A rather excellent rant from Mr Paul Bradshaw on the Curation is King cliché that’s doing the rounds right now. Go and read it, and then join me back here…
Did you enjoy it? I think there’s an important point underlying all of this – and that’s a search of a magic bullet, the one solution that will allow publishers to transition painlessly to the digital age. From paywalls to “content is king” to iPad magazines to the newly-discovered enthusiasm for aggregation, which some of us were talking about four years ago, each is seen as simple solution to continue with something that feels much like business as usual.
But I think that’s a doomed hunt.
There will not be one solution to the current malaise that affects our traditional business models, but a complex mix of all of the above. Great content has its role, as does thoughtful aggregation, and new publication channels. But so does building relationships with our readers and interacting with the wider online community, and new ways of reporting using the new tools. We need to find other ways of making money, other forms of value that we can provide for our markets, and which will have a symbiotic relationship with our journalism.
There is no easy answer, otherwise we’d have found it after over a decade. Complexity is the new reality. Clichés are just a crutch.