I’m certain these arguments were among some of the same arguments used to declare the end of print publishing as we knew it back in 1998. A paranoid would begin finding ways to make sure his or her business is able to protect his or her assets. Many people did just that during the boom, and many of those people are still in business or are even flourishing since the crash. An opportunist would start looking for ways to let customers define how his or her business can help them better. Many of those who played aggressively during the boom with risky models focused on adding value for their customers have created huge barriers to entry for old media.
I think this is spot on. We’re investing in RSS because the momentum behind the platform is such that any media owner with a serious interest in being found in the digital realm needs to invest in it to keep its audience. But at what cost? Might it be better to not invest in it at all? I don’t think for a minute that the answer to that is “yes.” I just think it’s interesting that more people aren’t asking the question or attempting to answer it. It’s all about faith again.