Ideas for Reinventing the Publishing Industry

Sam Fiorella, writing in The Social CMO, put together some fresh thinking on how to disrupt publishing, drawing some parallels with the music business in Open Letter to Media Publishers. Since their comments are turned off, I’ll offer some additional thoughts here.

Sam, thanks for one of the most intelligent posts I’ve read on the disruption of print I’ve seen in ages. Reading between the lines, I’ll offer this iteration.

Print, especially B2B- or enterprise-focused books, has always seen its role as an intermediary between readers and advertisers. Reading between the lines, they need to blow up that simplistic thinking and reimagine themselves as aggregators of conversations.

Riffing on your scenario, they can track who reads and comments all posts [plus other interaction], so why not let “readers” organize conversations around the content? If they’re not careful, they’ll lose this to Google Hangouts or similar. But subscription options could include their suggestions based on reader privacy and other preferences. In other words, I’m talking with my friends about redefining the employee lifecycle, maybe they suggest a couple of Human Resources or recruiting disruptors to join us.

Of course, the real answer to your questions is organizational sclerosis: the only people who remain are fighting over the last canapes and Champagne as the ship lists 20 degrees more each year.

What do you think of the article/discussion scenario? Would you go for it if the right people were involved?

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