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You're In the Media Biz Now

By - February 21, 2008

I’ve been thinking about media for a long time now, and if asked to give advice to folks who are *not* in the media business, I often offer this chestnut: You’re in the media business too, whether you like it or not. As part of a long term sponsorship, American Express asked me to opine over on their site, you can find my first post here. An excerpt:

Today, I’ll assert, no matter what business you think you’re in – be it making widgets or providing a service, you’re now in the media business, plain and simple. Those that recognize this shift will succeed, those that ignore it will atrophy and eventually become irrelevant.

Now, what do I mean by the media business? Well, let’s start where all good businesses start: with the customer. Your customer’s media habits have changed dramatically in the past ten years. More likely than not, your customers spend nearly 15 hours a week online – it’s where they play, communicate, interact with services, and shop and research major purchases. In short, your customer has developed a major new media habit. The question is: Has your business?


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One thought on “You're In the Media Biz Now

  1. I first wondered over there on the AMEX blog that we might be part of the conversation business. But we’re not, since a conversation doesn’t always materialize where you expect it to.

    It’s better to say that we’re all in the documentation business. We construct media, not because we’re going to have a conversation *today*, but to have one in the future, if we’re lucky, across many generations, with many readers, Talmudic-style. I would venture a hypothesis that the most successful businesses (and open source projects) have the best documentation, but I do not have full time to test it out.

    The document culture operates between us like so:
    You write a blog post about Google in 2004, and you expand it to a book in 2005, and I first become aware of it in 2006, and then I write a 3,000-word response to it in 2007 (ok, in December), and, now that it is 2008, perhaps we may talk about it now, such that you can fulfill your promise “I am committed to updating this work at the Searchblog site.”

    No rush… Media (in the strict sense of the term) is ephemeral, but documents persist.