McAlister on media as a platform

Matt McAlister has a great post up about the idea of media as a platform, which I encourage anyone interested in the future of media online to read. He says that in his view it isn’t really about “openness” or “walled gardens” and other popular metaphors:

It’s not about stopping bad behavior or even embracing good behavior. It’s about investing in an architecture that promotes growth for an entire ecosystem. If you do it right, you will watch network effects take hold naturally. And then everyone wins.

McAlister says that the most successful media platforms, broadly speaking, are those that give their users the power to impact the experience for themselves and to improve the total experience for everyone as they use it.

“When you look around the Internet media landscape today you see a lot of successful companies that either consciously or subconsciously understand how to make media work as a platform.

MySpace created a fantastic expression platform, though perhaps unwittingly. Wikipedia evolved quickly into a massive research platform. Flickr and del.icio.us, of course, get the network effects inherent in sharing information…photos and links, respectively.

Washingtonpost and BBC Backstage are moving toward national political information platforms.”

There are lots of other good examples and smart thoughts from Matt. Go on and read the whole thing. I’ll wait 🙂

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