The Mass Intelligent

This epic presentation by Andrew Rashbass of The Economist hypothesises that smart is the new cool, and what that means for publishing.

Lean back media: the shock of the old

The Mass Intelligent

In other positive ‘hope for the future of media’ news, Salon have discovered that for this intelligent audience, less really does equal more — specifically: 33 percent fewer posts = 40 percent greater traffic.

A few years ago, as Salon (like all publications), tried to right our ship in deeply troubled recessionary waters, we followed the familiar script of other sites — we laid off terrific staffers to lower our costs; we brutally pared down our expenses; we revamped staff priorities so that writers could simply produce more;  we experimented in a fair amount of low-calorie aggregation. And yes, there’s that word: Aggregation, the most inflammatory (and sometimes, hilarious) in our industry. So let me explain exactly what I mean by it: Short (a few hundred words) summaries or explainers about a major news event covered more in depth by somebody else. In its best form, we wrote short little decoders of a big  story, and tried to link generously to the original source. At its worst, we monitored Twitter and Google for trending topics, and dispatched an intern to cobble together our own summary, posted it quickly, then prayed to the Google gods that the effort would win, if only briefly, their favor.

Hit record – Kerry Lauerman – open.salon.com

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