Ideas for saving newspapers #368-372: send everyone home, fire your marketing department, stop having meetings


Brian Storm of MediaStorm, the innovative photo- and video-journalism site, said in an interview with Poynter that he doesn’t think the web is leading to a revolution in storytelling. Rather,

“What’s innovative is that we’re doing this in my apartment in our socks.”

Last year traffic to was up 500% over the previous year, despite the fact that they spend nothing on marketing.

“Our marketing is our product.”

MediaStorm has a newsletter, a vodcast, a Ning and even an OS X widget, none of which would have happened were it a larger organization.

“When I was at Corbis, to even think about doing a widget, it would have taken weeks — to have all the meetings about why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it. The great thing about being a small business is, you can wake up in the morning and say ‘this is important.'”

MediStorm consists of six people.

“But it’s the right six people.”

Brian also talked about the mis-allocation of funds at media organizations — for example, having highly-paid reporters create “perishable content,” — the sort of stuff that could be better accomplished by compensated citizen journalists or bloggers. Not to mention the fact that putting reporters on that kind of content keeps them from doing the more in-depth, unique coverage that the blogosphere simply can’t do — the kind of stories that really drive traffic because they’re exclusives — the antithesis of the flood of commodity news that is available everywhere.

All I’ve got to say is: Thank you, Brian Storm, for confirming every notion I’ve ever had about the wrong-headed thinking and institutional paralysis that seems to be endemic to nearly all old-media organizations.

via Jeff


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