Jeff Jarvis live blogs what sounds like a rousing keynote by Reuters CEO Tom Glocer at the Online Publishers Association Forum for the Future:
Glocer said a year ago, the focus of Reuters was on â€œthe consumer as editor,â€ with tools such as RSS to allow consumers to consume differently. Now, it has gone far beyond that:
Theyâ€™re consuming, theyâ€™re creating, theyâ€™re sharing, and theyâ€™re publishing themselves. So the consumer wants to not only run the printing preess, the consumer wants to set the Linotype as wellâ€¦.
Our industry is facing a profound challenge from home-created contentâ€¦. If we create the right crossroads, provide the consumers with the appropriate toolsâ€¦ we can harnass what otherwise from the outside would look like a punk revolutionâ€¦.
â€œTechnology is creating a kind of weird, hybrid worldâ€ of mashups, he says. He recognizes a â€œdemand for this new kind of creativityâ€ and there is also an advertising demand for it.
: Whatâ€™s great about Glocerâ€™s talk is not only that he gets it but he gives us respect. Standing in London, he compares bloggers to the great diarists. He says that people will turn to the Rafats of the world to interpret news. He says that bloggers were important in coverage of the last U.S. election. He says that citizen journalism has a long tradition, comparing citizensâ€™ reports of 7/7 with a survivorâ€™s account of the Titantic crash.
The “punk revolution” comment is of course a back-of-the-hand comment at the elitism in some mainstream writing about the great unwashed qua writer (see here and here, for example). But the remark suggests to me a lot more than that Glocer sees opportunity where the elitists feel fear – what I found particularly startling about Jeff’s summary was Glocer’s apparent clarity of mind about what’s happening in Web 2.0 and the promise it offers; in a time when so many in the mainstream are struggling to make sense of the mayhem, Glocer seems to have a clear vision of the opportunity available for those who seize it. Example:
â€œIf the user wants to be both author and editor, and technology is increasingly enabling this, what will be the role of the media companyâ€¦?â€ He has three answers: Media companies will be a â€œseeder of clouds.â€ Nice analogy. I call it a magnet and would recommend that to him for he says that just creating content is not enough; they must attract the people. The second role is to be a â€œprovider of toolsâ€¦ We need to produce open standards and interoperability to allowâ€ disparate people to create content of disparate types. â€œLetâ€™s not make the same mistakes newspapers did with the protectionist online strategies that characterized Internet 1.â€ By that he means not recreating the old content in the new medium. The third role, he says, is that media companies will be â€œfilter and editor.â€ He says that â€œthe good stuff will rise to the topâ€ online.
We are truly witness to one of the great eras of creative destruction, folks – this is a remarkable time to be alive.
Update: Jeremy Wagstaff also has a great post on Glocer’s speech.