Newspapers as social networks
Ross Mayfield, writing at the Telegraph blog usually manned by Shane Richmond, has an excellent post about this today.
One framework I suggest for thinking through strategic options begins with a question. What area of coverage is desired by your (former) readers, but is too expensive to provide?
If you are open to sharing control to create value, the economics favour you. Social software, especially because of the leverage provided by open source, isn’t a significant expense. If you can foster community, participants have a propensity to contribute what you used to call content (and they may simply call conversations).
I often wonder if the idea of community even applies nowadays in places like sprawling U.S. suburbs. I know it works in small towns, but those are an endangered species in much of North America.
Community exists in numerous forms that are not geographical but rather are based on language, religion, culture. If you tie these to a location (say, southwestern England, or north-central Florida), can you nurture a seedling and grow a community?
online media | social networks | Web 2.0 | culture | community | audiences | newspapers