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Monday, April 04, 2005

Intermediaries & Their Future - Blogospheres As Intermediaries

Dave Pollard has an excellent article on the topic of intermediaries. Dave writes we live in an age of "disintermediation" - the cutting out of the middleman.Excerpts with edits from the article:

We do bank transactions without tellers, we browse libraries without librarians, we learn without teachers. Intermediaries-Infomediaries are finding their roles are getting redefined. Blogging is in a way an attempt to disintermediate this chain. Some in the mainstream media would like to see blogs as just another link in the chain, at the very end between the channels and readers, adding little or no value other than links to related stories, high-tech cataloguers. But online journalism can incorporate all six of these intermediary roles, and, in fact, bloggers can be newsmakers in their own right - like when they break major stories that the legacy media miss, or undertake investigative reporting that the legacy media no longer have much appetite for.

Search tools and social networking software are providing additional channels and ways to aggregate information, working to some extent hand in glove with bloggers to create entirely new ways to connect.Value addition is the key – failing to add value is an invitation to be gobbled. Value addition shall lead to reintermediation rather than disintermediated.Intermediaries in Dave’s view can be seen to be more value adding when the follow the published guidelines:

Make the content more useful, more actionable, or at least more interesting.
Focus on information that's important, rather than urgent.
Follow up. We squander reader/viewer interest.
Be conversational. Let the reader/viewer see the person behind the point of view.
Help people deal with information overload.
Get out more. Intermediaries need to learn the value of doing their own primary research (interviewing and direct observation), and not merely working with the content flowing though the chain to them.
Read broadly. It gives you perspective. And it has a lot of other benefits as well.
Learn a disciplined approach to research and analysis. I like the Pyramid Principle, but there are lots of others.
The disintermediation that is overwhelming the information industries came about because the technology industries were bold, and didn't constrain their products to doing just what other technologies had done before.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"