I watched a fascinating debate a couple of weeks ago at a New York Social Media Week event, where two high-profile journalist-cum-entrepreneurs went toe to toe in defense of their respective online business models.
But the good-natured, if heated dispute covered more than just the subscription vs. advertising business model debate confronting media in the digital age. It also brought up the topic of “native advertising.”
According to a number of indicators, New York City is back in the hi-tech business — and Big Apple politicians, analysts and PR people are not missing a beat in letting the world know about the city’s resurgence following the dot.com crash of the early 2000s.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a panel discussion for Social Media Week at New York’s Helen Mills Theater regarding the role of public relations in Wikipedia.
Panelists Jake Orlowitz, David Somal and David Goodman along with moderator and wiki-relations guru, William Beutler, led a discussion on the roles and controversies of Wikipedia in the field of public relations.
“iPads are the future of print!” gushed the young PR maveness on the four train. “I don’t even pitch print anymore,” she continued.
Despite the oxymoronic quality to her first comment, and the naïveté of her second, I think the sentiment is at least somewhat true. Every day, someone seems to be proclaiming the death of newspapers and magazines, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the industry’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Last week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — better known as the M.T.A. — announced that it will be now selling advertising space on the most sacred of cards in a New Yorker’s wallet — their MetroCard.
This last-ditch effort by the M.T.A. to rebalance its books was met with the predictable complaints about the M.T.A. “selling out.” More surprising — to me at least — was the amount of public support the agency’s plan received.