Launching the Future of Media Podcast Series – Art Kleiner

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The Future of Media Podcast Series is launched today, kicked off with a fabulous interview with Art Kleiner, who is among other things Editor-in-Chief of Strategy + Business, the quarterly strategy magazine of Booz Allen Hamilton, author of Who Really Matters, editorial director of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook Series, and generally one of the top business thinkers around. His extensive background in media includes running significant consulting projects examining the future of media.

In the interview, Art touches on three key themes:

• The evolution of media formats and conventions

• Giving voice to many participants in a coherent way

• Globalization and localization of media

Art points out that the conventions of newspaper layout and television programs took decades to develop. He notes that in 1888, when newspapers were first produced for wide circulation, the concepts of newspaper headlines, lead stories, classifieds and use of advertising were yet to be developed. Art adds, “Procter & Gamble didn’t make a dime from the format of soap opera. But their initial development of the format of soap opera put them in a position of leadership.”

Art goes on to discuss how the formats of blogs, Wikipedia, HTML, online readership tracking are now evolving. “What we have are the very, very beginnings of formats that ultimately will be influential and widespread…. These are not technological innovations. They are the format innovations that emerge 5 to 10 to 50 to 100 years after the original technology.”

Another theme that Art emphasizes in the podcast is the challenge of globalization for media. “ New media that have previously been tied to a particular nation or locale, have the challenge of recreating themselves around communities of interest,” says Kleiner. He suggests, for example, that a local newspaper such as Silicon Valley’s San Jose Mercury could become a global brand for technology news. Referring to his own magazine, Strategy + Business, he says its challenge is “how exactly we evolve so we keep our distinctive presence and make it a global presence. The same is true for every other publication.”

Art says that “we are still 10-20 years away from establishing conventions for new media, even moving at internet speed,” and that a huge amount of experimentation with formats is needed.

Highly recommended podcast! Have a listen, and subscribe to the RSS feed for the podcast series, available from the link.

More great interviews in the Future of Media Podcast Series out soon, including Jerry Michalski, Nicholas Scibetta of Ketchum PR, Bruce Wolpe of Fairfax, and far more. The podcast series is associated with the Future of Media Summit 2006, which will be held simultaneously in Sydney and San Francisco – more details on this soon.

  • Hey Ross, how come you don’t have more genuine new media types speaking at your Sydney event? Seems pretty top heavy with folks representing big old giants. It’s hard for you to genuinely position them as “at the edge of the future”, unless you mean they are on the edge of falling OFF. 🙂

  • Hi Cameron, fair comment – to a point. I do think that our speakers including Ben Barren, David Sifry, Ross Gibson, Craig Newmark etc. are among those creating the future of media. However this event is about the Future of Media, not the Future of New Media. Like it or not, News Corp, Fairfax, Conde Nast (publishers of Wired) and their ilk will be central to the future of media (for at least a decade or so), so it would be taking a rather narrow view of the future not to give them a solid place at this forum. There are a lot of events where new media people talk to each other, and they all get wiser, but no-one else does. Part of the idea of the event is to create broader awareness and understanding of these issues, and that means geting the people who are current in the center of media to be involved and to engage with other thinkers and perspectives…