The Octopus is Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen's Super Yacht, it doesn't even rank in the top ten of super yachts - but it is pretty darn nice (ok it is # 11). like super nice. If i got an invite, i would go on a ride and i would ask Paul to play Al Green's 'Take Me to the River' (Paul is a huge music fan so i would probably let him go through his own collection as well).
Last night, Doc Searls posted a reaction to Dave Winer who posted a reaction (and plea) to Jason Pontin's post 'Why Publishers Don't Like Apps' that i had read earlier in the day. Pontin the Editor in Chief and Publisher at The Technology Review tells a tale of woe of how the Technology Review decided to move away from creating their own News Apps.
Their main points?
KISS it Publishers. ((Keep it Simple))
Winer has been the 'Champion of Champions' for RSS and for what he has coined the River of News. In Searls' post 'Take Us to the Rivers' he provides a historical outline of what is known as a 'river of news'- essentially a scrolling list of headlines as it happens and begs publishers to listen to Winer.
The reading experience is quite different, visit the nytimesriver and then the front page of the New York Times website . Scanning each which one did you just get the most value from if your aim is to get a quick overview of what is happening in aggregate and not what the NYT editors deem as most important?
There are of course successful media publishers like the WSJ who's digital App strategy i think has brought them together unlike what it did to the Technology Review team, but these are the big brands with targeted audiences. They can afford diversification of delivery methods and their audiences will pay for immersive experiences, whether they are behind premium pay walls and/or through Apps.
Consumers of news content of course will have different wants, consumption habits and needs. You can (and should) even break down these consumers into at least two buckets- personal news consumers and enterprise news consumers (there are certainly others that publishers target- political junkies, sport fanatics, etc.). By keeping their content Kissable, most publishers can benefit by focusing on the content and the editorial value and leave the ultimate consumption experience to the user and the tool/aps/experience experts.
I personally like "sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by" and today's sexy speed boats like Flipboard are a news consumer dreamboat where the fellow passengers are handpicked by the captain (that would be you of course), but when i am trying to keep up with content (news, blogs, social whatever) for work trying to deeply understand the diverse business needs of my partners, clients and competitors- i want to be a passenger on the Octopus.
Perhaps Winer, Searls, Pontin and myself will get an invite to take a trip on the Octopus so we can come up with some strategies to get publishers to listen. @PaulGAllen drop me a DM to let me know when the Octopus ports in San Francsico.
Disclaimer: i know absolutely nothing about Yacht's and can't vouch for the # of rivers the Octopus can sail down ;-).
Image | Flickr | andraspfaff