The internet has changed the way that media is consumed. It’s more fragmented, more specialized, and being created by a larger number of people than it ever has before. While a sick 19 year old boy was able to create a media giant from his bed, more traditional publications have struggled keeping readership afloat.
The new world of media isn’t about the authority of the publication, but about the authority of the writers for the publication.
We used to to look at outlets like The New York Times and trust everything that was written (and we still do), but online, anything and everything should be looked at with a critical eye. How often have you seen a guest post on Mashable and questioned the authority of who wrote it?
Instead, we tend to float our tendencies towards certain writers. You may find yourself consuming everything that Chris Brogan says, or MG Siegler blogs about, or Robert Scoble shoots a video of. Today, we live in an age of media influencers. Regular people, just like you and me can create a website and have the power to make or break a brand.
The recent TechCrunch debacle proves that publications don’t matter as much as they used to. Even though Michael Arrington, MG Siegler, Paul Carr, and Sarah Lacy have left the blog, their presence is felt online as much now as it was before. In fact, when Arrington left to start his one man vanity blog, he still retained 68% of his viewership!
The internet has shifted influence from the press to the people. That needs to be kept in mind if you want to thrive in the brave new world of marketing – those who spend all their time failing to pitch The New York Times will be eclipsed by those who see the the benefit in gaining the attention of one man vanity blogs.