He provided a framework for how media is transitioning from lecture to conversation, with journalists (the least interesting group, also includes PR/Marketing functions that need to find a new role), newsmakers (now bypass the funnel) and the former audience (who rolls their own media and participates in it). New tools make it all possible.
Here are some of the outtakes:
- On industry transition: "Worried about the unraveling business model of media. It needs to be replaced with something that honors the public interest. Otherwise you end up with a cacophony instead of a Tower of Babel."
- On doing a startup and market timing: "if you pre-empt everyone else, it will fail...contrary to wildly wildly over the top speculation, I have not 'cracked the code'...getting a business partner to figure out monetization..."
- On best practices: "have to capture the fevor, knowledge, energy and talent of the grassroots that is waiting to have a role"
- On Hyperlocal media: "Local papers have a position in the community and one of authority. Apply the tools for the community for where you do not have staff and do not vouche for what they produce. If they do not do these kinds of experiments, there are new startups that will."
The overarching theme was the innovator's delimma that faced the decision makers in the room, one participant even described it as such, "stuck defending standards, practices and infrastructure." Dan noted media is a high margin conservative business, whose margins are erroding. He highlighted the role of analysts and capital markets which trickles down to loose the trust of citizens. Blogs are a "goad to make journalism better" and new competition is "nimble, financed, lower margin and not interested in journalism." One commenter said there is also an issue of the arrogance of newsroom culture and no-one disagreed. Dan sees a real role for traditional journalism practices and opportunity for established institutions to leverage more than their brand.
At some point, campaign politics came into the discussion. What I love about Dan is he doesn't hide or hide behind his politics.