Jeff Jarvis’s Guardian article sets out some pretty good advise for the future of media … the group hug. He says “it is less about products – that is, controlling content and distribution – and more about networks”.
How true is that? There are not many sites which have enough money for large editorial teams to create online content. Surely the only really sustainable option is to find ways for your content to actually come from your network – either the people who you represent or the people who the site serves?
For the work I am doing at the 24 Hour Museum, this is what we call our direct data entry system – where cultural institutions put their own information onto our system themselves. For me, this network of over 1,500 organisations is at the heart of our sites success and all of our future plans.
We need to nurture our network so that it is a rich living thing that produces content for us. We can then curate our own front end websites or services for different audiences using that content and hey presto … we have something that is sustainable and can evolve (as well as all the other benefits).
As Jeff says ” curate more and create less. Or as I have said in my PowerPoints: Do what you do best and link to the rest. And: gather more and produce less – but encourage others to produce more so you can gather it. And how do you do that? Pay them.”
Sharing advertising revenue with your network is a great way to keep them active in the network. I don’t think it is the only thing but is a business model worth looking into. I have ever seen this done in the publicly funded online world. But why not? Why not let income sharing be an incentive along with shared advocacy, cultural entitlement and straight up cross promotion?
Surely this is what Google have done?