Friday, April 06, 2007

An inability to change?

A lot has been written about print and broadcast newsrooms' resistance and inability to change (go to Readership.org and scroll down to The Newspaper Organization, for instance).

Now, Paul Conley suggests that perhaps Web organizations, along with the business-to-business publishing industry that he covers, may be structurally incapable of reacting to "the next big thing" as well.

From his post:
In the past few months I've noticed a problem. It's the same problem that Christensen has studied. It's the same problem that plagued us as we moved from the print world to the Web:
Our companies aren't structured to respond to the next big thing.
I've met with dozens of people from dozens of content companies. Some of these companies are newly Web-focused. Others are Web-only companies and email newsletter companies born in recent years.
And I'm seeing the exact same attitudes, beliefs, work rules, chains of command and silos that I saw in the print-only companies that failed to respond to the Web. I meet email newsletter folks who don't know what RSS is, because "that's not our business." I meet Web journalists who don't think about widgets "because our customers aren't asking for them." I meet managers of online companies who laugh at mobile content ("our readers want more detailed analysis than you can get on a Blackberry,") roll their eyes at online communities ("those are for teenagers") and won't visit a virtual world ("our audience are high-end serious people. None of them play computer games.)
Go read the rest. It will make you think -- or it should, at least.

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