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“Go aggregate, young man!” Each passing day reinforces where news career opportunities lay 6/10/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Aggregation.
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It’s tough these days to plan a future in the news business, as we watch technology seize for itself decisions about which jobs will last. For decades, the high costs of starting-up a printing operation and taking on established newspapers gave job security to journalists and all other other newspaper staff — all of whom were necessary middlemen in the transfer of news between source and audience. But, who are the indispensable middlemen today?

As Suw Charman notes, no job these days is looking like forever except for “curators,” which I suspect may be Welsh for “aggregators.” Once few could manage the placement of text, but now with technology everyone can. Same for digital photography. And music. And sculpture. Develop software? Yep, soon all of us will be able to do that ourselves, too! We don’t really need gatekeepers anymore — people who stand between us and the stuff we want. Instead, we need people who can gather for us the stuff we want. So, to paraphrase westward-ho newspaper editor Horace Greeley as he spoke to young and ambitious Americans more than a century and a half ago, “Go aggregate, young man!”

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