Prediction: Social media will make the journalist king
“top talent will either leave or wield infinite leverage. It’ll start innocently enough. A few journalists will organize events, self-publish successful books, and get media attention simply because of how viral their work is. Once those activities start earning real money, the digitally savvy will be emboldened. The technophobic will have no choice but to jump in.”
Prediction 1: New media ventures built around star journalists
Start Competing Media Ventures: This is already beginning. The talented team of tech writers at Engadget mysteriously stopped enjoying being in the AOL family. So, Joshua Topolsky and company parlayed their fame and Jimmy Fallon appearances into an instant hit blog called The Verge. A few years ago, tech luminary Leo Laporte turned his likability and TechTV and radio fame into a multimillion dollar podcast empire.
A Fragile Moment for Big Media, Jul 2015
we’re about to see a huge shift in the layout of big media houses — a shift that we’ve already seen inklings of with the rise of freelance writers and YouTube stars. Little by little, major publishers are losing their power in a world that’s allowing individuals to generate a lot more revenue from their own content — with no middleman.
Glenn Greenwald Founds The Intercept, Feb 2014
“Silver, who built his reputation first with baseball predictions then with the best US election forecasts in the business, has turned his hand to launching a standalone data journalism website.”
Others parlayed their social media fame into independent ventures within bigger companies:
Prediction 2: Rise of corporate “journalism”
Corporate Advocacy Corporations love smart people who can attract an audience, enhance their brand, and keep lawyers off of speed dial. After all, talent is talent. Clear thinkers, visionaries, and good communicators are always in demand. Well, meet Robert Scoble, the most connected, influential, non-journalist on the digital earth. Robert became a popular, non-stop tech blogger since leaving Microsoft years ago. Since then, he has amassed such a rabid following (91,000+ Facebook Fans, including Mark Z. himself) that Rackspace hired him as a roving embassador and discoverer of new technologies. A job that never existed before, but will from now on.
It’s part of a larger trend of diluting what the term “journalist” means. Just as “journalism” has devolved into the much broader, more brand-friendly term “content,” a journalist could now mean anything from Woodward and Bernstein to a kid who makes GIFs for BuzzFeed’s social channels.
Then he took a marketing gig with a software startup. It did not go well.
Lyons left the job in late 2014 — he lasted a little more than a year