Time to delete your online department? | yelvington.com

Time to delete your online department? | yelvington.com

Amen. Steve Yelvington is the man on online-offline integration. I turn down each and every offer to join some media organization looking to build its online group. This is like playing mediator in a bad Balkan conflict. You’ll end up with a negotiated truce that will fail as soon as someone’s pig breaks out and tramples the neighbor’s crops. It ain’t a dichotomy any more. Any media org that thinks they can make a graceful cash-cow transition is whistling past the graveyard. Burn the huts, fire the old guard who profess allegiance but still pine for the old days on the lobster shift on rewrite, and put the online guys in charge. Like now.

Like pretty much everybody who’s spent a lot of time on the New Media side of the Great Divide, I’ve been leery of organizational integration. Why? Because Luddite values are deeply ingrained in traditional newspaper operational groups, and those values will lead us to defeat. Equally deeply ingrained: Utter denial that those Luddite characteristics exist. It’s a dangerous combination.But this is the 21st century, and if we continue to put up with Luddite behaviors, we’re cooked anyway.

It’s time to restructure, and clean house of the obstructionists.

What happens if you delete your online department? Is the core organization ready to face the future? It’s had more than a decade to get ready. Now or never, guys.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Time to delete your online department? | yelvington.com”

  1. David,

    Two great posts from an Internet pioneer. You are right.

    There’s a new guard in town and it’s made up of flexible old trees and flexible young trees bending in the same direction, with shared vision and open and honest communication, in the strong wind of the internet.

    It’s amazing how some media folks in many diverse companies burn their forests and experience a slow decay in traffic and Google rankings until the old guard wakes up and realizes they burned the wrong trees, the new guard, and in trying to better the land, sowed the wrong seeds and ruined successful irrigation channels.


  2. Yelvington had a classic post about the first ten years of online newspapers last year. A real eye opener.

    The increase in blog readership at the newspapers between last month and this, 3 fold, is one that won’t be lost in the board rooms. Right now, there are legions of lawyers reviewing the gnu license on WPmu wondering and wringing their hands, while the techies are asking the “will mysql work in my environment” question.

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