General, Journalism, MFW

When a water lily met a long tail; when the Washington Post met TechCrunch… that’s both proof and precedent.

My heartfelt thanks to Mr McGinty, who pointed me in the direction of this:

http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/080508/0395131.html

For if he – and I – aren’t very much mistaken, that looks for all the world like a water lily meeting a long tail…

And if you don’t yet know what a water lily meeting a long tail looks like, it’s something like this…

http://outwithabang.rickwaghorn.co.uk/?p=17

A scribble on a flip-chart that Craig has now had the misfortune to be subjected to twice, once at JEE Camp, once at the Journalism Leaders Forum.

But what’s going on between TechCrunch and the Washington Post? It’s a water lily (the Post) digitally bolting itself onto a long tail (TechCrunch); that as the Post desperately decides how best to re-position itself on this ever-shifting digital landscape – Inside the Beltway? Outside the Beltway? – how it squeezes that newsprint quart into a web pint point; so it has followed Jeff Jarvis’ old maxim – that if you can’t do something well, link…

TechCrunch have a long-established reputation within a passionate, niche community – a passionate, niche community that the Post has now bolted itself onto…

Interestingly, TechCrunch itself doesn’t see use the term long tail – is “a technology vertical”. OK, whatever. That’s a long tail from where I sit.

TechCrunch delivers lovely, sticky copy into the Post technology desk 24/7; and so there’s every chance that the time Tech-fans spend on the Post’s site will suddenly shoot up; suddenly they have got all that extra copy to read… and all from a source that they have grown to recognise and trust.

And that the Post recognises and trusts to deliver the kind of sticky content it needs to build bigger web communities; to get the Post ‘brand’ to cascade down from the surface of the pond, right down to dimly-lit dens across the States where a whole new audience awaits… an audience that, in previous lives, may never have found anything worth reading on the Post’s site…

Fascinating.

Cos for me – and our Craig – that looks like a proof of concept. It also looks like a precedent; cos if one, global water lily can find one long tail, so – hopefully – others among the water lilies might look for the same…

So if you don’t do, say Championship football well, link to someone that can…

speak up

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