What The WaPo Could Become

Millman dreams big:

If The Washington Post treated its own newsroom as a premium product to be bundled with a larger package of services that mostly re-purpose third-party-generated content – and long-form investigative journalism in particular is a perfect example of a premium product that is very hard to sell on its own, but which considerably enhances the value of a more comprehensive bundled product – then its scope could be much, much larger than it could ever be on its own. Larger, and more truly national, in fact, than The New York Times is (and the Times has already gone some way in the “parallel internet” direction, but relying on its own prodigious capacity to generate content). …

My own personal hope is that Bezos becomes the first internet media mogul to actually downstream revenue to third-party content providers. I’m sure it wouldn’t be much, but even establishing the principal would be huge. And the opportunity to capture a huge portion of the high-value journalistic internet is enormous. Who wouldn’t rather optimize their blog to integrate with the Washington Post‘s engine than try to sell enough banner ads to keep the lights on? And once that process has begun, the “parallel internet” starts working better than the real thing.

Ken Doctor’s vision is similar:

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) has rounded up movies and TV shows. Apple Inc. (APP)’s iTunes has rationalized the buying of and listening to music. You know the buzzwords of the consumer digital revolution made meaningful: recommendation engines, aggregation and curation, socially mediated discovery, save lists, wish lists and flexible alerts.

All of that would create a boffo news product. The Associated Press offers a 1.0 version of it, in AP Mobile, and Google News and Yahoo News, among others, have long aggregated. Google caused near apoplexy when it pulled the life-support line from Google Reader. Feedly seems to be the replacement flavor of the moment.

Seriously, though, there’s nothing like a Netflix or iTunes experience for heavy news consumers — a place to read, buy, share and be easily informed without heavy lifting.