The disruption within

by Lee Hopkins on June 25, 2010

in clippings

Mitch Joel

My Canadian communicating colleague and fellow CAPOW member Mitch Joel has written an interesting thought piece on the death of the magazine industry and how it has largely brought it upon itself.

In the end, what transpired was a weird belly rubbing meets self-congratulatory back-and-forth that included name dropping of obscure magazine industry professionals and writers that the general populace has never heard of. It became a session where the advice bestowed practically dismissed the fact that publishing – as an industry – has changed at a fundamental level because anybody, anywhere can (and should) publish their ideas to the world instantly (and for free). Writers no longer have to kneel before the publishing slush pile. It was almost as if the participants (both on the panel and in the audience) were attempting to make the Internet go away. It was almost as if the participants (both on the panel and in the audience) were trying to make the Internet bend to their will. It was if they wished the Internet had never happened. They were all a little too comfortable with the way things were and practically ignoring the world as it is in front of their eyes.

I agree with Mitch, but wish to extend the thought beyond the magazine industry and into the corporate communication sphere (where I belong).

If large organisations are unwilling or, more politely, ‘hesitant’, to embrace this new communication technology (as Melcrum’s latest research, to be presented at their Social Media Conference in Sydney next Wed the 30th June, suggests a significant percentage – 48% – are), then they cannot cry ‘foul’ when their workforce decides to leave and accept positions in organisations that *do* embrace the new technologies, risks and all.

As Mitch says,

Change is hard. Disruption is harder. It’s one thing to be shortsighted when you’re invested in the printers and distribution models of yesterday (like a magazine publisher is), it’s another when you’re the actual vision for the content, but you still act like the game (or money or business) is in the printing and traditional distribution, when the power to publish has been given and granted to all with a story to tell.

When you do it to yourself, you can’t blame technology, the Internet, Social Media (or anybody else).

Hear, hear!

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