A Mashable article by Woody Lewis, “Newspapers: 5 Ways to Avoid Extinction,” provides some interesting and helpful advice for newspapers desperately attempting to save themselves. And Lewis has some really strong ideas. One piece of advice he gives that I find particularly interesting is his suggestion that newspapers may want to seek out strong technology partners at universities, where students are being trained to use the web.
His five gems of advice are:
- Embrace chaos
Chaos can be traumatic for the unimaginative, but abandoning the center of gravity can be a lifesaver. Believing in the sanctity of newspapers will not improve their chances. Random events, driven by technology and social use patterns, will shape the future.
- Devise a new strategy that emphasizes alliances and collaboration
Whether the affiliate organization is for-profit or non-profit, when a newspaper reaches out to another entity, it practices a corporate form of social media.
- Find a strong technology partner
Most newspapers don’t have the in-house resources to plan and manage such projects, and they certainly don’t have much of a budget for outside consultants. One source of talent might be the universities, where journalism programs have already embraced the next wave of technologies. Tomorrow’s reporters have no stake in eulogizing a bygone era – they’re too busy training for the future.
- Create a Twitter taxonomy
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but for the moment, establishing a hierarchy of Twitter accounts comes close.
- Explore micropublishing solutions
Projects like The Printed Blog, which offers aggregations of selected blog content in downloadble PDF and limited distribution print formats, might not be the wave of the future, but they’re examples of the hybrid approach that might work in local markets.
Be sure to check out the full article.