Giving the people the information they want. I went for my quarterly hair cut the other day (but it was only like last month I went) and I was again exposed to tabloid news. No not tablet, that's what iPad is. Tabloid color, plenty of pictures, not a lot of news type newspapers. Plenty on bikini shots too, OK I counted 16 pages with bikinis inside the first half of the tabloid before the pull out. News editors know what readers want, they poll, they focus they listen. So it must be fair to assume that the content of the newspapers reflects what people want and the editors are doing a good job. They therefore do not have a leading reflection that is the editorial slant of the paper or the news agenda of the day or the news we should know about. Well if we are only presented with what we already like, it's similar to only ever getting audio/video from our own iPod, no outside influence, no John Peel or Jon Snow pointing a spotlight on what would be good to learn. Technology is catching up and now systems like PubliAtis make it possible to collaborate the fabrication of news syndication (as does any good social blog or CMS) and systems like DemandMedia predict what audience want to read about and propose choices to writers in the crowd to join forces and be financially rewarded for taking part in the process. Have a listen to it discussed on This Week In Google #44 via [qued.tv]
I like the surprise element too. Format radio in so bland I don't listen to it. Format publishing on mass will also (I expect) be void of character and personality of the messenger. In a world a wash with data, I want information I can believe from people I like and trust, not a story engine that is rigged to play the black art of google ranking to gain extra credit in online adverts.
I want real news – I want to be surprised. I want to be influenced.