Hello Future

Thoughts on news consumption

Written August 11th, 2010 by Leif Rehnström in Blog

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Flipboard

We have been thinking a lot about news distribution, consumption and creation lately. Personally, I don’t bother to get out of bed to get the paper anymore. I just grab the iPhone or iPad and read news feeds, twitter feeds, facebook feed and so on. This is nothing unusual, but most people still get their news delivered via TV, radio or newspaper.

The question is, when will most people have access to effective tools for distribution, filtering and curation of relevant news without having to start 5 different accounts on 5 different services? Facebook is probably the closest experience today and definitely mainstream. Twitter is also huge, but does it provide the right kind of experience? RSS and feed readers like Google Reader are great, but usually a big hurdle for people that are not into tech.

Besides Facebook, I would say that apps like Flipboard for iPad offer experiences that are similar to more traditional news sources, but with personalisation and sharing built in. Once tablets like iPad can be found in all homes and all TV sets have internet access with open operating systems I believe this will be a very common way to consume news. We will all be news editors sharing news with our friends and family (especially positive and awe inspiring news?) from mobile phones, TV screens, tablets and other physical objects with a digital presence.

Creating business models around this is certainly not easy, but it has to be done. It’s probably a case of multiple income streams rather than one-size-fits-all, similar to what has happened in the music industry. It’s definitely up to service- and experience designers to build awesome new ways of consuming news without technology getting in the way.

The big question is when is the timing right? The shift is happening, but how fast will  it happen and what’s your part in all of this? Are you a news consumer or a news editor? It took something like 100 years to get the advertising model right (mid 1800 to mid 1900), but this shift will probably be a little quicker…

What are your thoughts on the future of news?

Photo credit: Johan Larsson on Flickr

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