We’ve all become inured to news that another daily newspaper has gone out of business or that a Barnes and Noble is closing-that’s an odd day when those things don’t happen. But Gigaom has just announced it is shutting down. In case you hadn’t heard of it, Gigaom is (was?) a tech site that appeared to be wildly successful and profitable, with more than 6.4 million monthly readers and no legacy costs of print, drivers, pensions, etc. The site had glitzy conferences, a White-paper business, etc, and still, it apparently could not pay its bills.
When you look at Gigaom’s failure on top of the recent shuttering of Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish,” what are we to conclude? I think the answer is that now that the entire world has become to empowered to create content in every format, there is little value to content. Advertising costs continue to plummet because the supply of content is expanding dramatically faster than demand.
Where does this all end? Sadly, I think that most pure media businesses will go out of business. The New York Times will be rescued by an eccentric billionaire who will turn the Times into a non-profit. Beyond that, we are going to consume more and more content that is created by people who have other core businesses.
Take me, for example. I create several blog articles a day, plus at least 7 news video commentaries a week. But I’m not in the media business; I have a media and presentation training business whereby I promote my businesses by creating content. I think I play it straight with the facts and am honest. But you might detect a bias in favor of the proposition that more people in the world need media training and presentation training.
The bigger problem is that we may evolve to a point where the only people who have the time and resources to write about and talk about important things, like legislation in front of congress, will be paid lobbyists.
TJ Walker creates daily text and video content for Media Training Worldwide. You can reach him at 212.764.4955.