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Beyond the Horizon

OCTOBER 2020

Greetings, Voters:

Like many readers, I’m somewhere between fascinated and anxious-as-hell about the upcoming election.  Not just the outcome, but the process, transition (if there is one?) and how these “times” are impacting it.  How soon will we know the results?  Will it be close, contested, a landslide? 

A recent article about voting technology stated>

“…The election technology business is a heavily consolidated industry – a cartel of essentially three vendors, all owned by private equity firms – that are starved for profits and all but incapable of innovation!”

Does that remind you of any other industry?

While pondering that very rhetorical question, let me offer a little glimmer of sunshine…

I attended the Local Media Association (LMA) webinar featuring three new models supporting newspapers that were at least partially funded by the Google News Initiative.

  • Gabriel Kahn shared how Crosstown is using data to create 110 mostly automated distinct neighborhood newsletters in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.  Fascinating.
  • Pam Laycock filled us in on the Project Local Pulse from TorStar - a personalized community app combining local news reporting with community engagement and UGC.
  • Finally, Sean Fitzpatrick introduced NABUR (Neighborhood Assisted Bureau Reporting), the interactive hyperlocal news-portal Wick Communications is now testing in two markets.

Here’s what stoked my optimism – each presentation was from someone with newspapering in their DNA.  Just like many of you reading this.

  • It was a treat to see genuinely new ideas - I wish each enormous success!
  • Here’s why I’m hopeful?  If three media veterans, complete with and burdened by at least some “ink in their blood” can really and truly innovate (not just at the margins, but w-a-y OUTTHERE), so can others!

As a long-time industry partner, this was the proverbial “breath-of-fresh-air”!

My ongoing worry (I know many of you feel the same!) is that we won’t take advantage of these remarkable times to really and truly do Damn Different.  As I see it, Damn Different = Damn Good, so a High Five to Gabriel, Pam and Sean and the organizations (and audiences!) they represent.

I firmly believe living in these remarkable times actually gives us license or a very legitimate reason (really, an obligation and duty!!) to contemplate and attempt remarkable.  Sure, let’s leverage our barely working existing model for as long as it makes sense, but Every Single Person Reading this knows that “runway” is coming to an end.

My bet is every “adjustment” one can think of has been applied to our operational cost structure (well done!) but very little consideration of how to support and unite your community differently and in ways that help solves problems consistent with your mission.  This is where I see OUTATHISWORLD opportunity!

To that end, let me offer a two-pronged tease>

  1. I’m aware of a killer savings solution that doesn’t touch any FTE’s or frequency or distribution and could be implemented within a month!
  2. On the business side, there’s an innovative and game-changing approach I know one company is looking at that would help them go from having business relationships with 1% - 2% of their small and mid-sized business enterprises to perhaps, 20% - 30%!  Would that be of any interest?

If intrigued by either or both hit “reply” and let’s talk.

Cheers to all.  I’ll be in touch on the other side of Election Day – talk about interesting times!

 
 
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