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Strategic insights
The New World of Sources, Channels, and Destinations

Monetization has to be follow the source instead of being tied to a destination. This poses a huge challenge for advertising-driven content, and it is essential that you create paygate, instead of a paywall.

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Written by on January 12, 2011

A big change in 2011 is the shift to a world divided into sources, channels and destinations. The shift has a profound influence on every form of publishing.

The shift is not just about the media industry. It is equally disrupting brands and marketing. The focus used to be on creating product magazines, websites, and experiences--all in the form of destinations. Those are now secondary. Marketing people have to think of their brands as a source.

For newspapers and magazine, the shift will completely undermine all their business models. They have to figure out what they want to be. Do they want to be a source, a channel, or a destination?

Think of it like this. On Twitter, each person, brand or news site is a source. Twitter itself is the channel, and apps like TweetDeck or Flipboard are the destinations. Twitter's website is also a destination, but it too relies on the Twitter platform as a channel.

No matter how you look at it, people will always be sources. There is no way you will ever go to each person's profile page to read their tweets. That would be completely impractical. Trying to be a destination only works in a world with a lack of choice. )Much like the newspaper world used to be like 30 years ago.)

The reason why Twitter is successful, is because they understand the new world sources, channels, and destinations. They understand it is not about giving people a place to publish 140 characters (like on a blog), but to turn people into sources that other people could follow. And to turn the platform itself into a channel--opening up the huge potential for "people aggregators" to become the new destinations.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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