In this article is some of the best advice that I’ve seen yet for publishers of old media who are trying to devise a new business model (other than suing their customers, AP).
You know the guy is on target when he points out that the threat Twitter poses to Google isn’t real time search … its the URL shorteners.
If media companies want to compete with Google, they need to look at the source of its power — judging good content, which enables Google to be the most efficient and effective distributor of content. They also need to look at Google’s fundamental limitation — its judgment is dependent on OTHER people expressing their judgment of content in the form of links. Above all, they need to look at sources of content judgment that Google currently can’t access, because they are not yet expressed as links on the web.
And yet, while this is good advice on how to make money at content distribution, it still doesn’t answer the big question: how do you make money at content creation? That question gets some cursory attention in this article by Penny Herscher, here.
Her thinking is that you protect your content creators – who are providing journalism as a public service – by granting them something like 501c3 status (but its tough to see how aggressive investigative journalism could adhere to 501c3 restrictions), and then provide them with a VRM arrangement for shopping content to the distributors. The one point she leaves hanging is how you might enforce the sales contracts between creator and distributor. With of a wave of her hand she invokes a form of DRM to solve that problem. We can look to the RIAA to see how well DRM works.