When will the news industry bite the bullet and embrace this social (MEDIA) revolution? Samuel Axon of Mashable and journalist Paul Bradshaw say news won’t make the move until the money does. I suppose this is true, once some enterprising pioneers from print media see the gold on the bottom of this internet river the masses will be there to bring up the rear. But who are our pioneers? Since the Industrial Revolution the biggest innovation we’ve seen is the internet itself, so, what now? Now that we’ve crafted this monstrous beast how will we tame it… or maybe just learn how to embrace its wild side?
The usual all-too-often-mentioned and not-enough-modeled-after contenders aside, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, et al., I am not sure I even know what a true modern pioneer looks like. What I do know is this: innovation is bred from obstacles, and pioneers are the ones who find ways to turn obstacles into stepping stones. The news sites Axon mentions in his article are an excellent beginning for the transition from print to web, and all utilize social media to boot, but they seem to me to be prospectors, rather than pioneers. Not that this is a bad thing! All enterprising, brave endeavors, the first ones out there to test the waters before the big bucks arrive, and making a jolly good stab at it; but which of them will be able to settle the new frontier, turn the old ways on their backsides and finally get the industry to take the leap?