Thursday, April 27, 2006

Idea Currency

While eating dinner with Michele and Sandy, I had an idea.

There are lots of peer-to-peer media creation projects and experiments online. There are very few offline. Companies such as Pluck (through their BlogBurst effort) are striving to syndicate blog content on mainstream media Web sites.

What if peer-to-peer media creation spilled over offline? This could happen in at least two ways:

  • What if daily newspapers and newsstand magazines syndicated blog content not just online, but offline? What if every article we read in print was accompanied by a reader or citizen comment, insight, or response? Could be in reaction to the article as such, but it could also be a standalone about the topic, theme, or event in general. Spread the letters of comment throughout the periodicals. Every article, a comment. In print, with a link for further discussion online. One early example: Fast Company's Greatest Hits ends each chapter and piece with a letter of comment or response from a reader of the magazine.
  • Many media-making organizations are finding ways to bubble up, highlight, and promote their long-tail offerings. But everyone's trying to move the long tail up the y axis, not extend it out the x axis. What media makers are banking on not just one hit record, but 100 near-hit records (or books), consciously and purposefully planning to build a business on the extended long tail... not increased sales of the existing long tail? One way this might be done is through a subscription model. Make more, expecting lower sales of each, but always-in-print sales of all. One example: the Sanctuary Group. Another: Rhino's One Kiss Can Lead to Another collection.

What do you think? Help me build on this.

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