Yesterday, I completely missed the news. The New York Times‘s Brad Stone wrote about, “Ad Downtown Threatening the Survival of Business 2.0.” Forbes Brian Caulfield had even covered the impending demise of the publication, “Bye-Bye, Business 2.0.”
And while I was sleeping on the development of this story, I even missed that a faithful reader, Colin Carmichael, had started a Facebook group called, “I read Business2.0 – and I want to keep reading!” The magazine’s Editor in Chief Josh Quittner, who has been trying to secure private investors to keep the magazine afloat has even joined the group, along with various Web 2.0 luminaries, like Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist; Matt Cohler, VP-strategy at Facebook, and others as reported by Advertising Age in “Can Fans Save Business 2.0?“
Carmichael just launched the Facebook group yesterday, and it has already escalated to 281 members.
Yet, as the Advertising Age article reports, fans have been known to save television shows on the Internet — via blogs, forums, and online positions, but bringing this method to the print media is an entirely different thing.
The power of social networking, though, can’t be denied. Sites like MySpace and YouTube have broken music artists’ careers, effectively launched products into the marketplace, and have even affected the 2008 Presidential Campaign — just look no further than sites like techPresident, a group blog that covers how the 2008 presidential candidates are using the Web, and vice versa, how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign.
It’s definitely a telltale sign about what the future of media looks like. Not that I think print will cease to exist, in fact I’m rallying against that, but the ways in which we receive our news will be more converged. And though I know that was promised in good ‘ole Web 1.0, the reality is here now.
For instance, Red Herring was completely dead in 2003, but was later resurrected by publisher Alex Vieux and a group of investors. Now led editorially by Joel Dreyfuss, the magazine has a heavy focus on its Web content, particularly its blogs, and it offers an interactive digital version of the magazine.
Using Red Herring as a case study, we could say that it’s possible that if enough people want something, they’ll get that something. So maybe Time won’t save Business 2.0, but if the enthusiasm and evangelism of the Facebook group ends up wielding any real powers, then maybe someone, somewhere, with a fat bankroll will come to save the day.