All About That Platform

This, about Netflix:

reminded me of the entire OMG FACEBOOK STOLE OUR JOURNALISM AND WON’T PAY US clusterfuck which directly followed the OMG BLOGGERS STOLE OUR JOURNALISM AND WON’T PAY US clusterfuck, which followed the very very old OMG CRAIGSLIST STOLE OUR CLASSIFIED ADS AND WON’T PAY US clusterfuck.

Journalism entitlement clusterfucks interest me because they’re a prime example of the unasked question. Instead of yelling about why they “give away” their content to “other publishers” for free, they should be asking, “why do people prefer to encounter our content on another platform?”

It’s not just that Facebook is free. It’s the ease of use, the addictive nature, the ability to share and discuss and talk back. Facebook doesn’t drop 56 ad trackers on your computer and then crash every browser you own. If you sign into Facebook it doesn’t reject your login six times and then ask you to re-register and then start a free trial and then enter your billing information and then double-charge you and then send your receipt to the wrong e-mail address and then ask you to reset your password and then tell you you already used that password in the past five years and if you’d like to chat with a customer service rep here’s a popup window you have no way to close.

Not that I’m describing in any way a real newspaper. That rhymes with Schmibune.

(This is, by the way, not a defense of Facebook. It’s a defense of websites working like they should.)

If newspapers, which do not understand the business of newspapers, understood the business of online news they’d make something easy, reliable, valuable, and integrate micro-purchases in-app and curate a comments section that isn’t a trash fire of elderly InfoWars veterans throwing hamburger wrappers at each other.

The newspapers that have managed online subscriptions and web content well — NYT, the Post — have done that. It’s your local Gannett/Lee Newspapers chain paper that hasn’t, and that’s where most people feel the lack. It’s also from whence the most epic journalistic whining about Facebook and Twitter come.

More time and attention spent examining the aspects of alternative platforms that users (customers) enjoy and emulating those things would pay off in ways shitting all over social media never will.

A.

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