Home > Uncategorized > Why Are Old-Media Companies Still Spinning Their Wheels?

Why Are Old-Media Companies Still Spinning Their Wheels?

Tech Crunch reports in this article that AOL’s Patch has bought Outside.In, a news aggregator aimed at delivering hyper-localized content. The deal was valued at under $10 million.

It’s stories like this that disappoint me the most in today’s modern media world. I believe that hyperlocal news has a strong future ahead of it, but I don’t think Patch, Outside.In or any of the other companies experimenting in this field will be the major players when all is said and done.

Moves like the ones that AOL has made lately in acquiring Huffington Post and Outside.In, are like the equivalent of buying out the Mozilla company so you can view a webpage. Outside.In and all these crazy little content aggregators are nice, but they don’t get at the heart of what Web 2.0 is and what Web 3.0 can be. Patch, and every other journalistic outlet need to understand that they are no longer in the business of news distribution. They are in the business of news gathering and production.

There are plenty of sites already available that have the user base and the demographic information to properly spread information; namely Google and Facebook. There is certainly room for a few more giants though, and if someone can create a network experience that people want to join, they can become a player.

Imagine a world where you log into your Facebook account. You click on your news app, which presents you news from your country, your state, your region and your local community. An article from the NY Times is right next to a video produced for Patch on a string of burglaries in your area. You can have access to the information that affects you the most, on various different levels. The data Facebook has on you can be fed back to advertisers, which in turn will fund the quality journalism you experience daily.

The real trick in all this, is to control what the data they mine on you can and can’t be used for. It’s one thing if you know my car is falling apart and show me a Toyota ad. It’s another entirely if you take a picture of me enjoying a beer and send it to my employer.

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