There is a lot of frustration in the news industry right now. We have this amazing distribution system called the web. We’re entering a golden age of storytelling. Every year, more and more people are taking time for stories.
And we’re still not making money.
But consider the following:
Peter Durand patented the tin can in 1810. Ezra Warner patented a can opener in 1858. In between, people used chisels and hammers.
— Mental Floss (@mental_floss) April 10, 2012
The can was invented, and then it took 48 years to invent the can opener, which made the can truly useful.
This is what I’m talking about.
We invented the web. We haven’t figured out how to fully open it up, though.
We’re still learning about this amazing thing we’ve created. What we know is, with the web:
-We can build amazing tools.
-We can build amazing communities.
-We can learn amazing things.
We don’t know much else.
Journalism is searching for this big, magic answer to our problems. We want things fixed now.
They’re not happening now. They’re happening slowly. Eventually.
That’s no consolation for the mid-career professionals who are really struggling in today’s journalism market. But its the truth. It’s going to take a long, long time to sort out the business models. Decades, probably.
But we will figure it out. We will invent our can opener.
In the meantime, all of us need to get cracking at this thing we’ve got on the table. We have something wondrous on our hands. It lets us tell amazing stories.
Let’s keep building, let’s keep doing.
We’ve created the can.
Now let’s figure out how to open it up.