For "legit" print journalists, the day of reckoning may be approaching more quickly than any of us would like. A survey by web CMS vendor Polopoly reports that, according to European newspaper execs, 40 percent of published content will be user generated. In the next three years.
Because of this, blogs and other "new media" commodities will become increasingly critical to the news-making populace
. And with this trend, personalized online advertising opportunities are also expected to improve.Evidence to this trend includes the usual suspects: the success of Facebook and MySpace
to get damn-near-anybody to divulge almost anything -- illustrations included!
-- about themselves.
"The number of members is constantly growing and the power of the communities grows every day. In only a year, Facebook has doubled the number of users. Besides uploading information about themselves, users are linked to a large amount of friends, many times over one hundred, with similar profiles," reads the Polopoly release -- which earns a wry smile for social networking naïveté.
The company also points to the personalized ad platforms that MySpace and Facebook announced in the last month. Executives at Fox -- which owns MySpace -- are also quoted as saying their "tailoring technology" improves the likelihood of a user clicking on an ad by 80 percent on average.
Your guess is as good as ours with regard to where this number came from. A talk with any disgruntled tween would lead one to believe that MySpace is in no position to tout its ad targeting capabilities.
Respondents to the Polopoly survey reported that in the long-term, there is plenty of space for sites like Facebook, MySpace and the myriad blogs and social networking communities that have sprung up to respond to the desire to report your own story. Even -- or perhaps especially -- if the story's happening in your backyard.
Respondents also said it is not crucial to have a large editorial staff, but that in the future, such staff will be "complemented by user generated content and other actors on the market."
Finally, in perhaps a fit of guilt, most participants in the survey said it would take some time before printed newspapers lose their positions entirely as the news source of choice. And some even asserted that, at least in their respective sectors, the printed page will never see a digital media eclipse.
That's a little optimistic for our taste. In the States, the Audit Bureau of Circulations has is so pessimistic about the standalone future of print that it has begun to merge print and online newspaper metrics
The Polopoly survey was sent to 3,000 European media execs alongside the Ifra Expo in Vienna. Last summer, Polopoly built a platform for pay-per-view blogging
-- assisting, to a degree, in strengthening blogging's enterprise clout