads over aggressive mountain.
We’re building new roads and albeit I am very nervous, most of all overwhelmingly excited to be a part of it. This is one of those times when you day – yup, I was a part of that.