It's not the droids we're looking for

Another AP thought has been kicking around my head the past couple days — Simon Waldman catches a nice bit in Tom Curley’s speech:

Who is in control? The gadget makers? The search engines? The online
and wireless networks that transport our digital content?
Look closer and you’ll see the users themselves are the ones in
control, and their demand is pretty clear: They want what they want
when they want it. And therein lies our opportunity.
All of us here today in the so-called “mainstream media” have the power
— individually and cooperatively — to reclaim our relevance to modern
audiences and to move news back to the center of the information
It’s a world too sophisticated to be left to farms of servers and
robots and business models built only on them.

This hearkens back to the recent discussion of scale: What I’ve seen in internet media, and particularly local internet media, time and time again, is the quest for a machine that you can turn on and let run itself whilst advertisers and readers naturally flock to it. That’s what most people think of as scale.

Just won’t happen. Ever. The trick is to create a technological system that enables humans to provide the right content, at the right time, to the right people — in an economically scalable environment.

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.