Guest post: There is no rule book for online news

By Jason Preston, Eat Sleep Publish

When you’re looking at making the transition from print (as a medium) to the internet (as a medium), one of the most important things that you can wrap your brain around is the concept of failure.

Online, failure is not only common, it’s celebrated. Just recently the New York Times ran a short spot on Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, and about his record of failed or errant startups.

Speaking of the New York Times, does anyone think much worse of them for having tried Times Select? Although they might mince words saying so, it was a failure.

Are Facebook users leaving in droves after the recent outcry about the unannounced changes in their terms of service? Nope – in fact they’re signing up at the rate of 1 million per week.

All of this is to say that there is no rule book online. There are no pre-set Right Ways and Wrong Ways. There are literally thousands of people who will charge you lots of money to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do online. Screw ‘em.

Here’s what you should do: jump.

The internet is not a kitchen appliance. There is no manual that tells you where not to stick your fingers, and how to set the clock. Even better, there’s no risk of electrocution.

If you can embrace this spirit of experimentation, then you are a new media pioneer.

That’s all there really is to it – a willingness to sign up on a new service, click on links and buttons, and see what happens. Think about how it might work for journalism. Think about how it might work for you.

Jason is the founding editor of Eat Sleep Publish, a blog about the future of publishing. You can subscribe to his RSS feed here.

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One Response to “Guest post: There is no rule book for online news”

  1. The police office in Tucson, Ariz. has introduced uncooked movie footage within the digital camera law enforcement officer Joel Mann was donning when he brutally pummeled a feminine scholar who was walking innocuously just off the campus of the University of Arizona.

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