Future of Media, Print, Publishing: Conversation with Gerd Leonhard

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The latest in the Meeting of the Minds series of conversations between fellow-futurist Gerd Leonhard and myself is on the Future of Media, Print, Publishing, produced by Jonathan Marks. The video and some summary notes from the conversation are below.

Some of the things we discuss:
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Study: Global comparisons of news consumption and shifting channels

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The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford has just published the very interesting 110 page Digital News Report 2013, which draws on an extensive survey of news consumption across nine major countries.

Below are a selection of some of the most interesting data points in the report, focusing on how people are paying for news, along with brief commentary. Source for all data is Digital News Report 2013

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There is very strong variation in the degree to which newspapers are bought by subscription or at the newsstand. This is one of the factors we looked at in our Newspaper Extinction Timeline, as it shapes how quickly people are likely to change their news consumption habits.
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Promoting alcohol on social media: where do we draw the line?

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Last Friday I was interviewed for a segment on ABC 7pm News about alcohol advertising on social media. Click on the image below to see the video.

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The piece begins:
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Thinking about the future: Why predictions usually (but not always) have negative value

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A few days ago I spoke at the opening dinner of a strategy offsite for a professional firm, on the topic of ‘Thinking About The Future‘. It is a very common style of engagement for me, being briefed to set the broadest possible mental frame for executives before their in-depth discussions on directions for the business. The session went extremely well in provoking some very interesting conversations during the evening, and I gather driving new thinking through the rest of the offsite.

Just before I spoke the executive group had heard from a well-known economist who was giving them economic forecasts for the next 10 years.

As such, in my presentation I explained why forecasts usually have negative value. I spent a long time working in financial markets, and I have seen market and economic forecasts tremendously abused.

The most important point is that almost all forecasts will turn out to be wrong. The future is unpredictable. Giving numerical values to future economic or market data can easily shut down useful thinking about the reality of uncertainty and the range of possibilities that may transpire.
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The future of news: automated, crowdsourced, and better than ever

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ABC journalist Mark Colvin last week delivered the Andrew Olle Media Lecture, a prestigious annual lecture on journalism. Mark is a Twitter afficionado as well as journalist with over three decades of experience, making him a great choice for the lecture this year.

The full transcript of the lecture provides rich stories from the history of journalism in Australia, and an incisive view of the present.

On the topic of crowdsourcing, Mark says:
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Slides for Crowdsourcing for Media and Content workshop in New York

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Last Friday in New York, shortly before Sandy shook things up, I ran a Crowdsourcing for Media and Content workshop as part of the Crowdsourcing Week global series of events.

Media is one of the domains which has been the most impacted by crowdsourcing over the last decade, in a wide variety of guises. The intent of the workshop was to dig into the many ways in which crowdsourcing can be applied in creating media and content, and how to do so most effectively.

Below I have shared the slides used in the workshop. They were designed simply to provide some context to the flow of the workshop, and certainly not to stand alone as content, but they may be of some interest even if you did not attend.

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Crowdsourcing workshops in NYC: Crowds for marketing and Crowds for media and content

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I wrote Getting Results From Crowds to provide a broad view of the rapidly growing role of crowds in business and society, and how to get the best outcomes from using crowdsourcing. From there, I have been delving into what I see as some of the most important specific applications of crowds, including business models, marketing, and media.

I will be sharing some of that work, and bringing together some of the most talented and experienced people in these spaces at a series of events in the US in late October.

I have already written a little about the Crowd Business Models Summit on October 22 in San Francisco. The speaker line-up we have for that is fantastic; the event should put the topic of crowd business models squarely on the entrepreneurial agenda.

Later that week, as part of the Crowdsourcing Week venture, I will be running two crowdsourcing workshops in New York City:

Crowdsourcing for Marketing in Enterprise & Agencies

Crowdsourcing for Media & Content
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Designing content for the reality of multi-screen access: smartphone, tablet, PC, TV

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The relatively recent rise of smartphones and tablets has changed how we use tech and how we consume news. However, while they have eroded usage of the long established interfaces of PCs, laptops, and TVs, they certainly haven’t supplanted them.

This has lead us to the dawning of new phase in which a large proportion of people in the developed world consume content and use applications across four different primary screens: smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs, and TV (or more generally the primary large screen in the household).

Google is clearly interested in understanding how people use these four screens on their own and together, and has sponsored an interesting study The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior, also embedded below.


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Apple’s platforms for success and why it is worth 76% more than when Steve Jobs died

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I did a couple of interviews today about the news that Apple’s market capitalization of $622 billion is the highest ever in absolute dollars (though not in inflation-adjusted terms). In the interview below I discuss some of the current landscape for Apple.

I was also interviewed for a segment on the 7pm News.

Here are a few of the thoughts I shared in my interviews, not all of which were included in the segments above.
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Research on the declining credibility of established news organizations – this creates opportunities for new ones

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Pew Research Center has just released the latest results in an study that has been running since 1983 on the credibility of US news organizations under the title Further Decline in Credibility Ratings for Most News Organizations. Some of the data is shown below.


Source: Pew Research Center for the People & The Press
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