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Media Geeks v. Tech Geeks

A great (though late for me) read is this week’s Monday’s Note, edited by Frédéric Filloux. The focus of the story is how today’s media people are, or are not, working with technology people.

This is a world I’ve lived in for the last 15 years or more. Coming up through photojournalism in the newspaper world, then moving into web site management and then other digital medias, I’ve played on both sides of the table. More importantly, I’ve spent most of my time making the two worlds work together.

And, as much as I hate stereotypes, especially in deciding strategic directions, these are pretty much on-the-mark.

First, the tech world’s view of the media managers:

“You guys, are geared to compete rather than collaborate. You’re not getting that collaboration is the new name for the game”. “Even among yourselves, you are unable to cooperate on key industrial issues, shooting yourselves in the foot as a result”. “Your internal organizations are still plagued by a culture of silos. The winners will be the ones who break silos”.

And, the media world’s view of technology people:

More than anything else, techies view the contents news outlets painstakingly put together as an annoyance. They don’t have a clue, nor are they interested in getting one, to the complex, costly and often dangerous process of collecting original information.

On the money.

There are walls built and battle fought between departments in every company and industry, but as dramatic as it may sound, if this the media geeks and tech geeks figure out a way to play together well, the media world loses.