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Building A New Media Monster Involves Trial And Error

All of us in the media industry, including those seeking to change it from the outside, get so caught up in the rapid and uncertain pace of change that we take ourselves a little too seriously sometimes. Each new success or failure is inevitably hyped to the point that profound conclusions are drawn. In his MediaShift column this week, Mark Glaser reminds us that there's a lot of experimenting going on and not all of it will work. The important thing is the overall trend of progress. Glaser gives his take on the differences between the "oldthink" and "newthink" and reminds us:
The media shift isn't just about small vs. big. It's also about a new way of thinking, or perhaps bringing back an old way of thinking that's been lost in the era of big media mergers and the bottom-line focus on profits over serving people. The democratization of media is about letting a billion flowers bloom, and turning the power of news analysis, commentary, punditry and spoofery over to the people, now that they have the cheap technology of blogs, digital video cameras and broadband Internet access.

And with this change comes a lot of trial and error, experiments that really cut through the hype and those that fall short. Sometimes these new initiatives are just old ideas dressed up in new media clothes. So I've decided to try to spell out how the media is shifting, both in mindset and in practical, real world ways.