You may not have heard, but media is dying. People have stopped paying attention to it. Everywhere you look around you, distribution of traditional papers, magazines, ads are slowing down, generating lower ROI and making it much more difficult to reach people with content.
What is the way to address this problem? Split the content up into micro-sized chunks and make it more digestible.
Rather than giving them 30 stories in one package at the end of every month, give them one-story a day.
One story a day is digestible, and it ensures that people actually pay attention to the content and articles.
You also address this by asking people’s permissions to deliver the content to them in a personalized way.
Rather than giving people a massive general magazine at the end of every month, split it up into sections (e.g. Telecom, Software, HR & Hiring) and let them subscribe to an individual stream however they want to.
Let’s study the case study of CNN to understand these concepts more:
CNN has had similar challenges in the face of Digg — They invest resources to publish comprehensive news pieces on their websites that people are not reading.
Rather than go into more depth, lets just go into CNN’s answer to this and study that. The answer is shown below:
At the start of each story, they are now adding a “highlights” section that contains no more than four bullets that sum up the entire story for them.
This is brilliant — you can quickly get an idea about what a breaking news story is, and choose to read it only if you are interested. In this way, CNN asks you for your permission to describe details about that story, rather than just hand it to you and let you figure it out.
In this way, CNN is solving two problems:
1- It is able to better engage people on the stories that interest them. Readers can quickly guess whether they would want to care about a story. Better engagement would mean followup comments, remarks, and greater interaction with the CNN community.
2- It is able to better serve news to people, who can now quickly skim through breaking news to understand a high-level picture of what’s going on.
What else can CNN do?
Well CNN has some excellent people in charge of these summaries because they are right on spot.
To make this a Digg killer, CNN could move all of these story highlights on their main page on a right-hand column — all breaking news with the four bullets of highlights.
Then let people vote the story up or down within the main page.
That would be a killer way of consuming professional news.