For the POSTPONED episode of Naked Media, with Patrick Spain and Michael Wolff, co-founders of Newser.com, we went out on the streetand asked about a dozen people of all ilks where they get their news. Once again (as with our segment on Twitter), I’m reminded that we in the biz need to remind ourselves that “normal” people don’t focus on a lot of the things that obsess us. A number of folks who looked to be in their twenties and thirties said they didn’t bother with the Internet, and instead go for free newspapers or TV. Or perhaps check NYTimes.com and nothing else. Most didn’t know, whether they were looking at the Web or TV, what “brand” of news they were consuming, though some did refer to a specific TV channel by number (‘I watch channel 5”) or just “my email” or “The Internet” or, perhaps, “AOL.” No one in our non-car culture here in New York mentioned radio.
No one talked about the “experience” and only one guy (a ringer from Scribe Media who was happening by) talked about RSS feeds or doing any personalized aggregation, or using any new technologies. None seemed terribly able to say why they watched one channel or Web site over another. It all seemed rather random and haphazard, that folks just happened upon a channel, whether TV or Web, and stuck with whatever they were fed. Few expressed a strong preference for any news or information brand.
We’ll soon rebook and touch on these topics with Spain and Wolff -- how can you hope to build a news aggregation brand in today’s world of aggregations of aggregators? We’ll also ask about anything from paid content, such as on Hoovers and HighBeam, to Wolff’s back-and-forth with Rush Limbaugh. Wolff, of course, is also a media and cultural critic for Vanity Fair and Spain is the founder and CEO of HighBeam Research as well as a co-founder of Hoovers, Inc. If you’ve got any questions for ‘em, email me, put it in comments, or log to watch live at ScribeMedia.org. The show is Tuesday at 4p, ET, then will be available on demand.