Monday, April 11, 2005

Participatory journalism and B2B

It seems the B2C press has really begun to catch on to the potential of participatory journalism. But the B2B press, I fear, is still dragging its feet. I've said here before that I view bloggers and other citizen journalists as our audience more than as our competitors. Certainly the Greensboro News & Record understands that, and now welcomes the give-and-take of participatory journalism. Others in the B2C press are now compensating their citizen journalists.
But when I talk to folks in trade journalism about the need to move away from lecture mode and embrace conversation, I still find considerable hostility about bloggers, podcasters, etc.
So maybe I should put more emphasis on the competitive threat of the citizen journalists. Perhaps that will get more folks to pay attention.
By its very nature, the B2B press caters to a specialized audience of experts. The reader of your typical trade magazine tends to know an enormous amount about the subject at hand. That gives him a nearly instant credibility should he choose to start a blog and compete against you. Trade associations understand this. Large numbers of them have taken advantage of the publishing ease offered by the Internet to share information with their members. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I've worked with a number of trade association email newsletters published through SmartBrief.)
Smart trade magazines are taking action. Broadcasting & Cable has a blog that's open to readers. Variety has a number of blogs that cover niche areas.
How will your publication address the changes in the media world?

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