Time Magazine just named “me” Person of the Year. The question facing mass media (mainstream media, MSM, whatever), is how many people will read this announcement in Time vs. how many will read about it in the sorts of places Time cites as shaping this trend, (bonus points for all of you who learned about the announcement someplace other than the MSM). Is Time throwing in the towel? I doubt it. But I guarantee you, a good many folks on the magazine’s editorial board debated how important this trend really is (which, to be fair, I think a good many of us do every day) and what it means for the long-term of magazines in general, not to mention Time itself. How can a weekly magazine dedicated to in-depth coverage of news maintain its relevance when countless bloggers and (dare I say it) insta-pundits beat them to the punch on an intra-day basis?
I think the answer is by doing what Time has always done. While the magazine (and other MSM) clearly needs to respond to changes in the media landscape, the blogosphere provides it the ability to gauge what interests its readers. Then it can deploy its significant (in relative terms) resources to provide both greater depth and broader context. If nothing else, it might put itself in the running for “Person of the Year.”
Update: Clickz has a call to action for interactive marketers, encouraging them to get on the stick and figure out what to do about “you” being in control. So, get on that, will you?