Tools & Technologies

Letters to the Editor 2.0

The fact that I can subscribe to a number of print magazines has long been a highlight of being in business. I recall having to fight for access to them at the university library … and now, wow, they just show up every week, fortnight or month. Putting aside my wide-eyed wonder for a moment, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about “Web 2.0” technologies and how they impact on the enterprise. It struck me a day or two ago that it could permit Letters to the Editor 2.0 in the media / magazine publishing space.

In Letters to the Editor 1.0 (the current approach), we write or email in what we want to say, and an editor at the magazine chops up our nice little letter / rant / analysis and publishes a snippet of it. Or they just shred it. The net-net is that (a) very few of the letters actually get published, and (b) only a portion of those that are published are usually included.

Which brings me to Letters to the Editor 2.0 … which builds off the ideas of consumer-contributed content, community building, the wisdom of crowds, the long tail, etc. At the top of every article, include a Technorati tag for feedback. Therefore:

  • If I want to write a letter to the editor about a certain article, I can post it to my blog and ping Technorati with the appropriate keyword. I’ve had my say, I feel good, I can get on with life.
  • If I want to see what others have said about the article, I can see *everything* by going to the specific Technorati tag and getting a running commentary and conversation. That’s going to alert me to others that are reading and commenting on things that I’m interested in, thus using my magazine subscriptions as a way of expanding my professional network. It will build a community of people around a magazine, driving continued or new subscriptions. That’s got to be a win for magazine publishers.

Fast Company? Inc. Magazine? BusinessWeek? Fortune? Selling Power? Who’s going to be first?

P.S. And perhaps the magazines could aggregate all of the pings for a specific issue, so that I/we the readers could subscribe to an RSS feed of everything that’s said in respect to the most recent issue.

What do you think?


Categories: Tools & Technologies