Several weeks ago, while purchasing a commemorative copy of the Rocky Mountain News, I came to the realization that two distinct stories, symbolic of the shift in media landscape, were playing themselves out on both ends of US-36. In Denver, The Rocky Mountain News, a symbol of traditional mainstream media, was closing down after almost 150 years of publishing. In Boulder, at Filtrbox, a young new media company, we were celebrating the release of the latest version of our service, Filtrbox G2. While the people at the Rocky Mountain News were probably not aware of Filtrbox, I had a keen eye on the daily goings on at The Rocky and I looked at the whole situation at the Rocky as a symbolic passing of the media torch.
As a long time resident of the state of Colorado, its was tough buying the last copy of the Rocky. As the CTO of Filtrbox, I lamented the loss of yet another mainstream content source. Contrary to what many may expect, in my opinion, the loss of content source like the Rocky is no cause for celebration at Filtrbox. The reason is that the death of a medium, such the newspaper, is a natural cycle; media have come and gone over the years. However, one thing that has remained constant is the content. There is no substitute for good content. Whether Mike Littwin’s dispatches from the political stump or Dave Krieger’s Broncos inside scoop or Penny Parker’s celebrity sightings around town are delivered via pony express, the telegraph, the tabloid, the broadsheet, the web or a Filtrbox Daily Briefing, its all all great compelling content that I want to read on a regular basis. Thus, the death of the Rocky was by no means of verdict on content, it is a verdict on the medium in which the content is delivered.
Filtrbox is providing new ways for discovering and delivering content using new media. Instead of a newspaper being delivered to your porch every morning, Filtrbox delivers a daily briefing to your inbox every morning. In addition, Filtrbox provides various other means of consuming the content. But at the end of the day Filtrbox has to deliver content, quality content. The death of the Rocky results in one less source of content for Filtrbox users. Content diversity is paramount if our users are to be be well informed. Many have said, mainstream content will be replaced by blogs. However, that assumption is not reflected in the information consumption patterns that we see on a daily basis. At Filtrbox we interface with a variety of consumers of content and observe that information consumers like diversity. Just as much as they want the thought stream in the blogosphere, they also want to know what is being said in mainstream media and on micro blogs and other sources. People simply want good content that keeps them well informed.
So, to the journalists who were at the the old media companies like the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, I say, there is still demand for your content; newspaper as a medium to deliver your content may be dying but other means to deliver your content are on the rise. Keep writing great content, the content industry is not dead.