Lock It Up In A Walled Garden VS. Set Your Content Free! – Old Rules VS New Rules For Media Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts contrasting the ‘old’ rules of the media and the ‘new’ rules that are necessary for success in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape.

Old Rule #2: Viva La ‘Walled Garden’ – You Must Use The Content From Media Companies In The Way THEY Want You To Use It

Traditional broadcasters pay for their content and they want you to experience that programming in the way that makes them the most money back on their investment. Some of the most profitable ways to consume content may not be the most convenient for audiences, but old media doesn’t care – they own it and they will try to force you to do what is convenient for THEM. Because they can. Or least, they COULD.

New Rule #2: Set Your Content Free – Don’t Force Audiences To Come To You.  Go To Where It’s Convenient For THEM.

Most traditional companies want to keep all their content within their own garden walls so they can control it, measure it, and monetize it. But that doesn’t work anymore (unless you’re the 800 lb gorilla in your content niche).


Continue reading “Lock It Up In A Walled Garden VS. Set Your Content Free! – Old Rules VS New Rules For Media Part 2”

Book Recommendation: Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott

I’ve just finished reading Don Tapscott’s brilliant new book, Grown Up Digital. Don is one of the co-authors of Wikinomics and has become a leading expert on collaboration, its increasing prominence and its extraordinary value.

Grown Up Digital goes much further than Wikinomics. It’s a detailed and hugely valuable look at the Net Generation – those who are now 18-31 years old.  It looks at how their childhood, skill-set, and world view is unique compared to all previous generations, and it then provides amazing insight into how they are going to change history and the way all of our core institutions function.

From education to politics and from broadcasting to the workplace,  Tapscott provides real, thoughtful, and useful information about what changes are taking place, how to understand those changes, and finally, how to best adapt to them.

At the center of Tapscott’s thesis are 8 core traits of the Net Generation:

  • Freedom
  • Customization
  • Scutiny
  • Integrity
  • Collaboration
  • Entertainment
  • Speed
  • Innovation

By acknowledging each of these traits and designing strategies to enable them, Tapscott clearly shows how we can all help usher in positive change and forward movement (instead of fighting the aspects of this generation that companies, schools, and parents simply don’t understand.)

Here’s who should read this book:

  • Anyone in the media
  • Teachers
  • Executives and managers
  • Parents of kids in this demographic (and younger)
  • Politicians
  • Social activists
  • Web-based businesses

Of course, I’m biased.  I already passionately believe in all of this.  I have tried to put it into practice wherever I’ve been able, I have spoken about it at conferences, and I have written about very similar ideas on this blog.

But this is the first time I’ve read a book that’s laid everything out so clearly and eloquently.  It left me excited, motivated, passionate, and hopeful for the future.  And I want more people to know about it, so please spread the word.

Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World (via Amazon)

What’s the one book you’d recommend to your friends, family, co-workers, bosses, and politicians?

ALERT To Traditional Media

Dear Traditional Media Executive,


The web is NOT primarily a place to advertise your TV programming, your radio programming, your newspaper content, or the latest issue of your magazine.

As a valued and (relatively) YOUNGER audience member that you are craving so desperately, when I decide that I want to experience your brand on a ‘non-traditional’ platform like your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, etc, PLEASE don’t use it for the sole purpose of telling me about all the wonderful things that are on TV, on the radio, in your newspaper, in your magazine, but AREN’T on the web.

I’m choosing to interact with you on the web.  I want a content experience, not an ad. Give me what I want or I will go elsewhere.

Here’s what you’re telling me:

“Thanks for coming my website.  Please leave the web immediately and go to the inconvenient place of my choosing  where I can make more money off of your eyeballs and/or ears.”

Would you watch a TV station whose only programming was ads about great content on the web?  Of course not.  So stop using the web that way.


Your Future Audience

(P.S. The best way to promote your TV, radio, newspaper, or magazine content?  Let me experience it on the web. If I can have a content experience with your brand on the web and I like it, the odds go way up that I’ll give it a try on another medium.  But if I can’t try it and instead experience the equivalent of a billboard, I’m almost certain to give it a pass…)