Paul Conley is one of my favorite media bloggers because he’s so honest. Unfortunately, he’s so busy that he doesn’t post as often as he used to. But when he does, the thinking is insightful. Like this post that he wrote a week ago: Is the Revolution Over?
For a decade or so now the world of journalism has been one of ceaseless change and challenge. Consider, if you will, just some of the major technologies and practices we’ve adopted: external links, blogging platforms, mobile delivery, slideshows, podcasting, database reporting, RSS, email newsletters, Webcasts, Twitter, Facebook, search-engine optimization, etc.
Think, too, of the cultural changes we’ve made in our working lives as journalists: comments on articles, Creative Commons licenses, open-source software systems, user-generated content, revenue-sharing compensation plans, aggregated content, standalone journalists, etc.
It’s been a madcap series of never-ending developments. It’s been glorious and exciting. But I think it may be over.
Be honest. What was the last new development in journalism/publishing that you were truly excited about?
Twitter? Sure. It’s wonderful. But it’s hardly new. It launched in 2006! And it caught fire in 2007.
The iPhone? Yea. I love mine too. But it’s already more than two years old.
Read the whole thing.
Last weekend, I was talking with Mark Briggs and Robb Montgomery at the APME NewsTrain workshop, and we all noted the way that the discussion around the news industry online seems to circle back on itself every so often (oh, it’s micropayments! Again? commenters are so mean! meaner than six months ago when this conversation cropped up?).
Such circular discussions hint at the phenomenon Paul is talking about above. I don’t think the well of innovation is necessarily running dry, and I’m sure there are some pretty cool new software and hardware toys out there that will influence journalism of the future. But I’m also hopeful that some of the pace of change will slow down a little so journalists (and everyone, really) can get a better handle on the tools they have just received.
The next decade of news “innovation” may be spent more on perfecting the use of the tools that have recently been invented than with learning tools that haven’t been developed yet.
Of course, tomorrow I’m traveling to San Francisco for the Online News Association Convention, where I’ll be looking out for specific new tools or software that truly push the boundaries instead of remixing the now. Look for further updates as the weekend progresses.