On: sacrificing quality chasing the zeitgeist
This one is a rant yet is still a loosely logical, connected piece here….bear with me:
- Uber is getting hammered because of claims a senior exec would sanction digging up dirt on journalists
- Sarah Lacey (legitimately placed to do so) has gone on the attack over Uber, deleted the app
- people are now reporting on Sarah Lacey’s piece
- last week the FT broke the ‘Facebook at Work’ story
- mere hours later, stories surfaced citing the FT breaking news with NO additional information
- days later, reporting on someone else’s story still with NO new information but quoted speculation is everywhere
- it gets worse…
In other (connected) news:
- in less than a day, TechCrunch (US) has posted 30 articles
- Re/code has done 19 articles
- PSFK has done 17 pieces
- I’d be amazed if all three had less than 50 pieces each by the time I wake up tomorrow morning
- that’s a lot of BS
A lot of ‘what-ifs':
- What IF people stopped reporting on the new of others?
- What IF journalists stopped writing for eyeballs and focussed on dwell time?
- and ad models were adapted accordingly
- What IF we started to reward content in a completely different way?
There is another way:
- Mercedes, inconceivably, some years ago, changed the way they rewarded their sales staff
- Financial rewards were based NOT on sales targets but customer satisfaction
- Zappos’ ‘seconds to wow’ metric is legendary
- What IF journalists were rewarded in equally different ways, that meant they were rewarded for writing quality content, rather than chasing eyeballs
- What IF journalists were rewarded for the engagement they generated on their content instead?
- The re/code model suggests that this might already work
- Would that not force a change in behaviour that rewards us all?