We live in an online world. Advances in information technology has led to a twenty four hour news culture, where websites are updated every minute and the global media can react within minutes and bring news of events around the globe to our living rooms, desktops and handheld devices almost as soon as they happen. In many ways the online news culture makes newspapers seem obselete: a twenty four hour news cycle, in the case of national dailies, is considered by many to be too slow, and once printed, articles cannot be rewritten or updated. As newspaper sales decline it is likely that in the future more and more of our news will be delivered to us online, via mobile updates and desktop tickers.
I have come up with an idea that I believe to be the best implementation of information technology in creating a news source that reflects the way we live our lives today. It is called the news exchange. It is a website where news articles are displayed and are available for search. Each news articles is linked to a single advert. The price the advertiser pays for that advert is worked out on the fly according to the number of clicks per hour the news article gets – the more views, the more the cost per click to display the advert for the advertiser. Real time prices for advert cost are displayed alongside the news article so that people have a metric to gague the article’s interestingness this hour, and advertisers know what they have to pay.
This idea for a news environment borrows from the idea of a stock exchange. With the world Wide Web we have seen people conduct studies on meme transmissions, in other words the spread of ideas. This is something that was not possible with conventional forms of print media. The news environment I propose is a market place for memes, where each meme is given a market price. An advertiser might choose only to advertise with the more expensive adverts, therefore identifying their brand with only the most intersting things happening in the media gestalt. Advertisers would set an upper and lower limit they are willing to pay for articles, so if an article gets many clicks and the advertiser can no longer afford it it gets passed to an advertiser with the money to advertise with more popular articles. The idea could be developed and a separate marketplace could be created where articles are sold to advertisers in auctions.
With a newspaper, the amount of space on the page is fixed, the article is unchangeable and the price for the advertising space on the page is predetermined. With the news exchange we see all three of these variables dynamically alter, on the fly, according the market conditions. It is a paradigmn shift in news media that would render extant legacy forms of media such as newspapers and television obsolete.