Yesterday I was sitting together with an executive of a publishing
house. Sparring thoughts on the evolution of the corporate intranet to
a collaboration workspace and communications hub I stumbled about a
thought: if digital and social media are influencing the job profile
of the classic editor, wouldn’t they need a social editor’s service to
really get their job done?

Quite some time ago I’ve discussed the potentially changing job
profile of editors in the modern media world. For me the classic set
of duties (research, create, publish) have to more resonate on the
speed and variety of information that is now available to consumers
and the effects that come with that level of availability.

I’ve recently posted about my challenge (sometimes even pain) of being
overloaded with sources, information and opportunities for
inspiration. Sometimes I wish I had a personal media assistant (no,
not an RSS reader), that would help me to consolidate the vast amount
of information out there and caviar it with some food for further
thinking. That person could be an editor, couldn’t it?

Just hunting for the next subject or story cannot be a satisfying role
to an editor anymore. Due to the access to further and/or contextually
relevant information I actually expect to be provided with ’this could
be interesting for you in this context’ stuff, too. Those other
sources must not necessarily come from the same publishing house
because a different angle to a story could even underline its
importance or validity. The editor’s mindset has to evolve from ’I’ve
created this’ to ’I’ve created this and I’ve stumbled about other very
interesting sources that I will collect for my readers.’ The editor
turns into an expertise or subject hub…the readers become followers.

In order to be able to do this there must be a service to connect all
the editors of a publishing house – and maybe even link in some
external or partner editor groups, too. Valuable and validated(!)
information that is collected during the research process is stored in
that service, tagged and then available to all those who might be able
to use it in order to pimp up their own creation. Yes, yes, there will
always be proprietary research, that an editor needs to create the
’exclusive’ story. Just flag it private…but be part of unleashing
the power of a new research network.

Thinking about globally connected editor networks that work for the
same publisher, there could be a huge opportunity. It could actually
be the counter initiative to the current critics with regards to
Google’s monopoly on information consolidation and distribution. Let’s
replace the machines with an agile network of editors that use a
social business service as their algorithm to collect, connect and
enrich information.

Just for the sake of mentioning it: speed is not part of this idea.
Today’s media channels and the social media sphere have reached a
speed of information distribution that some corporate communications
experts have learned to hate. Leaks that could be stitched up before
large damage was created now travel around the world three times in a
matter of seconds. We don’t need more speed…at least not from my
perspective.

Sent with Writer.

— via iPad

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