I read Simon Dumenco’s
yesterday (via Bob Sacks’ newsletter). Simon writes for Ad Age and
used to write for FOLIO:. He’s a valuable observer of the media scene.

The column is the best he’s written.
He hit the nail on the head in so many ways:

  • The fact that this feels much worse
    than 1991 and 2001.
  • The fact that, as Nick Denton says,
    it’s extinction time.
  • The notion that this really might be
    the end of MSM as we know it.
  • The arrogance of the Huffington Posts
    of the world that think they can create meaningful journalism for free—by
    treating their writers with contempt.
  • The staleness of the 12-year-old
    debate on micropayments.
  • And, really, the sense of no one having
    the answers.

It’s something I tried to touch on here.

The shape of the media landscape after
this period ends—and it will, eventually—is really not apparent now. Instead,
we have all kinds of prognosticators thrashing around like a panicked
stampeding herd. It’s those who don’t panic, who adjust costs early, who
attempt to innovate, that have the best chance of survival.

The new media model has not fully
emerged. It might be right in front of us, but no one recognizes it yet. Who
would have thought, five or six years ago, that when presented with the option
of downloading a song for free on a file-sharing service versus paying $1 for
it on iTunes, over time, people would see iTunes as the preferred method?

A side note: I tried to post a comment to
Dumenco’s column on the Ad Age Web site, but, quite frankly, it’s an annoying
process. You need to register to post a comment-and registering means providing
all kinds of information, like your street address, your company name, your
industry, your job title (twice), etc.—what an incredible disincentive to
engage with Ad Age.com.

Whoever dreamed up that idiotic policy
on comments ought to be lampooned in one of Simon’s columns.