Who’s Reading Anyway

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

In an article about a new research paper about changing media consumption habits, Neiman Lab columnist Joshua Benton observed:

Before the internet, the consumption of news was profoundly driven by habit and ritual. The internet (and, especially, smartphones) exploded most of these habits and rituals. News suddenly existed everywhere and at all times, packaged into all formats, backed by all ideologies, and aimed at all audiences worth showing a banner ad. This was exhilarating, but it also opened doors to all sorts of bad actors. And when habits disappear, new ones grow to replace them. (Joshua Benton.)

After reading the piece, I wondered: isn’t the media establishment making the same mistake as it always has: reflecting on how we have changed, instead of wondering how we will change in years and decades to come. Instead of wondering about today’s audiences, media (and every industry) has to start imaging the world for tomorrow’s audiences.


The pending change is why I jumped into dot-com writing long before it was fashionable. How always-on network would modify our behaviors was why something like blogging felt like an almost natural transition. Since then, the networks have gotten faster, and information has become omnipresent. As a result, we find ourselves living in the information equivalent of the cereals aisle in a local Safeway.

And it is not just news — it is the entire information ecosystem. Photography, videos, music, and even data-sets have become segmented to fit audiences’ desires that might seem like (Read more...)