Friday, September 05, 2008

Futurist Rogers leaves NYT, CNN gets Twitterized, CNBC links up with LinkedIn

Two years ago, new media guru Michael Rogers joined the NYTimes Company as its "Futurist in Residence." It was supposed to be a one-year appointment--and turned into two. This a.m., Jeff Bercovici in Conde Nast Portfolio reports that Rogers is now leaving NYTCo to go back to consulting

What did Rogers find out about the newspaper biz in the two years he was at NYTCo? Well, he's pretty sanguine on newspapers continuing: "I've been doing this for 20 years now, and the longer I do it the more it seems like a really good medium that's going to be around for quite a while longer." Although he admits that there will be a huge shakeout over the "next five to eight years" and that the Times, more than other papers, has been doing the right things and is in the right position.

I'd have to agree with Rogers (who I met in Feb '07 at the first Miami-based We Media conference) that NYT is indeed positioned to succeed--but not because it is a newspaper. Rogers says:"I think the Times is doing more than most any other media company I've worked with in the past."

The New York Times--without owning any TV stations and, according to Wikipedia, only one radio station and a limited number of newspapers--has indeed positioned itself as a media company, with lots of different kinds of online only media available through its homepage.

Perhaps NYTCo saw the future in Internet properties earlier than other newspaper companies, and wisely kept its resources focused on newspapers and the Internet--rather than dabbling heavily in cross-media ownership like Tribune. That focus could be what has enabled NYTCo to be far more than just an big ole newspaper with a lukewarm online presence. As a media company, NYTCo could conceivably compete with other growing media companies *and* keep a print edition going.

Meanwhile cable TV's news behemoth, CNN has delved further into social media. As I learned last night from Jack Lail, CNN is making some smart moves on Twitter, and Mashable reported that CNN anchor and editor Don Lemon was on Twitter fishing for replies after segments....

I decided to follow Lemon--and you can too at @donlemoncnn. I may have to start thinking politically if I want to converse with Lemon. I hope my head doesn't explode ;-)

And speaking of media outlets (like cable tv) getting "social": CNBC announced on Wednesdaya partnership with LinkedIn
Under the agreement, CNBC will become LinkedIn's preferred business media provider and will offer CNBC text, articles and blogs, financial data, and video content selected from its nearly 100 on-air interviews broadcast each day to LinkedIn's large, growing, global user base. Conversely, community-generated content from LinkedIn will be broadcast on CNBC including survey results and on-air Q&As with CNBC guests and reporters. In addition, CNBC will integrate LinkedIn community and networking functionality into, enabling users to share and discuss news with their professional networks.

Now, this makes me wonder--will CNBC be trying to make some dough off of User-Generated Content by doing the whole niche thing? And do LinkedIn users want to be mingling with CNBC and handing over UGC for CNBC's use?

But this isn't the only "strategic" partnership LinkedIn is making with big media: Wired Mag's Chris Snyder mentions briefly that LinkedIn is also partnering with BusinessWeek on BusinessExchange (which I blogged about here) Funny thing about what Snyder says about BusinessExchange--that "a community of readers can create and discuss various business topics, wiki-style." Business Exchange has been said to be many thing, and now it's adding wiki-style to the description. I'm beginning to feel like I'm a character in the story of the blind men elephant when it comes to Business Exchange. Guess we won't know exactly what it is until our media blindfolds are off.

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