The Guardian has made an entry into the paid-for content space. Called Extra it is, as the name suggested, the on-line Guardian with a little bit extra, for which you will be expected to part with £25 annually. It is interesting and innovative, as one might expect from the Guardian – but it won’t work as a model for how what we currently call a newspaper (even an on-line, multimedia newspaper) can operate in the social media world.
The reason for this is that its ethos and economic model is still fundamentally rooted in Gutenberg economics. It is still all about producing content – but in a way that doffs its cap to what editor Alan Rusbridger calls web2.0 by in his words “involving the readers in what we do“.
Clang! What “we” do is not what it is about anymore. In the social media world, content is not a finished product it is only a raw material. The “reader” as some still might like to call them, is the only person responsible for a finished product. It is therefore not a case of “involving the readers in what we do” – it works the other way round. The Guardian needs to create the permission to be involved in what the readers do. Continue reading